Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Coming soon: Max Toy x Kaiju Korner toy + print set

Max Toy x Kaiju Korner are teaming up to produce a very cool (and very limited) exclusive toy + print set. The set, scheduled for release this October through KK, will include 2 Max Toy minis painted by Mark Nagata + 1 signed and numbered giclee print based on this beautiful new watercolor painting by Kaiju Korner`s Irene Fu:
(Note: The print will not have the watermark on it.)

Look for more release details on the Kabuki themed set in the coming weeks!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Doll display @ Akihabara Mandarake

Spotted this a few days ago. Not usually my thing, but I thought some nice work went into these.

More after the jump:

Monday, August 29, 2011

More Grody Shogun x KK release details

As we close in on the release day (should be in early September), I wanted to put up some more details.

- First, a bit of a recap. It will be the debut release of the figure, Monster Kara, which is a mashup of the heads and arms from the Monster line + the body of Karakuri.
- The bodies will be the same, but there will be a ton of variants as all the Monster heads and arms come into play.
- The configurations will be random, but we`re totally cool with all the mixing, matching, and trading in Monster parts going on in the secondary playpen.
- There will be two types available - painted and unpainted.
- All figures will come with a print by Kaiju Korner Irene.
- There will be a 24 hour ordering window, so if you need to sleep in, that`s cool. Just don`t go to a 5 kegger pool party the night before and go all Rumplestilskin the next day!

OK, some new details:

- The figures will be GID - Sweeeeet! The release will mark the first time Grody toys have gone Glowdy.
- Unpainted figures will be $28. Painted will be $33. Sha-wing!
- I`m going to keep shipping real cheap - like 8 bucks for 1 figure (shipped anywhere by standard air from Japan) and $2 more per additional figure.
- There will be no restrictions on how many you can get.
- I`ll do my best to work it so that if you order more than one blank or more than one painted, you`ll get different head sculpts. (But I can`t take specific requests for heads and arms, sorry.)
- The Monster Karas will be made to order. Payment is due upon ordering, and figures will ship a few weeks later.

Tell your friends - dudes and dudettes. Grody Shogun x Kaiju Korner...gonna be Glowdy to the MaKKs!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Koenji Awaodori

Tokyo sure loves its dancing festivals. It's always a trip to see Tokyoites, who are usually pretty reserved and buttoned up, grinning from ear to ear and dancing with (sometimes wild, sometimes nicely choreographed) abandon.

Koenji hosts one of the city's biggest yearly knee slappin' yee haws! This year marks the district's 55th Awaodori ("Awa dance") Festival, which is spread out over two days. People line Koenji's narrow lanes and alleys to watch thousands of dancers and musicians stream past.Performers of all ages get in on the act, which is very much like Mardi Gras, without the beads, booze (well, there is some booze), or frontal, um....revelations.

After the year Japan has had, it's fine time to getting around to lessez les bons temps roulez, Tokyo style!

More after the jump:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Art of Ultra Q Exhibit

Pics from the "Art of Ultra Q" show, which is being held at the Shibuya Parco department store. It runs through Sept 7. The gallery is full of beautiful paintings from Ultraman lore. No photos of the artwork allowed inside the gallery, though.

Some prints:

Toys for sale:
There are a ton of licensed Ultraman toys from US Toys, Marmit, Marusan, Fewture Models, Yamanaya, etc.

Close ups and more after the jump:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Up next: The Art of Ultra Q

There's currently an Art of Ultra Q exhibit going on at the Shibuya Parco department store (B1 level). It looks like it may be the same space where Medicom held one part of its 15th Anniversary show just recently. The Ultra Q show runs through Sept. 7.

From the flyer, it looks like they have a bunch of Ultra Q toys on display, as well as some kaiju for sale. The cherry on top is Kanegon is set to make an appearance in the....can't say flesh, can you? Kanegon will be there in the rubber tomorrow! And so will KK! In the flesh, you see. Or will I be asked to play Kanegon? Look, I'm not saying I'm actively seeking Kanegonization, but if I am so honored to be asked, I shall proudly wear the rounded dome upon my own chrome dome....

