Need an excuse to go to Los Angeles next week? Lovely weather, movie stars, scantly clad women, and oh yeah, the OTAKU! art show is opening!!
OTAKU! features new paintings and work by:
This is not just any new work, all this stuff is influenced by japanese toys! Specifically vinyl kaiju, but there's also a back room filled with robot art and things like that. This monstrosity was put together by Jumbo Machinder toy widow Caryn Coleman.
Just for reference we'll all be dragging down a bunch of toys to display all month in the gallery next to the "real" art.
Opening reception is June 29th from 8-11pm, show runs through August 10th.
Copro / Nason Art Gallery
11265 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230
Or 310.398.2643 for more info.
See you there...
06.14.02: Mecha Feline Fury!!
It had to happen! I had beaten Tim to the punch with one too many "Instant Rumbles" on the BBS... My take on the Metal-Action KZ-01C Panzer Unit set off a flurry of shots from the Toy-Porn Maestro that nearly blinded us with their sheer beauty and brilliance. We talked later... and out of that was born the idea of a joint Rumble mission: To create our own photo record for this fantastic series of toys from TOMY, whose incredible designs and out-of-this-world poseabilty inspired the following visions... MORE!
06.11.02: License to Macross
Breaking news, as published by Macross maniacs Macrossworld.com!
Big West, the Japanese company recently recognized as the creator and owner of all Macross character designs by a Tokyo court, no longer recognizes Harmony Gold's exclusivity with regards to selling Macross toys in the USA. A total newcomer called "Sunwards" has been granted the rights to distribute Macross merchandise in the USA. In their own words, from a recent press release:
"Sunwards is pleased to announce commencement of Valkyrie products overseas distribution. The distribution right is licensed by an agreement with Big West. Our first product release is VF-1S Strike Valkyrie in August. Our right is invested by Big West whose copyright ownership was judicially affirmed by the Tokyo District Court ruling on February 25, 2002. Stay tuned for more details in our website."The bottom line? This means Americans will be able to purchase Japanese-made Valkyrie toys (think Yamato) in the USA without a middleman. Choice is good -- and it looks like Macross/Robotech fans will be getting plenty in the near future!
06.07.02: Foundation Overhaul...
Interested in the modern dissertation of the giant robot? How about in Lego? Lego mastermind Sun Yun has given you just that at FoundryDX. Check out his astounding work in the field of Lego giant robot technology. The site has been given a complete overhaul (it freakin' rocks by the way) and is sporting four fresh new designs, brick by loving brick.
06.06.02: Bring on the porn!
Here it is, kids: the newest section of ToyboxDX. Dedicated to one thing, and one thing only: ultra hardcore toy-pornography. Don't expect to find intellectual pontifications on the meaning of collecting or the history of toys -- read the damn Ramble for that crap! At Toy Porn, a picture is truly worth a thousand words...
Take me to the PORN!!!
05.31.02: Metal Grade Solid
After surviving the interrogation, I ripped open the parcel and ignored the other three sure-awesome toys and made for the dark blue box labeled as METAL GRADE RX-78 GUNDAM. Deep breath! The moment had arrived. A flip of the front flap revealed the aluminum metal case that held the ¥38000 robot. Nice box, by the way. On the front, in bold black, was yet another of reminder what was inside. I unlocked the two latches, flipped open the case, removed the sponge padding…and there he was...MORE!
05.30.02: Daigokin Redux
Marmit is bringing a sequel to the beloved Daigokin Mazinger Z to market! (For those of you toy fans who've been living under a rock for the last few years, the 15" tall Daigokin Mazinger Z was an enormous, near-solid chunk of barely poseable diecast robot toy love.)
Next up, predictably, will be Great Mazinger. Marmit says the design is mainly based on the "Fierce Legend of Super Robots" version sculpt, but "bulked up" for good measure. There's still no word as to accessories, release date, or pricing, but it'll probably be comparable to the previous Daigokin -- nearly $500.
ToyboxDX super genius Joshua Fraser sent me these un-freakin-believable prototype pictures of his 'soopah sekrit robot' project. Josh has been hammering away off and on at this for years. Truly a testament to super robot love.
This exquisite masterpiece is built off a Mazinger torso base, but is completely redefined. Carved completely out of bondo and coming in just under a foot tall, the prototype is almost complete. Latex molds in hand, Josh is planning a small run of hand painted plastic figures after he finishes the work on the wing and the arms.
Josh is entertaining a couple of different names for his wondrous creation. He is leaning towards "Yoarashi" which means night storm, and other thoughts include the more playful "Reza Katto" (razor cut).
05.19.02: Serious S.O.B.s
I can't get enough of these wacky little bastards!!!
05.19.02: AFFE, SCHMAFFE.
The Asian Fantasy Film Expo in Saddle Brook, NJ is less than a month away. Why should you care, you ask? Because if you go you can ask Bandai Japan's Shinichi Yokokawa questions like "What will be the next SOC after Dancougar?" and "Will there be a reissue of the Macross GBP-1S set?" and "Why aren't you making gashapon-sized reissues of the Bullmark Zinclons?". That's why. Check it out Here!
Hey kids, here they are! The notorious Megatron head pictures. These photos caused more controversy than clubbing a bag full of little baby seals. On the up side, this wasn't as messy.
In all seriousness, take a look at the wonderful progress Marvin has made on the Ultimate Megatron Jumbo Machinder. He gets huge props for delivering product, which is a hell of alot further than I have ever gotten when it comes to those crazy toy producing thoughts.
Big thanks to Japester for snapping up these great shots!
05.17.02: WIRED all night with Avant Grade Creations
Not so long ago, Roger Harkavy uncovered the nimble fingers of Singaporan Eric Chan and his mind-bending robot wire art. Now, Eric has unleashed his portfolio...in the form of AvantGrade Creations and all that is bendable and beautiful...MORE!
05.14.02: Neko Check-o
Unbelievable as it is (even to us), we made a mistake! It's actually ONE nano-Neko per $3.99 purchase, not two! Sorry about that!
We're thrilled to announce the release of a set of mini-mega limited ultra-unposeable edition ToyboxDX Nekosaur keychains, thanks to the folks at Diamond Comics. (Believe us, nobody's as shocked as we are that we're actually making it to market.)
Made of heavy yet supple pewter, that robotic feline mascot you love to love is available in four separate flavors: "naked," "gucci black," "gold," and "bronze." Unfortunately, they're only being offered at random -- but hey, you know you're ordering ten anyway.
You can place orders through your local comic-book store via the May issue of "Previews" magazine, Diamond's direct distribution catalog. And if you don't live near a comic book store, fear not: you can order 'em online through Westfield Comics as well. (Just type "nekosaur" in the search box).
Just make sure you act fast -- the deadline is May 22. (They're due to ship August 22.) Only $3.99 a pop! IT'S THE NEXT POKEMON! LET THE HOARDING BEGIN!
05.12.02: Yamato's "Big as yo' face" Valkyrie!
That's right -- Yamato has announced a lustily scaled-up version of their famed 1:60 transforming Valkyrie toy! At 1:48, it's a good measure bigger than even the old Takatoku toys. The detail level is astounding, and word on the street is that the removable leg mechanism has been replaced with something a bit more palatable to transforming-toy fans. No word as to the release date or price yet, although Macrossworld states that it "will not be cheap"...
Check it out for yourself!
05.12.02: HENSHIN HEDORAH!
Wayne Ho and those nutcases at Toypirates are at it again. Hot on the heels of their previous set of "shampoo bottle" style Godzilla vinyls comes a wacky new set -- this time, chronicling Hedorah the Smog Monster as he (?) mutates through his various forms. Check it out! And if ya like it... Get someone to go to the July '02 World Hobby Festival in Japan and grab 'em for ya, because they're convention exclusives.
05.09.02: There is a grave disturbance in the Schwartz
We at ToyboxDX care about our readers. That's why we've taken your numerous complaints about the Warren Schwartz Collection to heart. For the safety of you and future generations, we've put a warning label on the article so that no man, woman, or child will be subjected to such a raw display of gokin, vinyl, and tin without proper protection ever again. Please accept our sincerest, humblest apologies.
