Edit: Click here for my latest (Jan 2012) visit to the Shikaruna shop/studio.
Really great shop that one, and a very friendly and knowledgeable owner. Despite my halting Japanese, I was able to get across that I had tried to visit Shikaruna, but it was closed. He smiled, took out his cell phone, called one of the Shik crew, and said "OK, you can go there now." How totally cool is that! So, I bought a Takara Microman Jaguar, which I had been after for 6-7 years, and retraced my steps back to the studio.
Very nice to see the gang, as always. Such a welcoming and good spirited bunch! We had a chat about recent characters, upcoming releases, and the future of monster toys at the studio. I might not be as hip to all the recent news as some people, so I was surprised to learn that Shikaruna has been pouring a lot of time into a new line of anime character toys. I believe some of them will debut very soon, perhaps as early as tomorrow's Supefestival.
Here are a couple of proto pics:
If anime doesn't float your One Piece pirate ship, worry ye not, kaiju fans! There's enough unreleased and ready to go goodness in that shop to keep us drooling for a loooong time. Here's one (currently unnamed) fellow that is slotted for production soon:
More shots of old and new friends: