[DESIGNER VINYLS] Hot or Not?

Posted by Sanjeev 
kidnicky Wrote:
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> [BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, DR. CHECK COLA, BLAH]
> I guess you could say I don't care much for
> designer vinyl.


This is hilarious.

You're not that guy who went nuts about Godzilla, are you?

Agree about the tightness of Chinese Monster Hookers.

Also: Implying that Sanjeev is a hipster is hilarious, too. Everyone knows that the REAL Sanjeev is an accurately detailed, handpulled, individually numbered colorway. And he has never been cheaper than any of the Chinese hookers I've bootlegged. Werd.
No,I'm not the kid who wanted a Baragon for 17 dollars,if that's who you mean. I'm not really complaining that designer vinyl is expensive,but it's expensive *for what you get*. I have no problem with paying more for a "collectable" than I would a mass market toy,but when I pay more I expect more quality,not less.

I just reread my post and it does look a little like I'm trashing Sanjeev,but that's not the case. I was making fun of the "scene" in general,Sanjeev is cool.
"asymetrically-haired douches"


Shit, I guess I need to get my hair cut again and stop listening to the Smiths. ;-)
Is a mullet considered 'asymmetrical'?
kidnicky Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No,I'm not the kid who wanted a Baragon for 17
> dollars,if that's who you mean. I'm not really
> complaining that designer vinyl is expensive,but
> it's expensive *for what you get*. I have no
> problem with paying more for a "collectable" than
> I would a mass market toy,but when I pay more I
> expect more quality,not less.

It seems like you're confusing other unrelated issues with styles that don't appeal to you.

Designer vinyl isn't expensive for what you get if it's what you like. I like Bandai vinyls because they're cheap and look a lot like what's shown on-screen in the TV shows. But I hate them because they have no life beyond the original subject matter and they're immobile bricks. I usually enjoy the assorted M1 vinyls because they offer up their own, funky-fresh takes on existing designs with retro-simple-garish aesthetic. But I usually hate them because they're also immobile bricks.


> I just reread my post and it does look a little
> like I'm trashing Sanjeev,but that's not the case.
> I was making fun of the "scene" in general,Sanjeev
> is cool.

He's not just cool, he's downright frosty.
servbot30 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Is a mullet considered 'asymmetrical'?


Do you wear it rougishly to the side when cage fighting? ;-)



On a more on topic note, I think it is hard to minimalize or marginalize a whole genre of collecting and or people who are into them. There are douche's in every facet of collecting, and to the average person, anyone who collects expensive toys at our age in this economy falls into this category.Heh, I know I do.

Embrace it and move on. It is all expensive landfill when it is all said and done. And every thing we buy is subjective in terms of price.
As an actual designer, I appreciate the craft and artistry of many of these vinyls. To compare them to Bandai mass produced pieces is sort of strange for me. They are two different things. I get what your saying, but as was pointed out on CDX by Ben when this exact topic came up a little while ago, there are some major differences to consider first.

Consider even the Nekobot for example. From what I recall you did dig that.

For me,each toy has to be judged on its own merits case by case. ;-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/07/2010 06:49PM by josh fraser.
The Nekobot is pretty cool,good point. And no,I will NEVER stop listening to the Smiths. I do think the designer vinyl thing will end up being destructive to the hobby in the long run,just like all the stupid gimmicks that killed comics in the 90s.
This thread reminded me of super robot, so I looked up his old thread and website:

[toyboxdx.com]

He put up a picture of a prototype last month:

[superrobots.blogspot.com]



I really like his stuff and would support it if he started producing these.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/07/2010 09:14PM by Scopedog.
Attachments:
open | download - CM_SUPERROBOTS_02.jpg (89.7 KB)
I dig new vinyl.

I had this WTF attitude towards the pricing and scene when I first heard about it, but I tried out some stuff that I liked and was hooked. There's really nothing like it. Of course, the prices are insane--even at retail, but I thought that about the robots and stuff we collect here too. Still, I buy them because I like them and that's the price I have to pay to have them.

Anyway, I think it's great for what it is.
With the robots though,you're actually -getting something-. I mean,they're made from metal or hard plastic,they have several points of articulation,they have missile/fist launchers,alt. modes,just STUFF. When you hold a SOC up next to a Hasbro Transformer,it's clear why the SOC cost more,even a random non-anime fan off the street can see the difference in quality.
With a vinyl though,you're typically talking about a toy with a softer sculpt,fewer and less precise paint apps and less articulation than the mass market equivilant. You can say what about Nekobot,what about Ashley Wood,what about Eyezon,etc. etc. but the point is what I'm saying is true about at least 90 percent of the designer scene.
Nicky, let me introduce you to the Roger of 10 years ago:

[toyboxdx.com]

He was big on the realism thing, too, and thought Bullmark vinyls were dumb because they looked like they were painted by a "blind person with the shakes."

Eventually his tastes changed. Come back to this thread in a decade and tell us how you feel.
well, I have a few 10-15dollar bandai figs and when I hold them up to one of my pricier new vinyl toys, I see and feel a difference in quality and everything else. I mean a SOC toy is definitely "better" than a Hasbro TRU toy. but does that make it worth 5-10x's the cost? Maybe. It's up to you to decide. Some people won't "get it". that's probably why there are fewer of them made than the hasbro toys.

my point is: if I want a $10 bandai vinyl hedorah, I'll buy one. It offers something different, but if I want something else, then I'll buy that. I can't speak for anyone else, but I buy it for what it is. I love some of the ideas, and how they're executed. It's hard for me to compare the shit I buy from the likes of Skullbrain to the stuff I might see on HLJ. they're not trying to do the same thing. It's like saying that I should pay more for a CD of classical music over a punk-rock CD because classical music gives you "more". sure, maybe. but it doesn't do a thing for you if you are looking for what punk music has to offer. to a solid fan of punk music how could you convince them that they'r not getting their money's worth?
"to a solid fan of punk music how could you convince them that they'r not getting their money's worth?"


Yeah sort of like going to see the Circle Jerks and the venue decides to change the concert to Philip Glass because it is "better" for you. ;-)


I love the analogy you make.
Eh, that's pretty apples to oranges there. To be quite serious about it (as I usually am), music is a fairly intangible product whose primary value beyond anything else is the enjoyment of a performance piece. It's not static, and it cannot be held, though it can be experienced over and over. Outside of the packaging it may come in, it's not something you can touch.

The toys are entirely different. You can get emotional, intellectual, blah blah blah input from them like you can get with the music, but the physical nature of the things places a huge difference on the experience. You cannot compare Circle Jerks/Philip Glass to SOC Dysengar/ROTF Bumblebee in the same way. "Worth" is not just a matter of taste. There is a tangible and financial difference to the items that is not something you really can place an emphasis on in music. Unless somehow you feel like Mighty Mighty Bosstones is worth more because they have 1,257 band members, whereas Rush has only 3.

Stupid, I know. But worth isn't just about perception.

More serious than thou
ed
Well I just "stumbled" across this thread on my lunch break and I find it fascinating to read the viewpoints of folks who really aren't big collectors of this stuff.
I think a lot of opinions here are right on the money and I think others are completely off the mark.
As a person who has collected Anraku toys for about 5 years now, I can honestly say that I do not collect them as a "status" symbol as you mentioned Ben. I do, however, find that a lot of newer collectors think that it's awesome to get them and flaunt them around like they are gods who should be worshipped. A lot of guys who have collected anraku since the beginning don't post their collections online and I can assure you that those people don't care what others have to say about their stuff.
The two high points of my toy collecting "career" were both anraku scores. One of them, a goga I bought in Japan after standing in line with a friend for about 5 hours, has both an awesome paint job and fantastic memories to go along with it. I didn't buy it as something to prove myself to other people or establish some spot as some toy snob, I bought it because I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.

This brings me to my next point about the whole "scene" as it stands today. Most of the time I think it's a big giant circle jerk about who has what.
While I am very involved with the other board, I can also say that it depresses me most days because all it seems to be is people buying up the latest toys to turn around and sell a week later because something new comes along. The nag toy is the worst thing to happen to that "scene" in a very long time. On the other hand, that maza toy can also be lumped into that category of the nag toy as well. It's all hype driven, but that can be said of any toy or collectible scene. If there is a demand and a finite supply of the figure, people are going to froth at the mouth for it when it's popular.

I will say that collecting the Japanese vinyl toys has brought me something that is much more important than the toys themselves, and that is a lot of cool friendships. I have hung out with folks all over the world since I started collecting this stuff, and the toys are just one thing that is part of that. It gives us something to talk about, but more often than not you realize that you have much more in common with other people. Deep down we're all dorks who loved Transformers, MOTU, Star wars...whatever it may be.

A few of you guys have also sparked my interest in other things vintage and die cast, and I'm looking forward to hanging around here to learn as much as I can.

(For the record, my first Japanese toy was Gardian when I was 9 years old. I still have him, he has most of his missiles but he does have a busted knee.)
"The toys are entirely different. You can get emotional, intellectual, blah blah blah input from them like you can get with the music, but the physical nature of the things places a huge difference on the experience. You cannot compare Circle Jerks/Philip Glass to SOC Dysengar/ROTF Bumblebee in the same way..."


Well no you can't. But as you said you are being more serious than I am about this. ;-)
Buy what you like, and be nice to your fellow collector.

That is the basis of what I care about. Everything else to me is cake.

Anyway I think Sanjeev's point of this thread has been derailed enough by our conceptual ramblings ;-)


Back to the toys we go. Haha
fujikuro Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Eh, that's pretty apples to oranges there. To be
> quite serious about it (as I usually am), music is
> a fairly intangible product whose primary value
> beyond anything else is the enjoyment of a
> performance piece. It's not static, and it cannot
> be held, though it can be experienced over and
> over. Outside of the packaging it may come in,
> it's not something you can touch.
>
> The toys are entirely different. You can get
> emotional, intellectual, blah blah blah input from
> them like you can get with the music, but the
> physical nature of the things places a huge
> difference on the experience. You cannot compare
> Circle Jerks/Philip Glass to SOC Dysengar/ROTF
> Bumblebee in the same way. "Worth" is not just a
> matter of taste. There is a tangible and
> financial difference to the items that is not
> something you really can place an emphasis on in
> music. Unless somehow you feel like Mighty Mighty
> Bosstones is worth more because they have 1,257
> band members, whereas Rush has only 3.
>
> Stupid, I know. But worth isn't just about
> perception.

My only disagreement with some of this is there is a cost difference to the ticket price you would pay. I have been to plenty of punk shows and bought plenty of cheap 7 inch singles. I have also been to enough Glass concerts and the like to know asking the price you would pay to see an Orpheus opera vs. a local punk show is somewhat different Lol. There are times i want to punch someone in the face at a show and other times I want to sit in my seat with a tie and jacket and go drink expensive scotch. What difference does it make what the catalyst is for that . Both experiences are part of my personality in equal parts. So to me the value i get from different food groups cannot be measured in any sort of heriarchal sense either.

But whatever, I am just splitting hairs for the sake of pontificating over an analogy that was a joke to begin with, so I am being a hypocirte to my last statement. I am going to stop being a troll and do something worthwhile now. ;-)



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/08/2010 04:14PM by josh fraser.
I had to switch from my iPod to my real computer so I could respond to both kidnicky and ed :)

First off, kidnicky, like I posted over on CDX, you miss the point of 'modern Japanese vinyl'. Like you said in your example, if all you want is a screen-accurate doggy-toy Hedorah figure, then the Bandai figures are clearly for you, and there's nothing wrong with that. The modern Japanese stuff is all about the craft. M1GO and B-Club produces ultra-high quality hand-made figures evocative of the vintage stuff, but most of the other vinyl producers are all about allowing a guy with an idea to make his original idea into a toy. Resin's OK as a 'designer' medium, but vinyl is infinitely more resilient, and makes for real 'toys'. Guys like Elegab, with wild and totally outlandish modern kaiju ideas are channeling Ultraman and Bullmark to make their own original toy designs, and that just couldn't happen if Bandai's Chinese factory was the only game in town for making vinyl toys. Your ire with the price seems to really stem from the fact that in your comparison with the Bandai figures all you want is a toy of an establish and classic monster, not something original. If you're not looking for the 'craft' then obviously the Japanese stuff won't 'click' for you, but you're really marginalizing people who have a vision and do everything in their power to make that vision a reality in a way that can be shared with other people every time you post the same complaint. The 'soft sculpts' and 'weak paint' are all done by hand in a very particular style, and take alot of work and skill to achieve. I DO understand your distaste for the attitude that surrounds alot of it (the whole music scene surrounding alot of it just mystifies me), but I think you're really overly dismissive of the actual toys if you look at them just as toys.


ed- It's nice to hear from you in a nice, constructive environment, instead of just fending off the stupid over on SB. I tend to generalize, as in the case of the Anraku stuff, but I don't doubt that there are indeed guys like you that have been with him since the beginning, and like the toys for what they are, not to flaunt. I personally don't care for the Anraku sculpts, but you can't fault the guy for making exactly the figures he wants, or anyone that does actually like them. It just tends to sour your view when all you see are people moving from big thing to big thing, like with the stupid nagnagnag figure. Someone pointed out to me on SB that when the first teasers were shown, I actually did like the sculpt. Once the real painted versions like the Meat one came out and I realize that the sculpt was much more 'icky' and less stylized like the Pollution Monster Bemon, then I was pretty turned off by it, and that whole thread only provides more reasons to actively dislike it.

I'm home on break from school this week and got to meet a whole pile of new toys. I reorganized my Real X Head to make some room, and will have to take some new pics. I also finally got to check out my Lucky Bag Custom Show Sarumon by Killer J, and that is a huge, chunky, and really fun sculpt. I'll have to post some pics of that as well to see what people think. It's very classic kaiju, with some excellent sculpting. It doesn't hurt that the custom I received is very subtle and well done, to boot. Also got lots more Ashley Wood stuff and spent this afternoon takings pics for more reviews. Now that I have some different bots in matching schemes, I'm really just head over heels and looking forward to getting my new preordered item. It's like these toys were designed specifically for me.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
"be nice to your fellow collector"

Fuck that. Bitches.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
hillsy Wrote:
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> "be nice to your fellow collector"
>
> Fuck that. Bitches.


I did not mean you Tanuki. ;-)
josh fraser Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "The toys are entirely different. You can get
> emotional, intellectual, blah blah blah input from
> them like you can get with the music, but the
> physical nature of the things places a huge
> difference on the experience. You cannot compare
> Circle Jerks/Philip Glass to SOC Dysengar/ROTF
> Bumblebee in the same way..."
>
>
> Well no you can't. But as you said you are being
> more serious than I am about this. ;-)

Indeed. That's what you get for bringing Philip Glass into this.

More serious than thou
Prometheum5 Wrote:
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> Your ire with
> the price seems to really stem from the fact that
> in your comparison with the Bandai figures all you
> want is a toy of an establish and classic monster,
> not something original.

Why would you use the word "original" in a discussion of designer vinyl toys? The vast majority fall into three catagories:

1.knockoffs of classic kaiju toys/characters. What's "original" about making your own Ultraman/Kamen Rider enemies who adhere to the classic looks and concepts?

2.Me-too faux fifties storybook art. There's nothing "original" about trying to draw like Tim Biskup or Gary Baseman. For some reason these things are oftentimes called "kaiju" too,even though they have nothing to do with Japan,because the guys who buy this stuff don't watch kaiju eiga anyway.

3.Art that looks "street" or "urban" to a sheltered suburban teen,but would be laughed at by a real gang member. Krylon can monsters are pretty gangsta!
Anonymous User
Nicky, you seem determined to dislike these toys, so I doubt anything we say will change your mind.

