Inspire Fireman

Fireman from Inspire japan
This 7 inch Figure of the classic 70’s Tsuburaya Hero Fireman is scheduled to be released at the next Superfestival in January. The Inspire company continues to release these classic Tokusatu heros in the size I like to call the Bandai Modern Standard. Every since the King Zaurus series by Popy in the late 1970’s pioneered this form factor, this style of figure has become the standard issue for the entire line of Ultra Heros and Kamen Riders alike. While the mainstream heros and monsters of the Ultraman and Kamen Rider franchises are continuously mass produced in China by Bandai and sold for 600 – 900 yen in stores all over Japan by the thousands, and a few of the classic Toei heros such as Inazuman and Barom One have been released; there are alot of older classic 1970’s Tsuburaya heroes that have never been done in this Modern Standard style. Sensing a gap that needs to be filled is often the purview of many small Independent Japanese Vinyl companies, and Inspire has been filling this gap. And while its sometimes to hard to justify the disconnect of a form factor that match mass market figures that sell for less than 10 bucks and the price tags one associates with indie vinyl – these figures retail for over $40, Inspire definitely delivers on what is sets out to do. So far they have released quality figures of classic heroes Mirror Man, Silver Kamen, Spectre Man, Gambaron and many other obscure characters from the deep pantheon of Japanese Heros.
Iron King
Red Baron
Mirror Man
Silver Kamen
Silver Kamen  Giant
Spectre Man

Design festa 32 was a hoot

Another design festa has come on and gone. This was my 4th design festa from “the other side side of the table” as it were and as is the tradition now – I shared the experience and the booth with my good friends at Art Denka & Goccodo. New insights were gained (mini-booths rule- full booths are a waste), others were re-inforced (Saturday is far and away the day for figure sales. My sales were easily triple saturday what they were Sunday.) However it did seem like there were more actual people in the venue on Sunday. Small cheap stuff rules – while this seems to be the order of the day in the figure world in these Economically- challenged times this has always been the rule of thumb at Festa known as Design. Postcards, badges and stickers rule the day – I noticed alot of vinyl under the 1000 yen price point. It was still an amazing yet tiring weekend – I always see new friends, unexpected folks (Joe from squibbles ink!!) and discover something new.

Hope to see you there one day.

Kaiju Korner has some great pics from day 1!

– Posted from my iPhone somewhere in iJapan

Super Festival! Super Friends!

SuperFestival 54 has come and gone but it was definitely a BLAST! The long heat wave of summer had finally broken, and there seemed to be a better than average sized-crowd of folks in the house. Superfestival is by far my favorite toy event in Japan. Kaiju Korner has a really good blog entry about the event with tons of pics. (Yokoso to Japan Andy!)
Mori from Real x Head got us all a group booth that made a solid block of fun. So many new releases – seems like everyone in the crew had something new for sale. Participating in the block party were Real x Head, Cha-iro Brown (Shef & Tama-chan), Uamou, ArtDenka, Goccodo, Kaiju Blue, Nerd One, Dr. StrangeToys, Refreshment, Pop Soda, Copy Robot, Kowelly Town, Spooky Parade, Fig-lab, Atom A. ArmwrestlerMirock ToysCord Viper, and – the boys from Boston – Onell Design & Rawshark Studios. 
This was my haul [See the annotated version at flickr]

Zombie Meat Jerky

Its Chewie! Its Blue! They say its made from the same good stuff that regular jerky is made from…. but my guess is that its smoke-dried BRAAAAAINS!

Do you dare to eat the ZOMBIE Jerky??

Available from this Rakuten shop (the site is in Japanese.)

ゾンビ肉カタログ

Ichiban-boshi Chaos Custom Series 1

So Ichiban-boshi is trying their hand at the airbrush. The results look pretty good. These customs were for sale of the Ichiban-boshi online shop last Sunday. They were priced at regular Japanese retail for these figures which I thought was pretty classy. Hopefully we will see more customs in the coming months.
(BTW they’re SOLD OUT).