December 27, 2014

Toy Haul 12/27/2014!

What sort of keshi fanatic would I be if I didn't get anything of the sort this holiday?  Maybe it wasn't more than some, but who's really counting?  But anyway, I received some keshi in the mailbox recently, so let's dive in!

I've really been in the mood for some new OMFG minis.  Of course I follow and collect October Toy's OTMFG line quite seriously, but I can't really forget all the awesome variants out there for the classic line.  What was really itching my wallet was their Quazar variant in their webstore.  It's a clear pinkish purple.  It's amazing-looking, and if their store was open while my wallet was blowing away in the wind, I would have grabbed the set.  Unfortunately, I wasn't born so patient.

That'll be a Toy Haul post for another time, because this time I picked up both Series 1 and Series 2 of the Exclusive Blood Rage OMFG minifigures.  Maybe you can see why.  When you can't have clear pink, go for clear red.  Yes, exactly.

These guys are gorgeous!  Full, thick, bright, and they all have that amazing PVC smell that eventually gives me a headache, but I'll never learn.  I always love the weight of October Toy's keshi.  They have such an unmatched quality that makes me wonder why I don't hunt after the variant sets more.

I'll have to change that soon, just as soon as I track down those clear pinks first.

Check out October Toy's website here!

Also, this post marks my 50th entry in this blog, and likely my last for 2014.  I want to thank everyone for dropping by, reading my stuff, and sharing your opinions with me.  I've said it before, I made this blog with no intention of it getting any views or attention from anyone.  I am very thankful for all this and I look forward to a whole new year of crazy keshi ramblings.  Thank you all again.

December 24, 2014

Rise of a New Colorway!

Just announced on their Instagram, that's @littlerubberguys for those not hip and cool enough to be following them yet, is the first colorway set for the Rise of the Beasts mini line scheduled for a February/March release.

These army green variants of the rhino and scorpion colors look just amazing, and they have me so excited for their release.  For those who like them that way, there are some with even paint applications too.

I personally love the throwback color to the classic army men green.  Granted I love myself an abundance of glitter and translucent neon colors, but something like this certainly resonates deeply with memories of pouring out buckets full of little green men to wage war all over carpet.

For the collectors out there, outside the incredibly hard-to-get prototypes, our color variants are flesh, black, gold, and now soon to be army green.  Any hope for a pink glitter?  We'll have to wait and see.

As always, check out all the other awesome Rise of the Beast goodies here!

December 21, 2014

Early Evolution!

For those hardcore collectors and rarity chasers, Mystical Warriors of the Ring just announced they have something that might be right up your alley.

They only have a handful, maybe it was five sets total in the world they mentioned, but they are test shots of the new MWOTR ring set called Evolution.  They are currently working out the finer details on the new figures and these sets are the product of that.  Most companies would destroy them, but like the preview pieces at Designer Con, they are releasing them to their fans to get an early look at what's to come in the near future.

Keep in mind, though, these are not the final products either.  Both sets are working models and the final design may have slight alterations here and there.  The Designer Con set was done in a hard plastic and this recently released set was done in a much softer material.  It appears they are working on some science with their figure's detail and the materials at their disposal.  It's all very cool and exciting, and I can't wait to see what the final product will look like.  Unfortunately for me, my budget doesn't allow me to be the 'keshi baller' I wish I could be, so I'll have to let these enviously pass me by.  I will, however, be first in line for the final PVC version of series two.

This set is only available via email, primarily because of the low numbers available, I am guessing.  In fact, it appears there are still pieces of the Designer Con test shots available in their store.  If either of them interest you, please check out their website and give them some love!

For Mystical Warriors of the Ring news and minifigures click here!

December 20, 2014

A Mandatory Mutation!

Tonight is the night!  Tonight is the night I finally got a Mutant Mania figure in my hand!  Now this is particularly important, because, as my normal readers know, I've been something of sour towards keshi minifigure toy lines that have not fell into some arbitrary mold I created with all the wisdom and knowledge of a toy collector who barely knows what he's talking about. 

These strict guidelines began to fell apart during the release of the Rise of the Beast line, which I gave really high praise.  Admittedly, I didn't make a large ROTB order.  Really, I just ordered a single figure, just for curiosity sake, and when it came in, I wish I had purchased a ton more.  I wondered why, considering I was so rough on almost every other multi-part keshi toy lines prior.  I chalked it up to the fact I had the figure in my hand, and when I had it in my possession, I could give it a better judgement.  I could feel it and smell it and maybe I could find qualities to like that just doesn't reach out from a picture.  So I wondered, what if I picked up figures I previously felt I wouldn't like?  

One toy line I previously described as a design disappointment was Moose's Mutant Mania.  Despite it being clearly inspired by the Kinnikuman, I felt the three-part figure was not worth my time.  The figures have an exposed back with a flexi-spine component holding the entire thing together.  It allows the figure to change it's parts with others in the toy line, as well as letting them bounce around and hit each other.  Still, I was not a fan, but like before, maybe my feels would change.

I picked up a single blind box and it finally came in the mail.  I was pleased to get one with not a lot of paint application, and in fact, pink is one of my favorite colors, but I don't think my opinion was swayed all that much.  And really, considering I feel this particular figure may be the best-case-scenario for Mutant Mania to win over my love, it probably should have made a stronger impact, but it didn't.  The flexi-spine is just awful.  Miserable, even.   In hand, his pieces feel a lot more looser than I hoped.  He would likely fall off his spine with a vigorous shaking.  I could super glue him together, but I won't.  That doesn't feel right.

Despite all that, the plastic's color and feeling is really great, and standing alone, not moving, he looks like a really convincing imitation.  So, as odd as this sounds, with virtually failing grades, he's hanging just well with the rest of the keshi collection, and I think he'll stay there just fine.  But I don't think I'll be collecting any more, unless I came across more in a collection or lot.

December 17, 2014

Hot Rise of the Beasts Leak!

Unless you follow @littlerubberguys on Instagram, which I suggest you do, this hot piece of leaky news will come as a pleasant surprise.

What we are looking at are non-articulated, rubber casted, prototypes of the new lion character from the Rise of the Beasts mini figure line.  Being a test shot, they are slightly larger than their production brothers, but that ain't no thing but a chicken wing.  Notice anything sweet with these guys yet?  What, no pegs, you say?  Solid chunk of awesomeness?  Heck, yeah!  Tickle that purist bone!

What truly is the icing on the cake is that these awesome guys are going on sale January!  At the time of the post, I have no idea how many there actually are or will be available for purchase, but if I had to guess, I would say it's going to be quite the small release, maybe just these four.  I'll certainly keep you all in the know when I find out more.

But, hey, don't wait for me to be your source of Rise of the Beast information.  Go give them love and support here!  Also, you can find all kinds of amazing LRG-exclusive OMFG and SUCKLE sets too.  Just go and empty your bank account.

December 16, 2014

Ni Has the Good Stuff!

Wait, before we go off and do the big Glyos post, I want to mention something really neat sort of tucked in and a little hidden away that I really love.

