Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Furoku - 付録 Part 3: Furoku Manga - A Closer Look

In this segment of my continuing series on furoku, I'd like to take a closer look at several vintage manga furoku. Let's start with a Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy) manga. It's one of the most widely collected of all furoku series.
The mange is 48 pages long and measures 11.5 cm x 17 cm (4.5" x 6.7").

Typically these manga were just one color - in this case, purple.
 More after the jump:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hot Dog Toyz - Store with new Japanese toys in Taipei, Taiwan

Here's a video I shot of a good store in Taipei.

Store details:

Address: 106台北市忠孝東路四段147巷10號2樓
Tel: 02-2741-4899

Friday, May 16, 2014

Furoku - 付録 Part 2: Girls' Magazines

In my previous post, I talked about the history of furoku, with a focus on boys' magazines. Over the decades, Japan has also had a rich heritage of girls' magazines. They have also gifted lucky readers with furoku, yet I've discovered some interesting differences between the way boys' and girls' magazines promoted furoku as well as the types of giveaways handed out.

Let's take a look at some of the main monthly periodicals for girls.

Shojo (Young Girl)
This December 1955 issue of Shojo came with two furoku. Notice how the focus of the cover design is on the illustration, and the list of furoku (on the left) is subtle and downplayed. In boys' magazines, the furuko stood out on the page and seemed to be a main selling point.
Besides the design, another important difference between boys' and girls' furoku was the type of freebies included. Many girls' magazines came with manga, so no difference there. But whereas boys' mags also handed out games, toys, and other similar goodies, girls' mags focused on other types of gifts, like stationery sets, bromide cards, planners, and the like.

The above issue of Shojo included a Christmas letter set (as far back as the 1950s, Christmas-related gifts were heavily promoted in Japanese kids' magazines). The second gift was a 53 card set of bromide playing cards. Not bad!

Shojo Club (Young Girls' Club)
November 1961. Now that's what I call wearing your fall colors!
Click to read the rest of the story:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Furoku - 付録 Part 1: History

The world of Japanese pop culture is made up of many types of wonderful things, some of which are familiar to collectors everywhere. Categories like tin toys, chogokin, sofubi, manga, anime cells, and the like are known even to casual collectors. But there's another category of item that predates just about all of these: furoku (付録).

The name roughly translates to "supplement," as in a manga that continues a story that started elsewhere. But the term can refer to any type of freebie given out with a magazine. And that's where our story begins.
early furoku
Furoku have been traced back to 1927, or the second year of the Showa era. Back then, you could start to see the growth of modern Japanese pop culture with monthly magazines like Shonen. Interestingly, just three years later in 1930, Golden Bat - sometimes called Japan's first superhero - debuted in kamishibai shows. Anyway, with a magazine like Shonen, you'd get one or more freebies bundled with the main publication.
A rare example of an unused magazine + furoku set. Everything was bound together.
Click to read the rest of the story:

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Art of Godzilla - Yuji Kaida Exhibition + Signing 開田裕治 原画展

In Ginza, Cheepa's Gallery has an ongoing exhibition of the works of fantasy and kaiju artist extraordinaire Yuji Kaida ( 開田裕治). The show is entitled Art of Godzilla: Kaida Yuji Original Exhibition. On display are dozens of works by Kaida-san, a commercial artist who has created images for books, magazines, and comics (including Dark Horse's Gamera), as well as packaging artwork for video games such as Sega's Snatcher and Daimakaimura - aka Ghouls 'n Ghosts. He has also provided the packaging artwork for numerous toy lines, including Zoids, Gundam, Macross, and of course Godzilla.

The show wraps on May 6, so to put a cap on the festivities, the gallery hosted Kaida-san for a signing session. The core of the kaiju-themed exhibition is a display of fantastic works by Kaida-san of Godzilla, Mothra, Gigan, and others. There's also a shop selling exclusive toy releases by Marusan (including a lovely blank GID 450 series Godzilla), in addition to post cards, cloth prints, and a new book featuring Kaida-san's art.

Photography was largely restricted, but I was able to take some shots.
Poster advertising Kaida-san's new book.

Two of the post card sets for sale.
 More after the jump:

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mandarake Book + Toy Expo #7 - まんだらけ 資料性博覧会07

Today in Nakano, Mandarake put on an event combining fan fiction, art, and books along with indie toys. There were about a dozen toy booths including these makers:


New figure
 More after the jump:
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