Usually when people think of a superhero, they imagine someone big or strong, like Captain America or Baymax from Big Hero 6. That said, it’s important to remember that heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and when it comes to superheroes, Japan has quite the variety. But among Japanese good guys, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Anpanman, a superhero made out of anpan, a bean jam-filled pastry, definitely has a monopoly on the baby and toddler market. However that might be about to change with 441LABO’s newest superhero, Newborn Hero BABYTECTOR.
Newborn Hero BABYTECTOR, or Shinseiji BABYTECTOR as he’s called in Japanese, is a superhero figure series by hobby company 441LABO born of the concept of a fighting baby.
BABYTECTOR was designed by artist Shoichi Mukai, who modeled the original version after his newborn son. In the light of child abuse and other real world problems that affect young children, Mukai came up with the idea of having children protecting other children instead of relying on outside society to intervene. The original design for BABYTECTOR incorporated diaper and pacifier-like elements as part of its armor for protection from all those big ol’ baddies lurking out there.
At first only the original BABYTECTOR design was up for sale, retailing at 15,800 yen (approx. US$128) each, but recently LABO441 unveiled three types of custom designs for which the company started taking orders on July 23. Custom designs include the BABYTECTOR PS (Perscription) series, ONE OFF, and FULL ORDER. Depending on which one a buyer choose, these new BABYTECTORS can run anywhere from 17,800 to 39,800 yen (US$142 – $322).
▼ BABYTECTOR PS, with 20 different color choices
▼ BABYTECTOR ONE OFF and FULL ORDER custom designs
With so many of the custom order releases already gone, it looks like BABYTECTOR is well on the way to winning the hearts of the masses. You have to admit, he would be a cute nursery addition or a nifty toy for new dads that also happen to be hobby enthusiasts. In fact, he just might be the most adorable superhero we’ve seen yet, fighting hard to make the world a better place before bed time.