They are called Anomalies and they find their home at 481 Universe/ Ni's Stuff.  Ni's Stuff generally has astronaut-inspired figures, and bits and pieces, all compatible and interchangeable with other Glyos-friendly toy lines, but there are also the sluggish freaks, The Anomalies.

Anomalies are beautiful single-mold minifigures made in the same shiny or brightly-colorful PVC as the rest of their releases.  They appear to be the native inhabitants of distant alien planets, possibly twisted and warped by climates and conditions completely foreign to mankind.

I personally love these guys, not just for their wildly-unique alien designs but also for their shininess.  I've said it a million times - I'm such a sucker for glitter and metallic variants.  And lucky me, this Friday, December 19th, 481 Universe is releasing a gold accessory head pack that includes two bright and shiny gold anomalies.

Sadly, Anomalies used to come in sets of six, but I can understand, in the Glyos world, how these guys may be looked upon as outcasts.  I, of course, stick by my last remaining strands of keshi purism, while I still have it.  Still, the accessory packs are still worth looking into and purchasing.  If nothing else, you'll have a nice large pile of amazing heads to trade to other Glyos collectors for their anomalies, which is exactly the game I've been playing.

I shared it last post, but I'll do it again.  For more awesome Ni's Stuff, check out this link here!  Go check them out!  He has much more than just the Anomalies I enjoy.  Plus, the one of a kind custom figures are worth a look too, if you're more of the hardcore sort of collector.

December 14, 2014

Outlandish Xmas!

George and Ayleen at October Toys always have a cool thing going, both with their OMFG line and their OTMFG monthly releases.  I love dropping in every 15th of the month and checking what new minis or variants are up, and snagging a few just as they are released is always part of the fun of collecting keshi.

This month, they are releasing a couple new color variants for minis I have complete sets of already, so the collection grows!  We're looking at a holly berry red Zombie Pheyden, another amazingly static gylos figure, and the lump of coal black Brocotal.

Damn it, me!  Why are we always ripping on Glyos?  We know Rise of the Beasts is an awesome line and you'll likely appreciate any other line with interchangeable pegs, you just have to have it in your hands...

Maybe it's time to drop in to Onell Design or 481 Universe, grab a few figures, and finally haul them to the old blog.  New Years resolution, maybe?

You don't have to wait for me, either!  Check out everyone's sites just below!

October Toys - click here!

Onell Design - click here!

481 Universe - click here!

Thanks for checking in and until next time, Earthlings.

December 10, 2014

Blog Name Change?!

When I started this blog a few months back, I only had intention of it being my own dark corner of the Internet to ramble like an insane adult toy collector.  I never thought in a million years I'd get as many visitors I do, spanning from all kinds of places around the world.  I am truly thankful for the attention, however, it now makes me suspect some of my design choices need to be revisited.

More importantly, I feel the name of the blog may be too close to trademark properties for me to keep it any longer.  I haven't been given any sort of scary emails or anything, which is good, but I certainly want to stand on my own two feet too.  I don't particularly want to fool visitors into believing this is solely a Monster In My Pocket blog or one really only about toy reviews.  At it's core, this place is my rusty, creaking, seat at the toy collecting freak show.  This is my interpretation of what I see, so maybe I need to reflect that better.

So, in the passing weeks, I've been seriously toying with a few different name changes to the blog, but I don't want to do anything without the thoughts of my readers.  What do you guys think?  Would a name change over the New Year be best?  Trust me, if we change the name, it'll be the name that sticks forever.

Share your thoughts below!  Thanks!

December 7, 2014

Share a Coke with a Keshi!

You know, it's weird.  I can see a million different areas in products and media where this a bit less attractive to downright awful, but I always love keshi in cross promotions with products, and the stranger the better.

Maybe I enjoy the idea of tiny, rubber, minifigures getting in the hands of new people, but I think it has more nostalgia than that.  I think my acceptance of promotional keshi dates back to the cereal box toys of the 80's and 90's, especially the rubber Flintstones figures we all got.  I would argue that keshi has always tried to be that freebie attached to some product, so that's why it may get the pass while others don't.

One promotional set that I recently discovered and fell in love with was a Square Enix cross-promotion with Coca Cola, because why not.  In Japan, there was limited edition Final Fantasy themed bottles of soda, all of which came with a little red baggie attached.  Inside the baggie was a little Final Fantasy minifigure, either painted or in a translucent red variant.  Most are in classic poses, but some are so awesomely cheesy that they are holding soda bottles or giant bottle cap signs.

I particularly love the plain red ones, and plan to be getting a good little lot sometime soon on the second market.  Now, the red bases the figures stand on are a giant eyesore, but it's no where as bad as the Marvel Test Tube Goo bases are.  I'll certainly do a more detailed review once I get a few in my hands.

December 2, 2014

A Wild Dunny Appears!

...Or rather Dumny, as I learned today.

Either way, it was a big news day over at the SUCKLE 2 Kickstarter page.  With it winding down before, it released the Kozik minifigure, but now with just over 48 hours from the time of this post, there are even more additions to the new series!

I was on the trail of this mysterious Dunny bootleg minifigure, and finally we have news about it and then some.  SUCKLE hit their goal today, so they have released three stretch goal figures free to those who have funded the project for $45 and up.

Just over $25k now, the Glyos Sucklord, in his glorious non-articulated, non-interchangeable, glory will be unlocked at $26k. $27k will unlock the Blowpeg, and finally $28k will unlock the ever sneaky bootleg Dumny.

 It was slow getting the first goal down, but I have no doubts DKE and the Sucklord will be getting their $28k stretch goal in no time.  The set now is somewhere around 14 figures, without having to look into it and count everything, and people must be looking through their wallets for at least an extra $45.

It's still not too late to jump on either!  Go here to visit the Kickstarter and support them before it's too late!

EDIT:  With only 24 hours left, these three stretch goals look to be soon reached, so two more have been added!  At $29k, Karate Chump Galactic Jerkbag and at $30k, Reality TV Star Sucklord!

November 30, 2014

Toy Haul 11/30/14!

We've received more minifigures in the mail, Earthlings, and this time we got a ton, so dive in and take a look at everything!

The first bunch we are looking at today was a cool little treat I found on the good ol' Ebay.  These guys were packaged as a used lot of Fistful of Power minifigures, along with the blue plastic carrying case not pictured here.  The price was insanely cheap, as sometimes Ebay can get be.  With free shipping, I was able to get all these guys for under three dollars.  Pretty damn good deal, if I say so myself.  And even better, there was a lot of shadow variants in the lot.  Fistful of Power figures has a few different versions of each of their figures.  I'm sure the unpainted dark plastic shadow figures are not the favorites of most, but to me, they are two thumbs up.  I particularly love the yeti in the top left corner.  He's just to chunky and well-done.  The weight of him feels really good in-hand.  Some other favorites are the robot, second in the bottom row, and the slime monster, first in the middle row.  These guys are pretty awesome!  Previously, I've only had a single crystal-variant pirate figure, so it feels much better to have a bunch of figures to keep him company.

The other package I received was a long-anticipated bunch I had previously covered in a past post.  These six guys are Designer Con-exclusive colorways of October Toys' Vincent minifigure.  There was a savager hunt event to get all these, and I am very fortunate to reach out and find a very awesome forum member to mule them for me.  These six could very well be some of the hardest and most rare October Toys minifigures in years to come.  They've got on record and saying they have no plans on releasing these guys in any capacity than in convention form.  And as we know about Wonder Con's exclusive keshi, they all nearly become things of legend.  I was even sent an awesome resin cast of a goblin face that was also painted really well.

It certainly was a great day for a toy haul, that's for sure!  I hope many more are in store for 2015!

November 25, 2014

Bonus Sucking!

The Super Sucklord and DKE Toys' Kickstarter for The Revenge of SUCKLE, series two of their keshi minifigure line, is drawing near.  At the time I am posting this, there is only 9 days left, so if you haven't sucked it up yet, well, c'mon now.

You'd find most Kickstarter projects having some secrets in reserve, just to unleash on your poor and unsuspecting wallets at the final hour, and I had actually guessed there would be one in an earlier post.  The series two set is of ten figures, but showcasing on the video thumbnail is in fact one too many.  The culprit being a mini-version of Sucklord's bootleg dunny, but we were all, cue the facepalms, suckers.

The eleventh figure is instead Krono Pussy, designed by none other than Kid Robot's new Creative Director, the master himself, Frank Kozik!  Frank is pretty amazing!  Way before I really dove into keshi and designer toys, I had instinctively bought bunches of toys designed by Kozik.  He has just such a natural talent for design and style, one that is truly unparalleled, and now, backers to The Revenge of SUCKLE project of at least 45 big-ones, will be seeing him added to their orders for no additional charge!  That's clear and glow-in-the-dark, too!  Two variants out of the gate!

This is all very awesome news, but still, the bootleg dunny is still out there, hiding, maybe in the bushes, maybe also sucking the blood out of your livestock.  I'd like to believe so, at least.

Back the SUCKLE kickstarter before it's too late!  Click here!

And for more Kid Robot and Kozik stuff, click here as well!

November 24, 2014

Toy Haul 11/24/14!

I covered the Marvel test tube goo in a past post, but I never really mentioned their actually decent minifigure line, Handful of Heroes.  Today we are in luck!  After a little eBay'ing, I was able to get a cheap little lot to check out, so let's do that.

Hasbro and Marvel came with guys a few years ago with crazy high expectations.  They produced a few waves, all of them boasting a huge amount of figures in each set to collect.  Each sculpt had a number of variants, from solid colors, translucents, glittered, and chase metallics.  Even so, the line fell flat and kids just didn't bite.

Despite these being pretty neat, there is certainly reasons why Handful didn't get the reception they aimed for.  Maybe it was a case of over-saturation, with there being too many variants for too many figures too soon, or maybe the game it was designed with was poorly designed.  It's quite possible the kids into Marvel products may have been already used to seeing their characters in action figure form instead.  Who knows, but I got a few here, so let's dive in.

In my eBay lot, I got ten random figures, none I assume to be all that rare, but that doesn't mean they aren't still pretty neat.  I particularly enjoy the transparent glitter ones, albeit the glitter being just a pitch, like the green Hulk and blue Punisher.  The sculpts are pretty spot-on too, with the likeliness of the characters really well-done.  The plastic used is a little harder than convention, but I think that's not really that bad.  Certainly, harder is better than softer, provided it's not brittle.

Now these guys are no where to being perfect, but these guys are really good for a big-box American company.  Maybe that's giving them too much slack, but I love the idea of larger companies in the States here bringing keshi to young hands.

November 20, 2014

Purist Ramblings: SpiderEarth, the Hypocrite (w/ bonus Toy Haul)!

It's been a busy couple of weeks with work and all that, so, as much as I'd like to do more daily or pseudo-daily posts, it's really not been in the cards.  And really, with the holidays coming up, maybe it'll be a little more busy, so I apologize in advance for the lacking posts.  However, I have noticed one thing, behind the curtain here.  As I'm sure you guys know, I have tools here that show me the stats on all my entries.  Some posts are read a lot and some are dead on arrival, and you know what's weird, for a blog about toys, when I share news or reflections on older toy lines, nobody cares.  My other posts, my editorial pieces, I suppose, where I ramble like a crazy person, get the most attention by a large margin.  So, when I'm not at a time where I can give you a ton of different stuff, let's give you more insane ramblings with a little toy review snuck inside as well.

I just received the scorpion Rise of the Beasts figure, unpainted flesh variant, in the mail today, and really, it's a great little dude.  I really regret not buying more, but it's certainly not too late for that.  To be honest, I was hesitant for all the purist reasons - articulation, interchangeability, and all the others we do not speak of.  The price was great and the curiosity was high, so I just stuck a toe in test the waters.  Having it here, messing around with it for a bit, I'm surprised I took to it so quickly and flung it into my main collection with the rest of my keshi.  The color is spot on, the sculpt is gorgeous, the weight and give of the material is all right there.  I can only gripe about it being a multi-part model without glue, but is that the really only difference between him and some really amazing keshi to come out of the October Toys camp?

Damn it...

I'm finding myself in all kinds of double standards and hypocritical thoughts.  I love Moose Toys, but one really could argue I give them the most slack.  Their figures, like Trash Pack, who hang with my main collection, are smaller, softer, and painted.  I even think their ultimate trash fighting series is multi-part, with their weapons feeling a little harder than the rest of the figure.  Yet, after all this, after really virtually no conventional standards met, I generally give them a thumbs up.

Then there has been the Mystical Warriors of the Ring: Evolution figure that I've been smacking around the last couple weeks, and it honestly meets more criteria.  It's certainly beats Moose in virtually every category except for it being multi-part without super glue, but now I wonder, is super glue the answer? And it's not an answer that needs to be wondered for long, because the answer is no.  Super glue obviously doesn't transform a multi-part figure into a perfect purist keshi.  Or is being multi-part really that bigger of a sin than being painted or being too soft or brittle?  Again, I can't say it is.  Realizing this, I have to either slam on more toys that I have been previously enjoying or reevaluate things.  It's only logical to relax my standards.

So here I am, SpiderEarth the jerk-wad hypocrite, loving some toys for some warped sense of standard and pushing aside others for less offense.  While I could be kicking my own butt over this and hiding away from internet mockery, I immediately know the reason I fell into this mistake, and here it is.

I wasn't completely sold on Rise of the Beasts, or rather, I wasn't intending to go nuts and start collecting them wildly.  I was mildly curious, but once I had it in my hands, it was very much apparent a high quality figure line worth collecting and adding to your keshi.  Why this slipped past the guard and MWOTR got beat up at the border is because I already greatly enjoy MWOTR.  I've already held them in my hands and seen the incredible quality up close.  They already surpassed my expectations and curiosity.  Now they had expectations and standards to retain.  Evolution was toying around with something I loved and, for a lack of a better term, was mine.  Rise of the Beast wasn't already loved.  I wasn't already a fan.  I didn't have some sort of vested interested in it already, but I feel I may now.  MWOTR has been getting it rough from this blog lately, and most of it now seems like a defense mechanism, which certainly isn't the right way to do things.  I have to have a more logical and fair way a looking at figures.  But hey, I really like them.  I'll be damned if some jerks try to ruin them!

Super glue doesn't fix anything, nor is one standard more important than others.  I think if there's anything to learn today is that you have to grab a toy and hold it in your hands.  You have to see it, feel it, bend it, and you know it to be true, toy collectors, you have to smell it, too, and you just might enjoy it a lot more than you first thought.

Check out and purchase the awesome Rise of the Beast figures here!

Also, go support and give MWOTR love here as well!

November 15, 2014

Not Just For Boys/Girls!

The last couple weeks have had a 'SpiderEarth's crazy thoughts' theme to it, with all the harsh finger-wagging at Mystical Warriors of the Ring: Evolution and my glowing adoration over some cheap Walmart toy line.  It's certainly been bizzaro-land, for sure, and to cap it all off, let's do some more.

But let me pause it for a second.  I know I have some fringe opinions lately, but I've generally prefaced them with the fact I understand how unreasonable my thoughts on keshi are, slash should be.  My thoughts today are still that of a minority, but unlike previous posts as of late, I think today's topic holds water.  So, let's talk about it: gender and toys.

We've all seen it:  there's a pink isle for girl toys and an isle full of action figures for boys.  But why?  Sure, I'll concede to a point that says most kids of a gender will prefer a toy aimed to their liking, but why such separation?  Why are dress-up figures in one place and action dolls in another?  Is it really just for convenience sake, just so a majority doesn't accidentally purchase a toy they may accidentally enjoy?  Why spilt children and toy enthusiasts apart?  If it's not gender-identity issue than it can be an issue about style and craft.  Maybe there is a toy in the pink isle that has the best sculpt, vivid color application, and design in the whole toy section, why say it's just for girls?

I understand this is an enormously heavy topic, and I'm barely scratching the surface, but I am from the camp that I will enjoy anything from any isle, and will allow others to enjoy the same.  I don't have any kids, but if I had a daughter that grew into loving Ninja Turtles, Transformers, or some other so-called boy toy line instead of dress-up dolls, I wouldn't push her away from it.  Same goes for if I had a son.  If he wasn't into super heroes and instead preferred Monster High, that's perfectly acceptable too.

There's a couple girl-isle minifigure toy lines I'd really be interested in collecting, that, let's be honest, are super cool and really should be blended in with everything else.  Every toy from every isle should have that privilege.

The first is MGA Entertainment's Lalaloopsy Tinies.  These minifigures are micro-versions of their plastic, Joe-sized, rag-doll figure counterparts that have become really popular in the last few years.  They started off Joe-sized, maybe around three inches, but then spread out to every proportion, you name it.  The Tinies look to be about an inch tall and look very reminiscent of those gumball Bok-Choy Boys and other like that, so a little small for me, but it's not a deal-breaker.  They also have paint apps on their faces and eyes.  Again, something I wouldn't prefer, but where this is such a late installment into their franchise, I can see where current fans would want it.  But what I really like is the colorful clear plastic in the hair and body.  Some of you may have already guessed from previous posts, that I love bright transparent ones and the shiner and more glittered the better.

The other minifigure is another line from Moose Toys and it's their Shopkins.  I love their Trash Pack line, even with all the negative marks I give it, and Shopkins follows their lead.  Where Trash Pack is super gross and humorous, Shopkins is aimed for those with cleaner and neater pallets.  Much in the same way as their Trash Back kin, Shopkins are small food and shopping items with a cuter cut.  The only real difference I can spot is they are not sold in blind packaging like Trash Pack, aside from a couple rare ones it appears.  Shopkins get all the negative and positive marks Trash Pack does.  They are virtually one in the same, just minus all the vomit and snot.

Some may argue Shopkins and Lalaloopsy Tinies are for girls-only, maybe like the manufacturer intended, but I would disagree, much in the same way amazingly-fun minifigure sets like Monster In My Pocket and Kinnikuman could be loved by anyone of any gender, if only separate isles and preconceived gender roles weren't a thing.  I think it may time to start blurring the lines a little more.

November 10, 2014

It Came From a Vending Machine: Funny Monkeys!

Halloween may be over, but the frights still remain in the vending machines around our homes.  Today, we look at something I found outside a local grocery.  I present to you, stupid monkey pun-free, Funny Monkeys.

These sad little guys seem to have been inspired by the Paul Frank fashion craze of years gone by.  You know the bunch - big, goofy, monkey heads on tiny cute bodies.  I'm sure if it doesn't ring a bell immediately, a quick Google search will jog your memory.

Here's the thing:  the last thing I'd call these monkeys is funny.  Maybe it's just the random four I got out of the machine, but these guys are frowns-abound, crying, and/or just through with life.  One particular one looks like he's standing emotionless in front of a firing squad, with that perfect thousand-mile stare.  He's seen some things, man!

They look to be about one inch high, and made of a standard flexible plastic of some sort.  The paint applications are horrendous, just as you figure they would be, but really, each of these guys fell out of the machine for a quarter each, so that alone, is pretty cool.

Unfortunately, for these monkeys, I won't be added them to my collection or putting them out of their misery.  I'll hold them aside and I'll be packing them as freebies for people I trade with.

November 9, 2014

"Stick Them Up Your Ass!"

Kit-basher extraordinaire, The Super Sucklord, is back sucking it again with S.U.C.K.L.E. Series 2, right now on Kickstarter.  Series 2 is a set of ten monochromatic keshi minifigures inspired by The Sucklord's bootlegs and hilarious Toy Lords of Chinatown series from Youtube.  Sculpted by George Gaspar and co-produced and distributed by DKE Toys, these goofy guys are in solid hands.

There are only few people in the art toy scene that will equally attract everyone's attention and then split them between fans and people, well, who just think he sucks.  I would guess it all stems from his bootleg roots, which is something I won't touch upon here, but maybe it's his tongue-in-cheek ultra-jerk Sucklord character.  I personally love the guy, having only S.U.C.K.L.E. Series 1 of his toys, but I've seen Toy Lords and what may be every recorded appearance online, including his whack at Work of Art.

There is something admirable about a man who is dedicated to everything he does, even if it sucks.  Many of us have a lot of wild and crazy ambitions, in hundreds of different directions.  We can only hope to be as bold as him.

On to the series, the minifigures look great, and personally, I'm really looking forward to the Gay Energon one.  One thing that's a little weird, and haven't really figured out is that the Sucklord "bootleg dunny" minifigure is pictured on the project's page, but not included.  I'm not sure why, but I'll update this post when I do.  My guess is that it's likely a stretch goal that sneaked in the pictures and videos.

