Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Real Head Necromon: Side by Side

Necromon is one of my favorite RxH adult figures, with the standard adult RxH body and head design by Lamour Supreme. Real Head has put a lot of work into growing the line this year, with new designs by Mori and a bunch of other artists. Here are a couple of 2011 Necromon releases, side by side to show the coolness and versatility of the character and the excellent sculpt and paint work.

The version on the left is GID and was a limited version sold at Superfestival 55. The one on the right was sold at Superfestival 56
 More after the jump:

Weekend wrap up

What a weekend! I can't say the weather was the best, but sofubi wise, it was as good as it gets. First, on Saturday, there was the Le Merde Misty Fog event at Thrashout.
Mike gave me some cool buttons, and I picked up a Le Merde mini verse resin figure and filled a couple of holes in my Gargamel micro collection.

I followed that up in the evening with an all you can drink festa at the Koenji Watami. 999 yen for 2 hours, and about 30 drinks to choose from. Not too shabby!

More after the jump:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Marusan exhibit in Harajuku


This afternoon, I was this close to staying home - dry and warm and out of the cold, wet weather. I had read a blurb on the Amapro site about a Marusan photography exhibit in Harajuku. Hmm, sounded intriguing, but not much to go on. So I visited the gallery's site. Limited info there as well.

Not the best weather conditions for cruising Takeshita Street
So, on a whim, at 3:00 PM, I kicked myself in the butt and hot footed it to Harajuku. And am I glad I did! There was indeed outstanding photography by Kaminaga-san (Marusan's president), but that was just one component of this phenomenal exhibit. There were walls of vintage and recent toys cataloging Marusan's rich history; there were toys and books for sale; and to top it off, there was a three-man panel discussion about Ultraman and other toys! Luckily I had my camera in tow, and pics were allowed, so this fantastic event could be recorded and shared by all.
Panel discussion with three toy gurus.

A crowd was on hand, despite the weather.
 Marusan toy exhibit:
 More after the jump:

New from Shinto Gangu (5.28.2011)

New releases:

 More after the jump:

Le Merde & Friends Misty Fog show at Thrashout

Today was the opening for Misty Fog, Thrashout's latest custom show featuring customs by Le Merde, the debut of a new character (Megalith), as well as Megalith customs by a ton of artists. It was a muggy, rainy day in Tokyo, but by the opening bell, there were a dozen or so collectors waiting to get inside. The show featured three cases full of customs by Le Merde, Itokin Park, Kiyoka, Chanmen, Katope, Martin Ontiveros, and others, as well as paintings, prints, T-shirts, and other fun stuff brought over by Le Merde.

Case full of resin and vinyl pieces, mostly by Le Merde:

One of my favorites from the show
 More after the jump:

Friday, May 27, 2011

2000 Collectable Toys - Store Visit

Next on the whistle stop tour of Tokyo toy shops is 2000 Collectable Toys, a shop so packed with Americana gems that it outdoes most vintage toy shops in the US. At first I thought the name referred to the number of toys for sale, but when you go inside, they clearly have many, many more toys than that! As it turns out, 2000 is a reference to the year the shop opened.

The store is located in Koenji, on the same street as Thrashout. It's actually just a 2-3 minute walk from Gargamel's flagship store. Here's a map to 2000 Collectable Toys, taken from their site:
And if you carry on down the road (continuing south), you'll see Well Rounded, which, though tiny, may be one of Asia's best Hot Wheels meccas (and hopefully the focus of a future write up!)
The eyes are overwhelmed when you go inside!
There's really no way to photograph everything in 2000 Collectable Toys, but here's a sampling of the range of toys they have, starting with action figures from the 70s-80s. (Click on each image to see its full size.)

More after the jump:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A slice of the Japanese retail toy world

The other day, as I was walking to the checkout counter of Seiyu (a modern megastore with some stuff you need and a lot more you don't want), I walked down the toy aisle and checked out the offerings. Some old favorites there: Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and the latest group of heroes in the now classic Power Rangers color palette - call 'em the boy bands of the toy world. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to snap and share some pics.


More after the jump:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hugest - Store Visit

Display only: Kiyoka spray and Chanmen chest design
It's nice to be able to report on a new toy store. Hugest opened its doors in December, 2010. With a nice mix of sofubi, art, clothes, hats, and other gear, infused with a cool bike culture vibe, plus with contributions from several Gargamel members, Hugest is well worth checking out.
Hugest is near Kita Senju station, which is pretty much right between Machiya (Jarinko) and Aoto (Shinto Gangu).
Let's start with the toys.
Hugest has a nice selection of old and new Gargamel figures.

