1/6th Scale Weapons

As a collector and fan of sixth scale action figures, I'm always on the lookout for great accessories to go with them, either on purpose or by accident.  Tonight I'm looking at a series of weapons I picked up off Ebay that are in the 'on purpose' category.  These include two different style Samurai swords, a 'tommy' gun, and a flintlock based on those used in feudal era Japan and China.

I'm not sure who makes these...all the instructions and packaging is in Japanese, a language I can't read.  If it's not English, Canadian or Hillbilly, I can't read it.  And sometimes I struggle with Canadian. EDIT - thanks to readers, I now know these are blind boxed in Japan, made by a compnay called Mononofu.  Thanks!

But from the photos I saw, I bought a couple to see if the quality was all it was cracked up to be.  Is it?  Let's see!

Packaging - **
The packages are simple plastic trays inside cardboard boxes.  They lack instructions for building the little display stands, but you can figure it out.  That engineering degree comes in handy occasionally.

Like most Japanese boxes, you'll need to tear these open to get into them, so they aren't particularly collector friendly.  But with no window or any way to see the product, opening them up is the only real option anyway.

Sculpting/Design - Tommy Gun ***1/2; Swords ***; Flintlock **1/2
I'm not sure sculpting is really the right title, so I added 'design'.  The key here is how well the work as accessories.  These are made from several different materials, all of them fairly realistic.

The swords come in several pieces in the box to be assembled by you.  The blade extends back into a tang, which is a single piece of metal end to end, just like a high quality knife or sword!  There is a thin piece of brass that wraps around the blade, and then the guard for the hand slips over the tang.  Behind that comes the sculpted cloth wrapped hilt.  The pieces fit snugly, but not so tight that you'll damage them putting them together.  They also look terrific once assembled, as though they came that way from the factory.  

The scabbards are plastic, but have a ribbon wrapped appropriately at the top.  There are instructions on the right way to do this, but fortunately for me, they were already wrapped and tied when I received mine.  While the hilt is sculpted to appear like wrapped cloth, it actually looks extremely realistic.

The blades are a nice, heavy, high quality steel, straight and quite sturdy.  The swords are slightly under scaled though (I've included some shots with Connor, as well as with his sword and with a 1/6th scale lightsaber for comparison), but it's not too far off.  The blades are different in length as well as style - the white handled sword has a deeper curve to the blade than the black handled sword for example.

The flintlock also comes in more than one piece, and you have to attach the barrel to the stock.  Once you do this, it's a good idea to not try to disassemble it.

Like the swords, there's plenty of metal used in the flintlock.  The barrel, hammer mechanism, trigger and trigger guard as well as the ramrod (which is not removable) are all metal, giving the gun quite a bit of weight.  As you might guess, that weight is distributed more toward the front of the gun than toward the stock, so some poses might be tough to maintain.

The flintlock is also the weakest when it comes to scale.  I'd go so far as to say it's not just underscaled, it's 1/10th scaled or so.  It's a very high quality item, that looks great on it's own, but was the one I was least impressed with to use as an accessory to actual figures.

The tommy or machine gun lacks the cool metal parts, and is entirely plastic.  While that's a bit disappointing, the big plus is that it is extremely well scaled for 12" figures, perhaps better than any other gun in this style I own.  The 21st Century and BBI stuff hasn't been bad, but this gun looks terrific in a figures hands.  The sculpt is excellent, and of course the clip is removable.

Paint - ***1/2
There isn't a lot of paint here, but what is here is excellent.  There's no slop at all, and these really do appear like itty bitty versions of the real thing.

Quality - Swords, Flintlock ***1/2; Tommy Gun ***;
Taken on their own, it's the swords and flintlock that have the highest quality.  They are made from the most realistic materials, they have the heft and feel of great accessories, and they look excellent on their own.

While the tommy gun doesn't do quite as well in this category - he is all plastic after all - he still looks amazingly good because of the sculpt and scale.

Accessories - Black sword, White sword ***1/2; Flintlock ***; Tommy gun **1/2
Oddly enough, these accessories actually have accessories.  Any score in this category improves both the value and the overall assessment, since it was a pleasant surprise to get anything extra.

The machine gun has the least extras, with just the black stand and a paper target in sixth scale. The target might make for some interesting dioramas, but the stand is a bit wonky in design, and doesn't work as well as I'd like as a display base.

The flintlock has a nifty specialized stand that holds the rifle and the extra knife quite nicely, as well as a little plastic 'sign' that is probably a nameplate of sorts.  It's in Japanese, so I'm guessing here.

The knife that comes with the flintlock has to be put together just like the swords, and the quality is about the same.  The scale issues are a bit more of a problem, since the knife got smaller all around, not just in length.  While a knife might not have as long of a hilt as a sword, it often has one that is just as big in circumference.  This one was scaled down in every way, making it even further out of sync with sixth scale hands.  Still, it's quality of construction is quite good.

The black handled sword comes with a display stand as well, designed for the swords and the accompanying scabbard.  The flag has the colors and crest on it, and fits nicely in a hole in the back of the stand.  There's the plastic name plate again as well, but there's also a small red cloth for the stand to sit on.  All in all, a very nice presentation.  And yes, before I get 100 emails, I realize I put the black handled sword upside down on the stand when I took the photo - I was just too lazy to go back and reshoot it.

I assume the white handled sword was supposed to have the same style stand, but I ended up with one like the flintlock.  That doesn't work particularly well for a sword and scabbard, but I rigged it to get by.  Along with the little name plate, there's a 'meal', including a tray, plate with food and stick, and sealed envelope with writing on the front.  That's a very cool addition to the display, and adds some historic perspective to the various different swords.

BTW, the stands go together one way - put that brain to use when assembling them to ensure you don't force or break anything.

Fun Factor - *
No, these aren't really for kids.  Your best bet is the machine gun, which is all plastic, but breakage would be an issue.  For the swords and knives, they are much too sharp for a six or seven year old to be playing around with.  These are for the older collector.  That won't be a deduction for my overall, but it's worth pointing out.

Value - Tommy Gun **1/2; Black Sword, Flintlock ***1/2; White Sword ****
We've gotten some pretty decent sixth scale machine guns in the multi-packs from companies like bbi and 21st Century, so paying around $5 isn't as good a value.  This is a better machine gun than most, particularly in terms of scale, but that's still a bit expensive for a purely plastic accessory.

However, the swords and flintlock have a lot more to them, with multiple items and accessories as well as metal parts.  At $5 or so, these are a much better value.

Shipping will cost you $3 - $5 as well, but you can get a combo deal from folks if you buy more than one.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Try not to put out an eye.

Overall - ***
The quality on the swords is excellent, although I do wish they were a little more in perfect sixth scale.  The tommy gun has the perfect scale, but is a bit more expensive considering what you get.  In the end, they're solid buys as accessories, and will look good with specific figures and customs, but you'll want to keep the minor issues in mind.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **
Sculpt - Tommy Gun ***1/2; Swords ***; Flintlock **1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Accessories - Black sword, White sword ***1/2; Flintlock ***; Tommy gun **1/2
Fun Factor - *
Value -  Tommy Gun **1/2; Black Sword, Flintlock ***1/2; White Sword ****
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
I picked these up from a dealer (Wonder Online Giftshop) on Ebay.  You can search Ebay for them using MyAuctionLinks.

- Related Links -
Hit my list of sixth scale reviews for plenty of related links.

Share this review with others!
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!     Reddit

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour