One of the more interesting toy lines to come along in a while is Revoltech’s new Buddhist Statue Collection, sculpted by Takeya Takayuki. Going against the core teachings of Buddha himself, I never knew how cool the toy of a Buddhist god could be.
The first thing you need to know about Buddhist deities is that most of them are shared throughout the various religious and cultural beliefs in Asia. Most of these characters originated in Hinduism and were later adapted into Buddhism. A character like Tamonten will have multiple names like Vaisravana or Bishamonten, but will usually still represents the same religious significance to the various religions of the region with only minor differences to his appearance.
Tamonten is the King of the North, and the commander of the Four Heavenly Kings that rule over the cardinal directions. He is the scourge of evil-doers, and usually is wearing battle armor while carrying either a halberd or mace that symbolizes his power. In some religions he is even shown with a mongoose to symbolize his victory over the snake-like Naga. Tamonten is also the Lord of Wealth and is usually depicted holding a small pagoda, which symbolizes the divine treasure house.
The first thing that struck me about this figure is how intricate his sculpt is. I’m talking a Mandarin Spawn type level of detail here. Every piece of armor is decorated in a very ornate fashion, while every bit of clothing is folded and layered to look as realistic as possible.
The paint job only adds to the sculpt, while taking nothing away. Thinly raised pieces like his armor’s design work are colored with almost no slop, which is pretty amazing. I was also very impressed by the washes that were given to the figure’s clothing. They really bring out the tiny recessed sculpts, while at the same time giving him that worn statue look. This is most noticeable with the gold on his armor and halo, which look oxidized and a bit tarnished.
Tamonten’s articulation is as detailed as you’d imagine from a Revoltech. His head, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, chest, waist, hips, knees, and ankles are all revolver joints. What really surprised me was that his halo, shoulder pads, and the four plates of his lower body armor are also articulated with revolver joints. This really helps in preventing his sculpt from getting in the way of posing. Continue to page 2…