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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

Archive for the ‘Toys’ Category

LoveHKToys: DETECTIVE DEE

Detective Dee 04

Sometime in the fall of 2010, Dragon Models, Ltd. released a set of figures in conjunction with Tsui Hark’s Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame. Although previously featured in a post by forum moderator Wongsaurus in the LoveHKFilm.com community, I totally missed this bit of news. But since I’m trying to catalogue all Hong Kong cinema-related toy releases for as long as this blog exists, I figured I’d create a post especially dedicated to the Detective Dee figures.

Detective Dee Cast

The full set includes figures of Detective Dee (Andy Lau), Shanguang Jing’Er (Li Bingbing), Bei Dong-Lai (Deng Chao), Sha Tor (Tony Leung Ka-Fei), and Empress Wu Zetian (Carina Lau). No Tsui Hark figure has been announced of yet. I haven’t had a chance to see Detective Dee for myself, but the figures look quite good — at least in promotional photos.

If you’re wondering how much these figures cost, the currency converter I used on one online retailer’s price puts these babies at something like $128! And that was for the pre-order, so there’s no telling how much these things go for on the aftermarket. If you’re interested in buying them or you’re like me and can only look, check out the 1/6 Warriors forum for additional pictures or just click the thumbnails under the break for a closer look.

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LoveHKToys: PHANTOM SERVANT

Shadow

Photo courtesy of Limited Edition Toys

As promised, here is the second figure in Dragon Models’ A Man Called Hero collection, Phantom Servant. Also known by such names as Ghost Servant, Ghost Server (sounds like a scary waiter), and Shadow (played by Dion Lam and voiced by Jordan Chan) in the 1999 Andrew Lau film, the character serves (get it?) as a trusted ally of the comic book’s main protagonist, Hero Hua Ying-Hung. Setting him apart from the pack is Phantom Servant’s curious appearance, as he is distinguished by a) his complete lack of arms and b) a horribly disfigured Phantom of the Opera-style mug. Sadly, I don’t own this figure, but you can check out pictures of this curious 12-inch figure just under the cut.

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LoveHKToys: A MAN CALLED HERO

Chinese Hero

Can you tell I’m a fan of A Man Called Hero? While I know there’s a lot of new and interesting toys on the market, this regular column will also be dedicated to the various Hong Kong cinema-related action figures I own, and — for good or for ill — a large portion of those toys include characters featured in A Man Called Hero and Storm Riders.

From what I can gather, Dragon Models, Ltd. created this now decommissioned figure of Hero Hua Ying-Hung sometime around 1999, which you can find listed under the name of “A Man Called Hero,” “Chinese Hero,” and even “Oriental Hero.” I own the figure pictured on the right, which is based on Ma Wing-Shing’s popular comic book, but apparently there were at least three more versions of the figure created. One looks exactly like mine, except with a different hair color and costume (pictured below). The other two share a dramatically different head sculpt.

In conjunction with the 1999 movie A Man Called Hero, Dragon Models released two editions of the figure that bore the likeness of the film’s star, Ekin Cheng — an “old version” dressed in the same black wardrobe as the one I own and a “young” Ekin dressed in a brown-colored costume. From what I’ve seen, the box for both the comic and movie versions of Hero Hua appear practically identical. Too bad a scale version of the Statue of Liberty playset was unavailable for purchase.

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LoveHKToys: SHAOLIN

ShaolinAndy

On their homepage, Dragon Models, Ltd. has announced that figures based on characters from Benny Chan’s Shaolin (2011) are “coming soon” to toy stores, presumably in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Since I live in the currently snow-covered town of Ann Arbor, MI, I’ll have to rely on my friends overseas to keep me informed of the actual release date.

In the near future, toy collectors can look forward to ponying up some serious dough for super-detailed figures of warlord-turned-Shaolin monk Huo Jie (Andy Lau), Cao Man (Nicholas Tse), Wudao (Jackie Chan), Jing Neng (Wu Jing), Jing Kong (Xing Yu), and Suo Xiang-Tu (Hung Yan Yan). Two of these figures even come with horses to play with, so I suppose when you’re tired of re-enacting your favorite scenes from the movie, Andy and Nic can take Barbie and Skipper for a ride. Click on the thumbnails below to get a slightly better look at all the figures in the proposed series.

