This time I’ll recap some of the nice toys I was able to get and also see. I guess I’m what you would call an advanced collector ..I really do not buy too many “new” toys anymore .. I’m old school in taste, so most of what i do collect has a vintage charm or appeal to it. I do appreciate some new stuff, but I do not feel compelled anymore to buy more than one example ( Ok not a hard fast rule as you will see ! ). To be honest if I have to go thru too many hoops to get some of these toys, than I’m just not that interested anymore. I guess it’s the nature of the toy scene right now that micro runs or even one offs ( yes, I am guilty of this ! ) can make collecting soft vinyl toys a near impossible feat. Speaking of micro runs,lets start with this interesting toy that I only saw a glimpse of a few months ago. Made by a company called Yutari and in such low numbers, I believe 30 pieces (?) it caught my eye for it’s cool Mecha Kaiju design !
Called JIKIRO (GIKIRO) and it is from old Tsuburaya/Toho
live action TV show called ‘Ryusei Ningen ZONE’. Jikiro was on the first episode.
Next up not a new release but a kaiju I like that has that old school charm, this one by a company called Nakayoshi ( corrected from previous post !) This kaiju is called BANGARU. Nakayoshi is run by Yamashita-san and is his original kaiju done in standard size or 9 inches tall.
While trolling the Nakano Sunshine Mall, and of course Mandarake, came across this gem by toy company, Shikaruna Kobocalled MARINE KONG. This is from old live TV show called
‘Kaiju Marine Kong’ See pictures here!
I bought it merely on it’s look, I love the goofy expression it has, but did not realize it’s nearly spot on to the actual kaiju form the show. Another interesting note is that from what i heard this figure was only released once, than they had to stop production due to a license dispute.. so for now you’ll have to try to track this down via Yahoo Japan or such …. oh this one stands 12 inches tall ! Also I’m not sure if they are still taking orders but they will be selling a giant sized version of their Zagora with mini figure and a standard sized figure !!! yep three figures … it’s on the front page .. I saw the proto and it’s awesome 😉 and at about $315.00, a great price for a huge hunk of vinyl !
and I spotted this Eyezon in a consignment shop in the Nakano mall… hmmmm, 9800yen or about $98.00 US, a slight mark up in original price ;-), but I did not buy it ( ha-ha)
Oh and did I mention the yummy food ?
Yes I do more than just toy shop when i go to Japan 😉 here’s Max at a park / zoo in Tokyo. One moment your walking in busy streets and the next it’s nice and quite and full of lovely trees 😉 Did I mention it was hot ? despite our smiles it was over 90 degrees and humid and sticky … yuck …So imagine my horror when we petted these guinea pigs .. oh poor guys all covered in fur …!
Jumping back to Wonderfest despite the heat inside was good to meet up with old friends like Tadayuki of M1Go
I met Tada on my first trip to Japan back in 2001,he was about to go work for M1Go at the time (!)Wow time flies for sure …
oh also picked up this cool Pilot Ace Harryhausen Cyclops in soft vinyl style …a bit expensive at about $120 bucks .. but I love the Cyclops,so of course had to buy one…
They only had 30 for sale at the event but even though I bought mine at the end of the show they still had them ;-( over all I think an indication of the state of the vinyl world…you can blame the economy, oil prices, toy politics, dealers and more .. or all of them.. but one thing is for sure complaining about it isn’t going to solve the current down turn.. I think positive attitudes help, but as another soft vinyl guy blogged in Japan recently it’s best to take the lead and look for new ways to revitalize the industry together … I know a tough thing to do when we makers are all doing it on our own, but something I try to do in my small way with collabs and or joint projects or just by showing what others are doing out there… in the end despite the toy politics we are all tied together.. when the industry starts to falter it will affect us all. Add to this the fact that the guys pouring vinyl in Japan are old guys (aged 60+ !) ..with no young guys to replace them..some of these guys pour and flip molds so much that their arms go numb for several days after large orders ! Many are also saying in the next few years may spell the end to the soft vinyl toys made in Japan that we all know…I don’t know what the future will hold for this industry in Japan, but it’s good that the fans know whats happening now, and to support the company of your choice… we may not have another chance to experience these types of toys made in Japan by traditional makers much longer. My advice to any fans out there reading this, go to Japan soon, seek out these makers and companies, live history not just learn it… there’s nothing to beat real people interaction versus Web interaction…it’s great to own a toy but nothing can beat meeting these guys in person… Ok I’m stepping off my soap box …
Ok on a more positive note next time more toys and a report on a special master painter I had the honor to meet … it’s these interactions I live for and make for special memories.