Lupin III and his gang of thieves capture the imagination with new shadow figure series.

A lot of Japan’s capsule toys can be described as somewhere on the spectrum between “charmingly offbeat” and “bafflingly weird.” We’re not complaining, or anything, since some of our favorite gacha toy purchases include a moving mountain that’s also a pun and figures of a panda and penguin concerned about their recent weight gain.

But with quirky being the paradigm so many capsule toy designers are chasing, we were blown away to find a new line that’s just straight cool.

The toys come from anime merchandiser extraordinary Bandai, and feature the cast of an anime that always oozes coolness: Lupin III. If you were to describe them in a word, they’re figures, standing 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) tall, with some snap-together assembly required. They’re made of translucent plastic, but they also each come with a sheet of black stickers for you to apply.

At first, they just seem like subtle, understated desk decorations for in-the-know fans. But master thief Lupin starts looking a lot more dynamic…

…when you flip off the lights!

Well, actually, to achieve the above effect you have to switch off the lights in your room and switch on the LED light embedded in the figure’s back plate.

The black decals don’t completely cover the figures’ surface area, leaving an outline that gets illuminated as the light projected from the LEDs bounces back from the wall. With Lupin and company always needing to make a speedy getaway after pulling off their latest heist, it looks like they’re being hit with searchlights as they escape the scene of the crime.

Even though you can’t see anyone’s face, their body language is incredibly expressive, with Jigen using a hand to keep his hat planted to his head and Goemon’s flowing hair and samurai attire buffeting as they run from the law and/or the real villains who were on the receiving end of Lupin’s latest scheme.

Really, our only complaint is that we ran out of coins and didn’t end up with the fifth figure, Inspector Zenigata, to really round out the chase scene atmosphere.

Officially, the figures are collectively called the GP Shadow Art Lupin III line, and priced at just 300 yen (US$2.60) they feel like a bargain.

Lupin III is an especially apt choice for the silhouette treatment. In addition to the original manga from creator Monkey Punch, several different anime directors, including Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki, have put their own spin on the series, and the abstract nature of these figures means fans can see them as whichever version of the characters resonates the most with them personally.

That said, this is an awesome idea for any anime character with a recognizable silhouette, and hopefully we’ll see the Shadow Art capsule toy expanded to other series too.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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