Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TTF Ban Ban!

Spooky Parade is releasing a cool new Ban Ban next week at the Taipei Toy Festival. The pace of announcements for show exclusives is getting fast and furious!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Taichung toy and candy stores

Spent last weekend in Taichung and stumbled upon a couple of very cool stores. They were in an old area up the road from Qinghai University. You got the sense that it was a hot place to shop 10 or 20 years ago, before the nightmarkets, pedestrian malls, and mega malls lured the shoppers away. The area is still featured in guide books, but the day we went, there were as many stray dogs as pedestrians, and For Rent/Sale signs were all over the place. Lots of used bookstores too...tumbleweeds blowin' buy and an old feller in a rocker talkin' bout headin' Californee Way. Sorry, wrong scene.

Anyway, sometimes places like that house interesting secrets!

One store we found had all sorts of toys, mascot figures, and various bits and bobs from Taiwan's past. I've always felt that if you were going to collect something from Taiwan, this would be the stuff. (Some of my Taiwanese friends are really into it.)

Some pics from the store taken in flash-free James Bond secret mode:
The lady in the center with the green can is Kai Xi Ma Ma, a character (played by a real person in commercials) for a line of tea drinks. Pretty tasty stuff...
The guy in green is a Taiwan post office mascot.

The dudes in the old school football get-ups are Datong company mascots. They make electronic goods like rice cookers.

Some funky international kitsch in this group!
Here's some stuff jammed into a POP display from a convenience store. The contraption is used to keep canned coffee hot - in this case Mr. Brown coffee. Also tasty....

Right next door to the toy store is an old school candy store!
See, that's what candy store owners are supposed to do - smile! Why are so many shop owners so grumpy these days?

Back in the day, most candy in Taiwan was sold piece by piece. In this case, they're probably around 5-10 cents per piece. You can still find stores that sell this way or by weight, but they're dropping off one by one as people are getting used to buying packs of candy or chocolate at convenience stores like 7-11.

Seriously old school action here. So you pay a few cents for a chance to punch a hole through one of those characters and find the prize revealed within! I think these would also be cool thing to collect, since you could display them on a wall.

Puppets are very popular in Taiwan. You can still see puppet shows put on in front of temples. And there are some popular TV shows (and sometimes movies) made with really elaborate puppets and cool special effects.This fellow is probably the most famous puppet. He was the star of a movie a few years back.

Old school cinema cheese.

Another mascot.

And in other news...

I bought one of the blue chicky candy tubes since I like sour candy. Let's just say I should have checked the expiration date before diving in - if there was one... ;-)
So, good times in Taichung. Head on over Taichung way if yer in these here parts. One of Taiwan's nicest cities, no doubt!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Up next: Itokin Park

Next in the series of Kaiju Korner exclusive toys will be some Itokin Park collabs. Look for news on the first of those in the coming weeks. :O)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ilanena x KK exclusives update

Set B is all sold out, and only a few sets of Set A are left.

Thanks to everyone who has ordered so far!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ilanena X Kaiju Korner exclusive sets: on sale now!

Kaiju Korner is very excited to bring you two exclusive sets of Ilanena's Dai Kaiju Card Monsters. The collaboration is a long time in the making, and I think the figures turned out fantastic!

The Dai Kaiju Card Monsters are made in Japan. Each set includes three figures handpainted by Ilanena: Betarus, Metrokabayan, and Hydro Beast.

Without further ado, on to the toys!

Set A (Kaiju Korner Rainbow Version) SOLD OUT

Set B (Kaiju Korner Secret Hologram Version): SOLD OUT

Close ups:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Itokin Park's Robby right on track

The production molds for Itokin Park's new figure with Kuso Vinyl are complete, and the figure is on track for release this summer. The figure is coming along very nicely, and the production mold test shots look excellent!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kaiju Korner @ 2009 Taipei Toy Festival

It's almost that time of the year again: the summer toy show season! This year is more packed than ever, with staples like the SDCC, TTF (this is its 6th year!), and the return of Japan's venerable Wonderfest (held in Chiba this year), and many more. That's a lot of big shows for July and August!

This year's TTF runs for 4 days, from July 9th-12th. It's being held at a new venue, the 華山創意園區 (Huashan Culture Park). Its a really cool art space in downtown Taipei with spacious grounds and ample space for gallery shows and indoor and outdoor events.

I'll be at the TTF, snapping pics and reporting back here on the goings-on. Come on over and say hi!

This year, One up will have a booth again. I believe my good buddy Hariken (Mad Panda) will be flying over for the event. Spooky Parade's Morry (the mad genius behind the new sofubi hamburger fellow Ban Ban) is also planning to be there, with a Ban Ban show exclusive. There should be other sofubi at the Secret Style (Secret Base x 8 Style) and other booths.

The TTF has a revamped website with tons of info on the scheduled activities.


I love Popsoda toys. Go go Hossy!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kaiju Korner x Itokin Park = Clutter magazine

Good news! After many months of hard work, I'm happy to report that I've sent in my article on Itokin Park to Clutter magazine. The piece, which includes an article, extensive interview, and gorgeous photo bank, will appear in the next issue of the magazine, due out this summer.

I'd like to thank my good friends Jeff, Gordon, and of course Kazuhiko for their kind assistance.

I hope Itokin Park fans enjoy it! :O)

andy b

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ilanena x KK = Figure King + Hyper Hobby

Two of my favorite Japan toy magazines are all info'd up for the new Ilanena x KK releases.

First, the most recent Figure King, released on May 25th:
The newest Hyper Hobby was released on June 1st:
Thanks to Ilanena-san for doing a great job supplying the mags with info and pics.

For our part, KK is rev'd up and ready to go for the release exactly 2 weeks from now!

Cronic x Nerd One Nougaki Custom

Nougaki has always been one of my favorite Cronic toys. The two faced fellow has such a mysterious and amorphous character that it can be painted and designed in all sorts of ways. (Click here to check out my Nougaki visual checklist.)

Recently, Naoki Koiwa (Cronic) has focused entirely on custom figures. (He hasn't released a regular "production" figure in more than 6 months.) We've seen a pretty amazing variety of pieces, including pinstriped, camo, battle damaged, marbled figures, etc., with many pieces using a combination of paint and design techniques. A lot come with very cool weapons.

One of the highlights of Nougaki's history was a series of three collabs with Nerd One, who designed a skull resin head that fits onto Nougaki's body.

I was very happy to pick up Cronic's newest custom Nougaki, which uses the Nougaki body and Nerd One head. Here are a couple more pics:

Here's a pic of another Nougaki custom which Cronic made a few months ago:
And another recent one-off :

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sakabashira Imiri Show @ Kaiju Blue / 「逆柱いみり 脳内リゾート展」@ カイジュウブルー

Kaiju Blue continues in its string of excellent exhibitions with another showing of kaiju toys, art, and customs. The newest exhibition, entitled Sakabashira Imiri's "Nounai Resort Kaiju/Yume de mita Yume" (Dream within a dream) opened on May 14th. It runs through June 17th. I caught the show just before leaving Tokyo and snapped some pics.

Kaiju Blue's a pretty small shop, but they pack a lot in.

The show focuses on sofubi figures by Billiken Shokai.

Show exclusives:
Riruze and Burugan:
Kuriten and Pharaos:
Matt Walker (Dead Presidents) customs:

Bob Conge custom:
Blobpus custom:
Mark Nagata custom:
Ilanena custom:
Dream Rockets custom:
石川次郎 Custom :Other customs:

Click here to check out my write up of the Vatundoo Exhibition @ Kaiju Blue.
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