Friday, November 30, 2012

New sofubi + resin at One Up Akiba

New toys spotted in the exhibition case at One Up Akiba by Cerrito, Dream Rockets, Frenzy, Monster Factory, and Sunguts. Overseas ordering is OK. Just send an e-mail to:

Detailed shots:

Cerrito by Cesar Zanardi:

 More after the jump:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

New Pushead Marbled Skull Pirate

Ye Beeg Bhoss Deemhands Eh Beet Ooh Pohoint Too! marbled Skull Pirate. Released today at Secret Base.

 More shots of the figure + header after the jump:

Store Visit: Psycho Monsterz

For fans of Alien, Predator, and other horror/action films, Psycho Monsterz may be your dream - or if you like, your nightmare - store. Located in central Tokyo on Waseda Dori ("dori" is "avenue" in Japanese), just down the road from Nakano Broadway, the shop is just enough off the beaten path to fly under the radar.
But it's actually pretty easy to get to, and it's worth visiting, even just to check out the fantastic work that went into the mini and life-sized sculptures that populate nearly every square inch of the shop.
Some great news for overseas fans is they will ship worldwide. Just head to their website or send them an e-mail (see contact info below).

Let's start with the details:

Tel: (03) 3389-6648
Address: 〒164-0002 東京都中野区上高田2-3-22
Closest subway station: Nakano (on the Chuo/Sobu line)
Store hours:1:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Contact e-mail:
Click here for a Google map to the exact location.

Now let's check out what the store has to offer, starting with its impressive selection of mini busts and statues:

 More after the jump:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Clutter 17 - the new issue is out!

The new issue of Clutter magazine is now on the stands! This issue has insightful articles on Skinner, Paul Kaiju, Circus Posterus, and other toy makers. It also has my 6-page article on Ricky Wilson (Velocitron), which includes an interview I did with Ricky.

In the piece, Ricky talks about his background, how he got into making toys, and the work he does helping people get their own sofubi toys made in Japan. Tons of insights + knowledge from the guy who helps make toys by MVH, Splurrt, and others possible,

Here are more thumbs of the piece:

The mag is just $9.99, which is well worth it. Clutter's doing great work supporting the indie toy scene, and it's one of the last indie toy mags standing, with really good content to boot. Click here to get a copy.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Facebook Toy Freebie contest winners announced!

KK just ran a "like us and get free stuff" contest on Facebook, which triggered once we hit 300 likes. The goodies are shown above. (Click here to visit our FB page)

Remember we're also running a "Free Twitter Shwag" giveaway once we hit 500 followers on Twitter. Click here to check us out on Twitter and get in on the action.

Thanks for reading us over the years!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cerrito Meets Monster Factory Show

Today at the repainted so that everything's emptying into white (Any Cat/Yusuf fans? Yes? No? Watch this video and love life) Design Festa Gallery in Harajuku - where many an indie toy luminary including Blobpus, Max Toy, Sunguts, and others have held shows - a three-day show opened featuring the work of Cesar Zanardi (the maker of Cerrito) and Mayumi Kojima (Monster Factory).

The show is interesting, as it has both individual works from the two makers as well as collaborations between the two.
Cesar flew to Japan from Argentina. Let's start with a look at his work. First I should mention, if you see something you like by Cesar, you can send him an e-mail, and if it isn't sold out yet, he'll ship it to you from Japan. (But get in touch soon, since he'll only be in town another week or two.)

Here's his e-mail:

Show pics:
prints + figures
 More after the jump:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dream Rockets at One Up Akiba

Customs by Dream Rockets spotted at One Up Akiba in the sofubi events case. If you see one you like, send them an e-mail to see if it's still available:

They will ship overseas.


 More after the jump:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Design Festa 36 Part 2: Sights and Sounds

Design Festa, with its hundreds of booths and multitudes of artists, musicians, designers, exhibitionists, and other creative types, always has something eye catching to see. But you need to go in with soft eyes. It's one of the rare places in Tokyo where you'll see more smiles than stony stares. So you need to go in ready to go along for the ride!

Here are some pics of the sights and sounds of Design Festa 36:

Set up:

More after the jump:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Design Festa 36 Part 1: Indie Toys

Design Festa 36 featured a nice mix of new versions of old toys and debut versions of new toys. In fact, though the sheer number of different releases was maybe a bit lower than in recent DFs, pound for pound there were a large number of toys debuted from Marmit, Blobpus, Yamomark, and others.

The turnout was sizeable, but in terms of indie toys, the show was a bit more low key than others we've seen in recent months. I think that's in part because this is the last big show of the year. Still some makers proved that DF is an important show. For instance, Max Toy fans arrived at the Big Sight as early as 6:00 AM to line up to receive numbered tickets allowing them to buy coveted Negoras in every size and shape.

This is part 1 of Kaiju Korner's DF36 coverage. Per tradition, instead of spreading coverage over 10 or 20 posts, we're bringing you complete indie toy coverage in one mega post. This time, we've got 150 pics per you, organized alphabetically by maker. In addition to the standard indie makers, we've got coverage of some makers - across different mediums - that are new on the scene or haven't been showcased before.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the toyage...

A.K. Production
First time coverage for this maker of uber creepy dolls. Japan has its share of gory doll makers, but these guys are a cut - and a slice...and maybe a gash - above the rest.

More after the jump:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Toy shop visit: Tokyu Hands (Ikebukuro branch)

Over the past few years, the way indie toys are sold and distributed has changed quite a lot. More and more makers are selling their figures directly online. Also, the number of marquee toy shows in Japan has shrunk, so that there are now only a handful every year.

In the past, shows were the main way toys were released. Not so anymore, though they are still a key channel, and the drop in shows in Japan has been met with a rise in the importance of US shows like SDCC, NYCC, and D-Con, which parallels an explosion in the number of indie sofubi toys put out by US designers.

While the number of small shops has fallen in Japan, an increasing number of big box and mainstream toy shops are selling indie toys. Click on the "toy shop visit" tag on the left-hand side of the screen to see some of them.

Recently, here, I wrote about Real Head toys being sold at the Ikebukuro branch of big box bohemoth Tokyu Hands. The store also sells toys from many other toy companies, including Medicom, which has an impressive selection of figures for sale. Plus there are your expected anime and manga based figures, as well as more mainstream toys.

Here's some basic store info:

Address: 1-28-10 Higashi-ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3980-6111

And some shots from the store:

 More after the jump:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Real x Head toys at Tokyu Hands

Indie toy makers are becoming very crafty at getting their figures into big box stores. Some months back, I reported on stumbling on toys from Gargamel and other makers at Kinokuniya, a fairly mainstream toy company with a multi-level complex in Akihabara. After that I came across a sizeable stash of indie toys in Ueno at Yamashiroya, a venerable staple of the mainstream toy scene.

Then yesterday, Tokyu Hands in Ikebukuro started selling Real Head toys. (The gargantuan shop's new toy corner also has figures from Medicom and other outlets, which I'll get to down the line when I do a write up on the store.)

The Real Head offerings are not comprehensive - just some minis and regular sized Fortune Cats are represented - but the display is prominent and eye catching, and it's almost certain to turn more people onto the line. The question being, how will those people go from impulse buyer to interested collector, since there's no DM, literature, brochure, or other information posted to teach consumers about the line.

Anyway, marketing has always been a weak point of a lot of indie outfits, and it's likely there are restrictions placed by Tokyu Hands. But this would be the perfect case where going back to using header cards could yield massive dividends in educating consumers about the brand.

Here are more pics of the display:

More after the jump:
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