Friday, August 31, 2007

Itokin Park

Itokin Park link added to my list of links.

Ito-san does great handmade and handpainted resin and vinyl work.

Check it out sometime!

2007 Summer Wonderfes Alien Xam

This cool version of everyone's favorite Max Toy Co. villain was sold at this month's Wonder Festival at the Miracle Toys booth. Alien Xam is GID, with grey, silver, and metallic green spray.

Only 10 of these were made. Each one was hand painted by Mark Nagata - Max Toys' owner, designer, and (rumor has it) mean taco artist.

The figure came with a numbered card with a little Xam drawing on it. Tres cool.

More shots:

Hanging with some Max Toy compadres:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cronic Special Focus #1: Black Zyurai Asu

This is the first Cronic Special Focus. The idea is to look at several versions of a figure across different styles, or to look at a style across different figures. I think it's an interesting way to highlight the many styles Koiwa-san works in.

In this focus, all the figures are black based Zyurai Asu's. (As always, click on each pic to see its full size.)

The first figure is the unpainted "prototype" Zyurai Asu. It's one of the "premier" (first versions) of the figure, released at the 2005 Wonder Festival. As Zyurai Asu was the first Cronic character, that makes this version one of the first Cronic figures ever made.

The next figure, released at the 2005 Summer Wonder Festival, is one of the first (possibly the first, actually) sprayed Cronic figures. This version is simply amazing, with purple and silver judiciously sprayed in different areas, allowing the black base to really pop, with the spray perfectly complementing the base color.

Next is a Cronic pinstripe figure. Koiwa-san started pinstriping figures in 2005. It was one of the first styles he worked in. Over time, the amount of striping and complexity increased. This figure, released at the 2007 Winter Wonder Festival, is one of the last pinstripes we've seen. It's probably the most complex pinstripe design used on any of his figures. The gold paint on the black base, with gold eyes and silver teeth, is really striking.

Finally, we have a "Hand Painted" figure. Koiwa-san started creating hand paints in late 2006 and only made a few of each of his characters. Because they took so long, he made less than 10 of each version. This hand paint has a silvery paint mix hand brushed onto the black base.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Cronic Spotlight #9: 2007 Summer Wonder Festival Nougaki

I just can't stop photographing Nougaki!! This spectacular version was released exactly 2 weeks ago at the 2007 Summer Wonder Festival at the Tokyo Big Site. The figure has an iradescent, velvety feeling.

It looks like special metalic paints were used, as the figure gives off different shades of burgundy, purple, and silver, depending on the viewing angle. I've tried to shoot the figure from many angles to show what I mean.

(Remember to click on each photo for larger pics.)

Where's Nougaki?

Multiple angles:

Close ups:

Nougaki knows good food!

Nougaki knows good reading!

Nougaki knows lions!

"2007 Last Summer" Cronic figures

Yesterday, Koiwa-san sold cool new versions of Dorogami and Nougaki through his website. The Dorogami looks like it would go great with the 2007 SDCC clear rainbow colored Nougaki!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cronic Spotlight #8: Cronic X Nerd One Trifecta

One of the most exciting things from Cronic toys this year has been the Cronic X Nerd One collaborations.

Super customizer Nerd One has worked with Cronic toys for a long time. Last year, Nerd One made a cool resin head to go along with the Cronic 1st Anniversary set (which came with an unpainted yellow Zyurai Asu).

This year, the two friends have teamed up to create three spectacular sets. Each boxed set comes with a Nougaki figure (painted by Cronic) and a resin skullhead (handmade by Nerd One). The skullhead actually fits onto the Nougaki body!

This set "Grow in the Darkness" was released at at Feb 2007 Winter Wonderfestival, to mark Cronic's 2nd anniversary. The Nougaki is GID.

This set was released at SuperFestival 43 in July, 2007.

This is the most recent set, released at the August 2007 Summer Wonderfestival.

A shot of the Nougaki's.

The Skullheads

Each set came in specially made boxes and included a laminated card.

The back of the cards were numbered.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What's in a name? Meet the Doro's...

Both of these Cronic figures are melting menaces, but they're not smog monsters. These fellows rose up from the grime, not air pollution. How do we know? The secret's in their names.

Both have names based on "doro," the Japanese word for "mud".

The fellow on the left, Dorome, has a name based on the words "doro" (mud) + "me" (eye). Call him Mud Eye.

The fellow on the right, Dorogami, is based on "doro" (mud) and "gami" (god). So, he's the Mud God.

So far, so good. The Romaji of the two characters ("Dorome" and "Dorogami") is an exact match. The same goes for the Katakana ("ドロメ" and "ドロガミ").

The Kanji, however, is a bit trickier. Koiwa-san enjoys plays on words, so the characters he choses for his monsters' names sometimes have the same sounds but different meanings. Dorome is "怒魯眼" and Dorogami is "怒鷺我魅". Dorome does preserve the traditional character for "eye" (眼) at the end of his name. And, the second character in his name has a radical related to fish.

Koiwa-san certainly enjoys working with classical kanji (characters). Check out the "chop" on the bottom of Dorogami!
(thanks to my good buddy for the Japanese lesson over beer and sours. ;-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A few more pics from Japan...

Well, it was quite a 10 day trip! Great seeing so many friends, attending some cool events, and wandering through Tokyo and Osaka.

Here are a few final shots from the trip:

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