Sunday, November 9, 2014

Design Festa 40: Indie Toys

Welcome to the Kaiju Korner indie toy report for Design Festa 40. As always, booths will be arranged alphabetically. That's to make it easier for you to find the pics from your favorite toy makers, and it creates a better reference for the future if people want to go back and see who did what at past shows.

One thing I am doing differently is expanding the spectrum by including makers that we don't normally focus on. I feel we tend to get too myopic when looking at indie toys - so 80-90% of the makers are the same at every show, with a couple of debut makers and infrequent exhibitors added for good measure. But that can create a sort of tunnel vision when what you see is too prescripted or limited. It can create a false sense that collectors should only be looking at a narrow range of "seal of approval" makers or toy materials.

So let's see if we can break apart or at least expand that model a bit. Recently I've noticed some fantastic work done with needle felt toys and other materials, so I'm going to work in some unfamiliar names this time. Let's see how it goes.

Black Rabbit

 120 pics after the jump:

Most figures on the Blobpus table were customs.

Upcoming Blobpus x Dol Roffo figure

Accessory made by Kobeni-san (more about these accessories a bit below).

Bona Bobo
Here's a new maker on our radar. I love seeing toys with connections to other types of art.

Funky plush figures

Chima Group

Jungle is a big toy shop in Osaka. They also produce and sell indie toys. I visited their factory a while back and filmed a video on their set up. You can watch it on the Kaiju Korner YouTube channel.

Resin figures

I love seeing beautiful paint jobs like this on this little guy. (But I miss the masks!)

New figure - Beta

All four legs rotate so Beta can have a more relaxed sitting posture - so cool!

This is a Sylvanian Families playset, used as a diorama backdrop. This maker (and others) really captured the spirit of Design Festa with these fun displays!

Another awesome display!

I believe this was one of Pogola's first showings.

Kamaty Moon
Here's another newcomer on our radar. Steampunk has reached Japan like a storm! That was another major trend at the show, and the Kamaty Moon booth, with their Steampunk style toys, got lots of love. The base material looks like ceramic, and there are tons of accessories made from other materials. Well done!

Right on cue, Marmit's booth had their very own Steampunk styled booth! They went all out, with lots of toys, accessories, and full on SP cosplay.

New Steampunk sofubi bird

This is also made of sofubi.

These are plastic.

Ah, but this IS the Marmit booth after all, and when opening time came, out came a big box of more traditional Marmit fare...


How cool is Marmit!
Max Toys and Pico Pico

Hello Kitty toys created by Mark Nagata for the 40th anniversary show. Word is there might be more of these coming, for sale outside of Japan.

Another interesting development at this string of booths - accessories for Negora and other toys - mostly made by Kobeni-san and sold as separate kits.

Here are a bunch of those kits.

Crowns for Negora
More Negora outfits.

Drums and other accessories

Morini is an incredibly talented needle felt maker. All I can say is WOW!

Check out the level of detail. Wish I had more pics. These toys start of strands of felt and take huge amounts of time, patience, and skill to craft at this level.
One Up

More figure accessories. Lots of fun!
All resin

Excellent articulation!


Another fun diorama

New figure by Splurrt on display. Not sure if the vinyl sample has been shown before, but anyway check it out!

The figure has a column accessory.



These are sofubi.

This fantastic needle felt maker once did 3D animation for the Star Wars: Clone Wars cartoons. He even has his own book on  needle felt. Check out the gigantic dinosaur!

Display of how felt figures are made.

And that's a wrap on the indie toys at Design Festa 40.

Head on back to Facebook or Twitter to like, share, retweet, or just to share your thoughts on what you see and what you like.

Thanks for reading!

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