Tonto, "The Lone Ranger's Faithful Indian Companion"
Aurora Comic Scene 1974
Tonto was the typical "sidekick" character for so many of our tales of Heros
battling the forces of evil. His most important role was as an audience
for the Main Man. If you're a writer for one of these kinds of tales,
you're faced with one big problem. You need to show to the audience
what's going on in the mind of the Hero, and rather than have the Lone Ranger
talk to himself (aka Spiderman) you put in a sidekick who then gets to listen
as the Hero explains "OK, I'm only going to pretend to turn bad, actually
I want to find out what the villain has planned."
The Tonto was released twice by Aurora, the original issue in 1967 and he was dusted off and re-released in 1974 as part of the Comic Scene series. The gimmick for the Comic Scene releases was a tiny cheap comic book in the box, way overhyped as a "3-D action display". Just why propping a tiny page out of the comic book behind the model would excite anyone totally escapes me. The Tonto is the easiest of the Comic Scene models to find unbuilt in the box, by the way. He was either way overshipped, or kids simply passed him up for the Superheros and Lone Ranger on the shelf.
This is a fine example of the skill and care Aurora put into sculpting their models. The detail put into these little scenes is amazing - the pieces fit together with few gaps, and the end result is a model that seems to "come alive". This is the kind of model where using the drybrush method really shows up the folds in Tonto's outfit, the gnarled old dead tree, and the feathers on the eagle. My only complaint? Tonto is looking over his shoulder, so you only see the back of his head. I like to see the face of the characters.
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