toyboxdx toy blog brog: is graceful art of daily expressing japanese toy
November 25, 2012
August 15, 2012
As you might remember, I have already done my homage to Jet Jaguar a few years ago ( see link above). Then, I had given up hope to ever finding the one Bullmark vinyl that would for a moment, release me of my tin only diet.
As it happens, Sanjeev in his wisdom, (tainted always with a bit of evil), sends me a message in caps and exclamation points, and a link that would bring another circle to a close.
With only a couple days left a mint in bag Giant Bullmark Jet Jaguar grins at me mockingly. The last time one showed up, a couple years before, I had not been in a place to really go for it. Luckily, I had the means and waited it out.
Honestly surprised at the relatively low price it was won at, my buyer gets the typical diagram infused and enthusiastically neurotic email almost immediately after it ends.
1978 was when I saw my first Godzilla movie. Osh Gosh overalls and some random 70s graphic T, completed with blonde unkept muppet hair.
Creature Double Feature weekend was the weekly alter I prayed to. Godzilla vs Megalon was the sermon that made me see the light. Jet Jaguar was really my savior and gateway drug from which I would never return completely.
It was not until much later however , fully into my adulthood that I knew even a toy of this conglomeration of Japanese children’s imaginations even existed.
When it became apparent to me, not only was there a vinyl, but one over a foot tall… well, it went on a short list. One that lasted many years and one I even could not achieve when I lived in Tokyo. Loose yes, but not mint in bag for what was an affordable price 10 years ago.
I was worried it would have been the catalyst for getting into Toho vinyls, which really is not something I need to do to my wallet or sanity. Luckily it was just a desire for a proper Jet Jaguar toy that prompted the journey. One I’m happy to see finally come to an end.
August 2, 2012
May 9, 2012
This was a big check mark off the list. The Daidenjin zenmai was like the Vision Control Tetsujin 28 or Daitetsujin 17, one of the very last Popy tins made in the early 80s, and as a result had a lower production run. The desire for tin was over, and a golden era came to an end. Children had evolved to toys with real technology. The naivete of the medium, though charming to us now through the filter of time and sentimentality, failed to capture the minds of those moving inevitably to brands that brought transformation, interaction and modularity to the mix. A turn key simply was no longer all that was needed to open the door to their imagination.
But Popy tins certainly went out with a bang, as the colors and overall attention to the graphic design are in my humble opinion, one of the finest in the entire series.
December 22, 2011
I have been on this plane for what seems like years. I had a sinus infection for the better part of my work trip, but this did nothing to throw my insane plan to stop in Tokyo during my extended 12 layover. I had a mission, and that was to find the girl a present from Mandarake.
With my call to Alt the night before and a few quickly scribbled notes on the location of the Mandarake Complex, I got on the 7:44 am NEX from Narita and got my camera ready to document the quick trip to the motherland.
I relied on my memories of the train system and managed to get to Akihabara a couple hours before the noon opening of this black monolith of Otaku. I spoke briefly and polished up my crippled Japanese skills with a couple flyer girls asking where the store was and found I was pretty close by. A good friend of mine came along from work and we got some food nearby. I ate my mackeral with abandon dreaming of what the store would have waiting.
Needless to say, I was slightly dissapointed as most of the floors catered to the new skool and I silently regretted not going to Nakano to get my vintage fix. That said, I did manage to pick up a cheap Billiken tin that I needed and afterwards turned to my companion and said I wanted to get to Shibuya…it was near his hotel anyway, and I still have maybe an hour before I needed to be on the next NEX train to the airport. I was counting minutes literally.
Back on the Yamanote we go, and 30 minutes later, I am in my familiar zone, the place I used to hang and eat, watch overage women dressed as local school girls to keep their wealthy aging benefactors , and steer around the sketchy Eastern blockers who always made Hong Kong Rolex dealers seem tame and legit. I LOVED being back here even if it was for 20 minutes… literally.
Run down “seizure” strobe stairs into the depths of Mandarake, and make my way past the teenager cosplayers who greeted me.
Walking with purpose I notice the quality of vintage has been severely depleted by the raging internet and my hopes of finding anything seem dim at best for my nerd woman.
With 2 minutes left in my clock, I spy a worthy option, a Mint in bag Curricular machine st vinyl. His teddy bear stare prompts the yen in my pocket to loosen and I motion the tween store clerk out of his slumber to bring this gem to the even younger check out girl. Bagged, paid..score.
One minute to go, I say my goodbyes to my friend, promise we will hang out longer next time and get back to the train with moment to spare. I sit on the train and sigh with relief. Regan will be pleased and I make a mental notch on my hardcore belt.
Sometimes it is fun to be insane.
Added Bonus: Mandarake Dec 15th at 1:30 pm
August 31, 2011
Well, the Boston Summit was a smashing success and we would like to thank everyone in attendance for their continued interest and support in this awesome yet crazy hobby.. A fun time was had by all, deals were made and new alliances formed. Oh yeah, we also made some kick ass exclusives..
That being said, we have just a few leftovers that we would like to offer to our brothers and sisters who could not close the deal on coming out. Let me introduce our SICK Gekiganger inspired Summit exclusive…
If that wasn’t enough, there are Tshirts as well!
Check the BBS for price and ordering info HERE! Once again, thank you everyone for your friendship, support and love of the Japanese toy funk.
So, for those of you that didn’t make it, I’M LOOKING AT YOU! Next year we expect to see your mugs amongst all the rest of us toy geeks and toy widows.
July 31, 2011
July 30, 2011
May 1, 2011
April 30, 2011
This was a rather epic purchase in the making.
Uncle Warren is the saintly keeper of all things Red Baron. There is something magical about the character for the man, that induces youthful abandon and causes all logic to go out the window. We have all been there.. that special design that just makes us silly.
So his self imposed focus on vinyl and avoidance of jumbos in general has allowed him to not have to consider this Red baron as an option.
A couple weeks ago, Warren and I spy what is basically a dead stock toy… And when I say “dead stock”, I mean this toy looks like it was in a time capsule. The box, struck me as being the stuff of legend… almost mint itself.
I am in awe.
Warren makes his choice, that the love of character trumps the food group focus and asks me to help him bring the Baron home.
So, the long slippery slope of securing this beautiful toy ensues. After a week of nail biting and emails and shifting bank accounts, the final piece in his Baron pursuit is packed up and arrives.
Dave and I open the box, and I get his expert opinion. The smile tells me what I need to know. This toy is … perfect.
I will let the photos do the talking:
Even the ladies can’t resist the power of the Baron.
And finally the proud papa:
Also our greatest thanks to the efforts of Kohei from Tokyobuyers to communicate, secure and ship this in a textbook manner. You went above and beyond my friend.
In the competitive world of Japanese toy collecting, it is nice sometimes to simply help your friends achieve their grails, and bask in the glow of their love for the toy. In the end, I find this to be the biggest benefit of this community