Right now, backers of the project get to enjoy the benefits of getting the flesh and clear variants, with the clear one being a Kickstarter exclusive.  There is still plenty of time to jump aboard this crazy one.  As of this post, there is 25 days still left, and it will be looking to reach it's goal by December 5th, so get on it!

To back the project and/or to get more info, check out this link here!

And, of course, find other great projects to get involved in at the regular Kickstarter site here!

November 7, 2014

Silver Lining!

First off, I want to thank all the readers from yesterday's lengthy post.  I know it probably wasn't the most exciting thing ever, no world-shattering news or anything, but I appreciate all the views nevertheless.  In fact, to date, it was my most read article and that's awesome.  I've done a few of them now, and I'd like to think they were all pretty much glowing with positivity.  Yesterday, I had a lot on my mind and not all of them were rainbows and gumdrops.  Still it was a popular article for my readers and that assures me I can openly voice my opinion on stuff.  I know not everyone could agree with me, but I want to thank everyone for stopping by and listening to my insane ramblings still.

Yesterday, my article went to some length tearing down Mystical Warriors of the Ring's Evolution and what i perceived as it's failed reach out of the keshi formula.  I pretty much spoke all I wanted of it, so I won't go into it again today.  If you want to read everything I felt about it, scroll a little down and it'll be there.

Going through the internet today, I apparently wasn't the only one with at least confusion towards the new Evolution line.  Granted, yes, most people loved it, and that's good for them, but a few people at least came forward and asked for a little clarification.  Luckily, as it stands right now, Evolution won't be replacing their original branding model of the toy line.  Think of it as an extension, just like other toy lines would add plush versions to their franchise to go along with their action figures.  At least, this is how I've read a compilation of forum and blog posts around net.

So, in good news, series two looks to be the same as series one.  From the picture on their blog, they look to be one-mold minifigures, and that's a giant relief.  Evolution appears to be a separate entity, and a way for them to successfully sell their larger characters.  Awesome, that's great!  I certainly didn't want to see the company behind the toys to suffer trying to make figures a certain way.  Series two just won't have a large character in it.  It'll have three other smaller, normal-sized, ones instead, and I think that's just perfect.

Glad to see nothing huge is changing in the way of this awesome toy line.  Yes, they are expanding and altering their large-scale characters, but I am completely fine with that.  After all, keshi also has their one purist expectations on size.  Maybe the large characters never had a chance, and this is a great way to introduce new fans to a franchise I really enjoy and look to collect more of in the future.

November 6, 2014

Purist Ramblings: Crappy Action Figures!

...Oh, you knew this one was coming!

Those who have been following my recent posts can tell l I've been going through something of an anti-articulation fit, as of late, even with some enthusiasm towards Rise of the Beasts, and maybe it's come to a head with the leaked releases in Mystical Warriors of the Ring: Evolution.  I've questioned the motivation behind exploring the limits with keshi, here and there, but I haven't really dived into it fully yet.  Let's change that.

So before I go into too much, I want to state a couple things first.  One:  Yes, I know there may be a bunch of double-standards and exceptions in parts of my explanations.  Two:  Yes, I am fully aware my opinions are unreasonable and are of the crazy minority.  Three:  Yes, I understand it's just toys and I should lighten up about it and stop being so strict with purist expectations.  I get all that.  I know I won't have a perfect argument, nor will it be sensible, but here it goes nevertheless.

It all starts and loops back here:  my thoughts of what keshi are, and rather, what keshi should aim to be.  These expectations, as warped and/or strict they may be, is what causes all this conflict in my head.

Keshi are one-inch to two-inch rubber figures, that originally found themselves in Japanese gumball machines.  They were single-mold figures, also called slugs, and unpainted.  You would every reason to believe this was to cut costs on a toy line with high production quantities, and because these inexpensive treats found so many hands, a cult following of collectors emerged and keshi slowly found themselves in collectable sets and promotionals.  People loved the small silly figures enough to still make them relevant collectables twenty-something years later.

But now it's twenty-something years later.  Could one argue that's enough time making keshi minifigures the same old traditional way?  One could make that point, and I'll be honest, it wouldn't be an invalid one.  I could see how tired and worn out some studios or artists are with binding their creativity and business model to the strict necessities of standard keshi.  Keshi collecting is niche market for sure, that's a fact.  When you create a line that is a throwback and a love letter to something so long ago, you might only be selling that product to people with ties to that history.  I understand that might be something of a silly business choice, if you're looking for a successful toy line.  It certainly would be smarter to broaden the demographic then to cater to a smaller niche market, but then, I would wonder, why involve keshi at all?

Keshi in no way is all that sophisticated.  Usually made with cheap rubber or rubber-like material, unpainted, and made generally with a price point of coins, these guys had so much more appeal than playability.  They were collectable items, maybe because they were so inexpensive.  It allowed you to gain pile of them with little investment, and that's fine.  Where keshi failed, other toys went.

In the 80's and 90's, there was an enormous action figure boom.  I'm sure I have to remind no one of all the awesome lines that came out then, between He-Man, TMNT, Ghostbusters, and millions of others, but these lines all evolved and moved away from what keshi was.  They were harder material, with moving pieces, and they were painted.  They were larger, with more detail, and they had just so much more playability.  They were great and there were so many beloved toy lines that came out then.  Even if I identify myself as a keshi collector, I still have my fair share of Ninja Turtles, Gundam, and Transformers.  Love them all, but for different reasons.

How I would judge a Transformer action figure is vastly different than how I'd judge a Transformer Decoy keshi, and rightfully so.  As a keshi lover, I could say it's not about the playability that makes a great keshi minifigure.  I would suggest it's judged upon how well is succeeds with how little options it has.  I would argue it's minimalism inside the toy world.  It's the sushi platter.  It's about perfecting the most basic form of toy design and manufacturing.  This is why I would consider it very much art.

Traditionally, keshi is single-mold, so this creates a challenge in sculpting.  You can't have certain poses or even certain dimensions, without heavily damaging your mold.  Traditionally, they are also unpainted and small, so some detail might not pop out as much as in other forms.  These are all enormous challenges for the teams behind these toys, but challenges I love seeing taken head-on and accomplished in brilliant form.  Creativity and ingenuity is a must.  The artist has to have the vision of their production, even before anything is sculpted.  There are a million easier ways to create a better-looking, more appealing, keshi-inspired minifigure, but you run the risk on no longer being keshi.  It's a trade-off between art and production, tradition and evolution, and sometimes I wonder if some artists get worn out or frustrated, and just burst out of the box instead of perfecting what's inside.

Glyos is amazing stuff.  For those who don't know, Glyos is a sci-fi toy line with keshi roots.  It's single-mold made, like keshi, but each piece is made individually with interlocking pegs.  The final result is a pseudo-keshi PVC figure, sometimes also unpainted, but with playability, articulation, and interchangeability.  I like Glyos stuff, but for me, in my twisted opinion, it stretches out a bit too far out for me.  I can see how inspired they were by old keshi toy lines and the production methods, but I suggest when you stretch far out of the category of keshi into something else, what is it?

