Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Furoku - 付録 Part 5: Modern Furoku

In past articles, I've written about the history of furoku, furoku in girls' magazines, a close-up look at furoku manga, and a super close-up on a Henshin Ninja Arashi manga given away with a magazine. Now I'd like to take a look at modern furoku.
Freebies continue to be widely given away with all sorts of magazines, and the bundled gifts have become diverse and extravagant over the years. I've even read that women's magazines are using the tactic of giveaways as a way to boost plummeting sales.
Clearly the strategy has traction, as you're seeing everything from anime to sports card to fashion mags wrapped in shrink wrap with one or more alluring prizes.
Some bookstores even have display areas filled with samples of what you can get in new publications.

More after the jump:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

New York Comic Con 2014: Indie Toys

Welcome to Kaiju Korner's NYCC 2014 indie toys report. Once again, most of the indie toy booths were in the corner of the convention center called The Block. That made it nice and compact, and you could jump from booth to booth easily.
One trend this year was booth sharing. Though the number of booths selling indie toys wasn't large, many booths featured toys by more than one maker, so the total number of toy makers represented was pretty decent. This year, though, I noticed the absence of Japanese toy makers. Some of their toys were present (especially at the Kaiju Monster, Lulubell, and Clutter booths), but unlike with previous years, I didn't see any makers manning the booths.

However, there were quite a lot of vinyl, resin, and plush toys by Western makers who were there in person. Some, including Joe Merrill (Splurrt) and James Groman, manned different booths at set times to release their toys.

Here are pics of the indie toy booths, alphabetized by booth name:

481 Universe

 More after the jump:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Interview with James Groman at New York Comic Con 2014

At NYCC 2014, I had a chance to interview James Groman - long-time toy designer and creator of Rotten Rex and other vinyl toys - at the Lulubell booth.

James doing an illustration at the Lulubell booth

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hyperstoic Toy and Print Show with Pushead, Horkey, Usugrow, Benscoter, Lango, Holt

New Pushead toy debuting at Hyperstoic
Yesterday in New York at Toy Tokyo Underground, the Hyperstoic event featured works by Pushead, Aaron Horkey, Usugrow, Benscoter, Lango, and Brandon Holt. There were new toy and print releases, and the artists were on hand. Event pics:

One of several exceptional display only Rebel Captains
 More after the jump:

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Batman slot machine

Pachinko parlors are ubiquitous in Japan. They're the one thing you're nearly guaranteed to see near a large train station. These extremely loud places have quite a variety of machines, blending traditional pachinko with slot functions, video, interactive elements, and so on. Previously I've written about the intersection of pachinko machines are pop culture.

The machines I've seen advertised have mostly featured crossovers with Japanese properties like Kamen Rider, Evangelion, pro wrestling, AKB 48, etc. Recently I saw a poster for something that caught my eye - a Batman machine. It's not surprising that out of the thousands of candidates for Western licensed properties, Batman was chosen. There are a good number of fans in Japan, which has a 50-year-plus history of producing some really interesting Batman goods.

Here's a look at a poster with Batman and a bunch of other machines:
 More after the jump:
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