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Mar 09, 2007

Preview - Ji and Petker: Behind Bedroom Doors (3.9.07)

To set the  mood for Sylvia Ji's and Joshua Petker's opening of Behind Bedroom Doors (flier) @ Thinkspace Gallery tonight (3.9.07) from 7 to 11 PM, here are some shots of Sylvia and Josh working on the installation.  The show will feature appearances by several of the godsgirls.com models who posed many of the paintings.  Want more? Check out the show prints and a preview of the show pieces.  Also, tonight's show marks the debut of Thinkspace Live @ 8PM with live streaming video of the opening.

Thinkspace Art Gallery
4210 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029

Posted by Jack @ 05:04 PM in Shows | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

I.W.G. Rocketship Launch (3.9.07)

Rocket World and STRANGEco will officially launch the I.W.G. Rocketship tonight (Friday, March 9th) at the Rocket World Gallery in San Francisco from 6 to 8 PM.  In addition to the Galactic Silver and Future Eco Green editions, a small quantity of the elusive Force Recon Covert Special Edition cloaked in stealthy black will be available at the release party.  Limited to a total of just 100 pieces, the Force Recon comes with both Huey the Black Panther and Taharka the Rhino mini-figs.  Patrick Ma, creator of the Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo, will be on hand for the festivities and toy signing.

Rocket World Gallery

660 22nd Street (at Third)
San Francisco, CA 94107

Posted by Jack @ 03:26 PM in Release Event | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Span of Sunset x Disney Runaway Brain Preview - Day 4

For Day 4 of our exclusive preview of the Span of Sunset Inc. x Disney Mickey Mouse Runaway Brain Figure we're happy to bring you the Candy Flake colorway.  This delicious colorway is quite shiny and has matching red translucent spittle.  The glossy finish is rather remarkable considering this is not an electroplated figure. 

As revealed yesterday, the Runaway Brain figure comes in a giant "cereal" box.  The front cover opens up via a magnetic latch to reveal the figure behind a windowed panel and one of two surprises.  Each figure comes with a pack of trading cards.

Once the box is open, lifting the insert marked "Look... Underneath Me " reveals an extra sweet premium - a Runaway Brain T-shirt  - style and size random. Check back Monday for our final preview and your first opportunity to purchase the Mickey Mouse Runaway Brain figures from the Vinyl Pulse store.  Wholesale inquiries should be directed to [email protected].

Posted by Jack @ 11:00 AM in Runaway Brain Preview | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Review: I.W.G. Rocketship

Patrick Ma's Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo (I.W.G) from Rocket World is a clever and timely concept -- anthropomorphic  animals taking up arms and military tactics to punish 'bad humans' who have endangered earth's ecosystem.  The I.W.G. line started with mini-figures and expanded into larger figures including several recent releases.  After a lengthy development process, STRANGEco has released the I.W.G. Rocketship -- a 19" interplanetary transport for the intrepid I.W.G warriors.

The retro themed I.W.G. Rocketship comes in three colorways - the Future Eco-Green Edition (450 pcs), Classic Galactic Silver Edition (450 pcs), and the very limited Force Recon Covert Black Special Edition.  The I.W.G Rocketship comes with a bonus mini I.W.G. figure -- Taharaka the Rhino (Eco-Green) or Huey the Black Panther (Galactic Silver).  The Force Recon Covert Black Special Edition comes with both figures.


For this review, we evaluated the Galactic Silver Edition. The I.W.G. Rocketship is well-designed with a distinct retro vibe. The classic curved fins end in laser canons and also bear each ship's edition number.  While the toy can be appreciated as a static rocket, it is also a capable 'playset'. Peering through the sweet porthole window one can see into the cockpit.   Pulling down the hinged  door reveals a ladder on the inner side of the door as well as the spacious cockpit and storage area. The detail of the door both inside and out is executed perfectly and really adds a welcome sense of technical intricacy to the design.   The cockpit is large enough to hold 2-3 mini figures comfortably.  The control panel is complete with a rotating steering wheel.  The storage area, a circular space below the cockpit, is used by I.W.G. operatives to store the remains of 'bad humans'.  Conveniently, each Rocketship comes with a skull and two human bone accessories.