Speaking to your first "category" of designer vinyls, maybe you're not aware of this, but a lot of the knockoff style vinyls are actually based on vintage toys. Back in the 60s and 70s, these were produced as cheap toys to cash in on the 'kaiju boom.' Cheap though they may seem to us now, Bullmarks and Marusans were the expensive toys, and these 'original' characters were given to kids as omiyage or purchased by parents who couldn't afford the real thing. Today, these knockoff/original toys are very difficult to find, and sometimes more expensive than the Ultra or Toho character vinyls as a result. So in a way, the original designer vinyls give modern collectors a way to recapture the cheap toys from their youth without spending hundreds of dollars on rare vintage pieces. The story really runs a lot deeper than "hipsters" attempting to turn knock-off characters into a niche hobby.

But that is really only a small subset of the Japanese designer vinyls. Many of them are original characters based on the artwork of their creators. For example, my favorite toy is called Gumoz by Dream Rocket. It is based on a drawing that the sculptor/painter did when he was just a kid. And now he is able to make it into a fully-articulated toy. How cool is that?

I'm not going to go into the differences in quality and price justification since Ben touches on this. I will say that your criticisms seem rather generalized based on a superficial understanding of the topic. Specific examples might be more conducive to the debate.
Well, Hey now, git yerself down to NYC on April 2nd, for the "Toy Street" event.

Hipster heaven here I come. I should fit right in, right? right?
"Designer toys", sneaks, art, live paintin', music, blah, blah,..
I'll probably drag a couple friends, and report back what I find.
[www.bakedinny.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/08/2010 11:21PM by repairtechjon.
So how durable are vinyl toys? I have a few of the Patlabor vinyls from CM's and I'm not at all careful in handling them. Can I, for example, let my 5-year old nephew play with them? Should I be worried anout painted details fading?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Dang, missed so much over the weekend...

First of all, Gcrush: mwwah! ;)

Anyway, I totally agree with Matt: "Do I like it?" If so, I buy it. That sums it up beautifully.

Last thing about the pussy monsters, yeah, I guess there could be legit artistic merit to the stuff. I'd have to meet Carlos (who I hear IS a great guy, by the way) to pick his brain myself. I'm perfectly open to the idea that I'm just being a jaded bastard...I've just seen WAY too many dick and pussy sculptures and whatnot from pretentious "arteeeests". Kind of a bummer 'cause it's clearly at the point where if I see some gonads in "art", I immediately start looking for the visual cues the artist uses to hook (read: "dupe") their audience. Sex is fine. Sex sells, though...so I'm cynical by default. :/

Oh, but I'm glad we have Agin to tell us that this stuff is "toy art". *Phew*! I was feeling pretty lost there without that term he "coined". :P

Hillsy, I haven't gotten around to ToyPunks yet (when's volume 2 coming out, by the way??), but I hear it's way better than Toys Are Us (which Dave and I saw...and were kinda disgusted with). JoshF, you definitely need to make the King of Kong of toy geeks!

kidnicky, good to see you over here, man. Yeah, we've gotten into this discussion before on CDX, and even if we don't necessarily agree about these toys, I find it refreshing to see someone arguing their point so damn vehemently...let alone someone who actually comes from a solid kaiju eiga fan background! The way I see it, YES, the hipster "counter-culture" is repugnant...but you don't *have* to subscribe to it in any way, shape, or form just because you like a few of their toys. Let's face it, Mad Baron's hot. That don't make Erik a hipster!

And as for the price argument, it's well-taken, but I just prefer to collect a smaller pool of expensive-but-high-quality toys to a fucking HUGE ocean of crap toys. Just check out my vinyls--there's only a very small percentage of designer toys. It's mostly character kaiju. Yet these character toys by M1, Marusan, Marmit, Bear Model, Toygraph, Yamanaya, and the like are still pretty pricey. That CCP or Atelier-G1 Hedorah at the top of this pic? They're hardly bootlegs or knockoffs. They're fucking amazing. And, sure, I can get 5 Bandai vinyls for the price of just one of those...but I don't want to. I prefer the good shit to toy crack. Bandai crack vinyl may be the financial successor to the original Bullmarks back in the day (that retailed for around a buck)...but in terms of quality materials and paints and sheer aesthetics, I see these other modern companies as the true successors.

