Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grody Shogun x Velocitron mashup

The final leg of our Leap Year Day quadraped is a photo shoot of a 1/1 Grody Shogun x Velocitron mashup released at the recent Wonder Festival. The mashup works on so many levels I wanted to give it its propers with a multi-sided, multi-angle shoot:

First a look from all sides:
From the front, the figure looks like its doing a promo shoot for a 1930s boxing match. It's either that or a middle-aged lady holding a handbag...
From the side, the figure reminds me of Mimic, a cool film in which subterranean creatures survive by contorting into a shape resembling an overcoat-wearing human.
This look has a crustacean feeling, which is strengthened by the paint scheme. This side also looks like he's praying, or maybe reciting the pledge of allegiance?
More after the jump:

GUUMON x BLObPUS x Lulubell "Toxic Pink" Daigomi

Welcome to the third post in our Leap Year quadruple header.

Tomorrow (March 1) at high noon PST (GMT - 8 hrs), Lulubell Toy Bodega will be releasing a super-limited BLObPUS x GUUMON x Lulubell collab.

For the release, Kaji-san (BLObPUS) painted 10 GUUMON Daigomi's. Each one is signed on the foot. The figures are expected to be priced under $200.

This is a collab in the real spirit of the word, as the figure features a signature BLObPUS paint scheme (with a splash of the classic Hawaii palette) on pink vinyl, one of Lulubell's signature colors.

Here's another look at the figure:

Background story for Miles Nielsen's Shishi

In honor of leap year, I'll be posting 4 times today. This is the second post, which is also quite unique as there are no images! ^_^

Recently I've written about Munktitki's Miles Nielsen's upcoming ceramic figure Shishi. You can find those reports here and here. The figure will be released tomorrow at a show featuring Miles' work at Grasshut.

Miles is going all out with these figures, including coming up with an extensive backstory which brings together all his clay creations. Each Shishi will come with the full story in a mini-booklet. Here's the synopsis:

"A once thriving and prosperous town, now lays in the grip of a mutated and deformed madman. With his minions of Ikakumora and shadowy, skulking horrors, he has reduced the towns folk into a huddled, scared mass, afraid to even venture forth from their homes.

The mad man, a once prominent and rising star in the field of advanced genetics, through a horrible mishap in his lab has become grotesquely deformed. Through the mutation brought on by his own hand, his D.N.A was fused with that of his test animals, aggressive and cannibalistic squid. With this mutation, he discovers that he has the power to control with his mind, his malformed progeny. Using his mastery of genetics, he built an army of rabidly aggressive spider and squid hybrids, among other horrors. Mindless and terrible, these "spider squid" are controlled by more willful and evil, larger minions. Returning to the town of his youth, the madman, in his underground liar, sets out to wreak the twisted vengeance that his madness demands of him.

Two brothers, with a rich family tradition as the keepers of the foo relics, must brave the lurking terror and go to the temple on the edge of town where the foo statues reside, and perform the ritual that will resurrect the mighty foo from their stony slumber. The foo, once the towns pride and protectors now are nothing but a distant memory for the towns folk, except in the hearts of two brave youngsters.

The towns only hope now rests heavily on the shoulders of two small boys and their legacy.

After braving life and limb, the two brothers perform the ritual that sets in motion the resurrection of the mighty foo guardians. At the moment of their triumph, after the first foo has been awakened, the spider squid and their foul controlling minion attack, and mortally wound the remaining foo, who is still encased in its stone prison. In an act of mercy and preservation, the first foo fuses and joins with its wounded counterpart, thus saving its life. Through this, the foo, separately powerful, are now enjoined and infinitely more powerful as one, two headed foo guardian.

Thus begins our tale....."

Blobpus x MVH GID Enma 1/1 custom chase revealed

Many Blobpus toy releases are sold blind bagged. That means there's a 1/1 custom figure inside one of those bags.

