Monday, April 27, 2015
The show was so overflowing that (for the first time I've seen it) a separate side room was opened for a Super Art Toy area. That was basically a group of indie toy makers (including Art Junkies, T9G, Onion Fight and others) who banded together to exhibit side by side. I'm not sure if that was a one-off event or if we'll see it at future shows.
Here's my SF 68 report, which is fairly pic heavy (230+ shots). Makers are alphabetized:
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Here's a video I shot:
Name: Silver Ball Planet
Address: 中央区西心斎橋1-6-14-3階, Osaka
Map: Click here
Hours:11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Facebook: Click here
|This game is fun, but it takes a while to get used to the physics of hitting a ball vertically!|
Thursday, April 16, 2015
|I spotted the display at this Yamada pharmacy. It's located right next to the JR Akihabara staition.|
|Fantastic placement (right at the entrance) for the POP. Makes sense, since you probably have thousands of anime fans walking by every day.|
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Take a train, and you're likely to join a row of serious faces, with a heavy stench of liquor wafting through the carriage. But exit the station, and you may bump into a dancing, furry mascot welcoming you to a newly opened travel agency.
Balancing all that on a daily basis can be a psychological high-wire act, which is one reason most people walk down the street with tunnel vision, hurrying from A to B without engaging who knows what. You can't take it all too seriously, though, and if you seek out the nicer quarters, you can have a lot of fun.
Koenji (the district next to Nakano) is a groovy area to walk around. Besides a few toy shops, you've got plenty of homey restaurants (including a veggie place), coffee shops, thrift stores (called "recycle shops" in Japan) and other bohemian spaces.
On a stroll through Koenji the other day, I came across Kiki 2, a boutique that mostly sells used clothing. I'm not a kawaiiseour, but this place had enough of a funky retro toy vibe going that I thought I'd check it out.
Here's a video I shot:
Store details for your kawaii purveyance:
English address: 2-21-11 1F Koenji Minami, Suginami-ku, Tokyo
Japanese address: 〒166-0003 東京都杉並区 高円寺南 2-21-11
Click here for a pinpoint Google Map to Kiki, which is right next to Kiki 2.
Tel: 03 5377 0105
Hours: 1 PM - 8 PM
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
The tradition continues at convenience stores, supermarkets, drug stores, and tons of other outlets. Here are images I snapped at a Tokyo supermarket.
|You can see the other figures in the series pictured.|
Monday, March 23, 2015
So, the other day at a Mandarake, I spotted a bunch of vintage dirigibles. Let me start by saying I have zero knowledge of this corner of the toy world. But the assembled group looked really neat, and I thought I'd share a look with you guys.
|Pretty serious money for these collectibles. But beyond that, how cool is this Shenandoah blimp circling the Eiffel Tower!|
|I wonder how many kids filled the moats with water back in the day. I'm guessing most of them -or maybe mud...|
|A familiar sight to sports fans.|
|This one has a Steampunk vibe.|
|This zeppelin looks like it has a turn key on the bottom. I wonder what it does. Any time I'm at this shop and I heard mechanical whirring and clanging, I run to the register to see what tin toy they're testing. :)|
|The sign says this one is from Germany.|
|Looks like one of those Time Life books. Remember those commercials?|
|I look at toys like this and am just amazed that they survived the decades with such delicate parts!|
|I guess the blimp from this Marx set is part of the coastal defense? The attackers are coming! Fire up the blimp!|
|Beautiful jumbo lenticular card.|
|Top shelf piece right there.|
|A more modern battery operated toy by Bandai.|
Friday, March 13, 2015
The above batch of figures were made by Takara. Here are some up-close pics:
|A lot of the early Takara keshi are fairly godawful to look at, but I just darn plum lub em, I do!|
Friday, March 6, 2015
|Mandarake Grandchaos, Osaka|
More after the jump:
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Today I came across two really cool Henshin Ninja Arashi mini notebook sets. They're a few inches by a few inches across, and they pack in all kinds of stuff.
Here's the first one:
|These sets were made by Banso, an excellent company that made books, stationery, and toys.|
|Opens as a tri-fold with lots of nice illustrations|
Saturday, January 24, 2015
|Condorman book + flexi disc set|
Enter flexi discs, the thin, clear plastic records that might be green, blue, or red. These were so cheap that you could pair them with a mini book and still sell them for less than the cost of a vinyl EP. In the late 60s, flexi discs were really thin and floppy, and they were easily damaged. These were known as "sonosheets." Asahi was one of the main companies in the field, and their Asahi Sonorama (朝日 ソノラマ) series included book + sonosheet sets for titles like Ultraman, Mighty Atom (Astro Boy), etc.
|Asahi Sonorama Mighty Atom mini book + sonosheet set|
In this series, the paper was thicker for the mini books, though the internal binding wasn't the best, leading to pages easily becoming separated.
|Mini books were typically around 6-8 pages long. In this Condorman book, the lyrics to one of the flexi disc's songs are on the right-hand page, and a mini story (not recorded on the disc) starts on the left.|
|Condorman "punch sheet" containing one song on each side.|
More after the jump: