Sunday, September 30, 2012

Upcoming US Toys + Cometdebris Super Festival 60 releases

New figures scheduled to be released at next week's Super Festival:

US Toys:
Baltan 2650 yen

Baltan 2500 yen
Cometdebris:
Kappa Shonen: 5000 Yen. Unpainted version: 4500 Yen.

Sametan: 3500 Yen.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Peko-chan Pacifies Terrified Toddler

Tokyo station is in the middle of a huge restoration. New and renovated stores are coming online alongside well-established venues.

On cold and rainy days, weekends, holidays, and evenings, mega stations like Tokyo are destonations in their own right. There are hundreds of stores and restaurants, including smaller stores, stalls, and pop up shops. It's easy to while away an afternoon window shopping, bargain hunting, and snacking.

This weekend, at the Milky stall in one of the sprawling station's department stores, Peko-chan was on hand to greet guests.
 Mostly, she posed for photos, waved, and brought cheer to the spending masses.
But one toddler screamed bloody murder at the sight of the costumed sweet peddler. You can't blame her - 99.9% of humans you see are properly proportioned, Then, on an otherwise innocuous Saturday afternoon, as you're rolling along in your baby stroller, happy as you please, you see this gigantic, plush proto-human with a monstrous head.
 What do do??? Don't hate a bulbous mascot. I'm really sweet and caramely on the inside!
To the rescue comes Peko-chan's handler. He proffers something small and tasty.
Peace offering! (Note the handler pantomiming something. "It gives the candy to the child." ??? I wasn't close enough to overhear.)
Hooray! Customers are cajoled, momma and baby move along, and balance is restored to the station. Carry on, my caramelized Tokyoites!

Toy Field

A few weeks ago, I put up some pics of plush figures by Toy Field sold at the Loft Artist Selection Exhibition. I went back to the department store the other day, snapped a few more pics of the Toy Field set up, and spotted some interesting details and surprises:
This is a Usagi Long Yar

These versions are signed on the feet.
Short intro to Usagi Long Yar. The price (43,000 yen) makes me think they could be hand crafted.

 More after the jump:

Friday, September 28, 2012

Plaseebo customs for upcoming show

Here's a preview of several of the customs which Bob Conge (Plaseebo) will be releasing at the upcoming Recent Works show.

Skullo slug:
This version of the slug has a larger body. Also, the arms are made of translucent, rotocast resin.

Pic with LED on.
 Alien Night Gamer:

LED on
 Zombie Night Gamer:

Check out the LED brain!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

RESTORE DTA exclusive Debris Japan

As part of next month's Designer Toy Awards festivities, RESTORE is releasing a new version of their Debris Japan figure, which was nominated for Best Sofubi Figure. Congratulations on the nomination, Abe-san!

This extraordinary release, dubbed the "Debris Japan SFB "Sol" DTA Exclusive" is on GID base vinyl, with a scintillating "cracked paint" application. The figure is really stunning both in standard light and glow mode.

The paper inscription covering the figure's face means "reincarnation" in Japanese. Plus, all the figures, which are slotted to retail at $110 each, will have slightly different paint apps, making each one unique.

The Designer Toy Awards, which Kaiju Korner was proud to be nominated for in the Best Blog category - thanks so much to everyone who voted for us! - will be announced at a ceremony on October 13 at:

Providence NYC
311 West 57th Street (between 8th and 9th Ave)
New York City 10019

The event starts at 8:00 PM. Good luck to all the nominees! :O)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New from Star Case: Super limited GID set

Next month, Star Case will be releasing a very limited number of GID Garumaya + Dester Commando sets. These sets were originally released in uber tiny quantities at the recent Star Wars celebration in Orlando.
 
Star Case knows fans have been clamoring for the sets, so they're going to do a very small release (exact numbers not revealed, but Mr. Star Case emphasized to me that the quantity is really small).
The figures are sold together as a packaged bundle.

Vader rocking the red cape VC style! Now if I could only stumble upon a stash of VC Jawas....MOC please.
 The sale will be held lottery style, with the winners having the chance to purchase a set.
 Dester Commando comes with two extra heads.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New from US Toys: New Ultraman figures

On 9/25, Tsuburaya will be releasing a number of limited Ultraman figures from US Toys. The figures will be available on the Tsuburaya shop only.

Here's a look at all four releases, which range in size from 80-100 mm. They'll be priced at 2500 yen each:




Sunday, September 23, 2012

New GUUMON figure: Bangagon + DirtyBit

GUUMON Vinyl Labs is hard at work on a new edition to their sofubi family: Bangagon. I should say new editions, as Bangagon, a studly fellow standing strong at 9.5" (and who will fit in very nicely with other members of the GUUMON sofubi enclave) comes with a companion figure: DirtyBit. Don't you just love that name - sounds like something from a Little Rascals movie.

But DirtyBit is no ordinary sidekick. He's no pansy or toady. Hell no! The clam kaiju is used as a weapon by Bangagon, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two. Not sure what DirtyBit gets from the arrangement - first dibs on their victims' fleshy parts?

Here are a couple of tantalizing pics of the figures in development.


No word yet on when the debut versions will be released, but le mot dans la rue is that they'll be sold in Japan. Plus, we've heard that the dynamic outfit from beautiful New England has other new creations in the works. Looking forward to seeing those too.

