Aug 01, 2006
My Prized Robos
So, I am not the type to flaunt my toys around, but I just can't help it this time around. My trip to Taipei Toy Festival resulted in two of my best toys purchases in a long time. Both are the Expo Robos sculpted by Itokin Park but each of extreme differences in nature. First up is the Psychadellic Robo, commissioned by One Up and designed/painted by Itokin himself. There are only three of these made, one was auctioned at TTF, another is owned by One Up and the last one....well, obviously moi :-)....The other Robo is a crossover between Cronic and Itokin Park. This spooky one is shrouded in Cronic's color scheme executed by Itokin Park. Now this piece took a bit of effort to get. Let's just say, the auction went on a tad longer than I expected it to. In the end, I parted with 5000NT (US$150) and in my hands sat one of the five Cronic x Itokin Park Robos. Eat your heart out folks!!!
Jul 13, 2006
Crazy Label @ TTF
Crazy Label, a recent newcomer to the designer toy scene, launched two new toys at last week's TTF. The first is Treeson -- a tree like creature with a stick growing out of its side -- created by Bubi Au Yeung. The 5" Treeson was available in both the standard production edition and a special DIY edition which has a blank rather than painted face. Treeson is available now for $20 + shipping directly from Crazy Label.
In addition to Treeson, Crazy Label is just about to launch the Tamo platform toy created by Alfredo Mejia. Tamo (Te Amo - "I love You" in spanish) is a female character born among the clouds. The strength of the platform is the curvy female form and the flexibility offered by the 3 head sculpts with different hair styles. To show off the platform, Crazy Label sponsored the Take a Peek custom show featuring 15+ custom Tamos from talent around the globe. Finally, three early release Tamo's were available in beta packs which included one free shirt from a selection of several designs which matched the figure designs.
We're curious to see what the future holds for Crazy Label.
Jul 11, 2006
Wonderwall @ TTF
Just got back from TTF. We still have tons of coverage to put up in the next day or so ;-) While Wonderwall didn't have a booth at TTF they displayed a large number of Touma's current and upcoming toys at the Monster Taipei booth. Monster Taipei organzied TTF and is one of the premiere retailers in Taiwan.
A large number of Goons were on display including a white (TTF pseudo-exclusive?) retro goon, and a nice Orange-Brown yoyamart exclusive retro goon and of course the TTF exclusive edition. Mixed in with the production pieces, there were three hand-painted Goons which were part of the TTF auction on the last day. We're huge fans of the Retro Goon and the Yoyamart edition is quite nice. Speaking of retro goon, this seems to be a continuation of the body 'mod' approach to breathing new life into an existing toy -- we're likely to see more and more of this (mostly in the form of new heads ?).
Several other Touma pieces were on display (mostly released) including the ever-popular capsule KB's, Boobies, and more. Touma's brand new Magman Kaiju piece was there as well. Mixed in with the existing pieces were some sweet new ones! Such as the new 6-inch Knucklebear which made an appearance in a black partially-flocked version! Partial flocking is a nice effect. I'm curious to see how far flocking can be pushed... Is it possible to do multiple color flocking in the same region?
Flocked KB is sweet for sure, but the clear shocker were the two Touma plushes. Both a plush Snout and a plush Knuckle Bear were on display. We believe these will be production items (will double check and update).
Touma was everywhere at TTF with multiple signings and multiple booths spanning Play Imaginative, Monster Taipei and One Up. Keep it tuned to VP for a look at the PI and One Up offerings.
Jul 09, 2006
Toby's Dumb Dummies @ TTF
Kaching Brands made its first public splash at The Taipei Toy Festival. Their booth featured a preview look at several upcoming toys, most of which will be available for purchase at SDCC. Toby, a talented designer from HK, was the clear star of the booth. He was on-hand as Kaching's representative and eagerly answered questions about his upcoming Dumb Dummies line. Dumb Dummies highlights the spark of life to be found by others in our everdays lives which may seem repetitive and monotonous to us.
The first figure in this new line is TobyHK which is based on Toby himself right down to the numbers tattooed on his left hand. What are the numbers? Hmm... A secret alien code? Nope. They represent the day and time he met his girlfriend. This way, he'll never forget ;) TobyHK is a really nice figure complete with removable satchel and removable goggles. While the prototypes shown here have glued-on goggles, the production goggles will be removable thanks to an elastic band (which looks pretty slick). There are four versions currently planned -- Black (SDCC Exclusive) complete with a golden opera mask design on the face, Red -- exclusive to Asia, the standard Blue and a Game of Death inspired yellow and black. TobyHK puts Toby's stamp on the classic HK urban style. This is one cool figure loaded with subtle details from the spunky sculpted hair to the ear bling to the bracelets.
Toby also has a series of blind-boxed mini-fig dogs in two designs, Seme and Dum, which are part of Dumb Dummies. The chase figures will be a striking metallic gold. Judging from the traffic at the booth, women really dig these cute figs ;-)
Both TobyHK and the dogs will be available at SDCC. In the fall, Toby will strike a huge blow for Dumb and Dummies with Holy, a bruising boxer. A rough prototype of this figure was shown at the booth sporting a visor. Holy has seen his share of rough times in the ring as evidenced by his partially chewed on left ear ;) Hmm, wonder where the name comes from ;-) Did we mention this is a big figure? It stands at least 10 inches high and is a seriously beefy figure. While much tightening is needed (including making the arms and hands truly symmetrical), Holy should come out on top once completed.
Beyond Dumb and Dummies, Toby has also created the Fourcube figure which will be released at SDCC as a DIY figure. This one is quite large as well standing an easy 10 (probably more like 12+) inches high. The future will see some beautifully designed Fourcubes. Finally, Fourcube is a preview of sorts for Toby's next series, Planet Rock.
So what does an artist do in the lulls of a long convention? Sketch of course. Toby filled his sketchbook with page after page of new characters. He also does walls ;-)
Also, not shown at the booth were Toby's TWO repaints of the upcoming 12" FLCL Canti vinyl to be released at SDCC. Toby, remember the name, you'll be hearing alot more from him soon enuff.
Btw, you heard it here first -- Kaching Brands and Toby will make a HUGE splash at SDCC ;-)
Fatcaps @ TTF
The Fatcap from Kidrobot -- a new graff inspired mini-fig with a spray cap head and a Dunny body -- was made available for the first time at Taipei Toy Festival in a preview release of sorts. While the full series won't be released for several months, a special TTF exclusive GID edition Fatcap limited to 200 pieces was available during the show. This version was designed by spray paint manufacturer, MontanaColors. It's nice to finally be able to see a Fatcap up close and personal though the GID aspect overshadows the design elements and doesn't really make the shape 'pop'. One really cool feature of the Fatcap is the inclusion of some sort of rattle which simulates the classic sound of shaking a spray paint can.
The full series to be released in a few months will feature 19 designs with 2 chase/mystery figures. Also, this series has a redemption ticket feature which will net 200 lucky winners a print by Tilt plus a chance to win a can per day for a year of MontanaColors paint (Ok, 365 cans).
Jul 08, 2006
Monster Taipei's TTF Party (07.08.06)
To thank artists and vendors, Jen -- the owner of Monster Taipei and organizer of TTF, threw a relaxed party at a pub in Taipei. The pub soon was filled with pretty much every artist and vendor attending TTF all relaxing after a hectic and busy Saturday. There was free food, and of course free alcohol. When the beer pitchers ran dry, mini San Miguel Kegs were pressed into action at each table, when those ran dry, Smirnoff Ice was liberated from refrigerators. Chatting and relaxing with so many cool people was one of the highlights of the show.
Jul 07, 2006
Devilrobots - Thrill of Alienation @ Pixie (07.07.06)
So after things shut down at the TTF venue for Friday, the party moved to Pixie for the opening of the Devilrobot's Thrill of Alienation exhibition. We follpwed Eddi Yip on the short route from the hotel to Pixie and on the way chatted with lots of great people. A Quick run down of who showed (off the top of my head): Touma, Mad Barbarians, T9G, Koto, Eddi Yip, Shin of Devilrobots, Asteria, Tim Tsui, Darren Gan, Sichi, Richard Wong of Red Magic, Sam and Lin-Lin of Jellymon, Darren Gan of Play Imaginative, Mori Chack, Ken of One Up, Ken Joho of Spanky, Toy Baroness, Nitin (KR), Toby HK and plenty more cool folks ;-)
Pixie is a really nice two-store location run by Mark Chang of PhalanX. It's a split level boutique with the top-level being the primary "store" area and the bottom area serving as a mini-gallery. Devilrobots posters, toys, blow-up balloons including a giant inflatable To-Fu head filled the space. On the lower level, a table full of Devilrobots stamps was available for people to go ahead and make their own stamp collage. On the wall were 100 alien records in plastic cases. The records include a polaroid along with a sample of each alien's body ;-) Good times for sure.
Jul 06, 2006
Winson Classic Creations: Apexplorers @ TTF
Red Magic @ TTF
Ok, I'm on fumes over here ;-) Red Magic showed several CiBoys sets but the highlight had to be the unveiling of protos of 16 of the 30+ original figures in its ambitious Love Original project (below the fold).
Play Imaginative @ TTF 06
AdFunture Workshop @ TTF
Kidrobot @ TTF
Taipei Toy Festival. The first day on the show floor has come and gone. We have loads of pics and will try to push them up quickly. The goal is to do this booth by booth, in no particular order (as of yet!).
While the recently released Mongers and Mad Barbarians Dunnys are available for purchase at the booth, we'll focus on the new stuff. Fatcaps! TTF is the debut of the Fatcaps with an exclusive TTF GID Fatcap. This is available for purchase at the booth.
Several upcoming toys were shown at the booth including the upcoming 8" TADO Dunny, a beautiful Kenzo Minami 8" Dunny, Huck Gee's new cowboy themed Kidrobot (sweet!), the new Flowbots series and what we believe is the new labbit form factor. We'll tighten this post with details over the next day or so -- still jetlagged ;-)
Btw, Mad Barbarians will be sigining Friday and Saturday so we'll have pics of that tomorrow (hopefully)
Jul 02, 2006
Gumliens Kakukaku Kirinosuke TTF Exclusives
These cute yet fierece blue Kakukaku Kirinosuke warrior figures designed by Gumliens are TTF exclusives from One Up (booth ) There are a total of 5 of these TTF exclusive figures including 3 larger hand-painted resin figures available for NT$4500 (~$155) and 2 hand-painted mini soft-vinyl figures available for NT$650 each (~$22.40). There's also a red colorway which is currently sold out. I'm digging these and wondering if we'll see a production run of the smaller figures since they are apparently vinyl. One Up is thinking out-of-the-box with their super-limited TTF exclusives from talented Japanese designers such as Gumliens and Itokin Park. One last thing, you might be asking Gumliens? These gum (chewing) a(liens) are created by Gumtaro and Hitomi Hirayama.
Jun 28, 2006
Omni x Pixie "MINE" So What Figures
Updated: edition size, removable heads
After a year of relative silence, PhalanX's So What Figure is back with the Omni x Pixie "MINE" figures as part of the new Formula Series. This figure was designed by Taiwanese singer, Jay Chou, as an exclusive for his Omni store. As with all the upcoming Foruma Series figures, Mine comes with 2 interchangeable heads -- monkey and humanoid! MINE is limited to 200 pieces with 1 in 10 being a special hand-signed chase figure blinged out with real crystals. MINE will be available at Pixie's TTF booth (A 38). Also, in other toy news - PhalanX will have an exclusive edition of adFunture 's upcoming London Police figure in the near future.
Source: Pixie Blog
Jun 27, 2006
TTF Itokin Park Robo
We love Itokin Park and really dig his Robo figure. Here's one of the nicest variants so far -- a Taipei Toy Festival Exclusive Robo in rainbow hues. This one is uber-limited. How many? 1 available (3 total)! This cool hand-made figure will be auctioned off at TTF (07.06 - 07.09) at One Up's booth.
TTF Skuttle Alpha by Touma
Touma's Skuttle α is an evolutionary variant of the classic Skuttle. The most obvious and striking change are the much more primitive claws. In addition the feet are different, with claws on both the front and the back. This figure will debut in a TTF '06 Exclusive Edition from One Up.
Jun 25, 2006
Take a Peek at Tamo (TTF)
Tamo designed by Alfredo Mejia, is Crazy Label's 2nd designer toy. Tamo (Te Amo - "I Love you") is a stylish girl born in the clouds. The rotocast figure stands 3.5" tall and is articulated at the head. Crazy Label has organized a custom show, "Take a Peek" which will offer a first-hand look at the figure through customs created by an international roster of artists including : Alfredo Mejia, Doktor.A, Eddie Hui, Elizabeth Berdann (blu), elio, ESP Crew, idlechimp, James Liu (veggiesomething), Lunartik, MAD, NVC Crew, PlaySkewl, psticks, Shan Michael Evans, SpookyAMD, Triclops, woolloomooloo plus more to be announced. Take a Peek will be held during the Taipei Toy Festival at Crazy Label's booth (A14) from July 6th through the 9th. Full-size pictures of the customs can be found on Crazy Label's Flickr Album. Tamo will be officially released sometime in the fall.
Tamo looks promising as a new cute platform toy with a touch of edge. We're looking forward to seeing these in person at TTF.
Jun 24, 2006
Plus Trexi Series: Devilrobots + Tokidoki
The new PLUS Trexi Series from Play Imaginative is a crossover concept pairing a Western Designer with an Eastern designer. The first series combines Devilrobots + Tokidoki and will be available in July at TTF and SDCC. There are 12 3" designs for this series (6 per artist) with one mystery from each artist. The PLUS Series is a nice twist on crossovers that pares down and focuses the concept of a designer series. Next up, Joe Ledbetter + Touma. Exciting stuff.
