Design Festa 38 Tokyo Japan Max Toy Kaiju Trip

Ok in my ongoing effort to try to catch up with various Mark Nagata / Max Toy events … here’s some pics from my recent trip to Tokyo, and Design Festa #38. This was my second trip to Japan this year (2013) and I made may usual trips to the vinyl factory to see Shimizu-san and to the paint factory, the Maruyama Brothers. But the main focus was to attend the Design Festa show. I’ve actually been to Design Festa many years ago in my previous incarnation as toy shop / magazine owner… this time was a bit different in that I had a table and sold Max Toy stuff. DF is actually more a DIY / Artists show .. both art works and performance arts. I really like the vibe of this show and what little time I got to walk around enjoyed it. The range of talent is very impressive, I have to say.

So here’s the pics with spares comments  ;-P

2013-11-01 18.51.30This would mark my second trip for 2013 to Tokyo, though so much has happened this year that it felt like a year ago since I last was here. For Jay222 this was his very first trip and I could tell he was very excited  😉

Todd Robertson and Jay222 looking over the menu ..we all agreed anything ordered would be good !! We each traveled from 12-14 hours to get to Tokyo.2013-11-01 19.09.23sushi selection…of course amazing !

2013-11-01 19.12.35various grilled items .. all yummy ! We were all super tired and called it a night as we would need to get up very early the next morning to set up at Design Festa.

2013-11-03 07.33.06Random Japanese TV commercial 😉

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the hotel room we stayed in for Design Festa was really nice. More room than i am use to ;-P

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2013-11-02 07.21.34the calm before the storm at Design Festa … time to set up !

2013-11-02 07.47.14above various Todd Robertson customs

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above and below, artists Todd Robertson, Javier Jimenez and Jay222 set up there work

2013-11-02 07.42.55 2013-11-02 07.42.45 2013-11-02 07.42.332013-11-02 07.47.31above Jayy222 and his work

2013-11-02 11.01.16far right, thats Yamomark, I want that Chicken Kaiju ! ( below )

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Blobpus table, sorry this is after most all his stuff sold .. the table had some goodies but I didn’t get to take a pic.

2013-11-02 11.01.06 2013-11-02 11.01.01above, artist Joe Somers also set up with us

2013-11-02 11.00.55Sunguts and his triple tier of awesome stuff !

2013-11-02 09.37.27  above, Dol Roffo and his wonderful Amigurumi figures  2013-11-02 11.02.27 2013-11-02 11.02.23 2013-11-02 11.02.19 2013-11-02 11.01.48Right side, OneUp and Dream Rocket figures

2013-11-02 11.01.43above/below Dream Rocket and his glow in the dark figures !

2013-11-02 11.01.33  2013-11-02 11.02.30 2013-11-02 18.30.57yamomark, Jay222 and friend 😉

2013-11-02 18.16.58I need one of these suits 😉

2013-11-02 18.00.35 2013-11-02 17.44.11Dol Roffo gave me this super cute figure he made !

2013-11-02 16.44.13Gumtaro and his new Gizalla figure

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I wish i had more time to walk around, but there was an exhibit of these super realistic Cats made out of felt (!) simply amazing work !!

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day one was a blur, we sold out of most of what we brought ;-P Tasty dinner … !

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I was beat and fell asleep quickly .. one more Design Festa day to go.

2013-11-02 16.17.46since we already set up already we had a relaxing all you can eat breakfast .. the little grilled fish were awesome !

2013-11-02 12.44.37Javier sketching away, the kid can draw !

2013-11-03 16.02.34a visit from Doctor Tulip ( kaiju gals artist)  ! I’m not sure of the exact theme of her booth but i think it had to do with giving you a cure ;-P of some sort .. haha …2013-11-03 14.07.48can you tell we ate alot ? lunch options at Design Festa …

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2013-11-03 11.11.42gift from Sunguts … it’s a mushroom and not something else ;-P

2013-11-03 16.27.38yajima-san and myself strike an action pose .. not bad for two old guys !

2013-11-03 18.29.21a gift from this talented artist Tomohito Yamada ( kneeling in the blue shirt)

2013-11-03 18.04.18I have to say my favorite discovery was this super cute Cat figure !

and follow on twitter here:

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each had hand painted faces … I really like this figure 😉

2013-11-03 17.07.56Kaiju Gals artists Hikari Banbi  and winner Teresa

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Viking dinner after Design Festa ! Thats an all you can eat place … of course, everything was super tasty ! Many thanks to Joe Somers for picking up the tab (!)

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Made our way after dinner to our HQ the Kadoya Hotel in Shinjuku. Of course we could not sleep, so we walked around a bit and found this game center ;-P

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funny prizes

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followed by late night snacks !

