Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dream Rockets show at One Up Akiba

Dream Rockets customs for sale at One Up Akiba:
 More after the jump:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Yufuin is a Japanese resort town with a capital "R." Nestled in the mountains of eastern Kyushu, Yufuin's economy seems to be entirely built around the onsen (hot springs) which flow in abundance up from the ground, through networks of pipes, and into countless inns, hotels, and public baths.

A while back I wrote about another onsen town: Gero. The difference between the two seems to me as clear as a mountain spring. Whereas Gero is well known to Japanese lovers of onsen, Yufuin (while also famous) seems to cater to the foreign crowd. That's not suprising, as Kyushu is very close to Korea. And you'll likely hear as much Korean in the streets as Japanese, as visitors from the neighboring country pump cash into the economy.

One major advantage of Yufuin is the availability of inns that let you rent private onsen rooms by the hour at reasonable rates. Personally, I prefer this type of setup over public baths.

Let's take a stroll through Yufuin and check out some of the sights and attractions.
Hot springs are literally everywhere. This is a free foot soaking spring behind a souvenir/ice cream store. It's quite nice taking in a mixed blueberry/vanilla cone while your legs turn red in the steaming waters.
The springs are so abundant that some shops use the water for display fountains!
Yufuin's orientation
The red line on the map marks the main sightseeing stretch, which goes from Yufuin station to Lake Kinrinko.
Fear not for your safety, as there is a Self-Defense Force garrison nearby! I spotted some soldiers in a supermarket. They were very friendly.
Most people walk the 20 minutes from the station to the lake, but others prefer to be man hauled.
Shopping and eating...

There are plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants in the town.
More after the man jump:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Amazing vintage tin toy motorcycles

Nakano Mandarake has an incredible selection of vintage tin toy motorcycles for sale. They're all laid out in the first floor Mandarake in Broadway, right next to the mall entrance. It's not really a shop - more like a wall with a register set up next to it. But what a wall it is! The display rotates frequently, so I can imagine this one will be down shortly. I'm glad I was able to spot this museum quality selection while it was up.

 More pics after the jump:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wonder Festival 2013 (Winter) / ワンダーフェスティバル 2013[冬] Big Company Toy Displays

In what has fast become a Wonder Festival tradition since the show's move to Chiba, one of the aircraft hanger sized sections is largely devoted to exhibitions by larger companies like Kotobukiya, Revoltech, and the Good Smile Company. It's also the hanger with live concerts (photos strictly prohibited), but I haven't got my idol dance moves down yet, so I don't spend much time in that corner.

The displays are a major draw, making it tough to get good photos unless you want to spend hours in the section jostling for position. KK's focus of course is on indie toys, but I did manage to squeeze in a few minutes running from pavilion to pavilion to check out the figures and snap some pics.

Capsule Q Museum:

 Kotobukiya, Revoltech, Fewture Models, and more after the jump:

Wonder Festival 2013 (Winter) / ワンダーフェスティバル 2013[冬] Garage kits and other toys

More toys from WF, including garage kits, wood toys, and more.

Ryu Oyama:


More after the jump:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Coo Coo for Keshi?

We pause our WF coverage with this pic of keshi gone wild.

Just don't call these guys little rubber toys. With price tags like that, they come with Sky Tower sized Napoleonic complexes. Oi vey!

Please fill the comments box with knowledge about these Rubber Richie Riches and why they are so pricey.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wonder Festival 2013 (Winter) / ワンダーフェスティバル 2013[冬] Interview with Todd Robertson

Here, I talk with Todd Robertson about his upcoming sofubi toy, customs he did for WF, and other mecha virus news.

Here are stills of the figures referenced in the video:

Click here for my resin Ammonaito review.
Click here for my visit to Todd and Will Long's old studio.
Click here for an interview I did with Todd and Will Long in 2012.

Full guide to Kaiju Korner's Winter Wonder Festival 2013 coverage:

Indie toys: Click here
Interview with Mark Nagata: Click here
Interview with Todd Robertson: Click here
Garage kits and other toys: Click here
Big company toy displays: Click here
Other sights: Click here

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wonder Festival 2013 (Winter) / ワンダーフェスティバル 2013[冬] Interview with Mark Nagata

Here, I talk with Mark Nagata of Max Toy Co. about new toys and prototypes for upcoming releases.

Here are stills of the Max Toy protos referenced in the video:
Make sure to click on the image to see the full image size and the phenomenal sculpting detail.

 More after the jump:

Wonder Festival 2013 (Winter) / ワンダーフェスティバル 2013[冬] Indie Toys

Indie toys at the 2013 Winter Wonder Festival, listed by maker, alphabetically:

Angel Abby:


Bear Model and Dragon Boy:

Two hundred photos after the jump:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hints and Spices (and friends) show in Harajuku

For two days at the Design Festa Gallery in Harajuku (in central Tokyo), Shane Haddy of Hints and Spices put together an exhibition of his new sofubi figures as well as toys made by people who've helped him learn the craft over the last two months. The full name of the event is the "Sofubi and character work study tour: Conclusion exhibition."

The show is the culmination of Shane's three-month adventure in Japan, during which he's designed, sculpted, and produced two new sofubi figures. Read all about it on his blog here.

Pics from the show, starting with Shane's work:

More after the jump:
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