Saturday, August 28, 2010

Captain Harlock, Herlock, Albator...

As a child, he was my favorite pirate. This Leji Matsumoto cartoon hero was the first of a series of "Space Opera's" that became a genre in its own. Showed as a children's cartoon on French TV in 78, against the evil "Sylvidres" - Albator (as I know him) has a much more mature message than most cartoons. First of all, he is not a superhero. Not invincible. Definitely human. Full of doubts and questions. But he has an ideal and takes decisions, many of them putting his, and the life of his crew, at risk. Lots of toys were produced, in different countries, since this cartoon has been a hit in France, Belgium, Spain, Italy and lots of South American Countries.
Later, it would come back in a new series (Albator 1984 - Arcadia of my Youth).

The original toys were much more naive - lots of them not even signed and just given away as prizes at county fairs...

Albator (unmarked) - blown plastic - France

Group of original Harlock dolls

Albator - parachute toy, France
Capitan Harlock, wooden cut-out, Italy
Then came "collector" statues. This one, made of resin, is a beauty - very fragile but oh soo detailed !

Albator - pre-painted resin statue 
(unknown) - Japan. France ? 1990's
Albator (detail) - pre-painted resin statue (unknown)

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