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another early morning nothing like Japanese TV to get you started

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so across the way we have this on going joke about a foot doctor, called Dr Foot, because the logo looks like me !?! You be the judge …

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So this day was free to do toy shopping .. I had but one request and that was to go to the Bullmark shop. I had no idea where it was but showed Yo a web site so he planned it out .. it was over by an amusement part in Asakusa. We made our way through the Sensō-ji temple … very cool …   2013-11-04 11.29.462013-11-04 11.30.32

incense you fan over yourself before going into the temple to pray

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2013-11-04 11.29.15 2013-11-04 11.22.46  I think this was dango .. it was really good !

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We walked past the temple and saw this ride twirling in the sky  2013-11-04 11.47.57

after some confusion in trying to find the Bullmark store it looked like the store was located in this amusement park. We had to pay to get in. Three grown men going to a amusement park for 8 year olds … hmmm, come to think of it we are about 8 so maybe thats not an issue …  ;-P2013-11-04 11.47.12 2013-11-04 11.45.47

to say this all seemed like a bizarre David Lynch movie wouldn’t describe it .. but thats close enough … these rides have all seen their heyday .. it’s like this place was forzen in the late 70s. I guess the land has been sold, so it seems like this won’t be here much longer … glad I was able to experience it 😉2013-11-04 11.45.40

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  Pika Pika

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so there’s these crazy Panda rides randomly placed around the park .. you could activate it for 500 yen ( about $5.00 ) but most kids were sitting on them and trying to make them move along …2013-11-04 12.03.14

this big kid tried the same … check out the kid to the right ;-P

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Jay222 took a ride on a crazy spinning thing ( I have a video I need to upload) and got his fortune from this machine.

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creepy haunted house ride2013-11-04 12.02.15 2013-11-04 12.02.11 2013-11-04 12.01.56  i’m sure someone will make a sofubi from this giant Ape  😉2013-11-04 11.52.372013-11-04 12.10.19

here’s Jay222 waiting for his ride …haha …

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Ok so we finally found the Bullmark store, well actually section … I did buy a few things but i really wanted a canvas bag with Bullmark logo on it and of course they don’t sell it any more ..drat !

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time out for ramen 😉 and time to go to Nakano Mall and more toy shopping

2013-11-04 14.08.49Nakano Mall … all things Otaku here  😉

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took a break at Mr Donut

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made our way to OneUp store at Akihabara where we ( Todd, Javier, Jay and Myself ) had a mini Eyezon exhibit. Everything sold 😉

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Elevator door with Max Toy logo  ;-P

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ONeUp owner Ken treted us all to a nice dinner 😉 I order Steak with Foie Gras … sorry to my Veggie friends, but it was tasty.

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Long day is over, next day is visiting Shimizu-san vinyl factory and Maruyama Brothers painting and vinyl factory.

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quick breakfast in the morning

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I never tire of visiting Master Shimizu-san and his vinyl factory. I’ve posted several videos of this Master at work like this one :

or this one :

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Shimizu-san wasn’t casting this day, but you can see the Salt chemical in it’s solid form .. it’s heated by gas falme and will melt into a super hot liquid state … the molds filled with liquid vinyl are then place into the hot bath for various amounts of time .. the heated molds “cook” the vinyl in them .. and when pulled form the mold form the various pieces for the toys.2013-11-05 11.19.04 2013-11-05 11.18.59 2013-11-05 11.18.53 2013-11-05 11.18.42

various iron molds of Max Toy figures ( and tanks ! )2013-11-05 11.18.342013-11-05 11.24.12

I picked up this sweet test shot of Kaiju Axron, our latest vinyl Kaiju figure from Max Toy Company.2013-11-05 11.54.11 2013-11-05 11.54.00

We had lunch with Shimizu-san, he actually treated us (!) I was humbled that he would offer … my only regret is i could not converse with him .. but maybe this was a good thing as I would have grilled him about the soft vinyl history and to be honest this is a job for him and he’s not concerned about us toy guys ( haha )2013-11-05 11.47.50 2013-11-05 11.47.38

Todd enjoying his first baby ( toy ). After lunch we went to visit the Maruyama Brothers factory, I did not take pictures mostly because their were other peoples toys there and didn’t want to “reveal” something that I shouldn’t ;-P Avoiding Toy Politics and all ;-P Had a good meeting and bid them farewell till next time. By the way if you buy our Negora they are the ones that paint them all ..really amazing job to hand paint each one.

2013-11-05 15.23.48the wonderful thing about Tokyo is of course the subways can get you just about everywhere … still even the sub ways can be a big mass of various lines and what not, so Yo’s help in navigating was much needed.

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Our final dinner was to celebrate artist Teresa and her Kaiju Gals win … a all you can eat Brazilian meat restaurant in Harajuku.

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while the idea of all you can eat meat sounds great, after a few rounds the tummy was so full … I had to throw in the towel … ;-P It was very tasty though !

2013-11-05 19.40.29we left the restaurant an followed Teresa to a designers studio near by….

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I’m sorry I did not take many pics but we met half of the two guy studio that is Zarigani Works  Very famous studio and we had fun with this new remote camera that took pictures in a crazy fish eye way … hard to explain but you will see this product out in the market soon … sorry the product name escapes me at the moment ( ! ) I also picked up another fav toy .. this wooden Ultraman figure !


