The devil in Astro Mu 5's details

Posted by servbot30 
Ever since the pictorial in the more recent super 7 mook, I've been intrigued by the Astro Mu 5 figures. The front and back pics are really nice but it leaves me wanting more. Is there an in depth cataloging of these toys? And I mean IN DEPTH. What do these look like without the masks and armour bits? How thick were the bodies? What engineering made them nod? Were the helmets and such made of thin vinyl? Or latex or even silicone? What do these look like MIB? Are there interviews with nakajima designers that point to direct influences other than the obvious? They look unlike anything made at that time. Other than the ties to henshin cyborg and sentai the design cues are insane. Why didn't they go with something more traditional looking? Hell, commentary on the packaging design. Everything there is to know bout these toys. Other than Matt Alt I can't think of anyone who'd have this information. These look like excellent figures that definitely deserve the obsession collectors have for them. But I'm a fan from a distance and I think there are at least a few others who'd want to know this stuff without actually having one in hand. I'm hoping for a "dude read X article" or "google, use it" kind of response. This info has to be easily accessible.
josh fraser (Moderator)
I could go to Warren's house and photograph them all for you I guess. I am seeing him later this weekend. Other than that I am not sure who has them all... maybe Brian and a couple other guys I know of.

The toys are fairly obscure so realistically a book primarily dedicated to them as far as I know doesn't really exist. As far an online info, your guess is as good as mine. There are some topics over at skullbrain that have some images, but not the the exhaustive depth you seem to be wanting.
I agree with Josh that a dedicated book to Astro is unlikely. Astromyu is one of the most beautiful toy lines from the era, but given that it gave birth to just 6 characters in what...3 iterations (mini, custom, and standard), a couple of tanks, and Capsule Robo G, there's not all that much to speak of. For graphics, you can't beat the full color catalog that accompanied some of the boxed nodders. Interviews from the creators at Nakajima? I've never seen anything. As for collectors who have the ENTIRE line, I guess it's Warren? Not sure. I now have 4 of them in various states of repose, but am always trapped between the rarity and cost of completing the line: when I can afford it, I can't find them. And when I find them, I can't afford it. C'est la vie....
With any luck I'll have one of these beauties someday.
MattAlt (Admin)
There are definitely others besides Warren who have complete (or close to complete) collections, but I ain't one of them. It's considered a super-obscure toy line even by otaku standards, but there's so much interest in them from domestic & foreign die-hards that they're nearly impossible to find.

So, sorry I can't help. But here are some Japanese blogs with imagery of AM5 stuff, though.

[blog.goo.ne.jp]

[blogs.yahoo.co.jp]

[blog.goo.ne.jp] ("Astromu-tan" SD figure from Convex in 2008 -- totally missed this one.

[blogs.yahoo.co.jp] (stills from fan-made Astromu movie (circa 1998?)





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2011 07:21PM by MattAlt.
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open | download - henshinset.jpg (39 KB)
My thinking was that I can't be alone in wanting a total breakdown on these figures. Because of their insane rarity, there had to be a database detailing what makes these guys tick, good pics, packaging, etc.

Josh, I'd totally love detailed photos but I don't want to be a bother to you or Warren. That'd be a helluva undertaking especially since you've obviously got other stuff to do with your visit.

Matt, those links rock. Those tiny vinyls are awesome and I never would've thought the packaging for these figs would be so minimal.

Totally appreciate the info.
That Astro-Mu movie was made in conjunction with the release of Marusan's figure. Secret Base also made an Astro Mu figure but it wasn't as cool as that Astro Mu-tan.

An Astro Mu book is a cool idea but I think you're going to see a Bugmen of Insecta book before that one is published...
josh fraser (Moderator)
"There are definitely others besides Warren who have complete (or close to complete) collections".


Oh I have no doubts there are beyond those I mentioned, I just don't have access to them. ;-)

While not having time to photograph the nodders, Warren and I came up with another interesting thing to photograph which I think people will like. Brog soon...

I will ask him and see if we can set time aside to do that project for you. But we are going to wait until the boxed Capsule robo mfv comes in before we document them all.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Would it make sense to document the whole collection (once the Capsule Robo G comes in) for the Nakajima datafiles? That might be kinda cool...
josh fraser (Moderator)
Sanjeev Wrote:
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> Would it make sense to document the whole
> collection (once the Capsule Robo G comes in) for
> the Nakajima datafiles? That might be kinda
> cool...


Yes it would. Good idea.
Im just happy i was lucky to pick up the capsule robo G jumbo years ago at a cheap price.Though the prices on these have gone up, it doesnt compare to meteoric rise in cost of the nodders.
MattAlt (Admin)
> Would it make sense to document the whole
> collection (once the Capsule Robo G comes in) for
> the Nakajima datafiles? That might be kinda
> cool...

The thing is, the Nakajima datafile (like most datafiles) is focused on their diecasts. I am happy to assist if someone wants to make a standalone Astro-Mu 5 one, though.
josh fraser (Moderator)
MattAlt Wrote:

>
> The thing is, the Nakajima datafile (like most
> datafiles) is focused on their diecasts. I am
> happy to assist if someone wants to make a
> standalone Astro-Mu 5 one, though.


Sounds like a plan. ;-)
Matt writes:
"The thing is, the Nakajima datafile (like most datafiles) is focused on their diecasts."


I can't believe you amateurs haven't scraped up the wampum to pick up the very desired, Nakajima diecast bodied, Capsule Robo G!
Light up chest/mouth gimmick!
Decadent use of vinyl for the giant froating head!