Are you an action figure now?  I hope not, because action figures have a tremendous amount of joint articulation, superior paint applications, and much more, even with lower production costs.  Pulling out of keshi towards that may make your unpainted, slug-mold, abomination, just look like a crappy action figure.  If not action figure, then maybe a PVC statue, but just a little more customization and articulation?  If so, I wonder if the demographic that loves statues really care to have those features.

So here I believe it all lies, in this purgatory between toy designs and collectors.  It's neither this or that, and really no better than anything else in any category.  It's merely inspired by everything and has become some sort of mediocre mass of everything, with no particular strength other than inside itself in it's own category.

And really, to some effect, it's become that.  There are Glyos fans by the bunches that love the mixed inspiration.  They love to pull apart their figures and create their own from their minds, and that's just great.  I love seeing how excited they are in that sort of stuff, and they can really create some awesome stuff, but in the same breath, that's very much not the passion that's in keshi.  It's something else.

The first series of Mystical Warriors of the Ring was amazing.  I certainly don't have the sales numbers to say it was a smashing success or a complete flop, but I enjoyed them very much.  I can't say the team involved found a lot of trouble producing them the way they did, or was no happy with the final product.  All I know is how I feel about keshi, and if Evolution is the way of the future for Mystical Warriors of the Ring, like my views on Mutant Mania, I will watch it pass me by.  I'll be done collecting it.

Evolution Leak!

This week, I've been keeping an ear to the ground about all the interesting keshi happenings, especially because Designer Con is so close.  One toy line has been Mystical Warriors of the Ring, and for good reason - their minifigures are awesome!  They have been teasing all kinds of news, and I think we got one big piece of it... but I don't think I like it too much.

Don't get me wrong, I love all the artists included in this project.  The studios involved does some really awesome work.  I just may be in the minority on this purist notion about minifigures.  I enjoy them in slug form, almost exclusively, even if it cuts into the quality of the sculpt.  I know making something multi-part allows for all kinds of sweet things - interchangeability, articulation, posing, and much more, but I've said it before, maybe keshi isn't the best platform for this.  All these sort of awesome toy design choices exist already, maybe even in forms of toys that can excel in them better, like action figures for example.

So I've been really interested in hearing what sort of PVC release Mystical Warriors of the Ring: Evolution has in store, and just recently they released this picture of their alligator character.  He's been released in the past in resin, but this is his first time in a more durable material.  However, almost his entire body is a collection of random loose bits with Glyos pegs, and I can't say I am thrilled.

Granted, the picture says this is a test shot model, and by that, I hope they mean this will get a slug form, but on the other side, this new series is called Evolution.  This could be a sign to come that all their future releases will have pegs and articulation.

Am I alone here with the fact I don't like these sort of features coming to keshi?  Am I being too stubborn or purist?  I know I came late to the collecting scene, and all, but I really enjoy the one mold models.  Are they really that unattractive to others?  Are they tired of the same old stuff?

Sadly, right now I feel I am skipping on the pegged Mystical Warriors of the Ring.

November 4, 2014

Keeping It Simple, Stupid!

I like the expression 'keep it simple, stupid', and I think it relates to keshi toy design.  With such a rich history and collecting scene, trying to reinvent the wheel with your new minifigure line could be it's downfall.  Look no further than to figure lines like Mutant Mania.  You'll see a ton of people loving the figures, with many people excited to collect them, but almost unanimously, the flexi-spine piece and open back slot are things no one is too thrilled about.

Something I wonder is '...then why do it?'  I wonder why companies would try to do too much with keshi.  Let's be honest, keshi was never supposed to be sophisticated toys.  They were cheap gumball machine treats, and the people that love them now, may have been the kids that dropped tons of quarters in the machines.  I could understand the need to explore evolution.  Keshi has been around for quite a while now, if you have a new keshi line, do you try to stand out or join the pack?  I suggest there was already a form of exploration in evolution.  We can look at action figures and PVC statues and see millions of great products that reach to different aspects of toy design, I just have doubts that room exists in small, rubber, slug figures.  I think that's all they can be, but that's not a bad thing.  I say we do what we can to perfect the art and 'keep it simple, stupid.'

One surprise to this, maybe accidentally, but hopefully not, is a new toy line showing up at Walmarts from Imperial Toys.  It's called Invincible Army Men and it's packaged to be something of a rubber gun game but with marvelous keshi minifigures inside.  For only $5, you get four figures, a gun, three grenades, and some sandbags and defenses.  The minifigures inside are the main attraction.  They are slightly larger than convention, but not by much, with absolutely zero paint.  They are solid soft rubber, blue and tan in my packages, and a little softer than normal.  They feel a bit soft, like Trash Pack softness, but again, it's far from a deal-breaker.

On the back of the package, it advertises all the extras it has in the set.  There are two sets of four figures, so I have all eight molds, but there are two more color variants - army green and red.

Imperial Toys' Invincible Army Men are not perfect, but it's a great stab at it and a surprising addition to the American keshi scene.  They certainly do the 'keep it simple, stupid' thing and I think it works out for them.  I hope this toy line gets a lot of attention and gives Imperial Toys the impression to explore more lines like these guys.

The Hunt Is On!

Convention exclusives are sometimes the most coveted miniatures in a line.  Primarily, I think this is because there is such a small amount of them and so few lucky people that can actually attend.  The same goes for this year's Designer Con, with October Toy's OTMFG Vincent minifigure.

Vincent is an impressive bulky keshi, and they previously released the flesh color not too long ago.  With Vincent being D-Con's mascot, I had a feeling October Toys would have some sort of plan with this guy, I just had no idea it would be this.

They are doing a scavenger hunt, with five color variants at five different booths at the convention.  Once you've bought them all, you win the glow-in-the-dark variant for no additional cost.

I had figured something was up their sleeves, but this was intense!  Luckily, as soon as I saw the announcement, I quickly found a mule on the forums.  A mule is term used for someone who is paid to buy something in someone's behalf.  In this instance, there is a forum member who seems to have a desire to be the number one mule.  So I quickly reached out to him and we came together with a fair price for it all.

November 2, 2014

More Mystical!

Yesterday, I came across a picture on the Mystical Warriors of the Ring's website that made me believe a translucent blue variant of the series one was coming on the horizon.  Although it still may, but I doubt it now - I think I confused it with the metallic blue set, they made an announcement about their Designer Con plans, and they are big!

They are calling it Mystical Warriors of the Ring: Evolution, and from what has been leaked it will include a brand new PVC set!  That's amazing news, because the set I have of the first series are just amazing models.  I would love to add more to them, and although they have resin releases occasionally, they are very rare and actually priced a little far out of my range.  Not to mention, like I've said before, I'm not a fan of how brittle resin is.

But when it comes to Evolution, there is more than just the series two PVC set.  It's mostly still speculation, but it looks like some hippo sumo wrestler pictures have leaked, so maybe there's something with that character too.

It's certainly going to be fun seeing all the announcements and reveals at Designer Con.