Next, we come to what many will feel is the headline special feature. The red LED light on the cockpit ceiling rounds out the interior.  A counterclockwise 1/4 turn of the antenna engages the light which while a bit dim, definitely adds to the mood and the overall value of the toy.  The inclusion of the light and the clever switch (which doesn't appear to be documented) is a sure sign of Patrick Ma and STRANGEco's commitment to deliver a superior product.  Though I'm not sure how practical it is when viewed from a collector's perspective.

The Galactic Silver edition comes with a bonus Huey the Black Panther mini-figure complete with a rather large side arm (all the better to dispatch bad humans). Huey is quite the stealthy warrior.  The facial details are quite nice --  especially the whiskers which were unexpected and quite cool.


The I.W.G. Rocketship comes in a large retro-themed matte box which clearly pays homage to toy packaging from the past with it's exclamations -- "Working Cockpit Light!" and "Bonus Mini Figure Inside!".  The side panel details the role of the rocketships in the I.W.G. universe with  the signature delicious prose drenched in the  over-the-top detail and sense of gravity, that accompanies all I.W.G projects.

Build and Quality

Due to the structural limitations of vinyl, the Rocketship is made out of hard plastic.   The use of hard plastic is a necessary yet unfortunate concession  as  the physical  feel of the I.W.G. Rocketship and other similarly constructed toys) is, in my opinion, inferior to the nice tactile touch and weight of vinyl. Overall the construction is sturdy though the fins could stand to be slightly more rigid.

The paint application is of fairly high quality though there does seem to be some variability from piece to piece.  The shiny silver hull shows some minor discolorations in spots.  The checkered band that rings the ship is fairly uniform with decent registration.  The I.W.G. logo on rear of the ship is spotless from what I've seen.

Designer Toys

Finally, we come to the dual natural of the I.W.G. Rocketship.  It's both a limited-edition collectible and a functional playset.  As a playset, it excels with a strong design and several cool features including the large hinged door and the working LED light. 

As a collectible designer toy, things are a little less clear.  On one hand, the rocketship makes a cool display for I.W.G and other mini-figs. On the other hand, I feel this  tension between designer toys and more mainstream toys which often have available playsets.  In my mind, designer toys are special partly because they subvert what mainstream toys are about.

If one recognizes designer toys as affordable and collectible art pieces, then the issue of play features becomes a little murky.  While many collectors desire articulation -- I think it's reasonable to suggest that many pose the figure once or very infrequently for static display rather than play with it on a regular basis.  Play certainly isn't bad, far from it.  The question is,  when does a designer toy start to feel like a more mainstream toy and thereby lose some of its subversive appeal? There's no easy answer --  and like everything else this is ultimately a matter of personal taste.


Overall, the I.W.G. Rocketship is a well designed and well-executed toy and certainly a welcome addition for many I.W.G fans.  It offers good collectability at only 450 pieces each for the silver and green editions.  The $99 suggested retail price is nicely offset by the large size (18" high), cool extra features (most notably the LED light), and the inclusion of the bonus figure.

Posted by Jack @ 09:15 AM in review | Permalink  | Comments (5) |

Muttpop: Original Red Demon and Original Gobi

The Originals.  The backbone of Muttpop’s Lucha Libre Art Figure Line. Designs and colors by Bill and Gobi. Sculpts by Monster5. All produced in supreme rotocast vinyl. Aren’t they beautiful? Below are the first complete glimpses of both figures from various angles. Original Red Demon and Original Gobi will debut in April/May 2007.

Posted by Jack @ 07:30 AM in Muttpop | Permalink  | Comments (4) |