Apr 23, 2018

Shanghai Toy Show Recap

As you may know If you happened to catch your on-site coverage on our Instagram, Francine and I made the trip out to China for the first-ever Shanghai Toy Show last weekend (4.5 – 4.7). We were really excited to attend the show and thoroughly enjoyed the convention organized by  POP MART, one of China’s leading Art Toy retailers and brands. Here’s a quick recap and overview of STS which we will follow with posts focused on selected booths. 

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While Art Toys are a fairly new trend in China, toy hungry fans were amped up for the event with several thousand lining up early, the night before the show opened.  Eager to buy the  hottest toys, many couldn’t help but run-walk, or in some cases sprint into the convention hall. What struck us as we entered Shanghai Toy Show is the tremendous sense of scale from the large number of showcase booths, many with elaborate designs, to the sprawling 130,000+ square feet layout which likely makes it the largest Art Toy-specific convention in terms of floor size.

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From Chino Lam’s brilliant Japanese food stall-style booth offering fresh Maguro Senpai vinyl  to Fluffy House’s cute school house-themed booth and many in-between, STS outclassed other art toy shows in terms of presentation and ‘feel’. In fact, someone mentioned that in terms of the show’s ambiance and look, STS felt more like SDCC than any other Art Toy convention.  STS has definitely raised the bar of what an Art Toy show can look and feel like, from the glitzy showcase booths (20x20’s and even several 30x30’s) to the smaller 10x10’s—which all featured ‘shell’ style booths with integrated display cases.

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Since we weren’t too familiar with China’s Art Toy scene we were curious to see what the must-buy toys were.  Based on line-ups, fans couldn’t get enough of Molly by  Kennyswork—not surprising considering POP MART sells 2 Million+ Molly minis each year—and Labubu by Kasing Lung – both booths consistently had the largest lines over the three days. From what we saw, several other booths had considerable lines each day, including Chino Lam, Coarse, Pop Life, Pucky, Unitoy and T9G /Shoko Nakazawa. Fans came eager to buy and buy they did. As we walked the floor, we noticed almost everyone carrying at least one STS-branded bag, many with several.  While it might not be immediately obvious from the photos, women were the primary buyers, informally it seemed like perhaps 70% of the attendees were female.  Not to oversimplify things, but the flip-flopped demographics between Western shows and STS—as well other Asian shows including Taipei Toy Festival—seemed to drive buying tastes, as noted by several vendors. 

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Beyond conventional booths, Shanghai Toy Show also featured self-serve toy buying.  A large Gashapon section in the rear of the hall was heaven for fans of capsule toys.  POP MART also installed two of its innovative Robo Shops at STS.  These high-tech vending machines feature a robotic arm that gently retrieves and delivers art toys to fans who select toys from the electronic display and purchase them seamlessly with mobile QR code payment systems that have nearly replaced cash in China’s larger cities. While one can browse by looking at the rows of blind box toys in the machine, each Robo Shop also features an embedded display case giving buyers a chance to view each figure in a series and get a better feel for what they might find when they open their blind boxes. While the Robo Shop offers mostly individual blind boxes, it also offers full cases.  It’s one thing to see customers  grab a blind box or two from the large door on the machine, but I was pretty amazed to see a customer reach down to retrieve a full case of the new Aquatic Molly minis.  It would be great to see similar art toy machines here in the United States.  Mollys, Dunnys and Be@rbricks from a machine at my local mall? Yes, please.


Complimenting the buying experience, Shanghai Toy Show offered programming on two  stages including the opening/closing ceremonies—a common feature of Asian toy   shows—artist talks, live-drawing sessions and an auction of one-off pieces from exhibiting artists. Continuing the ‘next-level’ vibe, each stage featured video boards for presentations and close-up views of artists’ live-drawing.


POP MART’s expressed goal for Shanghai Toy Show and Beijing Toy Show is to deliver the best Art Toy show experience in the world. An ambitious goal certainly, but one  that seems attainable over the course of several years. With its next-level presentation, STS is raising the bar for what fans should expect from an Art Toy convention. The next step growth wise will be to attract more international brands and artists beyond the notable ones featured at STS. This is happening on its own with several state-side brands mentioning their interest in becoming vendors—noteworthy considering the distance/logistics. 

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We had a great time at Shanghai Toy Show,  meeting artists new to us, scouting out new toys, buying quite a few of them and learning about Art Toys in China, a rapidly growing and extremely promising new market. With STS in the books, POP MART is now focused on the second Beijing Toy Show which will take place from September 7th to 9th 2018. Another toy trip to China? Tempting.

Posted by Jack @ 06:11 AM in Shanghai Toy Show 2018 | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Apr 21, 2018

Mike Fudge x Kidrobot – Kuba 5” Dunny


Mike Fudge’s 5” Kuba Dunny has been released by Kidrobot.  The Pacific Northwest tribal design looks great set against the standard gray edition (1300 pcs, $34.99) which is available from select retailers including myplasticheart and of course Kidrobot.com.  Kuba is also available in a KR exclusive white (300 pcs, $34.99) from Kidrobot.com.

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Fools Paradise x ZCWO – TTE Exclusive Beefy Chili Fantasy (5.3 – 5.6)


The crystal clear Oishii Paradise goodness continues with the TTE Exclusive Beefy Chili Fantasy dropping  from Fools Paradise x ZCWO at Thailand Toy Expo (5.3 – 5.6) at Central World in Bangkok.  Limited to 100 pieces, this one features tri-color happy chili peppers in side of the clear beefy (spray accents).

Posted by Jack @ 03:14 PM in Thailand Toy Expo 2018 | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Fools Paradise x ZCWO – Oishii Paradise: Kitten to Debut at TTE (5.3 – 5.6)



Fools Paradise and ZCWO will debut Kitten, an adorable salmon sandwich, at Thailand Toy Expo (5.3 –5.6) at Central World in Bangkok.  It looks like the fish-loving feline and newest member of the Oishii Paradise line  will be available in both a standard OG color edition and a TTE exclusive Kitten Ikra edition with a clear body and orange sour faces (!) inside.


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Nathan Cleary – Lime Spongrenade (4.21)


Nathan Cleary has dropped his new  Lime Spongrenade for £75 (~ $105) from his web shop. Worldwide shipping included.  As with the previous pearl white and pink editions, this one features a strong incendiary Spongebob sculpt and a metal pin. 

Posted by Jack @ 03:02 PM in Incoming | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Apr 20, 2018

Super7 - Blind Bagged Gorilla Biscuits Marbled Vinyl (4.25)



Super7 is coming back with their Japanese Vinyl Gorilla Biscuits mascot figures! This time as a blind bagged release, which features 3 different colored marbled figures, Orange/Yellow, Black/White or the Purple/Sky. Each blind big will run you $75 each with a limit 2 per customer. They also come packaged in a custom screen printed sweatshirt material drawstring bag. You can find these available through Super7.com and both their San Francisco and San Diego stores on Wednesday, April 25th at 12PM PST.

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Apr 18, 2018

Toy Geeks Behind The Counter S2E10 With Arlen Escarpeta


Time to geek out again with a brand-new episode of Toy Geeks Behind the Counter available for streaming on Youtube or below.  This week’s  ‘Dewy, Crackle & Geek’, episode features a great guest, actor Arlen Escarpeta (‘Oath’ on Crackle), as well as Mitchell, Jack V. and Ben.   The toys run through the review gauntlet include the Strangers Things action figures from McFarlane Toys, Dewy by Aaron McNaught ($75) which are each 3d-printed, Young MC from Ron EnglishStar Wars key chains by Phat Mojo, and the Poobaca pins from Spiritmade.

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Frank Kozik x Kidrobot – Let Us Prey (10.18)


From the incisive mind of Frank Kozik comes Let Us Prey coming from Kidrobot in October.  The iconoclastic 12” sculptural vinyl questions the lines between our stated values and our actual everyday goals and actions.  Perhaps money is the one true religion.  This one will retail for $100 and is available now from pre-order from retailers including myplasticheart.  Here’s to wondering if there might be a second colorway in the works – Frank posted a shot of a black + gold  colorway a few months back on IG.