Recently the GID Blobpus x MVH GID Enmas started shipping. (Click here for a look at that figure next to the first release.)

Lucky collector J.ME (check out his awesome blog here) received a 1/1 GID Blobpus and was kind enough to send us a photo:
For comparison, here's the standard version:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Video interview with Gundam manga artist Hiro Sono

I recently discovered Gaijin Channel, a site which posts reports + videos about different aspects of life in Japan. One of the sections is "Artists' Spotlight," which features video interviews with artists, directors, and other creative types.

Some of the people they cover speak English, and for those who don't, there are subtitles. Here's one especially good piece, giving an inside look at the life and work of Gundam manga artist Hiro Sono.

There are a lot of other cool videos and reports on the site. Definitely worth bookmarking. I've added a perma-link to the KK link list on the left.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blobpus x MVH Enma Ollie side by side

Now that the GID Enmas are shipping, I thought it would be nice to take a side by side look at the first two Enma production releases.
I think the colors on both releases are quite a bit different, though they both have the signature Blobpus look.

 More after the jump:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jungle toy store visit

Jungle is one of Osaka's largest toy shops. On its two floors, it covers quite a few popular toy lines, including Transformers, Saint Seiya, Ultraman, Kamen Rider, etc. There are also new and vintage diecast figures, as well as some sofubi, though the indy sofubi selection is a lot smaller than in previous years.

Important note: Jungle WILL ship overseas.

The store is located in Nipponbashi Osaka's equivalent of Akihabara. It's near Astro Zombies and Hiro Gangu.

Let's start with the store details:

Address: 〒556-0005 大阪府大阪市浪速区日本橋3-4-16
English Address: 3-4-16 Nipponbashi, Naniwaku, Osaka  556-0005, Japan
Tel: 06-6636-7444
Fax: 06-6636-7449
Hours: Mon-Fri 12:00-8:00, Sat-Sun + holidays 11:00-8:00. Closed Wednesdays.
Map: Click here for a pinpoint map to the shop.
Contact e-mail:

Now let's head inside for some store pics:

 More after the jump:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Doki Doki Osaka Sofubi Exposition!

Whereas Tokyo gets most of the indy toy attention, other parts of Japan are also home to quite a few toy makers and more than a few excellent shops. A ton of makers, including Ilu Ilu, Popsoda, Refreshment Toys, Dr Strange Toys, Uky Daydreamer, Nerd One, and Rampage Toys (Hi Jon!) are among the many who live in Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, and other parts of Japan.

In years past, we've seen some shows held in other cities. One I covered some years back was the Kobe Hobby Complex. But in recent years, a lot of that has dried up, and some shows (including, to be fair, a number in Tokyo) have completely disappeared.

Well now, the Kansai region is back on its feet and ready to put on one hell of a toy show next month. The Doki Doki Osaka Sofubi Exposition, which will be held on March 20, will feature the work of more than 20 toy makers from Japan and beyond. The list includes Yamomark, Blobpus, Max Toy, Ilu Ilu, Elegab, and many more.

Click here to visit the official blog of the event. Here are some pics from that blog showing some of what's in store for the show:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Medicom sofubi bonanza!

Medicom has released pics, prices, and ordering info for a grip of new sofubi exclusives. The good news for fans around the world is international shipping is available for all of them!

First there's Josh Herbolsheimer's Earth Wolf:

Sold as a pre-order for 9450 yen, with the ordering window open until March 31. Click here for ordering info

Next up we have the debut painted releases of MVH's Death Sludge Demon:

These are 9000 yen each and will likely be sold lottery style since orders are sure to far outweigh supply. The ordering window is open through March 10. Click here for ordering info.

More after the jump:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Grody Shogun figures

Grody Shogun takes us deeper into the very deep waters of Japanese culture with a new series of round figures. Just as Oji-san and Karakuri were inspired by elements of Japanese history and folklore, so are these new, as yet unnamed creations.

