The world’s greatest detective swaps his cowl for a kabuto in tie-up with 208-year-old Tokyo crafting company.
The Japanese word ningyo is usually translated as “doll,” but you could argue that it’s closer in meaning to “figure.” In general, traditional ningyo aren’t something that kids hold in their hands and play with. Instead, they’re beautifully crafted pieces of art that are displayed in the home.
For example, the hina ningyo above are decorations for Hinamatsuri, a March holiday that’s also sometimes called “Girls’ Day.” Below is a Gogatsu ningyo, which is to be put out two months later on Children’s Day (previously known as Boys’ Day).
Yoshitoku, the Tokyo-based maker of the dolls seen here, is now applying its skills to a slightly more modern project: Batman ningyo. But we say “slightly” because Yoshitoku, which was founded in 1711, obviously doesn’t want to stray too far from its roots, which is why the Caped Crusader has been reimagined as a mantle-wearing musha, or samurai warrior.
Two different figures are available, featuring the same set of bat armor, which sprang from the mind of veteran designer Takayuki Takeya, who’s previously contributed to the on-screen content and/or models for franchises including Final Fantasy, Attack on Titan, Devilman, and Zeiram (he’s also the designer of the Star Wars samurai figure we looked at here).
In his transition to Sengoku era swordsman, Batman has swapped his cowl for a kabuto-style helmet, complete with face guard that simultaneously adheres to period-correct protective protocol and conceals his secret identity as billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. The Batman emblem is proudly displayed above the jet-black breastplate, which itself looks like something historical warlord and early-adopter of foreign innovations Oda Nobunaga is often depicted wearing. And while Batman has a strict “no guns” rule, apparently paired katana and wakizashi swords, with gold trim, fall within his limits for acceptable weaponry.
▼ A look reminiscent of the Batman Ninja anime