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DYZ Plastic x Android - Robot Revolution


Prepare for a Robot Revolution, as DYZ Plastics are happy to finally share their newest line of Android figures. Introducing the new series of Android Mini-Figures that now feature a swappable component system! You can mix and match parts, make them short, make them tall or even give them 4 arms. The first series will feature artwork by Google, Andrew Bell, Chuck Boy, Dead Zebra Inc., Lou Lou & Tummie, Kong Andri, Patricio Oliver and Scott Tolleson. With the release slated for some time in May, we hope to see plenty of teasers by then!

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Ron English x Compound x Made by Monsters – Ganja Grin (4.20)


To celebrate the  laid-back holiday Ron English has melded minds with The Compound to bring you Ganja Grin dropping on 420 of course!  This one is available in three strains (4?) each featuring new weed stems and  black-light reactive paint for a mind-altering in-the-dark experience.  Front and center is Haze Bob (500 pcs) featuring a send-up of mr. squarepants.  There are also two more limited editions --  Pot of Gold and Silver Kush, each limited to 250 pcs.  All three drop at 9 AM PDT on 4.20 from Compound’s site for $650 each (includes shipping). 

While all the product press states three strains, the Compound IG has several snaps of friends and family with what appears to be a four strain – a variant of Haze Bob.  Either that or the light (or something else) is playing tricks on me.

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Woes Martin x Silent Stage – ‘Woes in Paradise’ Print (4.18)


Woes and Silent Stage have a dope new print dropping this morning (4.18). Woes in Paradise features a purple panda chillin’ with a bird of paradise.  This one will be available in both a standard (100 s/n pcs, 17x17”, $74.99) and a deluxe hand-embellished edition (10 s/n pcs, 24x24”, $299.99).  The hand-embellished large-format edition features gold splatter, gold stenciling on the flower, and is signed big and bold in gold as well. These drop on Wednesday (4.18) at 11 AM PDT from Silent Stage.

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Apr 17, 2018

J.T Studio – Derek 1/6 Pre-Order (4.18)

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Shortly after the pre-orders for Ray (cosplay Flash) were announced, J.T Studio followed with an announcement of his partner in cosplay crime – Derek who has chosen to make things a bit tougher for the Caped Crusader.  In case you’re wondering the back story is behind these sweet new toys: After being overshadowed by the spandex-wearing do-gooders, the two boomerang athletes decide to assume super hero identities in order to dirty the reputations of the likes of Flash and Batman.

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Like Ray, Derek comes kitted to the max with multiple hands, an alternate evil- grin expression, batarang, stylish stand and more.  As with Ray, he’s limited to 399 pieces and will be available for $230 (pre-order includes free global shipping) starting on Wednesday, April 18th at 8:59 AM PDT from the J.T studio web store.   If you’re planning on buying both, we have good news, the 2-pack will be available for $450 (pre-orders include worldwide shipping)  which is a $10 savings.  Plus, the first 100 collectors who buy the 2-pack will receive two bonus ‘POW’ shirts!


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Ron English x Blackbook Toy – Wonderpotheadzilla Lottery (4.18 – 4.21)


420 is coming and Blackbook Toy is reveling in the high times. In addition to 420-themed one-offs by Marvel Okinawa, BBT is also releasing a special run of  Wonderpotheadzilla figures  from Ron English via e-mail lottery.   Based off the STS Wonderzilla—also available in this lottery—the pothead version features crazy, dazed eyes. The dazed and confused ‘zilla will be available individually (18,000 yen/~ $168) or as a set for 21500 yen (~ $201) with a matching mini Mousezilla finger puppet—six sets available. The STS Wonderzilla will also be 18,000 yen/~$168. 

The lottery runs from Wednesday (4.18) at 8 AM PDT through 7:59 AM PDT on  Saturday (4.21).  To enter drop a line to info@blackbooktoy.com with the following:

  • Subject: 420 Lottery entry
  • Name
  • Address (Do not forget to include your country and zip code)
  • Telephone Number
  • Item name (You can enter only once per item)
  • Instagram (if you have)

For complete info on each release and full lottery details, head on over to Blackbook Toy’s official blog post.