--The TBDX Crew
05.08.02: The Mark of the True Collector...
Are you a real collector?
Do you have that panache that sets you apart from the everyman collector?
I'm not talking about C10 Robocon toys, nor am I speaking of the glorious SG-01 Tetsujin 28 or even of the famed GA-50 DX Gaiking Daikumaryu.
That is all crap.
No, my friends, I speak of real COMMITMENT! Dedication to immortalizing your favorite characters deep within you own flesh in glorious ink!
If you can handle it, I dare you to enter the ultra taboo world of Shane's Archive, the Net's definitive home for fan tattoos...and if you can't handle it, go home and play with your toys.
--Shane And Tim
05.06.02: Superfly Schwartz
He's your momma, he's your daddy, he's that collector in the attic. But not just any attic: chances are, you ain't NEVER seen diecast (vinyl, tin, etc., etc.) like this before. I'd say words failed us... But they didn't! Check out Cap'n Yen and slop-boy Alt's take on the Warren Schwartz Collecting Imbalance in the WORLD COLLECTOR GALLERY!
--Alen, Matt, and the whole dang crew
05.05.02: MSZ-006 Z E T A
I frantically check the USPS web site to find out if my EMS package is here from Rainbow Ten. DAMN! They attempted to deliver it, but the wife was out (how dare she?). No problem…I can wait one more day... MORE!
05.05.02: GORGeous Blue Giant
Not too long ago (as discussions go by on the BBS), a chance pic of him on my crowded shelves prompted the curious to enquire about this strangely enigmatic giant. Well, Giant Gorg has a special place in my heart for its classic lines and elegant design which straddles both the worlds of Super Robots and Real Robots. I particularly like the idea of having the little boy perched on top of Gorg's head - so easy to imagine yourself there, feeling the breeze on your face as the world rushes by below...MORE!
04.30.02: Alen Rambles On...
That's right -- the oft-felt but seldom seen presence known as Alen Yen has drafted a new Ramble! Remember those? Memmmories... *sniff*
Anyway, check it out for yourselves in... The Ramble.
(duh, where else?)
--The Rumble Crew
04.30.02: Good Lord, More Getter
Getter Robo G I can handle. This well loved 'Shogun' here in the states has a gross lack of representation in the modern toy market. But Jesus, do we really NEED more Getter Robo 1 color variants!? We have 'getter' coming out the wazoo.
Needless to say, Japanese toy and garage kit producer Marmit is capitalizing on their ultra cheap and ultra crappy action figure molds of Getter Robo 1 and saturating an already over-saturated markets with both a Prototype Getter and a lovely Gucci Version as well.
Getter Robo G will retail at ¥4800 in May, with the repaints coming in at ¥3800 in June.
04.28.02: Golly 'G' Gundam!
04.27.02: The 'Plight' of the Valkyrie
Confused by all the controversy? Do you want the hard facts on the Harmony Gold/Macross situation?
Well, we did too...and luckily Scott Hards, President of HobbyLink Japan clued us in on the real story and provided us with some well thought out speculation. Get the scoop HERE!
--The TBDX Crew
04.25.02: Flipper's Revenge
A couple of months ago, I was thumbing through a Dengeki Hobby for my latest fix on my Gokin addition, I ran across a very bitch'n prototype of a Popynika Machine Dolphin from the upcoming OVA release of the Cyborg 009 animation. After studying the 2 inch by 3inch resin mock in Dengeki Hobby, I knew I have to have it (just retails at ¥3500)...MORE!
04.21.02: 'Unarmored' Full Armor Jumbo Grade Gundam?
What? That's like putting a suit and glasses on a Ken doll and calling it "Superman as Clark Kent". Our bootleggin' friends in Hong Kong have decided to make the next bootleg Jumbo Grade Gundam a Full Armor Gundam , FA-78-1 in Gundamese, but without the armor. This explains the "Green Gundam" Rumor as the Full Armor Gundam has a green head, shoulders, torso and skirt. An odd choice considering there are plenty of other versions of this same Gundam could have been released without the whole "Unarmored" explanation:
04.19.02: Char's Crack Attack...DX!
