Thursday, August 10, 2006

toybot studios Spotlight: Kaiju Photographer Geo!!!

Deathra

Part of the reason why I haven't been keeping up with toybot studios, is that i've been hanging out on Japanese vinyl message board Skullbrain. Real Fans and Hardcore types all talking in great detail about my latest obsession: Japanese Vinyl. One of the cooler guys on this board and also fellow Flickr...er is a gentleman named Geo. He goes by Geozilla on Flickr cause there are a lot of other Geo's to contend with. I first saw his toy photography on Skullbrain and was immediately captivated. The colors so vivid that I almost had to adjust my monitor and put on shades! Geo's sense of composure in his macro photography are really just superb! Geo was not only kind enough to give me permission to post whatever photographs I wanted, but also took the time to answer my interview questions:

Mini Mightin and Deathra

1. How long have you been collecting toys? Are you just into Japanese vinyl or do you collect other toys? If so, what?

As a kid, I collected things like Corgi Toy model cars, Aurora monster models (the Creature, the Mummy, Phantom of the Opera, the guillotine, etc.), Big Daddy Roth Ratfink related stuff, and toy guns. Then a year or so ago, while doing some online Christmas gift shopping, I came across some so-called “urban vinyl” figures that caught my fancy for some reason. I think the first figure I purchased was a Dalek Ciboy Space Monkey. My collecting just sort of started to snowball from there, with frightening speed, and packages started showing up on the doorstep very, very frequently. (“Uh, more packages for Dad just arrived.”) I particularly liked pieces by artists like Biskup and Baseman who were transforming images from their paintings into 3-D figures. I ended up amassing quite a sizeable “urban vinyl” collection – qees, kubricks, bearbricks, ciboys, stuff by Critterbox, Strangeco, Kaws, Scarygirl -you name it. I was buying stuff from toy stores all over the world. Then I started in on custom painted figures… a couple of my favorite customs are an 8 inch Ringo Bear qee by Joe Ledbetter; and a 3 inch dunny by Chris Ryniak.

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I kept hearing about how great Japanese vinyl was, however, and, only about 6 months ago, I bought my first Japanese kaiju figure – a Rainy Day Ghostfighter by Secret Base in collaboration with Super7. I quickly discovered that I really liked more vintage style kaiju better – by companies like Bullmark, Marmit, Marusan, and M1 – and started in on those pretty seriously. I think my very favorite figures these days, the ones I appreciate the most, are exemplified by things like the neo-kaiju Bemon and the Gogamejira (by AnrakuAnsaku). These toys make almost everything in my non-Japanese urban vinyl collection seem stale and uninspired by comparison. (One notable exception is the black and silver Biskup Calli – the original Calli. That figure really does it all for me and I will always keep it.)


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Mushrooms

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Fiends For Life

2. What do you find so interesting about Japanese vinyl?

For some reason, the kaiju figures just seem to have more character and feeling for me. I guess I like how strange they are – they can seem kind of threatening, but at the same time they are somehow comforting. They do more for my imagination. Also, I do feel that in many cases the quality of the vinyl and design of the Japanese vinyl figures is uniformly better than a lot of the other stuff out there. I have a clear pink Gogamejira – it is just beautiful to look at and to hold. The vinyl is soft to the touch. It smells great. And the paint job is awesome! Another nice touch is that you can see the Gogamejira’s heart inside his chest.

Big Pink

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3. Do you have "Holy Grail"? A figure that you really want, but it is very rare.

For a long time, I really wanted a white Dumb Luck figure by Gary Baseman. I also used to lust after the hand-painted Callis by Biskup. I never obtained either one. At this time, I really don’t have a “holy grail.” I think that my collecting attitude has matured to the point where I realize that there really isn’t anything that I just have to possess (“my precious…).

Wow! Thanks Geo! Amazing collection of American and Japanese vinyl!! More importantly, unbelievable toy photography! Keep the pictures coming!

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3 comments:

Skribbl said...

He does take the sweetest pics! It' like you can taste the vinyl!!! And don't even get me started on the translucent stuff!

toybot studios said...

Indeed!

Great toy photography from Geo! I luv the clear vinyl action!

Toy Mama said...

I blame Geo for my new obsession and the drain on my checking account. Thanks!

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