Here's the back of the flyer:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New from US Toys

US Toys sent in info about a few new figures:

Ultra 7 Bronze color, Size: 80 + 90 mm, Price: 2100 yen each

Ultraman 登場ポーズ pose, Bronze color,  Size: 95 mm, Price: 2100 yen

Ultra 7, Red color, Flying pose, Size: 110 mm, Price: 2100 yen

Ultra 7, Bronze Color, Flying pose, Size: 110 mm, Price: 2100 yen

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grody Shogun x Kaiju Korner pre-release info

In early September, Kaiju Korner will be teaming up with Grody Shogun to release some awesome figures. Here's a bit of info.

The figure will be called Monster Kura. It will contain the body of Karakuri and heads and arms from the Monster series. That means there will be a ton of different combinations of heads and arms, which will be awesome. Two versions will be released: painted and unpainted. You'll be able to choose paint or no paint (or both), but the head and arm assortments will be random.

Every figure will come with a small print based on artwork by Kaiju Korner's Irene Fu. Painted figures will come with a full color print, and unpainted figures will come with a black and white print.

In consideration of collectors in different time zones, the sale will be up for 24 hours, and figures will be made to order, so if you get your order in during the time window, you'll be all set. :O)

I plan to have images and ordering details up next week.

Gonna be totally glody - to the max!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Clutter 15

Clutter 15, now on the stands, contains some fantastic articles about sofubi artists, including Jeff Lamm, L'Amour Supreme + MISHKA, LASH, Dead Presidents, and Leecifer, as well as articles on Lou Pimentel, Carlos Enriquez-Gonzalez, The London Police, and Lana Crooks.

It also contains my 5 page article/interview with Itokin Park. A couple of shout outs to some fine folks who helped with the piece: Jeff Tofanelli for some amazing pics, Gordon Thrift for his fantastic translation of the interview, and of course Kazuhiko Ito (Itokin Park) for taking time from his busy schedule. Domo, guys!

Here, with Clutter's OK, are small sized pics of my article:

To check it out + the rest of the magazine - which is a bargain at $9.99! - head to Clutter. The printing + paper quality are outstanding. It's a really gorgeous publication.

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Grody Shogun Toy: Ensorcelled Man

Ensorcelled Man prototype sculpt
This new figure from Grody Shogun is set to debut in the coming weeks. It's larger and chunkier than the first two rounds of Grody figures (Oji-san + Karakuri, Monsters). I'd estimate it's around 8-10" tall. The yokai look and feel of the figure should fit in really nicely with the rest of Luke's rapidly growing line of toys.

As Luke explained to me, the production figure is also jointed at the elbow, using an interesting bevel style joint. So all told it looks like it will have 5 or 6 points of articulation.

Luke is constantly working on new characters, and his studio is full of figures at every stage of production, from early sculpts to finished pieces waiting to be produced. He plans to put out new figures regularly, which is good news for sofubi fiends!

On that note, I guess this is a good time to announce that issue 16 of Clutter magazine will contain a photo essay I'm putting together. It will focus on my recent visit to Luke's studio (known as "The Fort"), where he and Ricky (Velocitron) create their own original figures, do project management for figures from artists like LASH, Jeff Lamm, etc, and produce figures through Lulubell for artists like Skinner and Paul Kaiju.

The piece will look at all those sides of the operation, the painting nook (with some really awesome paint samples), and so on. It's a rare insider's look at the place where a TON of the sofubi we know and love is created, crafted and/or prepped for production. Good stuff.

The issue is scheduled to hit the presses in late September, so make sure to check it out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Uamou x Yusuke Komatsu Exhibition

At Studio Uamou, which is emerging as an outstanding place for shows and collaborations between Uamou and artists working in many different media, there's an ongoing exhibition involving manga artist's Yusuke Komatsu's artwork + take on Uamou's toys. The show runs through August 23.

Here are some show pics.
Yusuke Komatsu's manga art:

 More after the jump:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New from Real Head 8.20.2011

Went to Aoto today. Lots to see, and Goto-san even made a brief visit! He stopped by to drop off some toys and was gone in a flash! It was very cool to see the man behind a million (by his count) painted toys.