He bitched... He whined...
He moaned... He overpaid...
But its here, its finally here...and the BBS has never been so thankful. Shaggydog presents... The SAZABI!!!
--The TBDX Crew
04.18.02: Where's me Lucky Charms?
Jolly Green Gundan!? If it's a rumor, then it's weird. If it's true, then it's really weird. I have heard from two sources in Hong Kong (one of them being my pal Snow at Machindershop, who is more then reliable) that the bootleg Jumbo Grade Zaku has been delayed a little as the bootleggers are currently working on a "Green Gundam". Does this mean we will see an RX-78 with some green details, maybe an Okawara/real type Gundam, or maybe they misunderstood and the bootleggers are making Grey ones for an RX-78-3 (G-3 Gundam)? Or are we going to see a lime or mint green funky boot?
04.18.02: Ma.K. Daddy!
Ma.K. Daddy Drifand posted his 'egghead expose' on the BBS last month. In case you missed it then, we have immortalized it here in the rumble for all eternity! See how the SAFS stacks up to the Takatoku Nove, and the Kaiyodo Powered Suit! CHECK IT OUT!
Sometime in 1999, the need for land in Tokyo spawns the Babylon Project, a massive land reclamation work that seeks to retake the Tokyo Bay from the clutches of the ocean. In order to complete this huge undertaking, the government introduces the use of labors - versatile, heavy duty work-robots which greatly improved efficiency and productivity. Soon, however, this creates a new problem of labor-crimes and thus the Mobile Police was formed, along with their signature Patlabor (short for Patrol-Labor), the Shinohara AV-98 Ingram...MORE!!!
04.15.02: Kha-Plooey, And Other Stories of a Kansai Dialect
Unable to sleep, I opened the back section of the most recent HyperHobby and began to read the store ads. A lightbulb appeared...and bloomed! I thought to myself, 'Tomorrow, I shall go to Osaka and search out the Mandarake.' I became excited...too excited. I took a cold shower. The shower did not help. I opened my door again as the Bosozoku passed for the Nth time, and screamed, 'Tomorrow, I shall go to Osaka and find the Mandarake!...' The Bosozoku continued on their way. Gubba-gubba... I was blessed with 3 hours of sleep that night, more than usual, and awoke less than fresh the next day for my jaunt into a city of 10 million... MORE!!!
04.12.02: T S U M E T A I !
It's Tatsunoko's 40th birthday, and they are celebrating by indulging in the weird. Tatsunoko's own "Seahorse Brand" presents the first of their soft vinyl series ... Tsume Robo. What? You don't know who Tsume Robo is? He's an evil Andro Corps robot from the 1973 anime Casshan, who's been recently revived in games and gashapon. (And you call yourself a robot nut?)
(Casshan might've been the inspiration for Blue Falcon and Dyno-Mutt, airing two years after, except Casshan's dog robot Freinder looks like he could hurt you.)
Manufactured by kaiju toy house X-Plus, this 25cm figure is available this month for &Yen6,000, but only through Tatsunoko's web site, and only if you can grab one before the limited run of 500 is gone.
Regardless of the legality of bootleg figures they have become fairly commonplace in the toy industry. They are normally cheap, poorly constructed copies of the originals that are made of inferior materials. Bootlegs almost always have less articulation, less and often sloppy paint details and shoddy packaging.
None of this is true of the bootleg "Jumbo Grade Gundan". "Gundan"?
The bootleggers think calling it "Gundan" is going to help avoid a lawsuit?
I was blown away by the quality.
While there are slight differences, the bootleg can't be called cheap by any means. This thing is only slightly (very slightly) shorter then the original and has all of the same paint, articulation, weight and detail as the original.
It also has:
1) Really cool markings including model number and white base very much like the Perfect Grade RX-78 kit. Odd thing is that the decals on the lower legs appear to be a warning, but make no sense. I'm not just talking bad grammar here, some of the words aren't just misspelled, but look made up! Words like "kdehruvtwl"!!!!
