Tuesday, February 28, 2006


For any of you that might not travel in the vinyl toy circles, you might not know who Huck Gee is and why everyone is trying to save him. I first wrote about him in November when his Don'yoku Dunny was just being released at Kid Robot. He's a very talented artist that is riding this urban vinyl wave Mavericks-style. I'm a big fan. He's also in trouble with the law and might get deported back to the UK for something that happened 14 years ago. The fact that what seems like the entire urban art community is supporting him and raising all kinds of money for his legal defense is not only a testament to his talent, but also to his character as a person. In other words, he must be one hell of a cool dude. To learn what he did that might get him sent back over the pond (and to donate to his legal defense fund), click SAVE HUCK.

Recently, I noticed on vinylpulse.com that a record store back in MN called Moda3 was hosting an online auction to raise money for Huck's legal defense. The auction featured custom Munnys donated by fellow hipster artists such as Pheuk, Jesse Hernandez and Sket One. I really wanted one that Jesse and Sket collaborated on (Fire and Water) but got my times and dates all screwed up so that by the time I put my bid in for the 2nd time, my $375 bid too late. Sucks. Some bastard walked away with my custom figure for $350. I would love to get my hands on one of his "Shogun" Dunnys pictured but my wife would kill me for spending $800 on a custom figure and then she would burn the figure to spite me (or she might keep it cause she has good taste and the figure is really cool). I justify this kind of money as investing in art.

The only thing funnier would be if this whole thing is a huge hoax (which I'm sure it isn't), but if it was, that would be damn funny. So enjoy Huck's work and the work of his compadre artists who donated their skills, time and Munny (and money) to SAVE HUCK!!!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Danny Choo at Wonder Festival in Japan

Anybody reading this blog owes it to themselves to also be a regular reader of dannychoo.com. Get this: he's a Chinese guy who grew up in the UK and now lives in Japan. He's an internet mogul of some kind who writes for Akihariba News in his spare time while stomping around Tokyo in his StormTrooper armor. He also happens to be into Japanese toys, anime, figures and gadgets just like us. And, of course, he writes a blog about all this cool stuff and even includes video. I stole these pictures from his blog as he's a lucky bastard spending a few day at Wonder Festival in Japan which looks like nirvana to me. It's one of the big toy shows out there and from what I can tell, looks like quite the place to be. For those of us that can't get there, Danny has filmed a 13 minute video complete with jazzy music that will put you in his shoes. So sit back, relax and take a 13 minute vacation to Wonder Festival in Japan with Danny. Oh, while you're at it, check out Danny's gallery of awesome toy and figure pictures from the Festival too!

These first two mechas are probably very expensive and very difficult to build Five Star Stories Resin kits from Wave. Absolutely amazing! How about the Action figure version???

The last two mechas are Jehuty from the Zone of Enders PS2 video games. One of my all-time favorite games and it's seriously about time that we had some action figure love here...Also would be great to get another version of Zone of Enders for PS3??

Super7 Magazine Issue 12 Dropping in March!

The kool kats at Super7 will be coming out with Issue #12 in early March. Do yourself a favor and show your friends how hip you are...check it out!

Description from Super7:

"Super7 Issue 12: The spring issue of Super7 is brimming with the very best in Japanese toys, art and design. In our exclusive cover story, get inside the mind of legendary punk artist Pushead as we discuss his new toy project with Kaws and his own fascinating history as a toy maker. Plus, Kaws chimes in on the groundbreaking collaboration. Next, we chat with the co-founder of Japanese fashion brand Bounty Hunter, Hikaru Iwanaga, about how he unwittingly launched the entire designer vinyl scene, dropped out of the market, and came back with force. For old-school vinyl aficionados, don't miss our duo of features on vintage Japanese toys from the fire breathing fury of Bullmark sparking vinyls to the rollicking goodness of Godzilla's mechanized amigo, Jet Jaguar. Then we take you into modern day in our interview with the creator of the new wave kaiju, Blobpus, and our fresh look at the latest and greatest from the lucha libre inspired line, Tequila Toys. Plus, toy news, industry insider columns, Super7 in Tokyo, Japanese street fashion, DVD and book reviews, and much more! Toy exclusives this issue include a Super7 and Misfits Records Balzac figure produced by Secret Base as well as a clear vinyl Jet Jaguar by M-1! Look for Super7 issue 12 in the first week of March on newsstands nationwide or support the magazine directly and subscribe today!"

Super7 Magazine transforms us from geeks who play with "action figures" to cool guys who know about Japanese toy culture. If I was you reading this toy blog, I would subscribe to Super7 Magazine HERE

Zeonography Char's Z'Gok #3009a/b Preview

Hajime Katoki's latest in the Zeonography Series is Char's Z'Gok. I have to admit when I first saw it, I wasn't interested. It was only when I saw the following picture did my interest peak. The mode that didn't interest me all the much is the traditional Z'Gok with the huge white claws. Dunno, the design doesn't do it for me. But the second mode with the cyclops head and the Blic razor blade crew cut definitely does do it for me. The kicker however is the 3rd mini-mecha with the orange-juicer arms and BMX-style bike shoulders that apparently is also included. Having a 3rd figure as part of the set is a bit unusual, but a very welcome edition. While I very much like the red and black with orange trim of the #3009b version, i'm going to have to go with the blue #3009a version. While it's already dropped in Japan, it's not quite here in the states yet, but should be anytime now. I just ordered mine tonight from BigBadToyStore for $42.99 cause Joel is lickity split with the shipping.

