In terms of releases – this past year was dominated by the Glitter War releases. Apparently glitter was something I had to get out of my system (all the cool kids were doing it). Maruyama Toys was the enabler – we ran through almost their entire “Crazy Lamé” pull pour catalog. Red, Silver, Gold, Pink, Emerald and now finally Blue with a special shout out to the amazing color-shifting Aurora.
In addition to our signature figure line – the Finger Five – Paul Kaiju’s Unchiman and The Tarantula’s Nibbler also got the Glitter treatment. (Big thanks to both those artists for being Warriors in the cause) Initially many of the releases were unpainted or had minimal paint app, but in the fall we started exploring metallic paint applications on some of the glitter releases – the Metal Swipe Glitter Bombs for the Unchiman and Jingle Bombs for the Finger Five.
In the second half of the year – we started working with our new S.T.E.A.M. colorway – Copper base with Gold and Silver highlights and black eyes. This color was originally dreamed up over a year ago on a few of Rolito’s the Boy releases and so far we have tried it out on the STEAMER Unchiman and the “STEAMY Fingers” Finger Five release (apologies to Mick & Keith). Stay tuned for some more exciting toys in the Steam-y Punk-y colorway in 2016.
On other fronts, I was super-sussed to attend ToyCon 2015 in London with rising superstar Konatsu. Its always exciting to see how toy culture is evolving and thriving in other parts of the world. Wonderful to see a Japanese creator thrilling the punters halfway around the globe. Super shoutouts to Manabu at Wonderwall/Fewmany, Barry over at The HangGang, and Ben & Blair -those nutbags over at Kore-Kore – for having me over. Hope to do all again – bigger and badder – in 2016!
I want to give a Super-big Big shoutout to Kaiju Soul Brother Number one – Paul “Kaiju” Copeland. Paul has seen another stellar year – the personal highlight for us though was his pilgrimage to Japan where he dominated the first day of Design Festa in May. It was awesome to bop around Tokyo with the big guy and it’s been an honor and a privilege to be able to do releases of the Glitter Bomb Unchiman. Love you man! It would be remiss not give it up for the rest of the “Finger Five” who have all been kicking ass all year: L’amour Supreme, MonsterHero, Onell Design and – of course – the Super Sucklord.
Also a hearty thanks to Jon “Rampage” Malmstedt who has lent a mighty hand with his top notch painting skills to a bunch of great releases over the past few years. Jon has done some stellar paints on Unchimen and this year he did a gorgeous Mockbat for Sofubi Banpaku as well as Unchiman eyes on several of the Glitter Bomb releases. Jon seems to continue to move from strength to strength – wish him the best in 2016. Best boothmate ever.
Additionally this past year, it has been a privilege to work with Goto-san – the living legend – and get to know him better. He has taught me so much about paint and color. I still have SOOO Much to learn. If you haven’t watched the interview he did with Vice Japan last year, quickly correct that now.
2015 was the first year in a long while to not see any releases in our long-running Millennial Monster colorway, but it will be back with a vengence in 2016. This year will also see (fingers crossed) the release of several long-brewing projects including our Visible Man collaboration with Unbox Industries.
Looking forward to kicking off 2016 at Superfestival 70 on January 10th.
Hope to see YOU there!!