2) Two piece shield, original has 3 piece (makes no real difference, just less to assemble (note that they use the original's instructions, so it appears that your missing a piece!)
3) Gundan has less stiffness in the joints, fact mine can raise his arms higher then the original!
4) Has the top of the backpack painted blue (original is black) as if it were supposed to be a part of the chest.
Other then this they are pretty much the same. I was completely floored with the quality of this thing.
Now the best part. They retail for $39 in Hong Kong. That means you can get one including shipping for less then the original.
04.11.02: DIECAST, What a Brother know?
Everyone knows that the Soul Of Bullmark gashapons are about the coolest things ever. So springboarding off the success of those Bandai decided to do the same thing, but of classic diecasts (and some crappy lighter robot). I'm not a giant diecast fan but as far as I can tell these got pretty mixed responses from people because they weren't supposed to actually have any diecast in them. Sorta defeats the point right? Anyway they were released and it seems diecast fans were more impressed with the shiney foil wrapper on a stick of gum.
Jump ahead a few months and art superstar Tim Biskup goes on a trip to Japan to talk some business and buys a set of these guys for me as a "look I'm back from Japan" gift. First thing I notice is the boxes , holy crap! They rule! Well, three of the four rule. The boxes are pretty dead on Popy box replicas, just a heck of a lot smaller. The fronts are anyway.
I pick them up and, whoah, what is this? Actually some heft? I rip open the "CGA-01" Mazinga box, and yep. Diecast. Well, not tons, but enough to fit the bill. In fact the entire legs are solid. The rest, while not diecast has all the little screw marks and shiney paint to make it look diecast enough that you have to touch it to be sure it isn't. There's even fake fist launching buttons. For the $1 or whatever these things cost I highly recommend you all go grab handfulls and buy them up.
The first set has Mazinga, Combattler, Kamen Rider, and for some god aweful reason Gold Litan. Kamen Rider and Mazinga are the only ones with Diecast. The other two are just plastic. Combattler pulls it off with lots of features, but as for Litan I suggest you grab handfulls and throw them in the street. And did I mention Gold Litan sucks?
--Sean 'I Love Gold Litan' Bonner
04.10.02: DAN THE MAN!!!
It's official! In their May 2002 issue,Dengeki Hobby published "blueprints" for the newest entry in the Soul of Chogokin series: Dancougar!
Yeah, we know, you're probably a little disappointed. Dancougar's never been particularly popular in this country, mainly because the only exposure Americans ever had to the series was the clunky, chunky, and plastic-y "Godaikin" toy. But the TV series was a smash hit among anime fans in Japan, so it was probably only a matter of time before Bandai bestowed the royal diecast treatment on the ol' boy.
Those disappointed with the character selection can console themselves with the fact that this is shaping up to be one of the most complicated transforming and combining robot toys ever created. Just as with the old-school DX Chogokin/Godaikin, each component will be capable of three independent transformations in addition to combining into big bad Dancougar himself. Unlike the old toy, however, Dancougar will actually look GOOD in his combined form, thanks to high-tech engineering details like nifty expanding thigh units. Thank goodness for small favors, anyway...
Release date and price haven't been announced yet, but one thing's for sure. For better or for worse, this is going to be the most detailed, "anime-accurate" Dancougar toy ever created. Cross your fingers and hope they throw in a "Dancougar Booster" wing accessory as well!
--The TBDX Staff
04.06.02: Sengoku Majin Goshogun
Hands down, my absolute favorite Super Robot is Goshogun. When I was about seven my best friend got the Combat Action Z Gokin. That thing was like the Holy Grail! We're not talking about Sun Vulcan or some bells and whistles Diaclone toy. Goshogun had style. I don't know if it was the unique peacock wings or the dominating shogun armor look, but somehow Goshogun put all other robots to shame in my seven-year-old mind...MORE!
04.01.02: In Quiet Appreciation...
