Eldritch idols



I wouldn’t usually bother writing about new additions to the growing mountain of plastic ephemera generated by 21st-century culture but these items warrant wider attention. Legacy of Lovecraft is a set of six Lovecraft-related action figures made by 52Toys in Japan which include a figure of Lovecraft himself. There was a time when this alone would have been surprising but 20 years have now elapsed since the idea of a Sigmund Freud action figure went from being an unlikely joke to something you could actually buy. Today we’re more likely to be surprised if something with a substantial cultural footprint hasn’t generated any merchandising spin-offs.


I saw the Lovecraft figure last month in a post at Tentaclii but didn’t notice at the time that it was part of a range which includes Cthulhu, a Deep One, Dagon, and The King in Yellow. The latter isn’t a Lovecraft creation, of course, but Robert Chambers’ stories are Mythos-adjacent. And despite the box art the figure isn’t clad in yellow either, but this provides an opportunity for enterprising owners to create some suitably tattered garments. All the figures come with small complementary items: Lovecraft has a forbidden tome, Cthulhu a tiny ship to torment, and so on. (The nameless “Investigator” comes with two extra items, a lamp and a Cthulhu statue.) The King in Yellow intrigues me the most for being a curious combination of Lovecraftian tentacles with an abundance of gnashing teeth that look like something out of Junji Ito’s comics. If I was going to buy any of these this is the one I’d get first. At around £25 each they’re not cheap but then I’ve spent similar amounts on Japanese CDs in the past.




















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7 thoughts on “Eldritch idols”

  1. “… but this provides an opportunity for enterprising owners to create some suitably tattered garments.”- “scalloped and tattered”, surely? If only Yhill came as the complimentary item…

  2. I think the scallops may already be there in the black garments.

    I’m not sure what that little minion is supposed to be but it looks okay to me. Maybe someone better acquainted with the post-Chambers KiY Mythos can suggest an identification.

  3. The King in Yellow isn’t a person but a play, probably unperformed. We know nothing about it except for a few quotations, the names of some characters and that it has a lethal effect on its readers.
    Were the figure-makers ignorant of or indifferent to the details?

  4. The King in Yellow is a character in the play of the same name, referred to multiple times throughout the four stories that comprise Chambers’ original story cycle; eg:
    “I thought, too, of The King in Yellow wrapt in the fantastic colors of his tattered mantle, and that bitter cry of Cassilda, ‘Not upon us, oh King, not upon us!'” (The Mask).

    Chambers’ cycle has subsequently been enlarged upon by many other authors such as Karl Edward Wagner and Joseph Pulver, many of which feature the King as a character: https://kinginyellow.fandom.com/wiki/Have_You_Seen_The_Yellow_Sign%3F

  5. Time I reread it!
    I remembered Chambers mentioning three(?) characters, but I thought the King himself was notable for his absence.

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