Friday, March 12, 2010

Kaiju Comrades 2

Today in Harajuku, a packed show in a small room showed that not only is kaiju alive and well in Japan, but it's exploding in all kinds of exciting directions. Curated by Mark Nagata, the Kaiju Comrades II show brought together more than 40 designers from 4 continents. They filled the room with a mind-boggling array of vinyl, resin, plush, paper, canvas, and fiber glass creations.

The event, which runs through March 14, is being held in the Design Festa East Gallery in Harajuku. Twice a year, the Design Festa folks host Japan's largest extravaganza of creative oupouring, at Tokyo's Big Site. All year round, they maintain the Gallery, which contains a ton of rooms for exhibitions of all persuasions.

During the pre-party, lost of participating designers from Japan and North & South America got together to talk toys.

Nerd One with his KC II exclusive Stereogon figure, which comes with a resin club: Hariken - Mad Panda:

Sunguts and a jumbo Pico Pico character which stood guard in the middle of the room:
TTToys with one of his customs: Carlos Gonzalez + Lulubell Luke:
Can't remember this guy's name. I think it rhymes with Zapata:

A few hours before showtime, the line started to snake through a Harajuku back alley.And the door opened...The crowd control was solid, with just 5 folks at a time let in. Of course, after 30 minutes or so, that started to break down, but it was still very orderly.

What makes this show unique is it's all-inclusive, open-source, and no-holds-barred. Mark has a very cool philosophy of welcoming artists who work in a variety of mediums, engendering an excellent cross-pollenation of ideas and enthusiasm. When you put all their drawings,figures,and paintings in one room, artists can see what others are doing, share techniques, and inspire new creative avenues.

Just to give one example, Matt Walker (aka Dead Presidents) recently put together a new line of paints called Monster Kolor. Msr. Nagata has already started using the paints on his custom creations, some of which were part of KC II. So I think this kind of show is great for not only showing off kick-ass design work, but also for pushing the envelope and inspiring next-level productions.

Enough preambling - on to the toys! (click on each photo to see the full-size pic)

Uamou put together a cool backlit display:

Some of Matt Walker's stuff - IMO, among the highlights of the show, with beautiful color work on clear vinyl:
Info postcard for Monster Kolor, Matt's new line of paints:Blobpus:
Mark Nagata:
Paul Kaiju:
Emilio Garcia:
I was really impressed with Juki's work in this show. Both Juki and Gumliens took their game to another level with outstanding envelope-pushing creations. I hope we see more like this at future shows! Here's Juki's shelf:
Pico Pico:
Plans are underway to make this figure into vinyl!Lamour Supreme:
Carlos Gonzalez:
Bob Conge:
Hariken-Mad Panda:
Junichi Yajima:
Chris Ryniak:
Chris Bryan:
Ilanena-san pointed out to me this is a painted vintage Kenner Wampa!
Other good stuff:Show exclusives:
Here's what I picked up:
Well, that's some of the excellence from the Kaiju Comrades II show. The good folks at Max Toy Co. really did a bang up job organizing the show and making sure it went off without a hitch. I for one am already looking forward to Kaiju Comrades III!

Before then, there are two other shows opening this weekend, so I'll have lots more to blog about. Keep yer ears on!

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