Thursday, September 28, 2006
Earlier this year, I got all excited because Bandai released what looked like a very cool Tachikoma action figure from Ghost in the Shell. Unfortunately, it was a kit. I complained to the toy gods and apparently Megahouse has decided to listen by releasing this completely painted "action figure" of the Tachikoma tank from the GiTS "Stand Alone Complex" series. It doesn't come cheap or early either. It's gonna bust you $85 before shipping and won't arrive until February. No matter, i've pre-ordered it anyways. I'm a sucker for tanks from Ghost in the Shell. I like how the cockpit doors open up. Hopefully we will see some details inside. I'm also hoping for a small Maj. Motoko figure to go along with it! Although i'm partial to the original Fuchikoma tanks and own the complete set of Fuchikoma cold-cast resin statues shown here in an earlier post,how can you deny Shirow Masamune's incredible mecha designs when presented in a convenient no muss, no fuss package with such gorgeous metallic blue paint!!?? You Can't, so you might as well just pre-order one too from Hobby Link Japan
I spend a lot of time online searching for Japanese toys. Every once in a while you see something that catches your eye. It's that moment when you see the picture,and immediately click to get a better look. Something must be in the air, cause i've had a number of these moments this week. Since i've been so focused on Japanese Vinyl recently, I haven't made the rounds to Hobby Link Japan in while. The first gasp was when I saw this set of Votoms Blue Knight Berserga #2 Trading figures from Kotobukiya. For those of you new to toybot studios, you probably missed my photo gallery which was a "Lucky Find" post for the first series of these amazing Votoms Trading figures. To check out the first set, Click Here! The first set has to be one of my all-time favorite mini figures sets! Unbelievably detailed in sculp and paint! Just amazing! So when I saw Kotobukiya is releasing a 2nd set due out this December, I let out a gasp, clicked on the picture and let out another gasp because as you can see, the figures are awesome! Without hesitation, I clicked on PRE-ORDER!! You can too for around $62 before shipping from our buds at Hobby Link Japan
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Sunday, September 24, 2006
I've been collecting a shit load of Japanese vinyl lately. It's very addictive and very expensive. I haven't been able to post as much cause a. I'm always on the look out for more Japanese vinyl and b. i'm now working the graveyard shift at Wendy's to pay for all these toys! My toy photography has also suffered as there are literally about 100 toys that I would like to shoot, but alas, not enough time and too many burgers to flip! I was able to sneak away from the drive-through and take these test shots of some toys recently purchased. The first octopus looking thing is called a 4" tall Blobpus. I was never into kaiju or monsters before so I'm not sure what is going on here, but I love these things now! This Blobpus is a clear purple vinyl version that is pretty hard to find. You don't want to know how much I shelled out for this piece of vinyl. fuck me.
This next guy is a 4" tall clear blue Desura from Gargamel. San Diego Comic Con exclusive and one of my all time favorite figures. I love the design, but what I love even more is the translucent blue vinyl. It looks like it should be candy from Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory or something! At $35 at SDDC, this is a very reasonable toy. This first pic, I pumped up the blue in Photoshop...
The next guy is from Gargamel again. He came in a set called Smoking Corps which is a play on words i'm sure. We need to get Frank Kozik to do some kind of custom which has one of the Smoking Corps figures with a giant cigarette in his mouth! One of the other figures not pictured here is actually a giant cigarette!
Finally, this last clear orange and black guy is Camguts from Sunguts. It's an exclusive Super 7 figure that was managed by Isaac over at Skullbrain. He's a mini hero only about 4" tall but goes very well with all the other ecletic mix of action figures and growing vinyl army!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I just got this really nice email from the Mad Canadian Dentist and Custom Toy Maker Dr. Bao from the legendary NVC Crew! I was going to paraphrase his story about the creation of his latest project, but i'm too lazy and I think it's such a cool story, you might as well hear it from the man himself! All I can say is another AMAZING custom Dr. Bao!! The fact that this toy actually plays real music is unbelievable!!
Hi Kirkland!! How are you?? Hey long time no talk to you!!! I was busy with this custom that I will show to you.....As you probably know, we gonna be at the Cheschire Cat show at gallery 1988.
So here's the little story about this custom and the whole concept behind it........Ahhhh you know how I just love to tell story!!!! Hhehheeh!!! :)
So you remember that we use to ask a close friend of us that is from Montreal too, to make the soundtrack for the videos that we made for our customs( for the Taipei show and the Grendizer video)......We use to help him for anything that is visual presentation....We'll these guys have a group called the Boom Bap Cats........so when we received an email from Jensen of Gallery 1988 inviting us to participate to this show.......I was surprise first because when I saw the artists list......I was like hey....we're the only non pro artist there!!!!!! :)
I accept of course and I was like...hey it's the perfect time to create something on the concept of a cat that is a music lover... So that's the initial idea. But at the same time I knew that this toy will be very difficult to custom because all the forms are too already very defined....... It's a cat......You know, a cat is a cat!!!!
So we start to brainstorm on how we can create something cool from this toy........So we decide to give this cat a funky and cool look...that's how we came up with the idea of the dreadz and the whool hat. To make the head more comlete and to give it some volume , we decided to add a huge pair of headphone. It really gives to it a street looking.
