Saturday, February 26, 2011

New from Shinto Gangu (2.24.2011 - 2.26.2011)

Releases from the last few days:

Something of an homage to the debut Chaos, with metallic colors and green base. But this version is clear green and split. Very nice!

Better look at the clear split.
 More after the jump:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More news about Real Head's new shop!

I found out some more about the new Real Head shop. First, it's name is Real Headz. It has a very cool logo, which will be on the T-shirts and other store products.

Real Headz is also in Aoto and is just a couple of minutes walk from the station. It will be staffed by a rotating group of people. Mori is currently planning to be there on Tuesdays.

The shop will focus on clothing like shirts but may have a bit of sofubi. The other day I mentioned the "preview day" at the shop featured the first two Tanuki releases. Mori had samples at Shinto Gangu, so I snapped a pic:

Finally, the shop will officially open on March 13. If you're in the area, head on over!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Figure spotlight: Dead Presidents' Rayon

Rayon is one of the coolest versions of the Cosmic Squadron line, the debut character of indy sofubi design house Dead Presidents. It combines elements of classic space figures, homages to vintage toys, and new twists that stamp it as a Dead Presidents original.
The packaging is fantastic. Classic bag and header card, but also with a heavy stock insert card which doubles as a backdrop and, on the flip side, a larger version of the header card art.
More after the jump:

Kaiju Korner is now on Facebook!

Head on over and say hi!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011


I'll be posting more about Shikaruna soon, but first I wanted to share a few pics I pulled from my collection image archive. From the detail of the sculpts to the characters' striking personalities and paint work, these toys are simply incredible!

 A few more details after the jump:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Updates to Ilanena 10th Anniversary Custom show

Headed back to the Alternative Cafe again. A couple more awesome custom sets have arrived!

Took a couple of teaser shots and added them to the original show post. Head on over to the Alternative Cafe while you can! The show is on through February 20.

Click here to go to the original post.

Shinto Gangu Video

New on the KaijuKornerAndy YouTube channel: Shinto Gangu - Real Head's shop in Tokyo

I filmed a short video during my visit during my visit yesterday. Here it is!

Click here to go to my YouTube channel to check out more videos.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Breaking news: New Real Head store!

Just found out tonight that a new Real Head shop is opening in Aoto! The shop will focus on selling apparel like T-shirts, as well as bears (stuffed, I guess), and some sofubi.

The shop, which is just a few minutes walk from Shinto Gangu, does not officially open until next month, but last Sunday it was open for a preview day. Word is the first two releases of Tanuki dropped: an unpainted clear green and an unpainted clear purple.

Sounds exciting!!

New from Shinto Gangu (2.16.2011)

The shop was closed last Saturday and Sunday. Just a mini Fortune Cat released today:

 More store shots:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Toy View: Side by Side

I've added a link list off to the right for an ongoing feature: Toy View: Side by Side.

The strongest sculpts are often the ones that hold up best over multiple versions. Side by Side is basically a look at two versions of the same figure, from multiple angles. I love seeing how designers bring out a character's personality through different paint apps. The design can be simple or complex and feature 2 or 20 colors.

Looking at two versions of a character side by side immediately shows the figure's depth and flexibility. It's sometimes hard to believe you're looking at the same toy! But that's just a sign of how talented everyone in the process is, from the designer to the sculptor to the painter. Seriously, these guys pour their hearts into their work. Hats off to them all!

The first two Side by Sides have featured Chaos Next and Chaos Stereo. I'll see what I can dig up for future installments!

Creepy doll show at Kaiju Blue

Not kaiju or sofubi, but definitely eye catching. Kaiju Blue continues its non-stop parade of noteworthy events with this display of Kinbaku custom dolls.
 More after the jump:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Update on RESTORE'S first sofubi figure!

This just in from RESTORE. A great in-progress pic, specs, and release info:

Here's a translation of key release details:

Name: Debris Japan
Size: 17 cm
Material: Soft vinyl
Release month: May
Price: To be determined

Japan distribution: Pop Soda
Overseas distribution: Lulubell

New on Kaiju Korner: Tags

Took me a while to start doing this. I'll be going back and tagging up older posts. Hope it makes it easier to navigate the content. Over time, you put up so much that it can lost in the cloud, can't it? So besides link lists and things off on the columns, tags are a nice way to group together content. But you know all that. Let them read tags!

Chaos Stereo 1 and 2: Side by Side

Chaos Stereo is a mash up of Nerd One's Stereogon (the body) and Real Head's mini Chaos  It was an out of the blue collaboration between the toy companies that works so well it looks like the figure was originally designed that way.

I thought it might be fun to take some side by side pics of the first (and only two, so far), releases of this fantastic collab.
With two of them facing off, you really get a sense of the figures' hulking anatomies.
More after the jump:

Friday, February 11, 2011

New YouTube channel!

I just set up a YouTube channel: KaijuKornerAndy

Click here to go straight to the channel:

The plan is to put up videos of events, shop visits, new toy releases, maybe some interviews?, etc. Should be fun, but please bear with me - I'm a total noob when it comes to video.

