For us collectors, it's hardly an easy thing to pick and choose which action figures or statues make the cut in a given week of releases. Just like comics, movies, and games, there are plenty of new collectibles vying for our attention 52 weeks out of the year. When it comes to characters that have had their fair share of pieces released, it's even harder to decide whether or not our money is worth investing in say yet another Captain America toy. Due to his success at the box office, there's certainly no shortage of star-spangled collectibles. That's why it takes an extra-special piece to stand out from the crowd.
Such is the case with Tamashii Nations' Manga Realization series, which has delighted us with fantastic samurai-inspired redesigns of our favorite heroes from artist Takayuki Takeya. The famed Japanese artist has already reworked a number of Star Wars and Marvel characters in Tamashii's Realization series, and Captain America is just the latest of a wild assortment of fever-dream warriors from the samurai periods of Japanese history.
Incorporating his traditional costume into samurai armor works wonderfully, as the chainmail suits the bright blue with red and white accents quite well. Where this figure really shines is in the helmet, which gets some massive wings rather than the more subdued ones we're used to seeing on Cap's helm. Of course, this Captain America comes with a handheld shield even though samurai warriors didn't use such small defensive equipment. The warriors of the era did use bigger shields that provided protection for their whole bodies, but relied on multiple swords for up close combat rather than something like Cap's iconic shield.
The Manga Realization Mei Sho Captain America is available through most hobby sites now for $89.99.
For those of you who perhaps won the lottery this week, there's also this wonderful bit of Alien nostalgia up for sale. Currently up for auction on eBay is this early prototype of the rare Alien Blaster target game from 1979. The seller claims this was obtained from the factory itself, and this prototype is allegedly one-of-a-kind. There was hardly an merchandise created for the original Alien film when it released, as the planned figure line from Kenner was dismissed after the Xenomorph failed to move the needle at retail like Kenner's Star Wars figures. Those toys were resurrected by Super7 a few years back however, and put that niche toy company on the map.
Though a version game of this target game did eventually see release from HG Games, the game that made it to retail used a different gun that shot ping pong balls. This prototype, developed for the design board to approve, actually used a dart gun instead. It would have fired suction cup darts at the massive creature, but once the darts were deemed a potential choking hazard, the move to ping pong balls was made. The prototype here doesn't even include the actual dart gun on the box however. Supposedly, this kit was put together as a proof of concept with the idea being the actual product would feature a cap-firing feature to make it sound like a 'real' gun when firing darts.
There are a handful of the final version of the Alien shooter also available on the auction site, but those come in at a far more attainable price — that of a car payment rather than an actual car. The $15,000 asking price is actually negotiable though, as the seller admits they're not quite sure what something like this would cost as it is so rare, and there are no guidelines to used as a base price.
While there is certainly no shortage of Alien-related collectibles on the market today, the history of this toy makes it far more than just a piece of nostalgia. Whether or not that's worth a few months' salary is debatable.