Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Who the heck? (things only I wonder about)*

So, while I was in Value Village today as part of an errands run, I encounter this guy hanging in a plastic bag on the cheap toys wall:

He was eye-catching in the first place because I didn't immediately recognize him: the brown suit, green bird-motif cape, and visored helmet rang no bells. At first, I thought he might have been an owl-guy of some kind, and Otis has been developing an owl-theme for me lately, so I picked it up. A closer look revealed more details:

Look at that phiz. Seems determined, but a little confused at the same time. The design of the helmet looks less like and owl, and more like a... parrot? Parrot-man? There ain't no Parrot-man I know of.

And the belt: besides his, shall we say, greater that typical belt size for a superhero, his buckle is a big "G." G is for... owl? parrot? Is this a Spanish superhero or something?

But get a load of the detail on the boots - the split-toe really makes the costume.

As I was taking photos and moving through these details, I started getting some resonance that I had indeed seen this fellow before, and that he was a Japanese character, from one of those groups of heroes like the Power Rangers. A little bit of internet research later, the mystery is solved: he is Ryu, the ship's pilot for Science Ninja Team Gatchaman! This series was known more popularly in the U.S. as G-Force or Battle of the Planets.

It's nice to know I haven't completely lost my touch for pop culture, even stuff I'm not directly interested in.

Oh, and despite indications to the contrary, that is indeed an owl suit: Ryu's name in some English translations is Hooty.

So, what did you do while you ate lunch today?

*Actually, that title is a lie: the server here in the Green Bean Coffee Shop took a close look at the figure and texted her husband to ask him who it was.


Richard Bensam said...

I'm baffled you didn't recognize him immediately. It seemed like those characters were nearly ubiquitous in the geek circles I frequented circa 1978 or thereabouts.

Also, I'm baffled that such a gorgeously produced figure ends up on the cheap toys wall. Look at that detail work; that's collector quality merchandise!

Walaka said...

There was a period from about '76 to '81 that I was often out of touch with things geekish; this must have fallen into that black hole.

And it really is a nice figure - he's now been installed next to Agent Diana Prince and they seem to be getting along.

caitlinenoto said...

I think thatonly you can point out that people have a "love" for action figures.