toyboxdx toy blog brog: is graceful art of daily expressing japanese toy
April 30, 2009
Gordo Prust had probably no idea it would come to this.
I don’t collect vinyl. I am an infant in that niche, and leave it to the heavy hitters. Its just too overwhelming. But these talkers bitch slap me into submission every time I see one. As with MFVs they seem to be the drug of choice at the moment. Maybe it is the ethenyl, or maybe it is the funk. I for one ( As Uncle Al once said) need “just one fix”. But what a fix it is.
April 29, 2009
OK, OK.. I know I’ve thrown the hype on these guys before. AND, I know they get a bad wrap, but I fucking love this store. Every time without fail I score big here. Keep in mind, the internet has killed it. It’s killed the experience of going to a store and laying your hands on the god given funk made in the land of the rising sun destined to rest its smoked filled vinyl body in your gaijin hands.. The run on sentence lives. And so does Koenji’s finest, Gojira Ya mother fuckers!
If you ever find yourself in Koenji then you need to make the pilgrimage.
Godzilla Ya (Gojira-Ya)
3-67-1 Koenji, Suginami-ku
Hours: 2pm – 9pm, closed Wed.
Jim casing the bar. Did I mention they have a bar?!:
All the way up:
Kozaki-san in the house:
Jim Maitland, Mike Johnson and that infamous Brian Flynn guy bolting after a night of maddening scores..
Repaints? Maybe… If you collect diecast than who the fuck cares right?? Ha! Check this place next time you’re in Tokyo.
A little added bonus;
Minister Alt and I from a candid vid from 2008 (notice the stock looks almost the same a year earlier). You can almost catch Hillsy and Mark G hiding in the background if you pay attention:
April 28, 2009
The packaging lies. No one should collect these. But because of my sickness I felt compelled to obey the packaging and make them “collectable”. Do they do anything for me from a design perspective? No. Do they have any redeeming qualities that I can say make them worth having? No. They are simply representations of Gaiking, and no matter how much they suck, I find myself drawn to waste what room I have in my display case to house them. I admit it. Not only that, But somehow I felt a need to find any variant I could. Why? Well because they came in different boxes silly.
April 26, 2009
Man, I love Getta III. But I love him even more with a huge-assed head.
This is a vintage Bandai kit, roughly six inches tall, found assembled and painted at SuperFest earlier today, and given to me by Jim Maitland. (Thanks again!) It is an amazing, one-of-a-kind piece of art. Sure, the kit’s mass produced — but the paint job isn’t!
The thing I like best about stuff like this? The decisiveness of it. Modern portrayals of old characters follow the designs of the characters on-screen down to the pencil-scratch. Old ones? Not so much. Designers had to make brutal design choices to get around manufacturing limitations of the day. The shortsighted might describe the inevitable compromises needed to bring off an insane a transformation asGetta Robo’s in three dimensions as a “sacrifice.” I call it “style.” These guys weren’t the sorts of people to let a little realism get in the way of making a kick-ass toy. Forget the stuff on the TV screen for a second and LOOK AT THIS THING. Tell me it isn’t insanely great in its own hydrocephalic way. Okay, so the “transformation” consists of “removing the head.” Sue them.
There’s something about the crazily top-heavy design that captures the weight and power of the robot even better than the already great The Chogokin version does. And don’t get me started on the hard-boiled, old-school box art! Who needs a photograph of the product when you can have an oil painting of Getta III about to drive his righteous fist into the side of a supertanker instead?
April 25, 2009
April 23, 2009
“Patch” (from the Japanese “pachi,” a.k.a. “pachimono” (パチもの), literally “fake”) toys are just what the name implies. It refers to basically any kind of bootleg, but these days is most enthusiastically applied to soft vinyl kaiju figures: some modern homages or parodies, some vintage knock-offs, and others totally original characters with suspiciously familiar-sounding monikers, named to lure confused parents into buying the wrong toy (shades of “Kore Ja Nai Robo.”) They’ve gotten so popular that there’s even an annual “Pachimono Kaiju Summit” of collectors in Tokyo.
Above: a vintage vinyl kaiju by Miura Toy, discovered by Jim Maitland at a shop here in Neo-Tokyo, one of only two the obscurer-than-obscure manufacturer is known to have released. Any resemblance to more famous kaiju characters is purely… intentional.
Right now, the some of the most sought-after vintage pachi-kaiju toys are probably those made by an equally minor maker called “I.K.B.” (“Imagawa Kyodai Bussan,” or “Imagawa Brothers Products”), which in the early Seventies made a super-groovy series of pachimono Hedorah toys (1, 2, 3) that inspired a popular series of homages by the “designer vinyl” manufacturer Gargamel.