But I guess at the end of the day, if you've handled a modern vinyl from M1, Marmit, or Marusan...and didn't see "quality" in it...then, there's really no point. Stick with Bandai vinyls if they make you happy! And, hey, I can't front on that logic: I'd prefer a lot of modern Transformer toys (crack) to any SoC ("quality") most any day. And if you look at the number of Transformers that get sold every year and the number of Bandai vinyls that get sold every year, it would appear that most people would agree. We're a deranged minority here to begin with! :P

Oh, and to be clear, gimmick comic boom of the 90's almost killed comics then. But it didn't. I don't think the douchebaggier examples of designer vinyl will kill modern vinyl, as a whole. The solid shit will survive...just like comics did. ...By virtue of the dedicated fans.

Scopedog, thanks for posting that "Centauron" robot...looks like it could be pretty neat. Keep following that guys work.

fujikuro, I still don't see comparing expensive modern vinyl (designer or not) to cheap modern vinyl based purely on what people like as being invalid. Assuming Bandai doesn't make a killing on these toys, the profit margins for *any* vinyl toy isn't very high...especially in today's economy. Expensive modern vinyl is expensive for a reason (often one-person operations versus Bandai's monolithic factories)...over-inflated aftermarket prices notwithstanding. So if profit margins are relatively balanced, I think the comparison ends up falling squarely into the "what you're looking for" mentality kiriko is talking about, not any sort of quasi-objective "bang for your buck" argument.

Ed, shit...great to see you here, buddy! Knowing you and your collection, I know you don't fall into the hipster or "status-symbol" category. Thanks for providing your insight as a solid collector into this stuff. Yeah, the NagNagNag figure sucks...but at least Zollmen's Maza looks kinda interesting (to me, anyway). The hype around it, of course, means I'll probably never get one...and fortunately, I just don't care enough about the sculpt to care much... But anyway, you hit the nail on the head: there are other cool designer vinyl collectors out there and just like the community that's been built here around vintage robots, the vinyl guys are holding it down, too.

Daniel, thanks for addressing the point about pachi kaiju ("patchwork" or bootleg kaiju from the 60's and 70's). That's really important to know about when considering a lot of Zollmen's stuff, the myriad monster toys from Sekai No Kaiju (even though they're technically licensed, as you've explained before), etc., etc... Like you said, it's just one more interesting sub-genre of an already pretty deep hobby. Again, kidnicky, it's cool to favor Bandai stuff over designer or high-end Japanese character vinyls...but just for the sake of your own information, stick around. Learn about this shit. See what's out there. It doesn't have to change your mind or win you over...but at least, your opinions will be more informed.

Chet, you know how those Patlabor vinyls are ORDERS of fucking magnitude more "durable" than an SoC or other modern gokin? Well, designer vinyl probably falls in between, though MUCH closer to CM's vinyls. See, they toys, themselves, are just as durable--I mean, it's all fucking vinyl...Chinese or Japanese. The thing is, you won't risk paint "fading" on a vinyl from rough play...you'll risk paint rubs (little smears or bald spots). I never worry about paint rubs...but then again, I don't bash them around too much. I've paid a few hundred bucks for some of my most prized vinyls, though...so I'd hate to see their paintjobs get damaged!

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
Sanjeev, it's a damn good thing you're not a major celebrity. You'd have a hard time answering all that fan mail individually.

More serious than thou
Scopedog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This thread reminded me of super robot, so I
> looked up his old thread and website:
>
> [toyboxdx.com]
> 9#msg-147219
>
> He put up a picture of a prototype last month:
>
> [superrobots.blogspot.com]
> s-breaking-news.html
>
> [toyboxdx.com]
>
> I really like his stuff and would support it if he
> started producing these.

You know what, I MIGHT start buying vinyls if I saw more of this sort of thing going on. I still do want that orange vinyl of "Fire" that Corey's got.

