Monday, April 24, 2017

Super Festival 74 / スーパーフェスティバル 74

Super Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The most recent installment of the show was very well attended, which bodes well for the future. The biggest shift in the toy scene is the growing number of toy makers from Hong Kong who are having toys made in China using Japanese production methods. I'll say a bit more about that below.

Here is my 200+ pic report on the toy offerings from around 50 toy makers from Japan, England, China, the USA, and beyond. They brought goods made from sofubi, resin, keshi gomu, and other materials. For the pics, the booths are arranged alphabetically.

Akaisatsu Club

 Much more after the jump:

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Joy Hobby Toy Store in Seoul, Korea

South Korea isn't well known for its toy shops, but there are some with nice selections. If you're into modern toys and are on the lookout in Seoul, the Joy Hobby store has a pretty good variety, especially for Gundam model kits and model building supplies.

Joy Hobby is located on the basement level of the Technomart shopping plaza. To get there, take the subway to Gangbyeon station. The mall is right next to the station.

Joy Hobby has a website, but it's all in Korean.

Here's a video I shot of the store:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Vintage Tin Toy Planes from Japan from the 1950s-60s

I love checking out old tin toys. Working with the technology of the age, they had to be very creative with designs, electronics, and gimmicks. They came up with some remarkable stuff, especially in the 1950s-60s. Here's a look at some great toys made more than half a century ago.

 More after the jump

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wolverine: Old Man Logan Comic Display in Seoul, Korea

On March 1, "Logan," apparently the last Wolverine movie, was released in South Korea.
Perhaps to dovetail with the release, the massive Kyobo bookstore in Seoul is going all out to promote the comic "Wolverine: Old Man Logan."
I'm not sure why they chose to push this particular collection of stories, since it was originally published in 2010.
This is the Korean language edition of the trade paperback.

There isn't much dialogue.
However, there are plenty of appearances of iconic characters like Captain America and Doctor Doom.
Back cover

Other Korean X-Men and Wolverine titles.

Anyway, I thought it was neat to see how other countries treat heroes from the US. There's no question that Japanese manga dominates the Asian comic scene. But American superhero movies and characters are also popular, and there's some love out there for the comics that spawned them.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

So long, Omuraisu

Tokyo is about to lose another toy world icon. After 30 years in business, Omuraisu, the last great toy shop in the Shimokitazawa district in Tokyo, is set to close its doors. April will be its final month.
Over the years, Omuraisu, with its friendly, smiling owner, has been a must-visit location for hardcore toy hounds. The shop has carried all the Showa era favorites, from sofubi to tin toys to chogokin and candy toy premiums.
But the last few years have been very hard for shops like this. Though the number of foreign visitors is at record highs, toy travelers gravitate to high-traffic areas like Akihabara and Nakano.
Tokyo's modern toy shops are well run, but they're clean and glitzy. You don't get the same digging for treasure experience like you do with these old shops. Seasoned toy hunters will know what I'm talking about.

More shop shots after the jump:

Monday, March 6, 2017

Kinnikuman x Lotte Bikkuriman 2017 Series

Leave it to Bikkuriman to keep the fun in collecting going. Its latest sticker set is another tag team up with Kinnikuman. This powerful duo with a penchant for double consonants keeps Lotte's long-running series going strong.
There are two packaging variants.
 More after the jump:

For this series, I actually like the package designs better than the stickers, which are kind of on the anime/SD side.
I believe are 24 stickers in the series, with two background variant types: blue and red.
The back has information about the character.

In 2016, Lotte put out its first Kinnikuman series. I prefer these over the new ones. Excellent dynamic designs and colors. Here's a look at a couple:

Monday, February 20, 2017

Super Rare Masudaya Spectreman Mitsukubi Ryu Vinyl Figure

Peppered through the world of vintage toys are some figures that rarely see the light of day. Photos of just a handful of them can be found, and the number of verified figures that have survived the ravages of time is small.
The three-headed Mitsukubi Ryu sofubi figure made by Masudaya is one such toy. The kaiju villain may have wrecked chaos in the Spectreman tokusatsu TV show, but to hardcore collectors, it's a collecting grail.
This example of the toy was recently auctioned off by Mandarake at a starting bid of 1,500,000 yen (roughly $13,000 at the current rate). I believe it actually did attract a buyer.

The toy has been reissued in recent years by CCP, and though the new figure can be had for considerably less money, super hardcore toy connoisseurs who want the real deal will pony up the cash for the toy of their dreams.
For most people who like old toys, we'll just have to enjoy pics of the super rare stuff that's out there.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ultraman Treasures Set

\In my previous Super Festival report, I showed a photo of the new Ultraman Treasures set. Here's a detailed look at some of the contents.
Detailed contents. Apparently, there are 50 items inside, including a range of reproductions of vehicle blueprints, character sketches, and other period pieces which provide a behind the scenes look at one of Japan's most famous tokusatsu series.

 More after the jump:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Dragon Ball Z x Japan Rail Stamp Rally

Japan Rail (JR) has a new stamp rally. This time it's the megahit anime Dragon Ball Z's turn to populate JR station with its characters.
JR staff getting in on the fun.
The stamp booths are located just outside of JR stations all over Tokyo. (I imagine they place them outside the stations so you can't just zip around the city and collect all the stamps without paying a fare.)
Here's what the stamps look like.

Inside stations are signs telling you which character stamp you can get, as well as the location.

More after the jump:

Monday, January 9, 2017

Super Festival 73 / スーパーフェスティバル 73

Happy 2017! Here's a look at the toys of Super Festival 73, with the booths in alphabetical order.


Alien's Park

190+ pics after the jump:

Friday, December 30, 2016

Monster Taipei - Japanese and US Toy Store in Taipei, Taiwan

Monster Taipei is a well known toy shop in Taipei. It's been around for more than 15 years. First up, here's the store info:

English Address: 1F, No. 46, Lane 51, Sec. 1, Da-An Rd, Taipei City 106, Taiwan
Chinese Address: 106 台北市 大安路一段51巷46號1樓
Google Map to location: Click Here
Phone: +886-2-2740-2428
Facebook: Monster Taipei
The store's original location was in the Ding Hao department store on Zhong Xiao East Road. (Well, technically the owner had a small shop before that on Xin Yi East Road, back in the mid-1990s.) Monster Taipei later expanded to a second nearby location in the mid-2000s. That was called Monster Gear, and it focused on clothing.
Side note: The shop that was previously in the Monster Gear space was called Pixie. It was run by toy designer Mark Chang, who made a cool toy called So What. Taiwan megastar Jay Chou (周杰倫) even designed a version of the toy.
The Monster Taipei Ding Hao location closed in 2014 or 2015, I think. Then Monster Gear and Monster Taipei combined in the Monster Gear location, which I visited recently.

Here's a video I shot of the store:
More still photos after the jump:
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