Sunday, April 27, 2014

Super Festival 65 スーパーフェスティバル65

Super Festival 65 indie toys, arranged by maker.

Astro Zombies


More after the jump:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jungle Artist Collection (Indie Sofubi made in Osaka)

In October, 2013, I posted a video I shot of a sofubi factory in Osaka. The factory is run by Jungle, one of Osaka's largest toy shops. The shop now has a dedicated showcase - the Jungle Artist Collection - displaying many indie toys which they produce. There are figures by Uky Daydreamer, Konatsu, Kaijin, Monster Factory, and others.

Most of the figures are display-only customs, blanks, and production figures, but there are some things for sale, and they will ship overseas. Here are pics of the case:

 More after the jump:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Rockabilly Dancers in Yoyogi Park (Tokyo)

All things considered, daily life in Japan is pretty reserved. But there's something about doing cosplay, or taking on a certain style of dress that brings down the inhibitions and lets people go wild - or just dance in public.

For years, the Rockabilly dancers have been a fixture at the front entrance of Yoyogi Park, which is just a 2-3 minute walk from Harajuku station. I don't know much about the group or how often they show up, but go there on a weekend and there's a good chance they might be there, getting down with their hair as greased back as can be. Check out the club insignia a few of them have on their jackets.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Gachapon Machine Display Backers aka Daishi (ガチャポン台紙)

Gachapon machines continue to be a mainstay of Japanese toy culture. For some 40 years, the little plastic balls have distributed everything from tiny plastic toys to pins to keshi gomu figures, and a lot more in between.
Modern gachapon machine
Of course you need to know what you're putting your money down for, and that's where backing board displays come in. Known as "gachapon daishi" (ガチャポン紙) or just daishi for short, they give you a preview of what you might get with a turn of the wheel.

Collecting daishi is an established part of the gachapon collecting scene, though they aren't nearly as easy to find as the toys. Personally, I think they make a great complement to a set of figures, especially if you have the space to display them all together.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sakura season (aka Hanami) 2014

Winters in Japan are long. For months, the weather is cold, dreary, and sometimes snowy. The arrival of sakura season - known as hanami - in Japan marks the end of winter and beginning of spring. As the weather warms region by region, the sakura trees bloom. The blooming progress is very closely predicted, mapped, and watched. And the locals have one hell of a time celebrating the end of the dreary season and start of something much nicer.

There are a number of key sakura viewing spots in Tokyo, Here's a medley of shots from a few places in Tokyo, starting with Ueno Park:
Oh yes, you will have lots and lots of company...

Groups reserve spots in advance.
 More after the jump:
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