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January 25, 2011

Here Kitty Kitty…

Filed under: Co. YONEZAWA,Josh Fraser,Regan Miller,Zenmai — Josh Fraser @ 12:26 am

Likely to have been overshadowed by the Ogon Bat, I did not mention my other purchase waiting for me this weekend. Until now.

Kitty Fire. Made in 1972 by Yonezawa, this is the smaller of the two sparklers made of the Mirrorman kaiju.

Regan matched her nail polish for the occasion.

Of course now I need the bigger one.

December 1, 2010

Yonezawa terror.

Filed under: Co. YONEZAWA,Daily Money Shots,Josh Fraser,Zenmai — Josh Fraser @ 4:41 pm

Kamen rider will have his hands full in Shibuya tonight…

November 25, 2010

low res love

Filed under: Co. YONEZAWA,Daily Money Shots,Josh Fraser,Toy Love,Zenmai — Josh Fraser @ 10:55 am

Another couple additions to the army of foolishness.

Yonezawa Kamen Rider sparkler and E.O Ranger Robot.

November 14, 2010

It’s that time again

It’s that time again.

Josh got word from his parents that two boxes showed up at their house, so we headed out to see what new goodies we got. Per usual, I am tearing open bubble wrap and making small squeaking noises while Josh meticulously unwraps every piece and inspects every corner of every box.



November 1, 2010

Mihara Masafusa and Astekaiser zenmai for the kill.

Filed under: Co. YONEZAWA,Daily Money Shots,Stoopid,Zenmai — Josh Fraser @ 6:01 pm

Let me pigpile for a moment…

PERIOD:Koto cira Eisho (1504-1521)
MEI:”Bingo no Kuni Mihara Ju Masafusa Saku”
STYLE: Wakizashi

October 31, 2010

Yonezawa: Astekaizer

Filed under: Co. YONEZAWA,Stephan Halder,Toy Love,Toy News — chogoman @ 10:59 pm

A long weekend, a bunch of Astekaizers and ready is a Brog
about this funky japanese wrestler from the 70ties.
The TV show Pro Wrestling Star Astekaizer was premiered
in 1976 and was a mix of live action and animation, created by Go Nagai.
Yonezawa made a few Astekaizer toys. I focus on Astekaizer himself today.

Lets start with the big sofubi (No.14).

The size is ca. 8,3 inches (21cm). He only has a very simple action feature.
He could turn his arms around and you could remove his rubber-forearm-blades.
I’m not sure if you really could call this is an “action feature”  ;-)
These rubber parts are very loose attached…thats why most loose specimen are incomplete.

I really love the box of this guy. To be precise, I love all the Astekaizer boxes!
…and now you have the answer why this sucker is so expensive these days:
because of the diamond in his forehead!

Here are some detail shots of his rubber forearms and chest plate.

Lets continue with the “Standard” Diecast Astekaizer (No.1).
Again great box art and this time Astekaizer has some real action features.
There are two variations of the No.1 Astekaizer. The boxes look nearly the same,
but inside, one is packed in styrofoam and the other in foamed material.

They also have a different switches for the blade pop out mechanism on
their wrists/forearms and the illustration for this mechanism differ on
the back of the box.

Astekaizer has 3 action features. Removable chest plate (!), pop out chrome blades and
one of the best features ever: Missile firing feet!

Now its time for the mini Astekaizer (No.2). Also diecast with movable
blades in his forearms.

Here is the small sofubi Astekaizer. He comes in a plastic bag with cardboard header.

Thats it for today. More stuff as usual in the BBS.

August 27, 2010

Rider mania

A Yonezawa sparkler makes its way onto my shelf due to the kindness of a fellow collector.
Despite the insanity of recent prices and the fierce competition among bidders as of late, it is acts like this which keep my faith alive, that the child-like love is what fuels us at all the core.

Throw the boomerang hard next time you can. It will always come back.


February 1, 2010

Robot from Okinawa

Filed under: Co. YONEZAWA,Toy News,Warren Schwartz — Josh Fraser @ 11:16 am
The infamous auction...

