Saturday, June 30, 2007

Cronic Spotlight #3: 2007 Winter Wonder Festival Dorogami

This figure was released last February, at the Winter Wonder Festival. I really love this version, since it does a great job revealing the figure's contours, especially under bright lights or outdoors. It's got a nice metallic, fluid sheen.

He lies in waiting....

Front shot:
Up close:

Side view:

Back view. I love the iradescence of this look:

Hanging out in a "dou li" - a traditional farmer/worker's hat. During our wandering in my neighborhood, we saw the hat hanging from a rusty wheelbarrow in front of a construction site. Construction sites rule.

Dorogami mugging for the camera on the hood of someone's compact.

Road hog, baby!

Cronic X Nerd One @ Super Festival 43

Coming tomorrow!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Cronic @ Toy Karma Art Show

In September, Rotofugi (Chicago's premier vinyl shop) will host an art show unlike any seen before. As Mark Nagata, the show's curator, writes on his blog, the show will deal with "the current crop of vinyl makers and how they are all influenced ( directly or indirectly ) by Classic Bullmark and Marusan toys from Japan. It will be the first time a art show explores this connection plus show how US, Japanese and Global artists have taken those classic designs and morphed them into the current Kaiju Boom of toys."

Toy Karma opens on September 8 and will feature paintings, vinyl figures, and prints. Sounds amazing!

A lot of outstanding artists, including Mark, Cronic (Naoki Koiwa), Gargamel, Bwana Spoons, Blobpus, and many more will be part of the show.

A book introducing each artist will be released in conjunction with the show. I was honored to be asked to write the introduction for Cronic. From what I've seen, the book is going to be gorgeous, so make sure to check it out!

Here's the show's official webpage:

Monday, June 25, 2007

What's in a name? A bit of Cronic trivia...

Ever wonder why the names of so many Cronic figures end with "Asu"? We've got Maverasu, Zyurai Asu, and Bakurasu.

I asked Koiwa-san a few months ago over a bowl of ramen in Shibuya. He told me "Asu" is the first character of his wife's name. So, the character made its way into the names of several of his figures.

Pretty cool story, hmm? :O)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cronic Spotlight #2: 2006 Winter Design Festa Maverasu

This Maverasu was released last year at Design Festa 24. As a good buddy explained to me, the version is called "Aka Oni" meaning "Red Devil" in Japanese. Last month, at Design Festa 25, a companion version called "Ao Oni" ("Blue Devil") was released.

Not only does the Aka Oni Maverasu have a gorgeous paint job, but the figure is GID!

Before the shoot - lunch at a nice vegetarian buffet:

Posing with a cool Buddha statue at the restaurant. Dig the reflective surface:

Out in the open, on the grounds of a Taipei junior high school. It just so happens that today hundreds (thousands?) of would-be teachers were gathered at the school to take a qualification exam. So there was much seriousness as my girlfriend and I wandered around taking pictures with a kaiju toy. ;-)

From another spot:

Close up:

Side view:

Back view:

At a tea house enjoying a cold one out of the hot sun:

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Cronic SDCC + Wonderfestival News

Unfortunately, because of work obligations in Tokyo, Cronic Toys will not be attending SDCC 2007. The good news is Cronic figures will be sold at SDCC by the good folks at the Max Toy booth!

Also, Cronic Toys have just confirmed their booth reservation for this summer's WonderFestival, which will be held on August 12th at the Big Site in Tokyo. Once again, Koiwa-san will be sharing a booth with Nerd One. You can bet they'll have an awesome batch of figures on hand!

Cronic Spotlight #1: 2006 TTF Zyurai Asu

This Zyurai Asu figure was released last year at the Taipei Toy Festival. It was sold at the OneUp booth. Made of clear vinyl with a complex rainbow colored paint job, each figure took Koiwa-san quite a while to paint.

I really love this figure. One of the very cool things about it, as I hope the photos show, is the way it gives off different looks in bright and dimmer lighting conditons. Plus, using a flash when shooting the figure brings out a whole other side.

First, front, back, and side shots:

A couple of close ups:

And now the light started to fade. I love the eerie effect.
Here's a close-up shot taken in dim light.
And the same look with a flash used:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cronic figure of the week - coming soon!

I'll be taking fresh pics of Cronic figures and posting them here, starting this weekend. To start, I'll focus on photographing one figure at a time.

As any Cronic collector will tell you, one of the great things about Koiwa-san's paint work is its subtlety. It's really amazing to hold his figures and look at them from different angles. So, though photos can never do them total justice, I'll do my best to illustrate what I mean.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Max Toy X Cronic Figures!

Two of my favorite kaiju companies are getting together to produce some beautiful figures and prints. There will be three figures: a painted Maverasu, an unpainted version of the figure, and a Dorogami. The figures will be painted by Naoki Koiwa of Cronic Toys:

The header cards were designed by Mark Nagata:

Finally, Mark created a gorgeous giclee print of Alien Xam fighting Maverasu:

These figures and the print were first offered to Max Toy Club members for pre-order. Everything quickly sold out.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Welcome to Kaiju Korner!

Well, I've finally gotten around to starting a blog!

In this space, I'll post about my main hobby - collecting kaiju - especially my favorite companies like Cronic, Max Toy, and Gargamel. I'll also post photos of my trips to Japan, write about random things, and all that other bloggable stuff.

Thanks for checking out Kaiju Korner!
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