Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Secret Base shop pics (10.31.2013)

Happy Halloween! Here are new pics of the Secret Base shop in Harajuku, Tokyo.
Sold out gallery.

 More after the jump:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Kobe Toy Shopping (2013)

Welcome to Kaiju Korner's 2013 guide to toy shopping in Kobe, one of Japan's largest and most dynamic cities. Kobe has a lot to see in its own right, from distinct architecture to a famous harbor, gardens, and historic districts.

It has also has a couple of well known shopping arcades which stretch on for long distances. And both of those have clusters of toy shops.

Toy + Hobby Area 1: San Plaza/Center Plaza/Plaza West

This set of three shopping complexes, which are connected by walkways, is located in a nice covered mall. It's near Sannomiya station, and the easiest thing is to enter at the above spot.

After a few meters, you'll see this entrance to San Plaza. Most of the toy, game, and other shops of interest are on the 2nd and 3rd floors. To see all the shops in all three complexes, remember to take one of the corridors connecting San Plaza to Center Plaza, and then another from Center Plaza to Plaza West. It sounds confusing (and it can be from all the signage), but once you're inside one of the buildings, it will feel like one giant complex, so don't worry too much about the naming of things. Once you hit the end of Plaza West, you'll come to a big wall, so you'll know where to stop.

There are little arcades, video game shops, as well as stores selling manga, anime, model kits, books, records, and of course toys.
 More after the jump:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New York Comic Con 2013: Interview with Mel Birnkrant

Here I interview Mel Birnkrant, creator of The Outer Space Men toys, which were made by Colorforms in 1968. Click here to check out my report of the OSM booth at NYCC, including lots of still images and back stories about the original and new toy lines.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

New York Comic Con 2013: The Outer Space Men

One of the most interesting and unexpected booths at NYCC was for The Outer Space Men. The booth was part history, part sales, and all enthusiasm. It was staffed by Gary Schaeffer (a superfan who affectionately calls himself "The Money") and none other than Mel Birnkrant, the creator of the original toy line.
The sale case
The first series of the line was released by Colorforms in 1968. Featuring seven bendable intergalactic characters, they were meant to complement (and compete against) Mattel's popular bendable astronaut figure Major Matt Mason.
The Colorforms line was popular, selling hundreds of thousands of units. Immediately, a second series was designed and prepared for launch. However, it wasn't produced, due to a confluence of factors including shipping delays and, ultimately, widespread disappointment at the fact that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin found nothing but dust and rocks when landing on the moon in July, 1969.
The early 70s was not a good time for space toys in the USA, but I find it very interesting that on the other side of the world. the boom was far from over. The legendary Japanese toy company Takara went on to produce smash hits like Henshin Cyborg and the Microman line, both extremely creative series of toys. A number of Microman toys were later licensed to Mego in 1976, becoming the Micronauts. Then of course Star Wars came out in 1977 and space became hot again!
 More after the jump:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New York Comic Con 2013: RESTORE's Eternal Cloud (prototype)

The final proto sculpt up close look from NYCC we have for you is Eternal Cloud by RESTORE. This too is extremely complex and is quite a looker. I'm not sure what the final articulation is going to be like, but for now, it looks like it may belong in the statuette category.
Eternal Cloud features a dragon (I had a dream about a dragon last night...) wrapped around a temple. Once again, Abe's work incorporates traditional Japanese motifes.
 More after the jump:

New York Comic Con 2013: Skinner's Lolgolth Gnazgoroth (prototype)

Now here's something you don't see everyday. But soon you'll be able to not only see it, but buy it.
The figure, called Lolgolth Gnazgoroth, was designed by Skinner and is being produced by Unbox Industries. Put one of these in your front window and watch the hordes of unwelcome solicitors dwindle to a trickle.
This is an in-development prototype sculpt, with the figure slotted for release in 2014. To me it's the kind of thing that would give Hieronymus Bosch the heebie jeebies - or maybe he'd put one on a chain and wear it around his neck... The only thing I can compare it to is some of the hardcore resin kits coming out of Japan. I have no idea how they're going to paint these, but the figure is already in a league of its own, and the finished product should be something to see!
  More detailed pics after the jump:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New York Comic Con 2013: Pete Fowler's Rotogirl (prototype)

One of the things I love looking out for at shows is in-development sculpts and other prototypes of  upcoming figures. Sometimes they're tucked away on a back shelf, and sometimes makers place them front and center to give everyone a closer look.

I had a chance to see several upcoming figures. First, there's Rotogirl by longtime toy maker Pete Fowler, who is really one of the pioneers in the scene.
The proto sculpt, on display at the Clutter booth, features some trademarks of Pete's toys. It has a statuette feeling, so it doesn't look like it will have much articulation, but it's still an attractive, dynamic sculpt and should go nicely in a collection of Mr. Monsterism's toys.
More after the jump:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New York Comic Con 2013: Indie Toys

Welcome to Kaiju Korner's main coverage of New York Comic Con 2013. Here we take a look at the indie toy booths at the con, which were conveniently located in a section of the Javits Center called The Block.

As per KK's usual style, booths are organized alphabetically. Click on each photo to see its full size. Enjoy!

Clutter and Monster Island

 200+ pics after the jump:

Monday, October 14, 2013

New York Comic Con 2013: Pushead

Pushead at NYCC 2013

Gorgeous marbled Hevis
 More after the jump:

New York Comic Con 2013: Interview with Miles of Munktiki

We kick off our coverage of NYCC 2013 with an interview with Miles of Munktiki. He brought over a bunch of his ceramic Yakimon figures, which were really cool to see side by side. Miles took a few minutes to show us some of his toys, talk about his ceramic toy making process, and share some info about his upcoming plans.

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