Thursday, May 19, 2016
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Many of the indie sofubi stalwarts were there, and in addition to those I wanted to provide a look at some makers working with other materials, since Design Festa really brings everything together, from sofubi to felt to yarn to wood, and more. So here's our toy report, with makers arranged alphabetically.
|Super creative wooden toys. Click here for Atara's website.|
Monday, May 9, 2016
Yamakichiya.com seems to have put everything together in an easy-to-use website that not only ships worldwide, but also has English instructions helping you get your order in.
The shop has a very nice range of figures from a variety of toy makers, including Dream Rockets, Five Star Toys, Henry Anderson III (whose toys are made by Shikaruna), Uamou, Rockin' Jelly Bean, and many others.
Besides sofubi, Yamakichi carries keshi gomu figures, T-shirts, and other goods.
Let's hope they're able to help folks around the world get their hands on their favorite toys!
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
The boom gradually fizzled out as interests changed and more activity moved online. By the end of the decade, only a small number of specialty shops remained open. And so it's great to see a fairly new shop like Ora Ora (オラ オラ) plant its flag and spread the vintage love.
Map: Click here
Phone number: 02 2367 1213
Facebook page: Click here
Here's a walk-through video I made:
The shop owners are really friendly, and they love toys. Ora Ora is in the Shi Da University area, which is great for browsing through boutiques, not to mention trying Taiwan's amazing street food, tea drinks, and desserts.
Thanks for reading, and if you're in the area, have a great time at Ora Ora!
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
By and large, most exhibitors had a limited number of things on hand or on display, with exceptions like CCP and Fewture Models. But there was such a variety and so many booths that the total number of releases was substantial.
It was a balmy, drizzly spring morning, and the event's location in central Tokyo was almost pastoral (a word rarely used to describe the city).
|To get to the event site, you go up a little hill and through this massive gate, which was once an entrance to an Edo period castle.|
|Despite the light rain, many of the toy faithful were in line before 7:00 AM.|
Here are the toy makers in attendance, arranged in alphabetical order.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Super Potato is one of Japan's leading video games stores, with outlets in several cities across the country. A while ago, I visited one of their stores in Osaka. Recently I went to their Nagoya branch, where I took photos and shot a walk-through video.
The shop carries video games, consoles, and accessories for the leading systems from the last few decades. They have an impressive range to choose from.
First up, here are the store details:
Address: 〒460-0011 愛知県名古屋市中区大須３丁目１１−３０
Map: Click here
Hours: 10:00-20:00 (open every day)
Here's a video I shot:
Finally, here are some still photos of the store:
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Star Wars Episode VII provided lots of buzz last year, with tons of branding tie-ins and a healthy build-up leading to the theatrical release. Now that the DVD release has been nicely timed for Star Wars Day, 5/4 (May the Forth be with you!) we're seeing a lot of posters and displays promoting the day.
|This decked out display is in front of a shop that sells DVDs and CDs. They got their craft on with this one..|
|Past movies on disc.|
|Finn is bemoaning the fact that The Force Awakens DVD can't be bought anywhere yet.|
|DVD case mockup|
|Cool BB-8 promo giveaway.|
|Here's a poster display at Tsutaya, a very large DVD rental chain.|
|In front of the shop, Star Wars gets top billing.|
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Anyway, combine this fact of life with the size of the giant Takkong sofubi figure made by Bullmark in the early 1970s, and you have a recipe for a future rare toy. And rare it is. This Ultraman villain emerges so infrequently that the uber-veteran kaiju aficionado who has it says he has only seen TWO in recent decades.
On the far side of side notes, isn't it interesting how macabre these shows were? Consider how many (Ultraman. Kamen Rider, etc.) involved bringing people back from the dead (often in rites laced with deeply religious overtones) to then become the reincarnated hero. I wonder what Joseph Campbell would have to say.
Another note about Takkong - the kaiju (like many others) was designed by Tsubaraya Pro maestro Iketani Senkatsu.
You might be waiting for the punchline - the price. The seller was asking 1,500,000 yen. Quite an ask, but if you just like the look of the figure and don't pine for the original, Bullmark issued a repro (in another color way) in the early 2000s.
And that's a look at Takkong, a rare beast indeed. A big thanks to JP for assisting with the info!
Thursday, March 31, 2016
One such space, which is used for presentations and other events, was recently transformed. The interior was decked out with Murakami;s signature flower design. And at the entrance was an eerily lifelike statue of the artist with hobbit-like feet and an animated twist. Here are more pics, followed by a video.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Thursday, March 10, 2016
|Pachinko parlor. They're everywhere, and people line up before opening hours to get first pick of their favorite machines.|
|Typical izakaya, which is a type of casual restaurant. They're popular with the after-work crowd, and contrary to common notions of Japan as a quiet and peaceful place, izakayas get loud and raucous.|
|An outlet of Takkyubin, one of Japan's largest courier companies. Sending things by courier is fast, reliable, and affordable. Though the Japanese postal service is phenomenal - legendary even - couriers are still popular.|