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Posted by Jack @ 04:09 PM in Incoming | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Marvel Okinawa x Blackbook Toy – 420 One-Offs Lottery (4.18 – 4.21)


To celebrate the year’s most laid-back holiday, Marvel Okinawa has created a fun lineup of ‘420’-themed customs of several Blackbook Toy sofubi figures including Guy, Evil MC and  Mousezilla from Ron English as well as Lil Alex and Dim from Frank Kozik.  Each features a mix of stoned/weedy details including heavy doses of green and purple spray, weed symbols and all-over print patterns, and in the case of Weedzilla, dazed eyes—a nice touch.   Limited to 1 hand-painted custom each, Marvel’s 420 wonders will be sold via email lottery to purchase starting on Wednesday (4.18) at 8 AM PDT through 7:59 AM PDT on  Saturday (4.21). Weed Guy will be available for 42,000 yen (~$393), Weedzilla for 52,000 yen (~$486), MC Weed for 62,000 yen (~$579), Lil Alex and Dim each for 42,000 yen (~$393). To enter drop a line to info@blackbooktoy.com with the following:

  • Subject: 420 Lottery entry
  • Name
  • Address (Do not forget to include your country and zip code)
  • Telephone Number
  • Item name (You can enter only once per item)
  • Instagram (if you have)

For complete info on each release and full lottery details, head on over to Blackbook Toy’s official blog post.

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Apr 15, 2018

J.T Studio – Ray 1/6 Pre-Order (4.18)


J.T Studio previewed two new superhero-cosplay figures, Ray and Derek, at Shanghai Toy Show. After being overshadowed by the spandex-wearing do-gooders, the two boomerang athletes decide to assume super hero identities in order to dirty the reputations of the likes of Flash and Batman.  Both of these look amazing in person with J.T’s urban aesthetic and crazy attention to detail. 

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Ray (edition of 399) is first up and will be available for pre-order for $230 (includes global shipping), starting on Tuesday (4.18) at 8:59 AM PDT from his web shop.  The flashy speedster features LED light-up eyes (2 AG1 batteries not included), shiny hero outfit including dope backpack and as you might expect plenty of accessories including multiple hands for the ultimate posability.    These should ship in Q3. Next up? Derek, the not quite Caped Crusader.

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Apr 13, 2018

Rice Studio x Unbox – Monsterbox: Kosushi and Flappenmad (4.14)


First released in Shanghai last weekend, the new Monsterbox figures from Rice Studios x Unbox will be available for all at 6 AM PDT on Saturday (4.14) for $55 each (+ s/h) from the Unbox web shop.  Designed by Scottdiggs and Money, Kosushi and Flappenmad are interdimensional terrors who emerge from their secret portals—a.k.a. sneaker boxes. Featuring an appealing 80’s childhood toy vibe, these 5.5” soft vinyl figures feature articulated arms—apparently swappable too—as well as removable box tops for stackable fun.  Let’s hope there are more Monsterbox beasts waiting in the wings.  

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Unbox Exclusive Nunuko Cat by Ryo Taniguchi (4.14)

IMG_2081aaUnbox worked with Japanese illustrator Ryo Taniguchi to bring his signature character, Nunuko, to life as a vinyl toy.  They will release an exclusive edition of the ~6” figure on Saturday (4.14) at 6 AM PDT for $60 (+ s/h).  Taniguchi has been in the news lately as the creator of the official mascots for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, as chosen by Japanese school children. 

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Mike Sutfin Devilman Red GID (4.14)


In case you missed it at last weekend’s WonderFest Shanghai, Unbox will release the new Mike Sutfin Devilman Red GID (12.5”)  on Saturday (4.14) at 6 AM PDT  from their web store for $155 (+ s/h).  Sutfin x Go Nagai. Red Glow. ‘Nuff Said.