More serious than thou
I'm sure I'll get rocks thrown at me but... I'd actually like to discuss the NagNagNag figure, the violent caveman. For those not familiar here are a buncha links that should bring you up to date:

[www.skullbrain.org]

[mishkanyc.com]

[mishkanyc.com]

The skullbrain thread perfectly illustrates the hype behind the fig. Even Lamour Supreme is in love with the figure. The hype is huge and unwarranted. But the hype is brilliant. This thing is the Kimbo of vinyl figs (I love Kimbo BTW). I feel the figure does have merit (get to that in a second) but it's completely overshadowed by the hype and controversy the figure has stirred. Hell after reading a few pages into the SB thread, even I want one. The group mentality of "cool" is almost overwhelming.

But my want is a little bit different. It's a curiousity. I want to see first hand if its quality is up to snuff. I'd love to have the opportunity to do a review of this thing. Break it down. See what makes it tick. And that's what I've been trying to do via pictures since the figure was brought up earlier in this thread.

Is Violent Caveman a good toy. No. Totally not. In no way could anyone have 'fun' in the traditional sense with said fig. But I do see it as 'art'. Albeit a smidge interactive, but in the same way hanging a painting is interactive. So I'll attempt to break it down as such.

Construction: How was this sculpted? The body is very rocky in texture. I almost want to believe it was cast from paper mache. The seems are fairly tight and the joints are by no means sloppy. It holds good balance and the arms aren't loose so care had to be taken in that respect. Much in the same way I'm intrigued by stretcher construction in paintings, I'm very curious about the material this way originally made from.

Head sculpt: Wow. Thats a tough one. The thing holds personality. It's difficult to describe but it does have a very humanistic face. In the same way expressionist art is more 'emotion' than real. It's a very innocent and dumbfounded look. He's violent because he doesn't know better. Little bit of Liquid TV's Brothers Grunt peaking through, expecially in the tag art. The hair plugs are well done and a nice change from most modern vinyl. The other head sculpt is a Siamese design. And just the addition of that feature invokes a more primal feeling. Like its a totem of an old god or a monster in the woods no one wanted to run into. Again the primal innocent look is still there. It doesn't know better. It just does what it does.

Colour: Tons of colour on these things. The Frankenruge (Barom-1 homage) is very pop art. Aside from the homage is can be seen as a social commentary piece. Caveman thats red, white, and blue. Gosh could'nt imagine the message. The Mishka version is loaded with blue and green colour changing paints.

Tag art: Another wow. Very pop. Very edgy. Could offend a few people easily. Particularly the Siamese art. Overall I see a lot of Punk styled rebellion going on. Offensive for offensives sake. Though the art was a collab between Lamour, Mishka and NNN. So who knows who was the brains behind this insanity.

And now the controversy: "Made in occupied Japan" is on the bottom of its foot and on the tags. Does anyone really know what thats supposed to mean? Occupied by who? USA, Dogs, Japanese, Dragons, a little lost toaster? It's a blanket vague statement that can be construed as anything. Toys I make are "made in occupied josh's bedroom". Occupied by me? Or occupied by empty pop tart boxes? But the statement is loaded enough to make people assume the worst. Thus controversy.

Price/availabilty: Runs of 10 for 16000 yen (like 170$) a piece. Sale done by lottery as well. Send in an email during a specific time/date and your name may be drawn to buy one. I actually like this method. With only 10 made it's fair to everyone who wants one. Not everyone can camp in from of their comp and wait. The price. You're all going to hate me, but I think is reasonable. But I'm saying this only on assumption that production of 10 vinyl figures is fuck balls expensive. This also includes the original construction materials, paint, header/bags, etc. If this guy can only afford to make 10 then I feel he should be paid more than enough to break even so he can continue making 'art' and possibly feed himself.

But if this guy is like kawsone and rich as fuck and charges stupid prices, then he can go to hell and die. Nuff Said.

Have I missed anything? I know someone you have a lot to say about this figure. I'm relatively new to it and just going on my own personal observations. You guys may have more info or enlightening opinions. Let's do it.
Nag Nag Nag... eh, no thank you. Anything I think I could make easily (albeit in a different medium) just as well isn't something I'd buy. It looks like something a 10 year old made in art class.

More serious than thou
MattAlt (Admin)
"And now the controversy: "Made in occupied Japan" is on the bottom of its foot and on the tags. Does anyone really know what thats supposed to mean? Occupied by who?"

