Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hints and Spices: Sofubi designed Downunder

Hints and Spices is an Aussie design outfit run by Shane Haddy. Shane has just gotten his vinyl feet wet through the release of his debut sofubi figure, Waniphant, which was sculpted and produced in Japan.

The man downunder sent us some pics and info to introduce himself, his work, his design partner TOVI, and his new figure.
Introducing Waniphant, a one piece 3" (8cm) mini with a lot of character!

After the jump, read more about Shane and his work, in his own words:


Before working as an industrial designer, I worked as a manager in a local Japanese animation and games store in Adelaide. Over the 9 years working there, I became very interested in toy production. Focusing on how toys were made and the material quality rather than the character it was based from. That interest is what got me into industrial design.

I graduated from Industrial Design in 2009 and since then have mostly worked freelance in all areas of design; from environmental impact design reports to simple CAD work. I have organised and have been the curator of a various events and design shows in Adelaide. I have also been working as a part time tutorial lecture in industrial design at University of South Australia for the past year.

My philosophy revolves around the production of fun and I established Hints and Spices late last year as a way to share this passion. Hints and Spices isn’t entirely toy focused but will be the main direction. Under Hints and Spices, I have made a few toy customs (such as Alien Argus and the Eyezon Burger) but I am now releasing my very own original designer vinyl art toy!! I am very excited and hope everyone will enjoy my work!

I Love this custom by Shane! As a veggie, I'm going to imagine it's a tofu burger.

Waniphant is a misunderstood beast that likes to cause trouble for the local islanders living near his hideout.

He got his name from the combination of the Japanese word ‘Wani’ meaning alligator or crocodile and Phant derived from Elephant. A creature in his own right, he was developed through drawing an elephant with eyes in his ears and teeth down his trunk.

This project started late December and I am really ecstatic holding the final product in my hand. My character designs are very sketchy, lost of overlapping lines, therefore I hired local artist/illustrator TOVI to clean up my linework for the sculptor. The best thing about using TOVI was the fact she added a slight chubbiness to my original designs which gave the exact results I was after. TOVI worked on a few of my character designs but Waniphant stood out the most and was chosen to continue through to the next stage. 

Sculpting was done by the very talented Yoshihiko Makino of TTToy in Japan. I went with a Japanese sculptor as they have a close understanding with the process, undercuts and what they can get away with in Japanese vinyl production. 

TOVI's illustration of Waniphant

Makino-san's (TTToys) sculpt

The debut unpainted black and white versions of Waniphant are available for pre-order here. Orders come with a set of these mini prints by TOVI:

Good luck Shane. We look forward to seeing more of your sofubi output!


Chogokin Jawa said...

Just picked one from Toy Karma III. Quite eager to welcoming this little boy!

andy b said...

Nice! That's one of my fav pieces from the show. Sha-wing!

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