Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ilanena X Tokyo Cultuart by Beams set on the shelves!

Ilanena's newest set of Dai Kaiju Card Monsters is now available exclusively through Tokyo Cultuart by Beams. The release made headline news on their site.

The set is up for sale in their online store.
When the set is ordered through Zozo, shipping within Japan is free! If you can find a contact e-mail on their site, you might be able to get them to ship overseas.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Osaka---> ---> ---> --->Taipei

Shinsaibashi --> Shin Osaka --> Tokyo ---> Umeda ---> Narita --> Taoyuan --> Taipei

That's today's plan. ;-)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Moon Claw Beast / 月爪獣

Here’s a look at the first two versions of Moon Claw Beast, (月爪獣) a new toy from Kansai based Dr. Strange Toys.

The unpainted black debut version was released last month at Superfestival 49. The black/red version was released this month. Both quickly sold out.
It’s a complex toy, with 6 parts. That gives it a ton of movable joints. So many parts were needed because of the sharp angles and pointed areas. That’s a common issue with sofubi toys. During the rotocast production process, bubbles and cracks can form if there are a lot of sharp angles and pointy bits. (This is especially the case with clear vinyl.) To solve these issues and avoid problems, Moon Claw Beast has a bunch of joints, which makes it even more cool, since it moves and feels like an old school 80’s toy.

The head part is especially nice. It’s curved, so when you turn it, the head croons upwards, giving the figure a lot of personality.

This is the first figure in a planned "Week of Kaiju" series of figures, as the character for moon (月) also stands for Monday. The next character, representing fire (火) and Tuesday, is scheduled for release early next year.

The Popsoda website is a good spot for release info on new versions of the toy.

US Toys Visit

Updated (with directions, shop info, a map, and a US Toys (collector run) blog link): November 16, 2010

The other day, I made my first trip to the US Toys store, which isn't too far from Osaka station. The shop has been open for 4 years, but US Toys (which makes awesome kaiju toys) has been around for 25 years.

First off, let me give you directions and info for the shop.

Address: 大阪府大阪市淀川区塚本2丁目25−23, Japan
Phone number: +81 6-6303-0016
Shop hours: 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM (closed Mondays)

The shop is located near Tsukamoto station. To get there, first, go to Osaka station. From there, you just go one stop on the JR Kobe Line or JR Takarazuka Line. The shop is a 3 minute walk from Tsukamoto station. Click here for a Google map of the exact location.

The moment you walk inside, your senses are floored by the sights and smells. US Toys is a clinical old school toy shop - jam packed with toys on shelves, floor space, nooks, crannies, and hanging from ceiling hooks. In the little alleys and passageways of the shop, there's literally no space for two people to stand side by side. If you want to pass each other, you've got to break out the semaphore flags to maneuver for space. ^_^

The Hand of John...
The store has a nice mix of old and new toys. Most of the stock is from the last 10-15 years or so, but there's also some nice vintage on the shelves.

And of course, there's also a great variety of toys made by US Toys.
I was *stoked* to find a couple of jems in this box of crystal goodness!!!
One of the back nooks of the shop also has a beautiful display of (long sold out) US Toys figures.
The owner is a really nice guy.
Here's his kaiju cave where he works. So cool...
If you have a chance when you're in Osaka, make sure to check out the store. There are very very few of these "classic style" sofubi shops left in the big cities, having been replaced by the likes of Mandarake and Liberty (which are cool in their own right.) But they can't hold a candle to the "toy shop feeling" of places like US Toys!

To learn more about US Toys, click here to visit a blog run by a US Toys collector.

Oh Goji....

I saw this toy at Psychedelia today (Namba, Osaka).

File it under "What were they thinking???" ^_^
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