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well here’s a fried shrimp hot dog for breakfast .. it was Ok .. i think the mayo was too much for me ;-P

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on the way home via bus to Narita airport, yes Cats are everywhere in Japan !

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final airport meal  and back home. As always an exciting trip to Tokyo and already plans to return again for a show and more 😉

Many Thanks to my travel mates, Jay222, Todd, Javier for making this a super fun trip. My many toy friends for your continued support and of course this wouldn’t be a Max Toy trip without Yo Miyamoto’s continued support and friendship. Till next time in Kaiju Land !!!

About toykarma

Over the years Mark Nagata has collected thousands of toys and a fair amount of titles. The man behind San Francisco-based Max Toy Company is widely known as: Toy Collector. Illustrator. Magazine Founder/Publisher. Toy Designer. Artist. Author. Husband. Father. But the one description that might fit best is an unofficial one – Kaiju Toy and Art Ambassador. In the Japanese-inspired art and toy area, as well as throughout the larger toy collecting community, Mark is welcomed and recognized for his personal passion and commitment to supporting artists all around the world and the unique works they create. Beginning as a collector in his youth, Mark has had for years a keen eye for great art and a personal interest in collecting that he has spread through a variety of outlets. Trained at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, Mark honed his skills working for himself and for some of the most notable businesses in the country. As a freelance commercial illustrator, he completed works for such prominent companies as Lucasfilms, DC Comics, Hasbro Toys, IBM, Sony, and numerous advertising and design firms, both national and international. Mark’s colorful style graces over 40 cover paintings for R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps book series – Give Yourself Goosebumps. After hundreds of assignments, Mark made the decision to move in another direction, and that choice has led to whole new career as a successful businessman. For four years, the owner of one of the largest Ultraman toy collections in the world co-published Super 7 Magazine showcasing the finest in Japanese toy collecting. “I’d been collecting Japanese toys all along and suddenly realized it would be cool to have a magazine of some type devoted to them,” Nagata says. Mark’s devotion to presenting collectors with a selection of original figures inspired by classic Japanese toys from the 1960s and ‘70s as well as new versions of licensed Japanese characters is at the heart of Max Toy Company. Named for his son, Max Toys specializes in custom and limited editions of “kaiju” (Japanese monsters) toys and artwork. Many of the original toys produced are hand painted by Mark, a tradition that goes back to Japanese toy makers of the past. “Since our target is the soft vinyl Japanese toy collector, which is a very small niche, our runs of toys can be extremely small,” Mark says. “Runs range from 500 pieces of one toy to just one for a hand-painted, one-of-a-kind custom figure.” Through Max Toys, Mark has taken great pains to widen the reach of his two passions – toys and art. He played a significant part in the development of the first group kaiju show in the United States. Held at the Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago, Illinois in 2007, the “Toy Karma” Show featured detailed work from artists from Japan, the U.S. and South America. Participants marveled at the custom-painted toys and art on display. “Toy Karma” led to Mark being asked to be one of the artists spotlighted in the “Beyond Ultraman: Seven Artists Explore the Vinyl Frontier” exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The October 2007 show, held jointly with the Los Angeles Toy, Doll and Amusement Museum, marked the first time – in a museum setting – that the influence of Japanese toys on California artists was explored. The exhibit featured more than 30 of Mark’s original paintings, toys and a selection of his vintage toy collection. Mark continued to be at the forefront as interest in Japanese-inspired art and toys expanded in 2008. Prestigious art houses Philips De Pury and Christie’s in New York and London sold Mark’s hand-painted custom kaiju toys in its auctions, spreading this unique art and toy movement into new and uncharted areas of the art world. In 2009, Mark once again took his love of toys and art overseas this time to a receptive and welcoming audience in Tokyo, Japan. Here, Mark curated the “Kaiju Comrades” Art Show, once again bringing together artists from various aspects of the kaiju toy realm in this first-of-its-kind toy art show. The following year found Mark in Barcelona, Spain co-curating with Emilio Garcia “Kaiju Attack,” the European country’s first kaiju art show. As the growth of kaiju art and toys increases worldwide, Mark continues in his unofficial role of Kaiju Toy and Art Ambassador. He has written and had his artwork and toy designs included in several books and magazines, both domestic and international. In 2010, Mark served as guest lecturer on kaiju and the toy-making process at the Morikami Museum in Florida. The San Francisco resident and his art can also be spotted in the first volume of the “ToyPunks” DVD and the “Toys R Us” DVD, while the video for the number one song by Owl City “Fireflies” featured Mark’s popular Kaiju Eyezon character. During this same time period, Mark has spearheaded the “Toy Karma 2” and “Kaiju Comrades 2” shows and has plans for future shows both in the U.S. and overseas. “Max Toys allows me to produce original artwork, new toys and work directly with a lot of talented artists,” Mark says. “Max Toy is a synthesis of toys and art, both life-long passions.”
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