November 1, 2014

Icy Blue!

It looks like a new color variant for the Mystical Warriors of the Ring toy line is coming out very soon.  This image was posted on their website, but it's not available yet.  If I had to guess, it's likely to be released for Designer Con, which is happening November 7-8, and then later off their site.

The variant is a translucent blue and looks really sweet.  They have a metallic blue for sale right now, which it's possible I am confusing the picture for, but the figures in the picture look very different for me.

I can't wait to see what happens.  It's an exciting time to be a minifigure collector.

October 31, 2014

Toy Haul 10/31/14!

Happy Halloween, fellow Earthlings, and today we are opening another package sent in for purist examination and slanted, half-educated, opinions only I know how.  Today is a special, not-so-special, Completely Unrelated to Halloween version of Toy Haul.  The mailman just happened to deliver it today.  Spoooooooky stuff!

A while ago, I think early last spring or summer I helped fund a Kickstarter called Kaiju Kaos by Acheson Creations.  The creator of it was a regular forum member of October Toys' forum and Littlerubberguys, and I felt, sure, why not.  I wasn't going to go all-in, but I'll throw in for a couple minis and see what happens.  And in all honesty, I kinda forgot about it until today.

I received a small box and inside it was two yellow keshi miniatures and a few cards.  They are minifigures for Kaiju Kaos game that got funded, but I just bought the figures separately.  If I hear good things about the board game, maybe I'll go back and see if there is any for sale later.  But it didn't take long for me to be completely blown away by the figures inside the box.  One was yellow and the other was clear yellow, both were made of a harder plastic than usual.  In fact, I was so impressed, I think I enjoy this hardness over the convention.  The sculpts are fun and neat and the minifigures came really clean and professional.

I just love these two.  So much, I sort of wished I backed more of the project, but right now, I am just glad I was a part of it in any form.  These two will be instantly in the main collection, and I will certainly be keeping an eye for more of this independent toy maker's work.

For more information, check out his website here!

And of course, to check out any other projects you may love, check out Kickstarter here!

October 28, 2014

Rise of the Beasts! could arguably be the community hub for all serious keshi collectors.  I've met and traded with tons of awesome members there, and it seems, no matter what your need is, someone there has it.  It's pretty crazy, but in a good way.

Set for a November release, they are releasing their own independent minifigure line called Rise of the Beasts.  Set in a word with anthropomorphic animal warriors, these minifigures stand slightly taller than convention, but not by much or at least by enough for it to matter.  They are monochromatic, releasing first in a flesh and a black colorway, with painted options available as well.  They also have articulated jointed for some extra poses, and parts can be removed and interchanged between figures.

I can see the interest in making things interchangeable and articulated, but the purist side of me isn't particularly thrilled about it.  However, I understand the difference between a multipart keshi figure and an interchangeable line like this one might just be the style of joint pegs and some superglue, so I know it really shouldn't be a big deal.

What really makes it for me, at least as a supporter and a casual collector of the line is the price point.  To be honest, I really like the style, but there's a lot of it I wish fell on the traditional, purist, side, but I can't turn away from seeing them in person for only $4 a piece.  That's a killer price and an absolute steal, even just to see if they fit in the main collection or not.

When they go up for sale, I'll certainly snag some monochromes, and maybe do a fuller review on them when they arrive.

If you're interested in purchasing them for yourself, check out this link here!

Also, visit the LRG forum at this link!

October 24, 2014

Purist Ramblings: Colorways!

It's not the most uncommon thing to see figures in certain toy lines get various number of color variants or colorways.  Some companies use it to expand the collectibility of the set as a whole, and some use variants as chase or super rare versions.  It's done any number of ways, but today I'll share my thoughts on whether or not it's worth getting into.

Of course every collector is different, so you'll find a vast array of viewpoints, even when it pertains to one toy line to another.  I think that's exactly it for me, some toy lines have certain keshi I want every variant of and some I'm OK with just having one.  I think a couple factors decide that.

The first, for me, may be artistic quality or aesthetic appeal.  If I just love the figure and how it looks and feels, I'll want more.  At this time, to justify an uncontrollable collection, I try to keep my main collection without duplicates, but variants are accepted.  This allows me to extend my affection for a particular figure.

The second would be rarity.  I wouldn't necessarily call myself someone who chases after all rarest figure variants, but if there is one that shares a cool feature that would separate it from rest, I might just go after it.  Examples of this might be glow-in-the-dark, glitter, color changing, artist customs, and artist proofs.  Also, rare figures hold their value a lot more than standards do.  Getting a rare figure that's valuable for a steal is always fun and feels good to accomplish.  However making it too rare or too valuable, may make turn off some collectors from even chasing.

Another one would be timing.  I find if I am following a toy line from it's infancy, I'll be more likely to be interested in the variants that get released over time.  On the flip side, if I am just starting out collecting it, and it has billions of colorways, I'll be hesitant to care that much, but maybe over time as the collection grows.

I think variants and colorways, if used in controlled limited doses, are awesome additions to any collection.  For me personally, I am a sucker for glitter.

October 20, 2014

Following Limiteds: USA Edition!

I had written a previous post about how awesome it is in Japan to see cross-promotion limited-edition keshi, and how exciting it is to chase after those miniatures.  Well, speak of the devil, maybe literally, it looks like America is doing their own just in time for Halloween

Adam Quesnell is an American-born stand-up comedian.  He has a new CD coming out very soon.  What makes this even more interesting, is that he's an toy-collecting crazy-person too, so with the release of his album, he's releasing a limited-edition minifigure of his own design.

It's called 'Despair' and it looks really awesome.  It's sculpted and made by some of my favorites in the toy scene right now: October Toys and Disarticulators Studios.  It looks like some devil-version of him holding his microphone, and looks to be released on or very close to Halloween.

What's the coolest, is that it's not a marketing ploy to get extra money.  Each Despair figure comes with a code to download the album for free. There is no price for the figure yet or definitive date of release, but I'll share those details when I get them myself.

October 19, 2014

Grossed-Out 4: The Muckening!

Today, we revisit the Slimy Sludge toy line, if I can still call it that, that appeared in a previous post, but this time on stranger conditions.

Now I had said that Blip secured the name of Slimy Sludge from the European company that created them originally.  I had said their original name was '...In My Slimy', and it had many more sets to collect than what was just available under the Slimy Sludge name.  The strange name was generally used in context of what set, for example 'Monsters ...In My Slimy'.  Still not the best sounding name ever, which is why I guessed they changed it.

There is some news now coming out that another company or new company to replace Blip is releasing '...In My Slimy' blind pouches. They are called Super Impulse and it seems they have also renamed the line Monster Muck.  Hey, sure, whatever.  Just get it into stores.

I am curious now though, because the Monster Muck packaging says this set only has eight figures, but apparently mixed between the Rotten Zombies and the Slimy Monsters sets.  Strange, but like I said before, whatever makes their presence stronger in the States.

October 16, 2014

Lucas Would Have Drowned Them In Paint!