Hellboy Kubrick Preview

Looks like Medicom is getting on the Hellboy bandwagon and producing a Hellboy Kubrick. Oh, they are going to also make the fish guy too. Compare the Medicom version to the Mezco version that came out a ways back. I have to admit, I like the simplicity and stylized version of the Kubrick version, but I do wish they would make the creepy Nazi guy with the knifes and the sand-blood. The Mezco figures are pretty cool too. I'm not sure what it is about the Mezco mini's. I'm not feeling it for some reason. I just think that when they are mini figures, they should be a bit more stylized. You can still find them on eBay for a very reasonable $9.99.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Motorcycle Madness Part Deux!!

I was checking out Flickr buddy Edward Lee's shots a ways back as i'm a HUGE fan of his toy photography, lighting, composition, atmosphere, etc. He has this way of making his toy photography look as if it's from a comic strip, anime or movie poster. Very professional looking stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if someone from a toy manufacturer approaches him to do professional work. While checking out his latest stuff, he had some new photos of Leon from Resident Evil 4 on a motorcycle. You know how I love toy motorcycles so I looked online for the version of Leon that came with this cool looking bike. I couldn't find this version anywhere. What I finally realized is that Leon doesn't come with a motorcycle! I asked Edward where the bike came from and our other Flickr buddy KC was quick to notice that the Motorcycle Leon was poised on was from SIC Hakaider! How cool and creative I thought it was to mix and match characters and motorcyles. So this gallery is dedicated to the idea I stole from Edward! I had two dusty old toy motorcles for years including the road race version of Harley Davidson and a Ducati 996. I took some test shots with Kikaider and Hakaider. The scale seemed to work out ok. Hakaider seemed to match the Harley perfectly as Kikaider was more into the Italian scene with his "Duck" 996. Then the other day, I was in Japantown and visited the Japanese car accessory store which has all the car fresheners and cell phone holders, etc. They also have a big selection of scale import cars and most importantly: motorcycles! I picked out two really trick Superbikes with all the race decals and what not. I then searched my toy collection for the perfect riders. It took but a second to choose the Bubblegum Crisis gals. Their futuristic look with the helmets and cybernetic armor is not terribly different than what real road racers wear! It was a perfect match! The scale of rider: bike was not perfect as I think they are a bit too large for the bikes, but not noticable. It was better than my second choice which was the 1:12 scale Chirico figure which looked too small on the bikes and I only had one of him. I then took a couple of shots with Kaneda on his bike at a stoplight ready to race the Bubblegum Crisis gals. I also have a couple of shots of Hakaider, Kikaider and Cloud on the respective normal bikes as if they were at Sturgis! Lastly, a very popular shot on Flickr is my collection of Kaneda Bikes. The largest being from MacFarlane, Soul of Popynica is the second, a bootleg mini is the third and then two mini figures from the Akira gashapon series. Check it out and enjoy the gallery!!


Monday, February 20, 2006

Lucky Toy Find: Votoms Blue Knight Berserga Mini Figures

I was browsing through eBay the other night as I often do, hoping that some guy would post the elusive Metal Gear Solid 3 Kubrick with the Aligator Head for a reasonable price. There is some guy from Japan that has 30 of them on eBay right now for $78 each. $78 for a kubrick??? I just can't go there. It's a Kubrick for damn sakes - a glorified Lego! Anyhoooo, while browsing on eBay, I can across the AnimeKing. He has an amazing selection of Japanese toys including Chogokin and Gashapon (mini figures). His prices are very reasonable and his service is blindingly fast. I had my items in but a day or two. I bought a couple of sets from him: The Soul of Chogokin set of Getter Dragon, Poseidon and Liger for a very, very reasonable $160. I challenge you to find it anywhere cheaper right now. I will have a gallery of these beauties hopefully soon. So much die-cast...ummmm, yummmy! The other set is a lucky toy find for me and the subject of this round-about post: Votoms Blue Knight Berserga Gashapon set of Six by Kotobukiya's One Coin series. I have never seen these before, but think they came out last year or the year before. These little bad boys are truly amazing! They are about 3-inches tall, have limited articulation, but are highly detailed in their sculp and paint jobs. As you can see, they even have some weathering! Unbelievable detail!! AnimeKing sold a full set of six so I didn't have to worry about the blind assortment thing which you know by now I HATE!!! The variety in the set is impressive and featured six different Votoms models. I was especially impressed with how they were packaged. Inside the boxes that AnimeKing had to open to identify the figure, each part was individually wrapped and in some cases, for some of the fragile pieces, they were wrapped and taped in small bits of cardboard. You see, this set is not made up of the normal rubbery plastic that other Gashapon figure are made of. Instead, they are made up of a plastic - resin kind of material that is more detailed, but a bit more fragile. For example, the shields that have the needle like protrusion from the tip are actually quite sharp and were packaged in the above manner as was the antennae of the scopedog or the helmet blade of the Blue Knight. I am very, very pleased with this set and you can actually pick up a set from AnimeKing for a very reasonalbe $34.99 not including shipping. That's less than you would pay retail plus you don't have to worry about getting any duplicates! While you're there, shop around. Anime King has 180 sets of Gashapon trading figures for you to browse through!! I just went back the other night and purchased a set of transforming Votoms! Pictures of these guys later as well! Check back later!!






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