Saturday, November 30, 2013

Secret Base x Pushead skullORM

Awesome purple marbled skullORM  - aka the SkullPirateSerpent - released today at Secret Base.
This is the << oh ryse frahm de blaastbeet trahjedee aht seeeeea ze ghreyt skullORM NOV 30 2013 >> marbHouse Vers.

 More after the jump:

VIntage Posters

From time to time I like to take a look at the vintage posters for sale in Nakano. Here's the latest group of eye candy, featuring some of Japan's most famous anime and tokusatsu characters.

 More after the jump:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

RESTORE Sofubi History Catalog

Recently at NYCC, RESTORE gave out some fantastic little catalogs, showcasing sofubi figures he's already released and previewing two exciting new toys! I love catalogs like this and wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to see it, so here are some pics.
Debris Japan is one of my favorite figures of the last few years and one well deserving of such a retrospect!

 More after the jump:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Clutter Magazine #18 (including my article on Tokyo Toy Shows)

The new issue of Clutter magazine contains an article I wrote about Tokyo's biggest toy shows: Super Festival, Wonder Festival, Design Festa, and the Tokyo Toy Show. The article has details about the different shows, when they're held, etc. Plus, the issue has an interview with Rotofugi and a bunch of other topics.

It's only $10, and they'll ship worldwide. Click here to check it out.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pachinko and Pop Culture

Vintage pachinko machine
Pachinko is one of those institutions which is closely associated with modern Japanese culture. Over the decades, the once simple game, involving little metal balls going through an obstacle course of pins and wheels, has become increasingly complex. The current iterations involve not only lights and sounds, but video screens, electronic scoreboards, and enough visual and aural stimulation to make you forget you're playing a game that costs money.
Over time, lights, sounds, and video features began to be introduced to machines.
Then there's modern pop culture, which can be traced at least as far back as Godzilla, who first screamed his way out of the Pacific in 1954. Since then, countless heroes and villains in rubber suits have graced the silver screen and television sets. On top of that, there are legions of anime and manga pop culture icons like Astro Boy and Black Jack, not to mention digital idols like Hatsune Miko. It's difficult to overestimate the impact of these figures over the last half-century on the collective consciousness of people in Japan, and that impact continues unabated.
Tokusatsu legends: Kamen Rider V3, Inazuman, and Lion Maru.
And yet these two strands - pachinko and pop culture - have not developed in isolation. Like the Ghostbusters' proton packs, the two streams, once crossed, become even stronger. I regularly come across new pachinko machines based on licensed manga, anime, and tokusatsu (live action TV shows and movies). And it's common to see older games and even toys that combine pachinko and pop culture figures.
Barom 1 children's pachinko toy from the 1970s
 More after the jump.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bandai Tamashii Nations (11/2013) Mecha Mania!

The current Tamashii Nations exhibit, featuring a look at Bandai's new releases and upcoming figures, is heavy on the mecha. There are plenty of new toys based on Japan's robotic legends like Gundam and Mazinger. Plus there are new figures from Saint Seiya, Yamato, Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, Iron Man, and many other properties.

 More after the jump:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Design Festa 38

Welcome to Kaiju Korner's coverage of indie toys at Design Festa 38. At this installment of the extremely popular show which combines art, music, toys, and random displays of creativity, most of the indie toy makers were nicely concentrated in one section of the show. I found that a big improvement over previous shows.

Many of the regulars were in attendance, like Blobpus, Marmit, Refreshment Toys, and so on. And the Max Toy booth featured a number of international artists who flew over for the event, so it was a good chance for collectors to talk with the toy makers themselves.

I'd say on a whole, it felt like there were maybe not quite as many toy makers or collectors in attendance this time around. I think the latter might have had to do with the weather, which turned cold and wet at times.

Still, the show had a nice mix of new toy releases, new versions of well known figures, customs, collabs, and even a few protos on display.

Alright, let's get to the pics! The makers are ordered alphabetically. Please click on each image to see its full size.

Black Rabbit

 120+ pics after the jump:
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