You (and the SB guys) _are_ joking, right? Because it would be pretty sad if people had already forgotten the fact that America occupied Japan for a decade or so after this little World War happened back in the 1940s. The products, including tin toys, made by Japan during this period were stamped "made in occupied Japan." Putting that on the foot of a modern toy is an absolutely nerdy/demented stroke of genius and makes me like that ugly feller even more than I already did!
MattAlt Wrote:
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> "And now the controversy: "Made in occupied Japan"
> is on the bottom of its foot and on the tags. Does
> anyone really know what thats supposed to mean?
> Occupied by who?"
>
> You (and the SB guys) _are_ joking, right? Because
> it would be pretty sad if people had already
> forgotten the fact that America occupied Japan for
> a decade or so after this little World War
> happened back in the 1940s. The products,
> including tin toys, made by Japan during this
> period were stamped "made in occupied Japan."
> Putting that on the foot of a modern toy is an
> absolutely nerdy/demented stroke of genius and
> makes me like that ugly feller even more than I
> already did!


I agree. That is genius to me. I had old tins that said the same thing. One tin was made from recycled tin cans and they had the original printing on the inside of the toy.

If anything this is just pure folk art. Comparing this to a Bandai kaiju is just pure silliness. I see this more as a totem. Not that I would spend 170.00 on it, but I appreciate its funk and attempt at cultural context.
> You (and the SB guys) _are_ joking, right? Because
> it would be pretty sad if people had already
> forgotten the fact that America occupied Japan for
> a decade or so after this little World War
> happened back in the 1940s. The products,
> including tin toys, made by Japan during this
> period were stamped "made in occupied Japan."
> Putting that on the foot of a modern toy is an
> absolutely nerdy/demented stroke of genius and
> makes me like that ugly feller even more than I
> already did!

I didn't forget but I did forget to put that in my quasi-review. My bad. What I'm saying by vague is that it's not explicitly stated for what reason it's been stamped and what it means to the creator. It could have a totally different connotation to NNN. But more likely than not, that is what the guy is aiming for. I was being too objective and forgot a very important detail in the history of the stamp.
Fuck, I'm so sick of that thread. I remember when it started. IIRC, a lot of the speculation revolved around if the creator was making a statement regarding the presence of US troops in Japan, currently, or referring to the occupation after the 2nd World War. There was also a bit of speculation on whether this was a representation of an atomic bomb survivor. Either way, nothing makes me want this. It's especially creepy with 2 faces and hair.

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[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Anonymous User
I dislike many toys, but I think I can actually say that I hate the NNN toy. To me, it represents everything that is wrong and misdirected about Japanese designer vinyls (and the community that collects them). If there was ever a message, it has been lost in all of the in-fighting, hype and posturing.
I hate the NagNagNag, too, but my interpretation is that it's supposed to be a caricature of a gaijin barbarian. And of course, I hate the toy because it's been a magnet for messes that SB mods like Ed and I have to keep cleaning up.

I had a relative that collected "Made in Occupied Japan" items. There are guide books for them and everything. It's one of those antique categories like depression glass that has a pretty dedicated following.
I guess since I don't actually read these SB threads that I lack the "hatred" and emotional reaction to the toy many of you seem to have. I can't speak for Matt but I assume he has not spent much time there either.

Perhaps it is the sentiment of a certain kind of consumer, or the kind of inflated hype that your reacting to rather than the toy itself?

I mean it it is a piece of inanimate vinyl that taken out of context does not seem all that offensive. I cannot speak to the artist or his intent,so again i am not educated enough to make this sort of statement ...but I am speaking simply in terms of a first impression.

Shit I don't even collect vinyl. ;-)
fujikuro Wrote:
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> Nag Nag Nag... eh, no thank you. Anything I think
> I could make easily (albeit in a different medium)
> just as well isn't something I'd buy. It looks
> like something a 10 year old made in art class.

A lot of designer vinyl and urban vinyl evokes the hastily scribbled doodles from a high school student's notebook.
I'm not offended by it...the sculpt itself just creeps me the fuck out. With the hair, it reminds me of a shrunken head.

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