Huck Gee’s Gold Life: Soul Collector

We’ll be focusing on Huck Gee today, specifically his Skullhead creation. Introduced in 2004 as part of the first Dunny series release, the Skullhead design was a simple paint scheme implemented on the form and yet it still expressed all the basic elements of the more sculpted renditions to come.
Huck Gee's Gold Life: Soul Collector Review — Dunny, Series 1: Skullhead
Immediately becoming Gee’s signature character, the design’s popularity is exemplified by how only one year later — in 2005 — Kidrobot partnered with high-end fashion retailer Barneys New York on a series of five limited edition 12” tall Skullhead figures. Each attired in the miniaturized likeness of a famous fashion designer’s Spring clothing line from that year, this Skullhead’s head rendition would become the basis for the 2007 released Dunny Series 4 versions of the character.
Going on to be released in various sizes and colors over the years, it was slightly surprising that iconic Skullhead wasn’t included in Gee’s Gold Life solo artist Dunny series, released in 2011. Gold Life focused on Gee’s more feudal Japan-inspired characters, encompassing an array of samurai warriors, ninja assassins, and geisha girls.
Huck Gee's Gold Life: Soul Collector Review — Gold Life Dunny Series
An incredibly popular release, Gee began working on a follow-up series titled Gold Life: Dark Days. The main characters from the initial line became more armed and armored renditions, collectively having to team up against a new enemy: demons that rose from the earth itself. The antagonist side included the geisha reimagined as a succubus and the return of the Skullhead Dunny, this time taking on the role of the Soul Collector.
Gold Life: Dark Days was in production and at Kidrobot’s factory in China when the company experienced their financial problems of 2014. The series was first put on hold and then ultimately canceled, leading Gee to abandon the concept and move forward with other ideas, such as 2015’s introduction of his hyper-articulated The Skullhead Blank form.
Huck Gee's Gold Life: Soul Collector Review — The Skullhead Blank
But, as it turns out, the ideas within Gee’s Gold Life: Dark Days weren’t completely abandoned. They were evolving.

My Impressions of the Gold Life: Soul Collector

Partnering with Mighty Jaxx, the Gold Life universe once again went into production. And the first three characters in this new rendition debuted at this year’s Singapore Toy, Game, and Comic Convention in Shadow editions. There was Raku – Day, Raku – Night, and — the one I have — the Soul Collector.

Modeled upon the Skullhead’s appearance from the Darks Days proposal, the basic form was translated from the Dunny onto something similar to Gee’s own The Blank design. Standing 4” tall, this PVC piece holds a lot of details, a particularly strong component which immediately impressed me being the belt’s knot, showing minor notched imperfections while also flowing away from the figure’s body.
But that’s certainly not the only notable aspect of this strong piece. The cleaver accessory is elegantly simple in its representation; immediately recognizable without being weighed down with embellishments that might detract from the Soul Collector himself. And, as is always important with an accessory, it is easy to place in and remove from the figure’s hand — but not so loosely that it might fall out.
The Skullhead himself has a menacingly oversized head which can rotate fully around. And the depth of the eye sockets is wonderful, just deep enough to allow shadowing to create the illusion of emptiness. The arms have more limited articulation range, but still enough to provide plenty of display options. The most impressive area of mobility, though, is the wings. Yes, these tiny wings have ball-joints, allowing for lots of subtle but noticeable movements.
I do wish the underside of the head was a bit cleaner and that the seam running across it was less noticeable, for these are really the only elements marring an otherwise beautifully produced work of designer toy art. Though since this Shadow edition doesn’t have the full paint application of the general release version, it’s most likely these aspects will be better hidden underneath paint.
Notice that I didn’t say that this was an unpainted version, by the way. While very subtle, there is a fade from the gray atop to black at the feet. It’s so expertly executed, though, that its practically invisible. Just another remarkable touch in an overall stunning sculptural work.
Huck Gee's Gold Life: Soul Collector Review — Gold Life: Soul Collector (Paint Fade)

Editions of the Gold Life: Soul Collector [show]

For more information on Huck Gee:
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