I buy toys for many reasons. Some, like the Marmit 'Fierce Legend Of Super Robots', I pick up to display and admire, to fill out and add depth to the collection overall. Others I buy for the sheer enjoyment of the hunt, to find that odd, obscure treasure that has eluded the radar of many a collector. Then there are my favorites, the toys I buy to get a damn good toy. These days they are few and far between, but every once in a while a new toy comes out that I am just enamored with. In recent history I can think of few, however, one fine piece of toy-making comes to mind. I speak of the Kado-Senshi MS-06F Zaku...
03.31.02: Blitzkerig Kreiger!
Maschin Kreiger in the house! The difficult to pronounce (and even more difficult to spell) series of powered suit figures designed by Kow Yokoyama will be hitting AMERICAN shelves courtesy of the May issue of Previews magazine! Pricing details aren't finalized yet, but check out the nifty case shots!
First up in the Masc...Mach -- ah, we'll just call it Ma.K series -- are several repaints of the Super Armored Fighting Suit "S.A.F.S.," with other designs to follow in coming months.
Ma.K is based on an old series of kits sold by the Nitto corporation in the mid-Eighties; old-time readers of Hobby Japan undoubtedly remember more than a few issues that featured these smooth yet retro powered suit designs.
03.31.02: Home Robot Wars
Hot on the heels of Sony's newest robotic creation, the SDR-4, comes Bandai's entry in the battle to get "domestic" robots into Japanese homes: the almost appallingly cute BN-7.
The vaguely penguin-shaped BN-7 is a huge step beyond Bandai's previous attempt at a robotic pet, the BN-1 "Caprio" robo-kitty. Packing an internal Pentium III processor, 128MB of RAM, and running the Windows 2000 OS, BN-7 is purportedly able to speak and recognize some 650,000 words and recognize up to seven individuals by sight.
BN-7 hit the streets on Thursday, March 27, at the 2002 ROBODEX being held in Yokohama, Japan. There's still no word as to when consumers will be able to get their hands on the little fellow. In the meantime, we can only hope a pitched fistfight breaks out with Sony's hordes of SDR series humanoids at ROBODEX.
03.28.02: GX-10, Hunk Re-defined
Bandai's latest Soul of Chogokin offering, GX-10 Boss Borot is truly a big hunk of gokin love. Just looking at the box tells you you're in for a treat - which other SOC offers its own head to you and sports such a cool logo that screams "CHARACTER!". ..MORE!
I have a confession to make. Forgive me, but with a few exceptions, Japanese robots never seemed to be visually 'stunning'. Neat, yes. Cool, of course. But stunning, fearful and awesome? Unh-uh. Grendizer comes very close. Getter Dragun is closer (his head design blows ALL others away imho, but his blue t-shirt somehow makes me feel like I am watching Giant Robo-bowling)... MORE!
03.27.02: Xabungle In The Jungle!
Matt Alt sucks, and he has shit for taste.
These are terrible toys. Look at the "transformations": not since Shogun Dangard have I seen so unconvincing a "feature." I can't tell you how furious I get every time I see this "I lie down flat, therefore I am a vehicle" thing.
The mid-sized Clover diecast at least has metal content. Godforbid a kid would want to bend a leg, or rotate an arm forward. On the plus side: many many projectiles, rocket punch, sharp weapons, and the mysterious Diaclone-ish cockpit.
The "supersize" one, though -- this thing is inexcusable. I haven't seen this much rigid plastic since my last Duplom fort. If you're going to make something out of plastic, it should at least articulate well. And would a little paint kill you?
All this said, I have both of these suckers on my shelf. They've been there for years, largely so that I could drive Alt crazy with froth. Now that he has 'em, though, it's time for BUY IT NOW...
Bandai's Gundam F91 is an interesting specimen. Toted as a model/toy hybrid, it is very much a toy. When was the last time you received gunpla encased in a stryofoam cocoon? The arms, legs, head and main fuselage all come pre-assembled and sleep in styrofoam next to a large box of parts on sprues. The only obvious 'model' characteristic is the fact that you have to break out the sprue cutters or x-acto knife and build about half of the beast yourself. ...MORE!