Ganbatte GUUMON!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

KK Vintage: Space-themed tin toys

Tin toys are an important part of Japan's toy making legacy. I'll be the first to admit I'm not an expert in the area, but I sometimes see them on my wanderings, and they always catch my attention, especially the space-themed ones. I love the way they capture the boxy look of 50s-60s sci-fi films and TV shows. Plus you've got classic play features like toys that walk, sparkling jets and guns, and even some remote controlled figures.
 
There are some common themes across many of these figures, like clear domes. It's a feature which wound its way for decades through sci fi, live action, and indie toys.
 
More than a few of today's indie sofubi makers have been heavily influenced by Takara's Henshin Cyborg and Microman lines from the 1970s. And if you go back a step further, you can trace several direct lines from those toys to earlier tin toys.

Here's a look at a selection of space-themed tin toys from a shop in Tokyo. I'll just let the pics speak for themselves:
 More after the jump:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Monkeynaut by the Galaxy Monkeys - prototype sculpt

Here are pics of a prototype sculpt of an upcoming sofubi figure by Galaxy Monkeys. (Twitters: @Eduardo_is_me + @JennaRambles) The figure, called Monkeynaut, stands at about 6.5" tall.
Monkeynaut will have four parts and will be articulated at the arms and hip.
Monkeynaut will retail for around $65-$75. The debut releases are slated for November 3 at Designer Con. They'll include a short run of painted figures and a small number of black and GID blanks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Show Preview: Bob Conge's Recent Works

It seem nearly every time we see new works by Bob Conge (Plaseebo), he's on a new creative track: working with new sculpts, materials, and electronics. Fans of Bob's work will be happy to hear he's got a new show coming up.

Simply called Recent Works, the show will be held at Phillips Fine Art and Frame in Rochester New York, from September 22 to October 20. The site's address is 248 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604-2640.

The opening reception will be on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 1-5 PM.

Here's a look at some of what will be released at the show:
And some thoughts on the themes of the show in Bob's own words:

"THE TOY AS ART” would be a befit­ting phrase to describe the arena my recent work inhab­its. These are pieces inspired by the vivid mem­o­ries of a fer­vent belief in the likes of Santa and Franken­stein, the tragic loss of that vibrant real­ity and on occa­sion my revul­sion with the real­ity of today. My pieces find expres­sion in the form of small sculp­tural fig­ures in vinyl or resin and large folio lim­ited edi­tion prints."

Shikaruna Product Catalogue

Not too long ago, Shikaruna released a beautiful catalogue (an A4 sized, 8 page stapled brochure) showing its different toy lines. This is the sort of thing we've been lacking for a long time. Real Head released a mook some years back which was very nicely made. And there was a Super7 mook 4-5 years ago with pics of a few toy lines.

But in recent years, there haven't been too many examples of finely printed indie toy catalogues or mooks. Of course cost is one factor. Another is the Internet. (Why pay to print when the Net is free, the argument goes.) But I'd say (and I'll talk about this more in a future post) that the proliferation of smart phones and a kind of blase settling in of the Net as an everyday thing has brought down the quality level of the content you see online.

There are exceptions, like the gorgeous, almost archival quality of photos taken (and posted) by Blobpus, Elegab, MVH, and others on their sites and blogs. And that's awesome. But when you can see many of a toy maker's lines and figures in one place, side by side - printed and easy to flip through - it adds a level of quality, convenience, and even an added measure of import.

Preramble done, and the case for print being made, I realize the Shikaruna catalogue probably isn't widely available outside of Japan. So I wanted to share pics with everyone. And thus in one fell swoop I digitize printed material, defeat my own argument, and democratize the catalogue so everyone can see it. I'm sorry, don't mention it.
(Click on each image to see the full size.)
 More after the jump:

Monday, September 17, 2012

KK Reviews: Mimobots

 
Mimobots, the flagship goods made by Mimoco, are a perfect blend of designer toys and consumer electronics. I've been a big fan of these super fun removable USB flash drives for years, and I'm thrilled to have a chance to review several of the latest bots here.

For this shoot, I wanted to do something special. One of the common features of Japanese life is the presence of stone statues. You can find stone cats, squirrels, frogs, and other animals in front of houses and stores - on walls, pedestals, landings, and windowsills. Though inanimate, these still objects represent the animus (spirit) present in all things.
Japanese folklore is full of tales of yokai - spirit animals like kappa and tanuki usually out of sight, but still coexisting with the rest of us. Mimobots themselves are often based on characters from cartoons or comics, or based on designs from artists, or even miniature representations of well-known people. As such, the object is representative of something beyond its immediate form. And, based on the data you add to the drive, it can possess an infinite variety of content - your songs, your photos, your files.
So I thought it would be fitting to shoot the Mimobots with some everyday, and some very famous, streetside statues. Along the way, I'll talk about different aspects of the drives.

Let's start with a Bruce Lee Mimobot:
Bruce Lee is part of the Legends series, which also includes Albert Einstein Mimobots. On the well-designed packaging, you can see a sticker indicating this is an 8GB flash drive. You can buy Mimobots in a range of sizes, as small as 4GB and as large as 64GB.

Here's Bruce in front of a stone creature perched innocuously in front of a house. Like other Mimobots, Bruce stands at 2 3/8" (60 mm) tall. The size is perfect for tossing in your bag or carrying in your pocket.
 More after the jump:
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