And a very cool Gargamel micro figure gacha machine.
More after the jump:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New from Shinto Gangu (5.22.2011)

Today's release:

 More store shots:
Mori cuts the bandanas for figures from big patterned sheets, like the one in this shot.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New from Shinto Gangu (5.21.2011)

New releases:

 More after the jump:

Medicom Rose Vampire exclusive release


Today at Medicom's flagship Project 1/6 store in Shibuya, an exclusive version of Josh Herbolsheimer's Rose Vampire was released.

Before the doors opened.
 Detailed release shots:
 More after the jump:

Friday, May 20, 2011

1972 TV Talk vintage toy magazine

Back before the Internet put everything at our fingertips instantly, the kid and toy world revolved around two things: television and toy magazines. Decades ago in Japan, TV Talk brought these worlds together with a monthly smorgasborg of comics, articles, posters, and toy ads. For toy collectors, the magazines are a treasure trove of vintage toy images and a window back in time.

I picked up the February, 1972 issue and snapped some shots. Click on each image to see the full size image.

Love these character cut out images:

More after the jump:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lady Maxx: Side by Side


Lady Maxx is one of the latest in Max Toy Co's line of popular mini figures. In recent years, the company has strengthened its offerings by pooling the talents of some of Japan's best toy makers. Lady Maxx was sculpted by Makino-san of TTToy and cast by Shimuzu-san. What's more, the figure boasts more than TWENTY paint masks, also made by a master Japanese artisan. As his company puts out figure after figure, Mark Nagata masterminds the circle of talent, designing characters, color schemes, and header cards.
Here's a look at two versions of Lady Maxx. The hot pink version was recently released through the Max Toy website and at Design Festa 33. It brilliantly shows off the detailed sculpt, top notch mask work, and a beautiful combination of metallic and matte paint. The silver/black Lady Maxx is a test shot painted by Mark Nagata to use as a reference piece for future colorways. Though this isn't a production piece, I think it does a great job bringing out the sculpt while creating an almost pewter effect.
 More after the jump:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gargamel micro post revamped

Original post updated with lots of new pics.

Gargamel Micros


A few months ago, Gargamel started selling super tiny (about 1" tall) micro sized figures. At first, that doesn't sound like much, but these figures have highly detailed sculpts.. Also, unlike other figures this size, these are not one piece finger puppets! Each of the micros is made from two parts, giving some of the figures (ex: Zagoran) articulation at the neck, and others (ex: Angel Bird) a solid base. The micros are usually sold  in Gargamel's gachapon machines. Most of the time, you get a solid figure: orange, black, GID, etc. But there are also a few painted versions in the mix.

Close ups after the jump:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Erostika store visit

Erostika is the store front for Rockin Jelly Beans' vivacious, voluptuous creations. With a swingin 60s rockabilly meets surf culture vibe, the store explodes with vibrant colors and daring designs. Over the years, RJB has built quite a following with his prints, apparel, and toys. And he's brought it all together in one of the best-designed shops in Tokyo. There's also an Erostika in Nagoya, if you make it out there.
The Tokyo shop, which I recently visited, is in Harajuku, is in the same building as Secret Base and Bounty Hunter. You can find the location here, on the Tokyo toy map I put together.

Here are some pics from the shop:
Some of RJBs toys, jewelry, and other designs.
 More after the jump:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

RESTORE Debris Japan Paint Sample

I included these pics of RESTORE'S upcoming Debris Japan figure as part of my Design Festa 33 coverage, but the news so big I thought it deserved its own post. Plus I've got more details to share.

The 17 cm tall figure is sofubi, and the parts and accessories are handmade by RESTORE. That includes a resin knife, metal wrist chains, sheafs of demon paper printed, hand cut, and tied together with rope, and a cloth waist covering.

Besides the amazing details you can see from every side of the figure, there a couple of final surprises RESTORE wants to keep secret until collectors have the figure in hand.

The figure will be sold in Japan through Pop Soda and RESTORE, and overseas through Lulubell.

Another piece of breaking news: RESTORE will also be selling Debris Japan unpainted blanks!

More pics after the jump:
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