toyboxdx toy blog brog: is graceful art of daily expressing japanese toy
April 21, 2007
April 18, 2007
The good news: as of April 28, 2007, the Bandai Museum will be officially back in business. It has relocated to “Omocha no Machi” (“Toy Town”), the site of Bandai’s now-dormant domestic design and manufacturing operations. (Not to mention the location where the third specimen of Garada K7, the world’s rarest Japanese character toy, was discovered.)
The bad news: it’s located in Tochigi prefecture, roughly 2.5 hours outside of Tokyo, and apparently only open on weekends and holidays, meaning it won’t be nearly as accessible as the former location in Chiba.
The weird news: in addition to displaying some 7,000 items covering the “history of Japanese toys,” it will include a number of the inventions of Thomas Alva Edison, a super-deformed rendition of which appears to be the museum’s new mascot character. What would the famed American inventor make of seeing his creations displayed alongside Jumbo Machinders and a life-sized mockup of Mobile Suit Gundam….?
P.S.: A sampling of some of the toys displayed at the former Bandai Museum in Matsudo, Chiba can be seen here.
April 17, 2007
Legendary plastic model manufacturer Aoshima has announced that they will be selling Toynami’s Masterpiece Collection “Alpha Fighters” re-branded as “1:48 Shin Seiki Gokin Legioss” toys in Japan. The blue Eta, red Zeta, and green Iota will hit Japanese shelves in late July at a retail price of 10,290 yen each.
Hardly unexpected or earth-shattering news… but wait! Japanese toy-blog Yacolog reports that there’s a twist. Rather than simply importing, Aoshima will be manufacturing their own improved versions of the toys under an OEM license. In an interview with Yacolog, Aoshima described the changes as including “strengthening the joints” and “introducing new versions with different weapons.”
Details are sketchy at the moment, but scuttlebutt on Japan’s infamous 2ch forums reports that these “different weapons” may include missile pods for the left shoulder and a chest-mounted three-barrel missile launcher. It goes on to say that Aoshima is currently investigating the possibility of releasing the Masterpiece Collection “Beta”/”Tread” Fighter toy in Japan, but there is no guarantee that it will happen.
With the CM’s Corporation planning to release their own versions of the Legioss and Tread in the near future, it’s shaping up to be a big year for Mospeda fans. Stay tuned for more info as it comes in.
April 16, 2007
Some of the robot toy collection of Warren Schwartz (known around Toybox DX as the “toy Yoda”), will be on display at Louisiana State University’s Museum of Art beginning April 19th. Read all about it here.
April 15, 2007
April 14, 2007
Well, I’m sure I can’t be the only crazy fool but I have definitely fallen hook, line and sinker for CM’s Corporation’s Brave Gohkin Patlabors. You know the drill by now: They being ‘small toy companies catering to a specialised collector market’, will always find a way to maximise profits either through repaints and variants (rare or otherwise). In the case of these gorgeous Ingrams, it’s all in the head… literally.
First, CM’s released the Movie Ver. in early March where each set contained one (1!) body with the optional parts for either Izumi’s No. 1 head, or Ohta’s No. 2 head. Then just before April, the TV Ver. comes out with options for either No.1 or No. 3 heads. Hard to understand? Not if you’re a Patlabor fan, it isn’t…
Fans of the first movie will probably buy 2 of the Movie Ver. sets to own both No. 1 and No. 2. However, I suspect many more Patlabor fans love the TV and OVA series even more and would want to have the expanded line-up of all three Ingrams. With the cunning switcheroo on the TV-edition set, a fan will have to somehow acquire a No. 2 head from the Movie-edition, plus another TV-edition set to have the ‘anime correct’ shield emblem and stun-baton. Unless you have a buddy to exchange parts with, you may very well end up buying 4 sets in total. Like me!
Anyway, no regrets. The toy is really wonderfully realised with an abundance of diecast content and more than sufficient poseability in the cloth-shrouded joints. The inclusion of working patrol lights, opening cockpit hatches, slide-up seat and hatch-actuated revolver-cannon compartment are everything I have hoped for in a DX Patlabor toy.
I could never have as much satisfaction with any of the old Bandai toys from the 90s… Not with the brick-like 1/32 ‘lights & sound’ Ingram, and certainly not with the frustratingly pose-limited 1/60 Cloth-Gear series. The current Patlabor output from Kaiyodo’s Revoltech is mighty sweet for action figures, but with the CM’s Ingram I have found an ‘SOC worthy’ incarnation of one of my favorite Yutaka Izubuchi mecha designs.
What else is on the horizon from CM’s Corp? Well, I have already been induced to purchase my very first sofubi because of the excellence displayed in the Ingram: The limited edition ‘in-scale’ Tyrant 2000 worker labor.
Judging from the multiple re-stockings of the Ingram here in Singapore, I certainly hope CM’s continues with a Brave Gohkin of the badass Griffon. That’s the version with the wings right? Or the underwater one? I’ll take ’em all, thank you!
April 13, 2007
April 12, 2007
There was a failed experiment, “American Otaku”
Has it really been almost four years?