Jun 22, 2006
Apexplorers by Winson Ma Evolve at TTF
Winson Ma, best known for his work with Brothersfree, will debut his new Apexplorers figure line at Taipei Toy Festival (07.06 - 07.09) for his new company, Winson Classic Creation. The tag line for this series is "finally...the earth will be given up by human". It's an interesting apocolyptic future concept blending apes and the rugged outdoors. What's really key though is the amazing figures. Based on the pics these are of the high quality Winson is famous for creating. Information is still a little sparse on these but we believe the first figure (shown in the main image) will be released at TTF. The "film" ads appear to show other figures in the series. Finally, there will apparently be both a limited hand-made series of Adam figures and a one-of-a-kind Adam for auction. Both of these are the ape-ified versions of Winson's excellent AM 40/40 piece. So if you'll be at TTF, be sure to drop by Winson Classic Creation's booth (# A27) to get a first-hand look at Winson Ma's Apexplorers . If you can't make it, have no fear, we'll be there snapping pic after pic ;-) Pictures are courtesy of Winson Classic Creation.
Jun 21, 2006
TTF Skuttle Baby
Touma's new Skuttle Baby will premiere in an exclusive Taipei Toy Festival version available at One Up's booth during the show (July 6th through the 9th). Translucent orange looks nice though this figuredoesn't seem to have articulation (need to check on that).
Treeson at TTF
Treeson, created by Bubi Au Yeung, will drop at Taipei Toy Festival (07.06 - 07.09) in Crazy Label's booth (A14). Crazy Label's first designer toy springs from Bubi Au Yeung's illustrated story about Treeson, a forest creature with the misfortune of having a branch growing out of his torso, and Ren, his young friend. This adorable rotocast vinyl stands 5" tall, and retails for a very affordable $20.
Jun 20, 2006
TTF Exclusive Zyuraisu from Cronic
This Taipei Toy Festival Exclusive Zyuraisu from Cronic will be available at One Up's TTF booth. The color scheme seems to match that of their TTF exclusive Maverasu but it really pops on this shape. So if you've got a weakness for Japanese fighting monsters, you might want to take a look at this special edition. Also, One Up also sent along pics of their much darker 5th Anniversary Zyuraisu. This one is apparently sold out already, but considering the powerful dark vibe it might be worth looking for in the secondary market if you're a fan of this genre.
Jun 19, 2006
Boredomcity Taiwan Edition Kevin
Boredomsqueezer has given Boredomcity inhabitant, Kevin, a seriously flashy and slick makeover. This special handmade Kevin Tawian Edition of twenty 12" figures will be available for preorder at this year's Taipei Toy Festival at booth A35 (July 6th thru 9th). The fashion detail on this edition is top-drawer and is a nice-followup to the previous hand-made Boredomcity release, Miku. Be sure to drop by the booth to see the full lineup of the upcoming handmade Boredomcity figures.
Jun 13, 2006
Exclusive Skuttles at TTF '06
And... There's a new Skuttle in town... Skuttle α (alpha) debuts in an exclusive Yellow/Green TTF edition. This one appears to be an "evolution" of the Skuttle with modified arms and feet. I'm curious to see what the final product looks like. Seems like we'll be seeing more and more of the "body mods" approach to freshening up existing figures, particularly platforms.
Jun 03, 2006
Taipei Toy Festival Update (06.06 - 06.09.06)
Taipei Toy Festival, one of the largest asian designer toy events, runs from July 6th to the 9th this year. Here' a quick update on news. The first 500 attendees each day will receive a free gift: Thursday (7/6) - a Husky X 3 Mouse Pad, Friday (7/7) - TTF 06 Limited CiBoys from Red magic, Saturday (7/8) - Mini Plush Doll by Misery, Sunday (7/9) - Wonder Woman Notebook by Kennys Work. There are also at least two TTF 2006 Exclusives -- an exclusive Scarygirl Be@rbrick designed by Nathan Jurevicius (1000 pieces / NT $350 each, ~ 10.92 USD) and an exclusive Blue/Violet Goon designed by Touma (120 pieces / NT $1600 each, ~ 49.93 USD). Touma will be on hand for signing on the 7th and 8th. Admission to the event costs NT $120 (~ 3.74 USD) each day for an entrance ticket. There are five specially designed tickets for the event from Toy2R, Winson Classic Creation, Red Magic, Misery, and dateambronx. This should be a great event. We're looking forward to the trip -- be sure to check out VP for daily updates of the show and related events/parties.