Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ninjas & Kung Fu Part 2: Kung Fu Sucker!

There are more ninja figures than all other martial arts figures put together, at least that I know of.  With one exception, I have only included martial arts figures in this post that are armed and look like they belong in combat instead of a dojo.   There are a bunch of unarmed martial arts figures that I have not included.  Britians made some karate figures and there are some old olympic judo figures that I have left out because of their look.  There is also a very cool Bruce Lee v. Chuck Norris set that I am including by popular demand.

Several of my Chinese figures are based on the boxer rebellion and a few have firearms.  However, most are armed with old school Chinese martial arts weapons and fit perfectly in a fantasy setting.  I have not included any Asian historical military figures like the Mongol army or samurai even though there are some excellent figures available. This post is just about martial arts.  Of course, I understand that soldiers were trained in martial arts, but military figures still seem like a different category to me. 

Imperial Ninja/Chinese Monks

Imperial released these figure in tubes with pirates a few years ago.  Imperial calls them ninjas, but they look a lot more like Chinese monks to me.   The black figures came from a set released by the Orential Trading Company.  They are 45mm.

These came from the Oriental Trading Company rather than Imperial tubes.

Photo fom an ebay auction.

Kung Fu Swoppets

I have no idea who made these.  I got them in trade with a friend of the site from England.  Nice figures but only fair in terms of quality.  These are 54mm.

Armies in Plastic Boxer Rebellion

These were released in the late 1990s or early 2000s.  54mm.

Own Boxer Rebellion Figures.

These are marked "Own Figures 2002", but that is all I know about them. 54mm.  The arms plug into most of the figures which lets you mix and match to make custom poses.  I'll post some pictures if I ever get around to doing that.

Photo from an ebay auction.

Suton Plastics: Kung Fu

I'm not certain when these were made, but I have seen ebay sellers claim they go back as far as the 1960s.   These are the only unarmed figures I have included because they are a personal favorite.  I cannot explain why I like these guys.  They are wrong on so many levels. They are called Kung Fu Action Figures but look like white guys dressed in a Japanes karate gi.   About 45mm.

Photo from an ebay auction.

Unknown 40mm

Chuck Norris v. Bruce Lee

This set is from AMEX plastic.  These are not 54mm as it turns out, more like 65mm.

Photo from an ebay auction.


  1. Great post---do you have any pictures of the Bruce Lee Chuck Norris 54mm figures you mentioned? I make custome 54mm figures for my own collection and would love to see the Lee-Norris ones--two of my favorites. Thank you, Kevin

  2. I wish we could get more variety when It comes to these Marx style mini figures.Around my way all you get is military themed sets.

  3. This has been an awesome series of posts! Please post that 54mm Bruce Lee v. Chuck Norris set. It sounds exquisite and Google has failed me on finding pics of it.

    1. Ok, I put up a picture for you. Check the bottom of the post.

  4. SUTON Karate fighter were done promotional by SUTON , date if production is 1971.They pop up often in eBay ,size is more 45-50 mm by exact measure according to mine
    AMEX are distributed and sold by me in the US. They are 80 mm scale high exact,not 65 mm. They were original made by an old Mexican artist in Mexico that made many indigenous creation. I own the production rights of their brands and many other sets-not fantasy or kun Fu related as well.
    Same in OWN brand sets. I'm the carrier of both brand worldwide.
    History on OWN sets and brand was posted in stad forum-see link bellow from me please.

    The SET are not fighter or boxer rebellion Chinese but Chinese imperial soldier of 7 banner army from first SINO-Japanese war.
    The swapped KUNG FU sets was done of 48 different poses and sold in the 70's after so many Chinese/Hong Kong art martial action movies done. A swapped Bruce lee pose was done with it. It was very popular in 3er world countries as South America, central and Caribe. You can easily still find them at Taiwan , HK and Japan.
    Bruce lee had been represented in 60 mm scale in a larger Japanese sets of 10 different pose of famous fighter under Dydo company all factory painted. The set is now discontinued but still easy to find on eBay/else or travelling.
    Thank you for your time.

  5. hello .. there was probably also in the distribution of welo and Tak sing industries! they were sold under the title "Shaolin Warrior Monk" in boxes with windows to 4, 6 and 8 figures. maybe there was also a play set because I had a large play area for it ..

    1. Thanks. Are those figures the same as the Imperial monks?

  6. There are 10 different poses each to horse and foot .. probably Star Toys end of the 70s at the beginning of the 80s

  7. sorry dont know ..but think so ..

  8. but all traces of the set always lead to england ..