But Spive was like....hey we have to do something woth the body and the the tail.........Yeah the tail......This is probaly the part that I like the most from this toy.....It really gives to the cat a special look....a big tail.......so we really have to find something to do with it.........I was doing my coffee......when I just got this crazy idea........I turn my back to Spive and go like....I got it!!!!!! We have to make the trump of a grammophon with it!!!!!! It's the perfect shape to make this part of the grammophon with it. Since we're just big fans of vinyl records and anything related to it......Well we just decided to make a tribute to the ancestor of the turntable.....a grammophon!!! So we built a grammophon with pieces of wood that we cut and then glued all the parts together..... I even tried to replicate the kind of needle that goes on the vinyl record.....
So now we have a cat that seems to listen to music generated by this kind of grammophon. But I was like, hey if someone look at this custom.......the last thing that this person would say and want would be......if this thing can really play music it would be cool.......So that's it!!!!! Hey why not try to make this thing play music for real!!!!!! That's how we start to think how and where we incorporate speakers into it......We finally put the speakers on each side of the belley of the cat... Kirkland.....this part of the custom was hell to do!!!!! It's just crazy how hard it was to make all the parts fit well with the cat......At a certain moment I was saying to Spive ...hey why did we try to do this.....The custom would already be finish if we would not try this.......But he goes like....hey it would be cool without this feature but just imagine 2 seconds how much cooler and more complete if it can really play music.....It would be just like what people would expect.......I was like...ok ok.....And I finally make all this thing fits together.......Now you can plug a CD, MP3 or anything that has a jack plug and make this thing create some sounds!!! Of course the sound isn't loud and good......but hey....it was only for the concept and try to push it to the end. But now we did it...I'm happy!!!! :)
Now that the cat was finish, we have to try to create a background fot it.....So we decide to simulate like if the cat was in an alley in front of a wall covered with graffiti. So we painted a wall....if you look carefully the pics, you can see that there's bricks on the wall.........
To make it more street, we scuplted a garbage full of litters....
The last prop that we did, was to do the vinyl crates......Vinyl records need a vinyl crate!!!!!! More than that, we even replicated vinyl record covers that are most wanted from hip hop music producers all around the world......that was quite cool because if a real music producers see this thing....they would go....hey these guys really know what they're doing....these records are damn rare and are probably on their most wanted list if they don't have them.....
Finally, to make the connection between our custom project and the cheschire cat.....the original cheschire cat..... I thought that it would be cool to find if there was a real Alice in Wonderland vinyl record LP ever created.........And i found out a Alice in Wonderland LP created in 1968.....so that was just the perfect thing to incorporate to the project....It was to make people remember that this project was an Alice in Wonderland Cheschire Cat tribute.
So that's it Kirkland!!!!! That was the story behind this project. Think we came up with something quite special. I think it's really not a conventional custom..... Don't know how people will react to this.....but for us it was very cool to do since we very like the concept around this custom and I think we just push our concept to the end of it. I think it's quite complete....we might forget stuff but think that most of the big details are there.
So you can post our project if you want....I received an email from the gallery giving us special permission to show our project to the public.....so that's quite cool!!!
Here's the link for the show
Thanks for your time Kirkland! Talk to you soon!!!!
By the way, where are you located from?? If you're near LA, you can drop by the gallery I will fly to LA for the show!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Flickr buddy and Gundam UO fanatic namenicht snuck a picture of the upcoming Gundam Ultimate Operation Plus 5 set coming out in September from Hong Kong's Toys Daily. Apparently a set was on display at one of the Japanese Hobby Shows recently. The red guy looks like the winner and the one that will define this series: Gerbera!! One of my favorite Fix Figurations! Looks pretty good in the UO form as well. Also shown below is a very interesting translucent versions of your favorite Gundam Mechas. From the tags, they look to come in both the HG 1/144 scale as well as MG 1/100 scale. Meh! I'm too lazy to put together kits anymore. Give me translucent action figures! Actually, I do remember an MSiA version that was clear...But the orange Zaku?? C'mon, that's cool!
The new Franken Monkey Resin Figures will be here soon.
Out on his own and ready to explore. Our curious little friend escaped from the lab just in the nick of time...or did he? This little guy comes to you straight from the lab at Atomic Monkey www.atomicmonkey.com. Each piece is 3.5 inches tall and was designed and sculpted by the mad scientists at the Monkey. Limited to 500 Brown, 400 Mint Green, 300 Black, and 300 Magenta.
Retail $15 each
Check out the preview images below for the 7" vinyls with removable brains and GID eyes.
I like the black one above. Size is right at 3.5 inches, but for $15 buckaroos each? hmmmmm, a liiiittttle steep if you ask me. What's up with the 3rd eye? The 7" version with the cut out brains (for eating) and the GID eyeballs looks pretty cool.
Monday, September 18, 2006
The Red Masked Ranger from Secret Base has dropped!!! The third figure in the insanely popular Secret Base Masked Ranger Series features a translucent red "Paper Bag" head with a red inner plushie body. Super 7 has a limited number of these must-have figures so get 'em for $60 before you have to resort to eBay or Yahoo Japan for much more!!
btw, from the background, you can see what the 4th figure will be! The tell tale twin heads of the Ghostfighter! But what color?? This picture below is from Skullbrain member LivingDead who lives in Japan and has the luxury of visiting the actual Secret Base retail store. Although I assumed the inner plushie with the two heads is for the Ghostfighter, LD reminded me that it could also be for the two-headed Mantis or two-headed Madball figures as well. True, true, but given the popularity of the Ghostfighter, I don't see this happening.