There's something increasingly popular about action figures made from
transparent plastic, and a large number of them are Japanese in origin.
Several Transformers from Takara have been offered in this format, including
the very complex multi-mode SixShot. Bandai has offered several Gundams
in both kit and action figure form in transparent plastic. Here in the
It is an interesting format. Especially in the case of G.I.Joe, you can get a better understanding of how the figure is put together. I suspect in the case of the Transformer SixShot this could result in severe eyestrain. But in most cases it works.
For a number of years, the primary "clear" figure that still
resembled a human being has been a product of Takara Toys in Japan.
It's called Henshin Cyborg, and there are a number if different versions
available. It's a superb figure, with a considerable level of articulation
and excellent detail. A
I tried to acquire this figure through my local comics shop, by ordering
it through Diamond Comics Distributors' PREVIEWS publication. Unfortunately,
the eventual result of this was that I was informed that the figure
did not exist. I assumed that perhaps it had never been made. But I
can get pretty determined. I figured maybe Diamond just hadn't been
able to get any of these
Recently one of the clear G.I.Joes was reviewed on the Internet newsgroup "alt.toys.gi-joe". Someone compared it to Takara's Henshin Cyborg figure. I figured this might be one more chance to get the "kid sidekick", so I mentioned my attempt to order this figure, along with my current belief that it did not exist.
I soon heard back from an individual stationed at a military base in Japan. He not only had a Shonen Cyborg, mint-in-box, but he was willing to trade it. He wanted the G.I.Joe Timeless Collection "Perilous Rescue" diver, a Target exclusive figure that he had obviously been unable to acquire. I told him I was fairly certain I could get him this figure, and that once I had it, as far as I was concerned, we had a deal.
I was a bit worried. The "Perilous Rescue" G.I.Joe had been released before Christmas and was now in short supply. Its successor, an Australian Jungle Fighter, had been rapidly taking its place. But I was also certain that I'd seen a few of the diver, and recently. I just couldn't remember at which Target. There are three in my fairly immediate area.
The first two only had the Aussie, and I was starting to get more
The figure arrived about a week later. I was immediately impressed, although it should be noted that there are some differences between this figure and a transparent G.I.Joe. For starters, there are some non-transparent parts. Within his head and chest are chrome-plated mechanical parts. But then, I believe the "adult" Henshin Cyborg has these as well, so that's no big deal. It makes the figure look a bit like an overgrown Micronaut, which it should be noted is also a Takara toy line.
I was faced with one initial struggle. The transparent head must be
Apart from that, though, I have no complaints. The figure is very cool,
nicely detailed, and very well articulation. He stands about eight inches
in height, slightly shorter than Kid Action. He has 18 points of articulation
which allow him to assume a wide range of poses. His hands can be switched
out to be replaced with fists which come with the figure. There are
no other accessories. The overall construction is reminiscent more of
The figure has a copyright date of 2000, which, if I recall, is just
Overall, I'm very pleased to have this figure. He's not that great a kid sidekick to the clear G.I.Joes. I suppose someday I'll have to get a Henshin Cyborg. But at least they're easier to find and I have seen them on eBay. And there are fans of this line in the United States. I've seen it discussed in both G.I.Joe and Gundam newsgroups, and I've seen Henshin Cyborgs and related products at G.I.Joe Conventions in previous years.
I don't know if any of my readers are fans of this interesting Japanese
line, but if there are, and you've been told that the Shonen Cyborg
figure doesn't exist, don't believe it. I have one standing right here.
I honestly don't know where you'd get one, since mine was obviously
a private trade deal, but there are growing numbers of online stores
that deal in Japanese toys. As