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.

3 comments:

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.