There are toys that one thinks about. Then there are toys one dreams about.
This is one of the latter.
I drive with the girl for 4 hours today to pick up a tin I secured a couple weeks back over the phone.
It feels fitting that this was not an online purchase. It was personal, analog, and reminded me of the days now long gone, when human conversation and not a keyboard was the catalyst for the hunt.
Ogon Bat, one of the very first Japanese super heroes, was created in 1930 by writer Ichiro Suzuki. However Ogon’s origins go back even further in the realm/art of Kamishibai.
After falling into relative obscurity for a generation or two, Ogon was recreated in 1966 with the arrival of a live action movie staring a young Sonny Chiba. Its success spawned a number of toys, many of which were tins by the epic manufacturer Normura.
The characters beginnings only succeeded to heighten the love I had for the mythological “presence” the design already had over me. The simplicity of the colors, the raw graphic elements of the box, the naivete the toy expressed. This is what the term “old skool” was created for. The toy is 45 years old and counting. It is for me, kindred , and a continuation of any Yoshitoshi print, chawan, or nihonto. Iconic, simple and balanced.
This is why I am still collecting.