toyboxdx toy blog brog: is graceful art of daily expressing japanese toy
May 19, 2009
Another must have summer accessory.
May 18, 2009
There are the toys you see on the online sites for years. The more common items that don’t pull in a lot of respect, because they are easily had and show up often enough on the radar to not be a priority purchase. Billiken and Osaka tins fall into this realm all too often, and sometimes like that hot librarian girl in high school, you don’t make the move until its too late. To hell with context, screw popular, follow your love, and those little zenmai will take off the glasses, undo the bun and show you the way.
May 16, 2009
May 14, 2009
This was a parting shot on our way out of Kyoto from the Three Sisters Inn. Some random shop that I would have missed had my companion not pointed it out. It somehow encompassed the trip as a whole. It brings about feelings that represent the best of the hobby, where old and new come together.
That trip though recent, feels a long time ago already. I am glad though for the snapshot to remember it.
May 13, 2009
Meet Gosura. You’ve probably never heard of him before. That’s because he doesn’t hail from any particular show. He’s all-original — or, well, he’s just original enough not to invite a lawsuit. He’s giant by soft vinyl standards — a good 12″ tall. He’s called Gosura (“Because the heads look like Gomora‘s,” laughed Marusan president Eiji Kaminaga when I asked him about it the other day.) A gift from Jim Maitland, it turns out I’ve met this kaiju before. Way before.
More than a decade ago, I first spotted this toy on the kitchen table of a certain New Jersey rare and vintage toy dealer. It was scuffed and damaged, but I still knew I’d never be able to purchase it from without mortgaging my soul. Some time after that, it was purchased by Jim, who apparently DID mortgage his soul and decided to try restoring it to its former glory. He hired a pal to repair the cracked horns on the noses, and enlisted the help of former Club Daikaiju head honcho Jim Cirronella to retouch the paint job. At some point during this long process, Roger Harkavy dropped by and checked things out. And then it went back to Jim Maitland, who by this point had acquired another, mint specimen. And some time after that, it flew back to Tokyo with Jim, who gave it to me based on nothing more than my having expressed wanting the toy in an idle chat years previously. Tokyo to New Jersey to Oregon to New Jersey to Oregon and back to Tokyo, four decades after it first popped out of the molds. What a tangled web we weave.
Back in the late Sixties/early Seventies, Marusan started making original kaiju characters for sale along with the regular licensed stuff. A lot of them were an homage to existing characters. Like King Gojira here (not to be confused with, y’know, another famous monster that has a similar name.) Others were totally original creations. There are three scales: the usual standard size, then this Giant size, which Gosura is in, and finally a SUPER Giant size, which is a little bit larger still. All of them are totally funky, bubbly, cheap-ass, hand-sculpted, gloriously old-school sofubi. And the more I handle them, the more they seem like long-forgotten pieces of folk art than toys.
Thanks again Jim!
May 11, 2009
Well, summer is upon us again and in my neck of the woods it’s going to be hot hot hot. While getting my ninja on this summer I will surely be cooling down with this official Ninja Tobikage sports fan. Yes, it’s indeed a “sports” fan intended for use in ninjitsu dojos everywhere.
So, this summer, don’t be caught dead without your Tobikage sports fans.
Oh, and last but not least you’ll need a summer carnival mask, right?
I’ll surely be getting “ninjy” with my very own super shinny Tobikage carnival mask.. That’s just how I roll. Like a retarded fucking man-child..
May 10, 2009
DX Houraiou in the house.
Ninja Senshi Tobikage (å¿è€…æˆ¦å£«é£›å½± lit. Ninja Warrior Tobikage) looked like it was a pretty cool show. Ninja robots, combining animal robots that gattai into larger robots. Honestly, this was on the tail end of my collecting as a kid. The world of skateboarding was taking over and by the summer of 1986 the last thing I wanted to be doing was sitting in the house playing with robots, I wanted to be out building launch ramps.
So, fast forward 23 years and I’m all about the Tobikage stuff. Picked this DX Houraiou up in Japan recently and it’s actually a pretty decent piece. It combines well with the Tobikage Chogokin GC-32 and in “falcon mode” it totally delivers. There are two other pieces in the same vain as the Houraiou that combine with the Chogokin Tobikage. Bakuryuu, a blue dragon and Kurojishi, a yellow lion that are all just about the same size (10″ height).
Ohata Koichi is one hell of a designer. Known probably best for his work on Albegas, Laserion and Gundam ZZ, his Tobikage design is above average for that time period in my opinion.
Diecast content is minimal, but what do you expect for 1986. Well, back to my Sho Kosugi flicks. Later!
DX Bakuryuu nestled away safely in the case..
The awesome adjective “Ninjy” is copyrighted by Hiroko Yoda 2008.