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Van Williams as "Brit Reid" and Bruce Lee as "KATO" in
THE GREEN HORNET (TV), 1966-1967

It was on this show, early in his career, that Bruce Lee began
building his fan base.  It was appropriate that Lee, a real martial
artist, was able to showcase his talents on a show which "played it
straight", as opposed to the other superhero show "Batman" which
aired at the same time and preferred a far campier style.

Overseas, the show was aired, not as "The Green Hornet" but as
"The Kato Show", since Asian audiences were not familiar with the
Green Hornet character (having never heard the radio show in the
1940s) and identified more with Bruce's character.
Although the show ran for only one season
(26 episodes), it was enough for Lee's
on-screen charisma and presence to make
an indelible impression on the Hong Kong
producers who began offering him movie
roles.

The rest, as they say, is history.

A tremendous fan of Bruce Lee's, I couldn't
do custom figures of him and not take a
stab at Kato, his first starring role, TV
series or otherwise.  Funny, though I've
only seen a few episodes of the show, I
especially remember the one in which
Green Hornet and Kato come face to face
with Batman and Robin, each duo thinking
the other masked duo to be criminals.  
Needless to say, Kato kicked the crap out
of Robin!
Accessories for the Kato figure include:
- black cotton pants
- black Chauffeur's tunic
- black gloved hands (bendy finger style)
- hand-made, fully accesorized black Chauffeur's cap
- flexible, form-fitting face mask
- pair of black socks
- pair of black dress shoes
- two Green Hornet throwing darts
- large throwing star
- micro-radar watch
- wooden nunchuks, with accurately scaled silver chain
- three-sectional fighting staff and the black metal figure stand
The hat is hand-sewn from black cotton fabric,
single fold bias tape, black elastic trim, a plastic
visor brim, and completely accessorized with plastic
band trim.  Compare this hat, for example, with the
chunk of plastic included with the Playing Mantis
Captain Action as Kato uniform set.

The mask was originally sculpted onto a cast
duplicate head to ensure precise fit, then molded
and cast in a flexible compound and painted black.
For this figure, I used my Enter the Dragon
closed mouth headsculpt as a base.  I cast
a duplicate, dremeled out the hair and
resculpted to reflect the much shorter hair
he had in his mid-twenties.
However, as the picture on the
right shows, I found a better
material to make the mask out
of, which shows fewer flaws
than the one of the left.
Accessories for the Green Hornet include:
- black cotton pants
- white dress shirt
- black tie
- custom green overcoat with black collar trim
- black gloved hands
- flexible, bendable fedora with real cloth bow/trim
- flexible mask with Green Hornet logo
- pair of black socks
- pair of black dress shoes
- Green Hornet gas gun
- black figure stand
While the shirt, tie, pants, socks
and shoes are kitbashed, the
overcoat, headsculpt, hat, and
mask are all custom items made
completely from scratch.  Most
important of these items for me,
is the hat, created from scratch
in a complex five-step process
which yielded a number of
imperfect results at first.
Eventually though, I perfected the technique, and
created a result that was properly shaped, durable,
flexible and able to take a proper layer to give the matte
appearance of felt yet still take color.  With this method
down, I'm fully confident I'll finally be able to produce a
proper Australian style crushable felt fedora worthy of
Indiana Jones, a new and improved headsculpt for
which I'm currently working on.

Best of all, this technique also produced a flexible,
properly contoured and colored mask for the Green
Hornet as well, complete with the little yellow hornet logo.