Friday, January 21, 2011

tezuka parade of values

Our unplanned Osamu Tezuka January jag continues! Let's take a look at some offbeat merchandise from Tezuka-inspired anime series; particularly JUNGLE EMPEROR, which you know as KIMBA THE WHITE LION unless you know it as LEO THE LION. Which isn't actually the same show, but a sequel. The 1965 KIMBA series was the first color cartoon made expressly for Japanese television, and served as the inspiration for many tributes, imitations, and products, including this lovely Leo light.

No, seriously, that's what it was marketed as, the "Lovely Leo Light".

At some point in the mid 1980s my brother went out to L.A. He picked this lamp up at the fabled "Pony Toy-Go-Round". And yes, it still works!

And if reading by the light of the Lovely Leo Light makes you hungry for candy, you can always have some Jungle Emperor Ju-C-Double candy, delivered right from Leo's neck.

I picked this up at a now-defunct Japanese grocery store in Doraville GA and yes, I ate all the candy. As an imitation Pez, the Ju-C delivery system sports softer plastic construction and a less robust candy-feed mechanism than its European counterpart. However, it features the angry head of Leo, in the face of which all objections vanish.

When you're done with the candy, Leo's head can be mounted trophy-style atop your favorite pencil at school.

Remember moms, this candy is approved by Osamu Tezuka himself - and he's a doctor!

Once your Tezuka themed shopping expedition is complete, your purchases will fit neatly inside your Astro Boy plastic bag.

This one was picked up in the mid 80s at the Philadelphia retailer "Heaven", which featured a full line of Astro Boy T-shirts and Space Giants and Godzilla monster toys, alongside thousands of magnets, toy robots, and other wonderful kitschy goodness. A more aptly-named retail establishment would be hard to find.

-Dave Merrill

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Anonymous said...

man, heaven. i remember the one in the cherry hill mall super duper fondly.

Ninjatron said...

Cool, what a great post.
Those Ju-C candy dispensors look pretty similar to the brand "Klik" from a company called "Au'some", which can be found here and there with various licensed characters such as Nintendo. No pencil-top gimmick that I can see though.


Devlin Thompson said...

Don't forget these delightful little unmentionables!

Chris Sobieniak said...

Found a cute commercial related to one of these products!