As much as I like Japanese keshi, I do wish American toy companies would add more to the mix.  Granted great companies like October Toys and all kinds of artists are doing their part, but I think I mean something more mass-produced.

Is there anyone really any bigger than Hasbro?

If not out now, coming very soon, is a new Star Wars toy line from the toy giant.  It's called Star Wars Command and, although not perfect, a good stab for Hasbro, for sure.

But first, let's be honest.  Command is not meant to be keshi - they just meet a lot of qualities keshi collectors like.  I see Command as trying to be their own Star Wars-themed army men.

They are two-inch scale, virtually-monochromatic, minifigures of all the characters, troopers and jedi, alike.  They do have vehicles, but they don't really appeal to me.  They are neither in-scale or single piece.  I do however dig a lot of the infantry figures, even with the goofy bases.

There are a few rare figures sprinkled in when you purchase certain sets, as well, which is a smart move   for the hardcore collectors.  As for myself, I doubt I will go crazy for this line, but I think I will support it with a purchase here and there, just enough to get a couple cool droid figures.  American minifigures always need the love.

October 15, 2014

It Came From A Vending Machine: Bumping Weirdos!

Halloween is just right around the corner, so there is no better time of the year for some frights and scares.  Today, fellow Earthlings, let's scream in horror as we venture into the world of It Came From a Vending Machine!

Before we get chills down our spine, let's first just say vending machine toys can still be collectable, or to be precise, American vending machine toys can.  Japan still has keshi in theirs and are still very much popular.  Ours here have sadly been reduced redneck teeth and stickers, but I bet here and there, you could still find a hidden gem.  I still hope for the day something catches and ignites the craze once more.  Until then, let's look at these sad guys.

I went to Super Walmart and found these guys hanging in a 75 cent machine.  They were called Bumping Weirdos, and they looked silly enough, if not a tad unimaginative.  Silly-looking, but your standard lumpy plastic character with goofy googley eyes.  I didn't have a lot of hope, but it was worth a look anyway.

Inside the capsule, was a yellow figure and a long checklist and game rules.  The checklist says there are 45 figures to collect, but there are actually a lot of color variants.  In fact, I was turned off quite a lot by this checklist.  It felt very forced to make this toy line a collectable game.  Not only are there a lot of duplicates with minor differences, the names for each figure are nonsensical and seemingly random.  On the opposite side, there are rules about flicking figures into each other and knocking each other down.  Complexity at it's finest.

The figure is a little sad too.  It's a chunk of hard, cheap, plastic - the sort that would shatter and blow apart if dropped at any sort of considerable height.  The paint application is a transfer sticker that may flake away if I stare at it hard enough.  Surely, if this guy was in a child's pocket for any period of time, his face would be chipped off in a day.

It's a cheap toy and certainly will be sent to another collector as a freebie, but it's nothing I plan on collecting in the future.  I keep an eye out though, because I still would like to support vending machine guys.

An Exciting Day To Be Outlandish!

With their Kickstarter drawing near and with a little bit of money to get, October Toys is making the keshi world take notice, and this can only be good news for the collectors.

Right now, they are releasing a new character to their OTMFG line as an added bonus to Kickstarter backers.  The figure is called Brainwaves, sculpted by Joe Whiteford, and it looks amazing.  If you are backing the project for at least $27, you're getting the flesh version and the kickstarter-exclusive black variant for free.  Very neat!  I hope this gets everyone excited and gets the project finally funded.

Also today, they are releasing another couple monthly variants for their OTMG line.  OTMG stands for October Toys Minifigure Guys, and are virtually identical as OMFG, but without the community support.  The studio creates these characters with the help of friends and releases them individually.  Still, very awesome.

This month, they are releasing a color-changing Baby Deadbeet, which goes from black to white or white to black depending on temperature, and the Glyos character Zombie Pheyden in an awesome 'Ghoul' purple-grey.  I'll be certainly snagging these guys off their website today at 3pm EST.

For more information about their kickstarter, check out this link!

Also, check out there site here for more OTMFG releases!

October 14, 2014

Purist Ramblings: Extra Bits!

In this installment of Puroresu Ramblings, I share my unreasonable purist opinions, this time, about articulation and mutli-part keshi minifigures.

I have tackled briefly in past posts about what makes a perfect keshi, and what strikes me weird now, I never once brought up the quality and craftsmanship of the sculpt itself.  It's always been some manufacturing choice somewhere that makes it breaks it for me.  I'll have to tackle that sometime in the future, but for right now, let's beat the old dead horse.

Classic keshi generally was sold as one chunk of plastic or rubber.  They were single-mold figures and were often called 'slugs' in the industry.  I suppose one could argue not much could be done, artistically, with something that had to be cast completely in one mold.  With the addition of extra molds, extra pieces could be made for extra effect and depth, even articulation.  I can see that, however, I'm from a position that wonders if it's a fundamental design flaw if you can't successfully made it in one piece.  On the articulation front, I feel aiming to have your soft eraser-like figure bend and move around might be a bad idea.  Selling the added bonus to kids might sound like a good idea to push product off shelves, but you'd have to imagine it wouldn't take long for joints like that break.

There are exceptions of course.  Take October Toy's OTMFG Vince.  It's a visually-stunning figure, with a rich design.  Upon close examination, you can tell parts of him were assembled after the casting stage, but were superglued before claiming the product was complete.  That's what I am ok with, but I see how others may feel too.  I imagine some would rather keep their figure mint and on sprue.  I'm just not one of those people.

To me, it's about replicating classic lines while making sure your product can endure the test of time as much as possible.  I do have some multipart keshis in my collection.  I do enjoy how much extra dimension they give, but they have all been superglued and I wonder what they would have been as slugs.

October 13, 2014

Bucketlist Keshi!

I imagine every collector has a few pieces they must have before they can call their collection complete.  Maybe it's a super rare card of their favorite player or maybe it's just the last on in a set.  Mine are from a small Japanese toy studio called Zoomoth.

There's a lot of things about Zoomoth that make them essentially the perfect storm of collectible keshi.  They are a small independent company, and because so, every figure has a visible artistic style.  You can sort of tell a Zoomoth figure from other keshi.  In fact, it is said that one of the original sculptors on the Neclos Fortress line is now doing Zoomoth.  They also do a lot of video game characters, from Castlevania to Metroid, and even Splatterhouse.

Something called 'one-day licensing' has been all the rave in Japan and for good reason.  This is where a company sells the rights to use the likeliness of one of their properties, but they can only sell the product for 24 hours.  After that time, the contract ends and they no longer can use that IP.  This is perfect for small companies like Zoomoth who look to attend short events like gaming or toy conventions, so they've made it a custom to have a very limited edition keshi available only for that convention.

The figures they release during these conventions are sometimes the most coveted in the keshi community.  Sometimes they are in such small batches, there are only 30-50 made in the whole world.  The price they demand is a bit out of my reach, but I think eventually, I will splurge for at least one.  Or heck, maybe even wait in line in Japan someday for one