Hey, I was wondering where my Capsule Robo's head went. ;)

Strangely, those seem to go together.
MattAlt (Admin)
That is the closest to a Zardoz Chogokin we will ever get, I suspect.
SOC Capsule Robo yes please!
Hot or not?


I'd say mostly hot, some of the few SB things I'd buy, but glad that put the doofy self serving logo on the back, mostly out of sight. Isn't the usual mark on the foot good enough?
The legs could use more vintage gangly-ness though.
Not: for traditionalists, if not purists, anything resembling super-deformedness, is a turn off. SecretBase puts out some cool stuff, but the above is not one of them.
josh fraser (Moderator)
Dislike.
Sanjeev (Admin)
This is probably just me, but I actually prefer seeing homage pieces done in such a way that the new character is interpreted in the old format, rather than the other way around. What I mean is, I look at that Secret Base guy, and it just looks like any other Secret Base fight figure to me. If you're into that, bet. But if you're not, I just don't think the Astro Mu homage is going to win you over.

I prefer stuff like the Jumbo Stormtrooper or modern kaiju vinyls sculpted in the Bullmark style. So, by "new character interpreted in the old format", I mean seeing a Secret Base character done in the form of an Astro Mu-style figure. I know Hidy has done Henshin Cyborg suits, so I know he gets that...
Not that I hate it, I just don't feel anything at all. I mean, I shelled out 300 bucks to get a MIB SPACE COCK, and I don't think this "homage" could wrestle a twenty spot out of my pocket. "Pretty Vacant" comes to mind. I understand and appreciate the intention, but I have a much deeper resonance with toys meant to be toys. I do make exceptions with toys created by friends, that bumps up the heart meter in a big way. Like, I have most of Tim Biskup's stuff because I grew up with him and his family. But I doubt I would have ever gone there without that relationship.
I dig it. It hits on the right detail notes from the Bado design, it's got posable arms and head, and has a fun removable helmet feature. it's as much a toy as any vintage vinyl out there, and is suitably ridiculous looking. The AM-5 and Henshin Cyborg nods are what got me to pay attention to the fight figure line from Secret Base, and they really are fun figures. I don't have the aversion to new ideas that it seems like a lot of this board does.

That said, it would be incredible if Secret Base released an AM-5 tribute Henshin Cyborg suit. Their Cyborg stuff is really nicely done, and it's a shame we don't see more of it.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
I actually REALLY like the colors/clear of this. Not $80 of like, though. I picked up the first one of these for about $37. I'll just hold out until someone who bought this and "isn't feeling it" anymore, decides to sell it for 1/2 off. ;)

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[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
hillsy Wrote:
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> I actually REALLY like the colors/clear of this.
> Not $80 of like, though. I picked up the first one
> of these for about $37. I'll just hold out until
> someone who bought this and "isn't feeling it"
> anymore, decides to sell it for 1/2 off. ;)


This part I agree with fully. The price on a lot of this shit has gotten out of control.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
MattAlt (Admin)
Hats off to anyone who makes a sofubi, but I haven't met the designer vinyl homage yet that can match the sheer off-the-wall insanity of the original design. Some have come close, but none have ever matched it. It's not just about the toy; it's a (literal) "whole package" deal.



(And no, these aren't mine. I haven't won the lottery yet.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/28/2011 07:34PM by MattAlt.
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I just wet 'em.

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[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
josh fraser (Moderator)
Matt, where did that image come from may I ask? Wow. My pulse actually quickened and I don't collect these .


Prometheum5 Wrote:
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I don't have the aversion
> to new ideas that it seems like a lot of this
> board does.
>

Aw, I don't feel personally that is a totally fair statement to make actually. It comes down to simply what moves you and what doesn't. Just because many here are not into the toy, does not mean the toy in question is bad, nor does it mean we are all closed minded either.

It is just a toy, not a litmus test for one's character. ;-)
Gotta' draw the line *somewhere*. Besides, I always reserve the right to change my mind about a toy. Who knows, in 30 years I might trade my fistborn for this thing. I doubt it, but hey...I still remember when I saw Shogun Warriors for the first time at Mervyn's and I thought to myself "These suck! If they ruined the packaging they probably ruined the toy as well!".
Besides, if toys WERE a litmus test for character, theoretically, Sjoen would be chock full of it. Character, that is. ;)

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[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
josh fraser (Moderator)
And I would be a psychopath...
"Would be"?

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[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
josh fraser (Moderator)
Yeah your right.
Like.

But I also like Astro-Mu minis and missile fire and Secret Base suits and nodders and a whole lot more that would never fly here. Kind of have a problem drawing a line.

Should be a $40 toy.

Secret Base makes alot of garbage, but I wouldn't include this guy...
Sanjeev (Admin)
liquidsky Wrote:
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> But I also like Astro-Mu minis and missile fire
> and Secret Base suits and nodders and a whole lot
> more that would never fly here.

Actually, y'know, I think ALL those things would be (and have been) big hits around here!

> Should be a $40 toy.

That's a scary statement. How much is that thing supposed to be???
It IS $70-80 depending upon the site purchased from.

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[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Oy vey...I know designer stuff can get get real painful real quick, but I thought most fight figures topped out around $40-50??? Eh well...
Just BUY it ya hobos!




...bad timing?


That's most of the minis. I've read there is a mini red cone head villian, but I've yet to see a picture. Can anyone confirm if he even exists?
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