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LoveHKToys — Ekin Cheng is Statuesque

Wind 01

Wind from Storm Riders

Many moons ago, I received two statues in the mail from my family in Singapore — Wind, one of the main characters from Ma Wing-Shing’s popular comic book, Storm Riders, and Hero Hua, the protagonist of Ma’s earlier manhua hit, Chinese Hero (aka: A Man Called Hero, The Blood Sword). Both characters have a Hong Kong movie connection as they were each famously portrayed by Ekin Cheng in the respective film adaptations.

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LoveHKToys — A MAN CALLED HERO

HeroA few years ago, I bought this snazzy-looking Hua Ying-Hung action figure available to US customers via DrMaster Publications, Inc. I happened to have packed it up when I moved to Ann Arbor, so I figured I’d use it to help kick off a column I’m calling “LoveHKToys,” which will spotlight a different Hong Kong cinema-related toy each time it appears.

Dubbed “Chinese Hero: Tales of the Blood Sword,” this line of particularly figures based on the popular comic book also includes Invincible (played by Francis Ng in A Man Called Hero) and Ghost Servant (a masked Jordan Chan). I don’t know the particulars, but they seem to be either re-issue or simply old stock of a previously existing line. I know because I bought Ghost Servant in Singapore several years earlier, and he came in an identical box as the one pictured here.

When the figure arrived, I got quite a shock when I discovered it was SPLIT IN TWO PIECES! Luckily, it wasn’t broken, but I did have quite a time trying to force the two parts back together. Thanks to a handy pair of pliers and some good old fashioned elbow grease, I was able to make the Man Called Hero whole once more, and all without breaking the figure in the process.

That shock was almost as bad as when I discovered that Ghost Servant didn’t have any arms. For those of you who don’t know, the character actually is armless in the comic and the movie, a small fact that somehow eluded my attention prior to purchase. There’s not much “action” to be had from a figure with missing appendages, but hey, that’s the character.

Hero (aka Hua Ying-Hung/aka Ekin Cheng) isn’t a bad figure. Meant to resemble the comic character, the face is well-sculpted, if a little roughly painted. There’s not much “action” to him either, although he is poseable. Hero comes with the Blood Sword, a scabbard, and a hat he can wear at a rakish angle whenever he feels like crooning a Sinatra tune.

I never got around to buying Invincible to complete the set, but if I do, you’ll be the first to know. In the coming year, stay tuned to this space for more Hong Kong cinema-related action figures.

If you want a closer look at the figure, click on the thumbnails below to enlarge the pictures. Obviously, I’m a terrible toy photographer, but I promise I’ll improve as this irregularly updated column develops.

AMCH 01AMCH03 AMCH03

To Order:

Chinese Hero: Tales of the Blood Sword Figures at DrMaster Publications, Inc

The Best Hong Kong Films of 2010 (I wish!)

Ekin Ponders Sanjuro Pondering

This would be so much funnier if I still called myself “Sanjuro.”

I have to level with you: the title of this post is purposely misleading, as I have not seen anywhere near enough Hong Kong films this year to be even remotely qualified to assemble a proper “Best of” list for 2010. I’d love to do it; it’s just not possible. To tell the truth, you can count the number of 2010-released Hong Kong films I’ve seen on one hand¬† — Crossing Hennessey, Fire of Conscience, Ip Man 2, Little Big Soldier, and True Legend.

So, that makes only makes five movies I’ve seen total; well, I suppose if you were getting creative, you could say I’ve seen six — that is, if you count Jet Li’s performance in Sylvester Stallone’s incredibly disappointing action extravaganza, The Expendables.¬† If a) Jet’s totally out-of-sync performance with the rest of the cast didn’t make me think he was just there to cash a paycheck and b) his one-on-one fight with Dolph Lundgren hadn’t been so terribly, terribly choreographed, I might be persuaded to think that it somehow “counts” as a Hong Kong film. Either way, it doesn’t.

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