Posted by Jack @ 09:16 PM in Incoming | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Filter017 x Unbox – Mix Badger Color Edition


Filter017 have just released a full-color, painted-edition of their stylin’ Mix Badger vinyl from Unbox.  Previously released in three different unpainted colorways, Filter017’s mascot really comes to life with this deluxe color treatment.  The paint enhances the detail in the badger’s face and his clothes – the jacket in particular looks super sharp.  As the press release mentions, Mix Badger is a nod to a  throwback 60’s style appearance realized only through today’s production tech.  While there isn’t a best paint DTA yet, the new OG Mix Badger would be a serious contender.

The Mix Badger Color edition (8”)  is available now from Filter017’s web store for NT2980 (~$102) + s/h.  What are you waiting for… Go… now.

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2PetalRose - Lady Bo & Emperor Kazo (04.16)

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2PetalRose will soon be unleashing his two newest characters, Lady Bo and Emperor Kazo! This first batch of 15 pieces were presented at ToyConUK recently, and now 2PR will be releasing the remaining 7 online on Monday, April 16th at 9PM UK Time. Lady Bo is an ally to Kid Katana and is a member of the Renegade Knights. She measures between 3.5" to 4" tall and is hand-sculpted, painted and cast by 2PR. She comes accessorized with base, backing screen, bo taff and felt fan. Emperor Kazo on the other hand is one of Kid Katana's enemies and stands 4" tall. He comes with a base, backing flag, staff and a small potion jar. Both pieces will retail roughly $130 + S&H with estimated delivery date of the end of June / Early July.


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Apr 12, 2018

Juce Gace x Mighty Jaxx – Maneki-Dino (4.14)


Lucky Cat? Yep.  Yoshi? Check.  Mighty Jaxx has packed the twice the fun into the new Maneki-Dino art toy from Juce Gace. Maybe that should be triple the fun as the dino comes with a mini shroom pal.  Limited to 300 pieces, the 8” charmer will be available for pre-order on Saturday (4.14) for $119 (includes global shipping) from Mighty Jaxx’s web shop.

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Amanda Visell – Leia Ringers


Amanda Visell has just released two new Ringers featuring Princess Leia. Turns out she just might be our only hope.  Choose from ‘Someone has to save our skins’ and the oh-so-timely ‘You’re going to regret this’—each an edition of ten available for $145 (+s/h) from Switcheroo


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Martin Ontiveros x Toy Art Gallery – Baphomaniac Burnt Offering (4.13)


Baphomaniac from Martin Ontiveros and Toy Art Gallery returns with a stylish new edition.  Burnt Offering features a really nice paint application blending various sprays to create the convincing effect which showcases  the strong sculpt from Turtlemilk Studios.  This one drops on Friday (4.13) at 12 PM PDT for $95 (+ s/h) from the TAG Web Shop.


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KAWS x All Rights Reserved - Seeing/Watching (04.25)

Are you in need more of KAWS items you can comfortably hug! Well look no more! In conjunction with a new KAWS sculpture being erected at IFS in Changsha, All Rights Reserved will be releasing a new apparel, glassware, totes and of course plush as a part of the "Seeing/Watching" line. Prices are to be determined, but there will be two sizes available for the "Seeing/Watching" plush, which features the BFF and KAWS Companion basically joined by the hip! One measuring 16" tall which will be numbered and are limited in quantity and the smaller version at 5.5" tall. For International orders, these items will be available through DDT Store HERE. This will all be going down on Wednesday, April 25th at 10PM PST.

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Apr 11, 2018

Doktor A x 3DRetro – Anesthesia Bust in Red (4.13)


The Anesthesia Bust in Red (50 pcs, 12”)  from Doktor A and 3DRetro will be released on Friday (4.13) at 11 AM PDT from 3DRetro.com for $100 (+ s/h).  This is the third release of  Doktor A’s Anesthesia which he originally sculpted in 2014 as a high-end art piece. Anesthesia’s Mechtorian heritage, lies just  beneath her veil and the piece’s classical styling which was inspired by the work of 19th century marble sculptor Raffaele Monti.

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Posted by Jack @ 04:22 PM in Incoming | Permalink  | Comments (0) |