Sunday, August 25, 2013

TCJ50: Tsubaraya Creative Jam 50 - Ultraman toy + merch extravaganza!

To mark the 50th anniversary of Tsubaraya, the company behind the Ultraman franchise, Tokyo's Tokyo is holding a two-week event at its shop in Harajuku.
TCJ50 doesn't so much celebrate Ultraman per se, yet rather its licensing muscle. There are a huge number of products for sale at the shop, including toys, clothing, stationery, jewelry, kitchenware, posters, original art, and even eyewear. The good news is there is something for every budget, though prices lean towards the higher end for most products. Even better, there's no admission fee.

So, let's take a look at the fairest of the fare, starting with toys:
Lots of releases from Medicom, in addition to figures from indie outfits like Sunguts, Uamou, T9G, PP Pudding, and more.

 More after the jump:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ilu Ilu's Pro Wrestling figures - a ringside look!

In July, I reported on new pro wrestling figures released by Ilu Iu at the Battle Aid pro wrestling event in Tokyo.

Here is an up close look at one of the sets - in action!
As always, Ilu Ilu's packaging is superb. Sakaguchi-san really took it to the next level with this set, which looks exceptional even when left in the box.

Back side
 More after the jump:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Side by Side: Stinky Ginger - To Nakano Broadway!

I was joined by two versions of Chris Ryniak's Stinky Ginger on a trip to the worldwide capital of toydom - Nakano Broadway! Stinky is the third figure in the Circus Posterus x Tomenosuke-syoten sofubi line. Click on each image to see its full size.

We start our adventure waiting for the bus. Here the Stinkies are hanging out on a sign featuring a famous Japanese logo which one sees all over. It's for a delivery company called Takkyubin, which delivers packages all over Japan for very competitive rates.

Here the Stinkies face off to debate the relative merits of Takkyubin vs. Japan Post. One of the interesting features about life in Japan is people often mail things to themselves from shops rather than carry them home. For low fees (500-1000 yen or less) or even for free, you can have all manner of parcels and packages sent to you, which can be nice if you're on vacation or even out and about in your own town, given how crowded trains get.
 More after the jump:

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Yokai: Demons, Folklore Creatures and GeGeGe no Kitaro exhibition

Ongoing through September 1 is an interesting exhibition at the Mitsui Memorial Museum in Tokyo. In several halls, the show documents the appearance of yokai (spirit creatures, ghosts, demons) in works of art going back hundreds of years. There are paintings, books, Noh masks, manga, and even little musical instruments representing those played by yokai.

There is also an entire room showcasing original art by Mizuki Shigeru, best known for his seminal work GeGeGe no Kitaro. Dozens of drawings are shown, with familiar characters by Mizuki.

There are some English explanations, but most are in Japanese. Still the exhibition is worth checking out to see the art and get a sense of the continuity of yokai in Japanese culture - a presence which carries on today.

Photos were not allowed inside, so sorry about the text-only description. You can see photos of some of the exhibits on the museum's website here.

Click here to see a PDF (in English) with the full list of exhibits.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Zooomth keshi gomu figures from WF 2013 (Summer): A closer look

Here's a closer look at two new keshi gomu one-day license figures released by Zoomoth at Wonder Festival 2013 (Summer):
First up, a figure from the 1986 Namco video game 源平討魔伝 (Genpei Toma Den - The Genji and Heike Tale of the Demon's Demise).

The figure came with a huge mace which fits pretty easily into the figure's hand..
 More after the jump:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Podima: Angel Abby version

Here are some pics of the new Podima, which is an Angel Abby exclusive and is now available on their site. (They also have a secret version up for sale!)
 More after the jump:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Metallica's Kirk Hammett at Secret Base

Today, Metallica's lead guitarist Kirk Hammett stopped by Secret Base in Harajuku to meet fans and sign toys. 
Three new toys were released.

First, there was a Pushead x Usugrow Rebel Captain. The chest lettering reads "Made in SE 11:18:62." The lettering is by Usugrow, and it's based on a tattoo that Kirk has. 11/18/1962 is Kirk's birthday.

Next is a new Skull Hevi in purple,.

Finally, there was a new Mad Rod Monsterz release.

Folks who bought something at the event also got this awesome signboard which Kirk then signed for each person. He was really friendly and cool to talk to.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Secret Base store visit (8/2013)

Here are some pics I took the other day at Secret Base, showing lots of recent Pushead, Mazinger, mini Ooze It, and other releases.

 More after the jump:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Podima - A Closer Look

Here's a closer look at Podima, one of the most creative and versatile sofubi figures I've ever seen.

Bag + header.
The other side of the header, containing two illustrations and bilingual (English and Japanese) comments about the figure. It's the first time I've seen a header printed on both sides.

This version came with a nice poster.
 Here are looks at the figure from a bunch of angles:
The secret to the figure's versatility is an ingenious series of neck joints. Not only do they provide amazing poseability, but from a design and technique perspective, they're very well executed, as the figure looks seamless and natural regardless of the way you twist and position the parts.
 More after the jump:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Wonder Festival 2013 (Summer) / ワンダーフェスティバル 2013 (夏) - Other Sights

In KK's third and final WF 2013 Summer report, we bring you a look at some of the other weird and wonderful sights of the event.

 More after the jump:
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