Sunday, July 31, 2011

Backstory and info for MVH x Blobpus Enma

Ever since in-development sculpts of the Blobpus Enma head sculpt for MVH's Ollie started surfacing a little while back, the sofubi world has been buzzing with excitement about the figure's release. Here's a shot I took of the finished Enma head sculpt at Pachisummit last month. (More shots here.)
A few days ago, the first pictures of the debut production figure emerged online, and just yesterday at the Blobpus x Guuman custom show, Kaji-san had the sample out for display.( Go here for details on how to pre-order the figure.)

I sat down with Kaji-san at the show and talked about Enma. Here's what I learned.

Enma is a god that stands at a purgatory checkpoint between heaven and hell. Enma is neither good nor evil. His job is to judge people after they die. Notice the monk sculpted on the back of the head. If a person is judged to be good, the monk will see that the deceased is sent to heaven.
If a person is judged to be evil, this fierce gaze will condemn the person to hell:
The character above his center eye means "king."

As Kaji-san explained, the colors for the first production are the colors traditionally associated with Enma. Kaji-san also pointed out that whereas Enma is typically shown as having two eyes. Kaji-san's interpretation in toy form has three.

A couple of pieces of news about this release. First, Kaji-san will paint as many as are ordered. If there are 50 orders, then 50 figures will be sent out. If there are 100 orders, then that's the release number. Finally, and this is huge news, Kaji-san says he is going to paint ALL of the debut release Enma figures himself. So this release is an amazing chance to order a hand-painted figure from one of the true masters of the art.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Many many more Medicom Sofubi Exclusives

Today, Medicom celebrated its 15th glorious year with a pair of exhibitions in Shibuya. It also launched a surprise attack with yet another showcase full of upcoming indy sofubi collaborations. Some were shown at last week's Wonder Festival. (Click here for my report.) Others, such as new Ilu Ilu collabs, debuted at today's show. Medicom has been spectacular in its support of indy designers, and my hat's off to them.

Here are a pics from the display, starting with wide shots and moving on to close ups. I've added whatever information was made available, including the release date and price.

 Close ups after the jump:

Blobpus x GUUMON Custom Show

Today, a new show featuring figures and customs by Blobpus and GUUMON opened today at the Design Festa Gallery in Harajuku. The exhibit runs through August 4.

Notable was the debut appearance of the Enma Ollie. Kaji-san painted a slew of Enma one-offs for the event and showed off a sample of the debut production release, which is available for preorder on the Blobpus website now.

GUUMON also came out swinging with a grip of customs from Mr. GUUMON (Brian Mahony), Mark Nagata, Bob Conge, Dead Presidents, and a bunch more.

Event pics, starting with wide shots and then moving on to close ups:

 More after the jump:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kaiju Taro World Cup Germany 2006 Pin Set

The other day, I came across this really interesting item, which I had never seen before. It's a set of 36 pins designed by sofubi makers, synthesizing their toy designs with the flags of the 2006 World Cup finalists. Companies including Gargamel, Sunguts, Rumble Monsters, Blobpus, Cronic, and others collaborated on the set.

Here's an example:
So here you've got Sin and Wombat's Chicken Fever + France, Gargamel's Zagoran + Korea, Heater + Switzerland, and Blobpus + Togo.
Besides the cool factor, I think the set has importance for a few reasons. First, the producer: Kaiju Taro. KT was one of the first Japanese companies to make original sofubi widely available to collectors everywhere. With their easy to use website, they'd ship to anyone, and many a collector waited anxiously for new figures to drop. KT also released Kaizine for several years. The free magazine served up drool worthy pics, articles, and interviews.
Kaizine #8
More after the jump:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wonder Festival Summer 2011 Part 7: Everything Else

In this final report from Wonderfest, we look at the rest of the patchwork potpourri that makes up this massive con. That includes other toy makers, dealer tables, masks, props, exhibits, and the odd appearance from the ever growing Doller population threatening to debrain us all.

 More after the jump:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wonder Festival Summer 2011 Part 6: Digital Toy Production

At every Wonder Festival, there are interesting sections dedicated to unique areas of the toy world: special exhibitions, museum pieces, etc. One of the best this year was an area focusing on digital toy production. There were booths showing software, 3D printing machines, laser etched works, sample figures, and so on.

I'm all for anything that makes an effort to break out of the box and leave it in the dust. Here are some shots from the section:

This huge figure was made by a company called S MIST. The parts were individually made with a 3D printer and then assembled.

The hair was intense!
 More after the jump:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wonder Festival Summer 2011 Part 5: Cosplay

Taking a break from the toys for a moment, here's a look at some of the cosplay from this summer's WF.

 More after the jump:

Wonder Festival Summer 2011 Part 4: 3A + Goodsmile Company

Like at the previous Winter Wonder Festival, there was an impressive 3A display at this year's show. It wasn't as large as the last one, but it was still very nice. The display was in a massive booth showing a retrospective line up of hundreds of figures from the Goodsmile Company.

 More after the jump:

Wonder Festival Summer 2011 Part 3: Resin Garage Kits

Wonder Festival is well known as a showcase for the latest resin garage kits. The makers put out exquisitely painted figures on display, and collectors buy blank kits. The fervor and dedication among collectors for these kits are intense. Here are some pics of the resin offerings from WF:

one of my favorites

 More after the jump:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wonder Festival Summer 2011 Part 2: Sofubi

The sofubi world was very well represented at Wonderfest, with many booths selling new releases and debuting upcoming figures in various stages of development. Seeing everything at WF takes a lot of walking and searching, as booths at WF aren't, for the most part, grouped according to toy type.

So a tip for those attending is go through the program book, locate the booths you want to visit, and circle them on the map. You'll still want to walk through all 3 massive halls, though, since a lot of toy makers share booths, and not everyone's name is in the program book.

Here are 200 pics from the sofubi booths, from A to Z:


 Atelier G-1

More after the jump:

Wonder Festival Summer 2011 Part 1: Medicom X Massive Sofubi Exclusive Previews

Today, Wonder Festival proved once again that it's an unmatched goliath in the toy world. I don't think there's another toy show on the planet that sees so many releases, previews, and new + used toys for sale in a single day, including SDCC. Of course, that's a 5 day show, so they may match up if you compare them in their totality.

WF combines many types of toys: resin kits, diecast, sofubi, indy, mainstream, gore, goth, and even x-rated. (You need to show your ID to get into that section.) I took over 1,000 shots, and even after sorting them out, it's too much for one post. So I'm going to divide it into a few.
Let's start with Medicom's amazing, out of the blue display of upcoming sofubi releases. We've seen how over the last year, they've worked with a ton of indy designers. It looks like they're just getting started, since I spotted previews of nearly a dozen new releases. I think this is the first time many have been shown publicly. Here are the pics:
Upcoming Medicom exclusives by MVH/Lash, Max Toy, and others.

Ollie close up. (release date to be determined)
A better look at the Max Toy release, from the Max Toy booth. (release date is August 6)

Real Head
More after the jump:
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