Your heart races in the closing seconds.

There has been a lot of talk of grails as of late.

There are grails… Then there are Grails.

First seen in the Metal Box brog, the giant Red baron is head and shoulders above his other vinyl brothers and in actuality sits nicely in scale with the Villian Machinders at 18 inches tall.

But where did it come from and is this in fact a store display as some have suggested? Since there are so few to begin with, and as of yet no packaging has been located, that debate will certainly continue for some time.

From Owkinawa with love

But perhaps Warren’s email exchange (below) with the original owner might shed some light onto the origins of this amazing toy.

3/4 shot

“Dear Bev,
I’m very excited about this piece ~ thank you so much for listing ‘him’.
I would appreciate it if you could give me any information about how you came by it –
For instance, are you a toy dealer? Was it part of a lot? Was it a gift?
Do you collect or have other Japanese robots?
Or do you have particular ones which you plan to auction in the future?
Did you travel to Japan to get him?
Who owned him before you did… i.e. what is his ‘provenance?’

Any other information you have would be great! And finally, thank you for putting this up for auction!

All the best,


“Dear Warren:

I’m happy to tell you about this toy. It’s not a particularly unusual story. We lived on Okinawa from 1973 to 74′. My husband was with the US Dependent Schools there. Our kids were age 8, 10 and 12.
Our 8 year old liked to watch Japanese cartoons on TV and liked to spend his allowance in the shops in our village of Ishikawa. Someone asked me about how he was packaged when we got him but we believe there was none because the stores were so small, they probably took it out of the box. Actually, they weren’t stores that you could go into at all – just the front of a building where the family lived in the back. At night they would have a metal door that would cover the shelves.
From Okinawa, we went to Germany for 4 years and the US taxpayers shipped all of our belongings, including 5 large boxes of toys, around the world for us. Finally we settled in Litchfield, Illinois near where my husband and I grew up and we have been storing the toys, narrowed down to 3 boxes, for the next 30 years.
In November, I decided that it was time to clean the storeroom. So, our son was forced to decide which ones he really wanted to keep and the rest had to go. He’s still sentimental about the toys because it was a wonderful adventure in the life of our family. Mostly, I think he just kept some of the smaller German toys. Since the 2 robots were large, they were the first to go. I listed the red robot at $4.99 because it never occurred to me that anyone would want it. I hope he is a good addition to your collection.



“Dear Bev,
Thank you so much. It explains the circumstances of the toy, and why there is no box, and how it came into your possession. You’re right, it’s not particularly unusual that you were stationed in Japan and your son enjoyed toys bought from his allowance. But the environment in which the toy was sold is interesting to me.
My wife has been a member of the Boston Symphony for 35 years, and because the orchestra had a conductor who was Japanese he took the orchestra to Japan on tour. In 1986 I accompanied her for the first time and spent time in a number of cities visited by the tour. During rehearsals I would roam the town centers where the toy shops caught my eye, and particularly the shops which had vintage robots from the golden era of Japanese toys. I collected many of them, and shipped them back home where I have an expanding collection. I am an architect in Boston and have fallen in love with the forms, colors, and history of the Japanese creative mind, and the toys!

All the best,

“Dear Warren:
I mailed the robot this morning. I sent it parcel post (which should be 6 – 10 days delivery time) with insurance. By the way, since you said that you were interested in it’s “environment”, the name of those little stores were “mama-san” stores. Because Ishikawa was a small town, that’s all we had.


Scale as compared to missile firing red Baron

Scale as compared to missile firing red Baron

There is something to be said about the rarity of a toy, and perhaps the story behind it’s manufacture and company history. But to me there is something even more charming about the actual “history” and story each of these objects have through their journey through the years. Much like children’s names written on the bottom of the feet of many vinyls, there is a humanity that goes with this hobby that can be sometime forgotten if you don’t look carefully. Much like all of us, each of these toys has their own unique past.
The auction certainly was an exciting one, and the toy is really a work of art, but I find it even more beautiful knowing its humble beginnings, and who and where “he” came from.

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