Furi Furi is having another exhibition at Lapnet ship at the Foret shop in Harajuku. Its running through til wednesday October 3. They’ve set up a special site for the show and looks like there will be lots of GOODS to be had. Including these Not! Mutant Plushes which seem to be selling well. (Seems like the Tokyo Scene has been going a bit plush crazy as of late, least those won’t melt and fall over during those hot tokyo summers). On Sunday Kitai-san from DevilRobots will be giving a talk, so we’ll be dropping by for that. Look for pics next week.
A quick word about Tom Painter’s amazing LameToy Generator! It Rocks. Basically a Character Fruit Machine that lets you mix and match the heads, torsos and legs from its amazing arsenal of wild characters to create even wackier characters. And it keeps growing (literally) exponentially. Contributors include 123Klan, Lmac, Eleven18 and many more. And now it’s most recent addition is Barrom 1 from us here at datadub/ko-lab. To be honest I didn’t design this guy, I just interpreted him to a Qee body. He’s a member of the Forgotten Heroes, a group of Japanese Tokusatsu TV superheros from the seventies who may have to come out retirement in the 21st century for one last adventure.
The issue the every toy collector wrestles with is not how to get started, nor when to stop (easy: when the bank account is empty / spouse threatens divorce / etc) but what to collect; where to draw the boundries? what will slake your toy lust? what is your Holy Grail? Personally I’ve tried to draw a few rough lines in the sand as to give some guidance to what I buy. Thanks in part to Michael Lau’s early monochrome editions of of some of the six inch gadrner figs, I some how got on to a tack of focussing on black & white toys. (Except for Kubricks but thats a seperate sickness.) Actually it works out pretty well because a shelves ful of all black and white toys look pretty dope.So here are a few recent manifestations of my monochromatic madness. First are the black & white versions of Futura’s Nosferatu. these are dop dope figures on a nice scale (note pointman kubrick for reference). Picked these up from Toy Tokyo.mail order.
Second up is this strange little figure I picked up at the Toy Festival last weekend. Originally boxed for use in UFO catcher machines, I assume the character is Hide the ex-singer of X Japan who accidently killed himself by autoerotic asphyxiation. There was a set of 3 colorways which they were trying to sell for 1000yen. I only wanted the black & white one (of course). The sales guy at first gave me a price of 1000 yen implying that even if I broke the set it would cost me the same price. He quickly went down to 500 yen and then asked me ‘How Many?’ I wanted. Obviously not a hot seller but I like the urban-esque look of the figure. Not to mention that he a has a tight choker necklace with a little skull on it and his T-shirt reads ‘Adios’. Creepy eh?
While the Toy Festival itself is kind of a sad affair, more or less a glorified Swap Meet, and definitely a far cry from the monolithic Wonderfest held just the week before. But like any good flea market there are great bargains and strange treasures to be found. To my pleaseant surprise, Cronic, one of the new wave of Indie Sofubi designers was there, selling another fresh batch of his super ltd. edition hand-pinstriped figures. This time he had 2 designs with 5 pieces each. Now THATS a limited edition. I finally broke down and picked one up.
Also met the good folks from Monster Taipei, which is the main toy node in Tapiei, Taiwan. They were fresh from the Taipei Toy Festival an event they organize every year. (must get down there and check that out.). They were showing off the event-only Bearbricks and their own new line of Collabo Canvas toys. While both utilized a nice range of local talent and the usual big name ringers, it again brought home to me that this is rut continues to get plowed deeper and deeper.
Another fun little item was from the 8-style, a shop in Koenji best known for the character Baaro by the Japanese designer Zai. This was a ceramic ash tray. Some ambitious designers should tag up the white version of this piece. That would be a bit more original if not at least useful.
Looks like there is going to be a Gloomy Bear Show from Sep. 3 – 22 at the Marui department store in Shinjuku just down the street from FewMany. Mori Chakk the creator of Gloomy is looking like the loner of the Designer toy scene and seems to keep himself insulated from all the Collabo madness that’s been going on. His last ‘show’ at the same location last year was more a mini shop crammed full of Gloomy Goods than an exhibition but I still dig his stuff. The poster looks pretty interesting this time so we shall see.
This week’s mini show at FewMany is from the french designer Rolito. There are two versions of the RolitoBoy for sale (which was my favoritest toy from last year). One is a collaboration with DJ food of Ninja Tunes (one of my favoritist recording artists) which comes with a special Rolito-mix mini CD inside the head and the other is a collabo with my pals the DevilRobots. eeerrr. Both are tempting…. errr.. Also on show are an assortment of original Kids shirts, original drawings and some hand-customized figs.
The images below are from Rolito’s fleshy renewed website, well worth a visit. That where I also discovered that Tom Hazelmayer aka XXL has done a RolitoBoy as well. I may well end up with a shelf full of a Rolito army.
One of the many joys of my new job being near Shinjuku is that I can check out the weekly show at FewMany. FewMany is a great shop/micro-gallery focused on the designer toy scene and is run by the good folks at Wonderwall who distribute Toy2R to Japan and export local talent like Touma and Mad Barbarians to the rest of ya’ll.
Every week the gallery changes; with a healthy assortment of side projects by Japanese masters, showcases of upcoming talent, collabo shows with the occasional overseas special guest.
I really forgot what a massive undertaking Wonderfest can be. It took about 4 hours to get from one side of the hall to the other. And while there was the usual bounty of obscene garage kits and the usual gaggle of sweaty otakus taking pics of them, sprinkled here and there amongst the deitrus are certainly gems to be found. Its a great place to try and glean the latest in upcoming toy & figure trends, but again there is so much there that I think each person there comes away with a different experience. It is certainly an mind-boggling amalgam of talent, effort and plastic. I also enjoy the CosPlay (costume play) going on out the back of the hall which seems to reach higher and higher heights of pompousity year after year.
Below are just a few of my impressions.
I still thinking Robots are going to be a big big part of this whole character figure scene. I’m still waiting for someone to do a generic robot figure that designers can start Kustomizing! These remote control ones we’re pretty cool.
Speaking of Robots, this dude built his own robo car. Well Done! Check out this movie of him on the go!
I always keep an eye out for new characters that I haven’t seen before. Dont & Not seemed to be well developed characters with a nice range of associated goods. Have their own home page and were apparently spun out from one of my fave Japanese TV programs, Vermillion Pleasure Night which I didn’t realize til after the fact!
DanMG:Urban Figs with Seoul; these dudes flew in from Korea for the festivities . Specially dig the kustom Kubrick version of his character (bonus points.) Check out the site; also has some nice pics of wonderfest.