First, here are a look at some of the sculpts:
One of the sources of inspiration was the kokeshi (小芥子), a traditional Japanese doll made of wood, with a round head and no arms or legs. Here are some examples:

Another point of departure was the Jizo (地蔵) or Jizō Bosatsu (Jizo Bodhisattva), a very popular Japanese deity often represented as a stone idol. The statues are found everywhere in Japan, often draped in red clothing and hats. Here are some:
Luke created his figures starting with a long indented slab of Fondo (a sculpting material):
The resulting elements are stackable like so:
No word yet on when we'll see the first of these in sofubi. Hopefully soon. I think these would be very cool surrounding a clan of Ojis and En-men.

EC Mall exclusive Shikaruna Kappa

EC Mall (ECモール) has a gorgeous Shikaruna Kappa for sale, at a great price of 6800 yen. I believe the release is connected to Hyper Hobby. Pics of the figure:

Click here to go to the sale page.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More about Miles Nielsen's Shishi ceramic kaiju figure

The other day, I wrote about Shishi, Miles Nielsen's newest ceramic kaiju figure. To follow up on that report, here are pics that Miles sent over of some gorgeous painted figures:

I love the way the paint work evokes elements of both traditional kaiju spray and ceramic glazing techniques.

More after the jump:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Osaka nighttime light display

I'm not really in a toy posting mood, so here's a set of photos from the yearly Osaka nighttime light display, which runs along Midosuji Dori, one of the city's main thoroughfares. It's really lovely and much more fun and dynamic than the holiday light show in Harajuku.

 More pretty pictures after the jump:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Miles Nielsen ceramic kaiju: Shishi

Miles Nielsen of Munktiki is back in the mix - the clay mix, that is - with an amazing new figure: Shishi. You might remember a few months back when Miles made a huge entrance into the world of kaiju figures with two releases: Kappa and Ikamura. Click here and here to read more about those figures.

In his next foray into the world of ceramic toys, Miles dives deep in with a spectacular two headed figure named Shishi. The two works on so many levels. In particular, I love the head sculpt, as it reminds me of the stone lions in front of Chinese restaurants, shops, etc. (Incidentally, I'm not sure if it's related to the figure's name, but 石獅 (shi shi) is how you say "stone lion" in Chinese. Well, 石獅子 (shi shi zi), but close enough. To further digress, one of the classic tongue twisting tone busters is 四十石獅子 (sishisi zhi shi shi zi).There's another about a mother riding a horse, but I'll quit while I'm ahead.) 

In terms of the figure's overall composition and texture, the heads juxtapose perfectly with the flat smooth body accentuated by sculpted fur. Bravo.
Shishi is made up of SEVEN molds comprising more than a dozen pieces:

- 2 heads (each being 5 pieces)
- 1 body (3 pieces)
- 2 arms (4 pieces each)
- Ear gang mold (Gang mold meaning there are multiple items in one mold.) ( 2 pieces)
- Tail gang mold (2 pieces)

The figure also comes with a set of ceramic twin boys, which make up the final mold comprising four pieces.

Here's a pic of a couple of some Shishis and twins:

Next we have the figure's backstory, which fits in with stories for Miles' other figures. In fact, each figure will come with a little book that includes its full story. Here's a synopsis, in Miles' own words:

"The spider squid (Ikakumora) is tied into the story as well. They are the minion of the yet to be released villain.... Takeshi aka Takoshi (octopus death). Shishi is the savior accompanied by twin brothers whom are the only ones who can summon him. Shishi and his counterpart were summoned by the twin schoolboys. During the initial summons Shishi’s partner was attacked and mortally wounded. The only way to save him was for Shishi to combine with him. Hence him being Siamese."

Finally, here are some behind the scenes mold + proto shots (which you all know I LOVE to post):

Shishi will be released at a show at Bwana Spoons' Grasshut shop in March. I can't wait to see how they turn out painted!
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