First video - a less than stellar film of the Ilanena 10th Ann. show. (Yeah, I need time to refine my non-existent skill set. ;-)

Ilanena's 10th Anniversary Custom Show Party

Some shots from tonight's party:
Plus check out my original show post for new additions to the custom lineup!

New from Shinto Gangu (2.10.11 - 2.11.2011)

 Today's release:
 Yesterday's release:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vintage Kaiju Movie Posters

Besides toy shops, Nakano Broadway also features shops selling CDs, DVDs, anime cells, discount clothing (yep!), dried legumes (basement!), foot tall macha ice cream (ditto!), and more.

Here's a shop selling vintage Japanese movie posters, promotional stills, brochures, etc.

I snapped some shots of its monster movie window display. (Just a small sampling of what they have.)
 Detailed shots after the jump.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New from Shinto Gangu (2.9.2011)

Today's releases:
Just 2 red blanks of each of these guys were sold.

The red and the black!

La piece de resistance....

Ilanena show post updated...

I headed back to the Alternative Cafe today to snap shots of recent show arrivals. Along with a couple more custom sets, Ilanena had dropped off a ton of unpainted figures. The shop is now swimming in Dai Kaiju Card Monsters!

I updated the original post with the new shots, as well as a very crappy low-res video.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ilanena's 10th Anniversary Dai Kaiju Card Monsters Custom Show

Today marks the opening of Ilanena's 10th anniversary show, featuring customs from many international artists plus a retrospective of Ilanena's toyography. First off, a huge *congratulations* to Ilanena on such a big achievement. 10 years as an indy designer, artist, film maker, or anything else is a massive accomplishment. My hat's off to you, sir.

The event is being held at the Alternative Cafe. I should stress this is a *working* coffee shop, so folks who stop by to look at the figures (which line both walls) should be respectful of that. The staff are very friendly and understand there will be lots of toy nerds showing up to check out the toys. But while you're there, why not order a cup of jo, have a seat, and enjoy the free wifi.

OK, let's go. 40 pics after the jump.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Irene Fu's custom entry for Ilanena's 10th Anniversary show

Kaiju Korner's Irene Fu was asked to enter Ilanena's 10th Anniversary Dai Kaiju Card Monsters show, which opens tomorrow.

Her theme features iconic elements from Chinese design. The white base lent itself nicely to a traditional porcelain color scheme. Two different dragon styles are "tattooed" on the figures:
The 4 Chinese characters, written to evoke an ancient calligraphy style, read: "Zhong Hua Bai Nian," meaning "100 years of the Republic of China (Taiwan)." (This year marks Taiwan's 100th birthday as a nation!)

Another angle:
See you at the show!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wonder Festival 2011 (Winter) / ワンダーフェスティバル 2011[冬]

Wonder Festival is the mother of all Japanese toy shows. With hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of toys across dozens of genres, it's a numbers game that leaves your head spinning and feet aching. An average of 40,000 fans attend the event, vying for mouth watering exclusives from their favorite companies.
Wonder Festival is held at the Makuhari Messe, in Chiba, which is to the east of Tokyo.
Wonderfest this way....
This is Kaiju Korner's biggest coverage ever. After the jump, we've got 300 photos for you. Let's go....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New from Shinto Gangu (2.3.2011 - 2.5.2011)

This week saw an absolutely outrageous explosion of sofubi brilliance from Real x Head. And it was across so many characters: Mutant Chaos, Beast Chaos, mini Eel Chaos, Fortune Cat, mini Fortune Cat, ChaoQ, and Chaos Bean. Just the last 3 days alone have been epic.

Today's releases:

 More after the jump:

Pachisummit Winter 2011

Pachisummit events are rather legendary. They double as part talk show (featuring cheesy toy knock offs) and part toy release events.

First, a bit about the naming of things. "Pachi" means "fake" in Japanese, and "pachi kaiju" either refers to bootlegs of movie, TV, or print monsters. (The term is also sometimes used, in a derogatory sense, to refer to indy sofubi.)

Pachisummit events typically start with a 1-1.5 hour-long show, during which people order drinks and food (and collect lottery ticks in the process). After the show, there's a lottery draw, and a lucky few get free toys supplied by participating sofubi makers. Finally there's a toy bazaar, where toy makers release short-run figures. Click here for my report of a previous event.

OK, so that's a typical Pachisummit. Today's was basically Part 1 only. Tickets were 1,000 yen.

We knew in advance there wouldn't be toys, and one wondered if that would affect turnout. But as it turned out, the place was absolutely packed with more than 50 people filling every seat in the tiny bar. Looks like people were really into it (especially the opening 20 minutes), which shows the event's draw goes beyond hardcore indy toy collectors.
 More after the jump:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sci-Fi Revoltech figures - kaiju and more!

Though not sofubi, these figures from Sci-Fi Revoltech certainly deserve their own spotlight. The line covers classic kaiju, anime, horror, film, and other characters, and every figure is fantastically detailed.

Here are pics of a store display of the figures in action, including some fantastic diorama building:

More after the jump:
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