Recent RE(A)Leases::

 More after the jump:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Grody Shogun

Luke Rook (of Lulubell Toys) has been having all kinds of fun with his new line of toys. He started a new outfit, Grody Shogun, to focus on his own creative projects. Luke does just about everything, from sculpting, creating the wax (to make the molds), to painting the figures.

The first two figures he put out were Oji-san and Karakuri. That was quickly followed by a mix and match line of monsters with 4 different bodies, 6 different arms, and 6 different heads! Collectors online and at shows have gone nuts for the figures. After getting a couple of these toys, there's no doubt they are flat out FUN!

Here are some shots. (Make sure to read all the way to the end - a bit of news there. ;-)
Karakuri is a blocky version of Oji-san. No surprise there, since, as Luke told me today, he was sculpted directly from the Oji-san wax mold! Luke also mentioned the inspiration for the figure was Edo era "karakuri:" mechanical creations. AWESOME!

Next we have this Monster/Karakuri mashup. The head and arms are from the monster line, but the body is Karakuri's. Love it!!!
 More after the jump

Thursday, August 18, 2011

VIntage Popy grail @ Mandarake?

I spotted this vintage Popy set yesterday, in one of the Nakano Broadway hallway displays. I like the way it's just put there, sans pomp or circumstance, next to whatever other figures happened to still be on the shelf. At more than $8,000, it may be the most expensive toy I've seen for sale at a Mandarake.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hints and Spices: Sofubi designed Downunder

Hints and Spices is an Aussie design outfit run by Shane Haddy. Shane has just gotten his vinyl feet wet through the release of his debut sofubi figure, Waniphant, which was sculpted and produced in Japan.

The man downunder sent us some pics and info to introduce himself, his work, his design partner TOVI, and his new figure.
Introducing Waniphant, a one piece 3" (8cm) mini with a lot of character!

After the jump, read more about Shane and his work, in his own words:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In detail: Blobpus Enma Ollie Custom

Here are full-scale and detail shots of the Enma Ollie custom I got at the recent Blobpus custom show. Kaiji-san's paint on this figure is incredible. He has evoked an Enma Ollie that is both ethereal and organic, like something straight from Japanese folklore. The colors and level of detail are off the charts. Of all the sofubi figures I've seen and picked up over the years, this is one of my top 5 all time favorites.

These are all hi res shots, so click on each one to see the full size.

Check out the purple veins!

 More after the jump:

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Irene Fu kaiju illustration

Irene did this for her Japanese teacher as an Obon postcard. It's watercolor on thick white cardstock. The text on the bottom says "Kaiju Matsuri" (Kaiju Festival).

Irene will be involved in the upcoming Max Toy x Kaiju Korner exclusive print + mini figures set. Stay tuned for details!

Rampage Toys Ugly Unicorn backstory

Jon of Rampage Toys sent in this info on his upcoming debut sofubi figure Ugly Unicorn:

"Pre-sale goes live on Tuesday 8/16 @ 8pm EST (5pm West Coast or Wednesday 8/17 @ 9am Japan Time) in the SHOP.

A little more back-story:  The UGLY UNICORN (アグリー ユニコーン ) is a mysterious creature believed to come from a planet where cake and frosting are the main source of sustenance.  Via some seemingly random circumstances (a wormhole perhaps?) he has come to earth and now seeks the only thing that can keep him alive - CAKE!  Due to his absurdly ridiculous size (measured by scientist to be somewhere around 75' - depending on his food intake at time of measurement), UGLY tends to make a mess of his search for food; destroying things and leaving rubble in his wake. 

Each figure is made in Japan, measures slightly over 5 inches in height and will come bagged and header carded.  I'm releasing the first two colors (unpainted) at the same time.  Red and Yellow!  The color swatches in the attached pics should match the Pantone requests I put in.  I have been told to expect the casts by the end of August.  15 of each blank color-way.  Painted one-offs and small runs will starting being available at SUPERFESTIVAL in Tokyo on September 25th!"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mandarake x MVH Double Ollie Release

Got there a wee bit early for the release. Seeing Nakano Broadway empty and dark felt like a scene from a zombie movie. When the early otaku crowd started flowing past, my suspicions grew... Then I sat back and relaxed, content in the awareness that I have little brain matter to tempt the hungry undead.
Line starts here.
Two Ollies were released at Mandarake:


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