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!

Littlerubberguys.com 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


October 12, 2014

So Clazy Keshi!

I am always learning something about the keshi world I didn't know before.  Being an American kid in the 80's was great fun, mainly because there was such a big action figure boom then, but since my resurgence as a keshi collector earlier this year, I'm finding, even still, most of us kids missed out.

In Japan during the 80's, candy/card/toy company Lotte released a fantasy franchise called Fortress of Nekurosu.  These keshi were one inch or so, monochromatic, keshis of various medieval warriors and monsters.  There were nine sets, 300+ minifigures in all, released in individual boxes that included trading cards and candy.

Being a kid who came across Monster In My Pocket growing up, I can see a direct coalition between MIMP and Fortress of Nekurosu.  In fact, there is much speculation that MIMP got a lot of their inspiration from them, if even a little plagiarism.  All I know, I wish these were exposed to the States more.  They would have joined my MIMP collection just fine.

They never made it to America, but American collectors quickly discovered them in time.  Because they never received a proper English release, it's translation has been spotty as best.  American collectors found original packaging that called them Neclos Fortress in English.  It's written on all the trading cards, as well, however it doesn't take much to tell they meant to call it Necro's Fortress, considering the storyline of the toy revolves around some sort of nercomantic wizard.  Even still, keshi collectors are a purist bunch and the name Neclos Fortress is what it's most commonly referred as.

I have yet to find any in my collection, but rest assured, I am looking.  I can't wait to cover them in a Toy Haul post sometime in the near future.

October 11, 2014

Mystical Warriors of the Ring!

I've covered a few mass-produced minifigure lines so far, but this time, I'd like to showcase something smaller and independent.  The guys at Fantastic Plastic Toys have created a line they call Mystical Warriors of the Ring, and really, it's has the potential to grow into something more than just the toy line.

They have created a federation full of anthropomorphic animal wrestlers, all battling for the championship belt.  They have rivalries and character depth.  Even their releases are named after a particular wrestling event their characters participate in.  Records are kept and characters win and lose championships.

You can tell these guys grew up loving Kinnikuman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The blend is nearly seamless with modern availability.  The fact that you can not just enjoy the minifigures but follow the exploits of your favorite character is something really not done in a lot of toy lines.

So far, they have one PVC release of three miniatures with a few variant colorways, but they have limited-edition resin releases a bit more frequently.  At this time, there has been some speculation that the second release could be on it's way in the near future.  Along with the awesome keshi, they made a plastic ring for your minifigures to wrestle in, as well as ring-side battle mat for added effect.  And if that wasn't enough, they have a wide arrange of clothing for sale too.

In my collection, I have the flesh set of PVC figures with the ring.  They are very high-quality and fit nearly perfect along side my other keshis.  I certainly can't wait to see their second PVC release and grow as a company.

October 10, 2014

By The Fistful!

Just over ten years ago, Moose Toys released a minifigure line called Fistful of Power.  They were anime-inspired warriors set in a world of ancient times.  It had a gladiatorial setting with a cartoon kid-friendly twist, but still nevertheless pretty cool.

It only saw two releases, with only the first one being sold worldwide, so for collectors, rare figures from the second set are among some of the most valuable minis out there.  Each set got 40 or so sculpts with a few variants of each: hyper, shadow, and crystal.

Hyper variants were fully-painted.  Crystal variants were clear with small amounts paint, and shadow variants were dark smokey transparent ones with no paint.  Of course, as you could guess it, these are the ones with my name written all over them.

But even cooler, there were figures even rarer than the rare figures on the checklist.  Moose Toys are a sneaky bunch.  They released 'secret' figures that only saw a production amount of a 1000 per country the set was released in.  Even ten years later, collectors are still after these secret minifigures, and who could blame them.  They are metallic with some light paint application, but otherwise very cool.

So far in my collection, I randomly received a hyper-version of a pirate-looking character that really didn't spark my interest, but looking into the set more, I am certainly interested in the shadow variants and the secret minifigures like Xar and Seer.

October 8, 2014

Toy Haul 10/08/14!

The tricky thing about collecting 80's/90's minifigures, is that you can't readily get them in stores anymore.  Amazon may still have products mint on card, but the price of those sort of items never appealed to me.  Ebay is a good secondary market site, and you can certainly find some awesome deals, but just the same, you can find that same old Ebay strangeness and stigma.

I tend to be dealing a lot more with a couple community forums.  These are great!  They are full of other collectors, artists, and all other sorts of enthusiasts.  Forum members are generally infinitely better to deal with, have a better idea what certain pieces are worth, and aren't just trying to make a quick buck like some resellers on Ebay, for example.

One thing great about these communities is that everyone is very generous to everyone.  I learned quick that generally every trade to make, you add some extras.  This means you also get a few random goodies in every package you get in the mail.  It's a great way to be introduced in keshi lines you may never knew existed or maybe didn't consider collecting until then.

Today I received one such package.  The trade was for extra October Toys minis I had extra, so I was quite happy with getting anything I didn't already have.  Real quick, let's go through the haul and see what makes the cut to go in my main keshi collection.

The first three (orange, green, and red) are Monster In My Pockets I don't own yet.  The orange Bishopfish in particular was something I traded for.  I remember having a pink one when I was a child.  Classic line and virtually the top American keshi.[in main collection]

The aliens on the side (blue and green) are familiar American figures to me, but it escapes me from where.  They are soft and flimsy, with the green one having some tears, here and there.  They could actually be erasers [not in main collection.  will be sent out as extras]

The yellow guy is a figure from the Snailiens toyline.  Snailiens were awesome!  They are single-mold figures that came with armor and other goodies.  I was just sent a random solo figure with some wear.  Very cool to see him anyway.  [not in main collection]

The mutli-colored figure is a miniature of Tomahawk from the Megaman franchise.  A very neat figure, but doused in paint.  [not in main collection]

The last two figures (purple and green) are small, hard plastic pencil toppers, I think.  They are halloween themed, with one being a monster and the other a witch.  Surprisingly cool, although I have doubts they are worth much at all.  A good thing to mention they are virtually paintless accept for a little in the face. [in main collection]

October 7, 2014

Following Limiteds!

I think one of the biggest surprises about the keshi collection scene now, is how it's so alive and full of excitement.  This is something of  a comeback in the States, with there being more independent artists and toy lines popping up all the time.  There are companies making keshi variants for their existing products, and every convention seems to have a little more exposure to the art toy collector.

We in the States still have a long ways to go, compared to Japan, who have museum-like store fronts exclusively selling Kinnikuman and other keshi figures.  Even other Japanese companies, some from videogames, release limited edition keshis of characters in their franchise.  I've seen many of them on Ebay now, from Bomberman, Megaman, Mario, Kirby, and Dragonball.  For the most part, these are pretty expensive and hard to get, however I do wish to have a lot of these in my collection someday.

One thing I enjoy a lot about the toy scene right now is following all the limited edition releases that come out now.  Whether it's a Instagram-exclusive 3D Retro robot or a limited-run Z.O.M.B.I.E. color variant, I can't get enough.

The most anticipated limited release I've been able to get into lately was a Japanese release of Kinnikuman figures.  As a brand deal with Georgia Coffee, limited edition coffee cans came with a special little keshi inside.  What was even cooler was they were completely new sculpts, and not just color variants.  The set was six figures, all a different color, and themed to all be doing a different job.  Buffalo Man was brown and is positioned to be a cellphone stand.  Wars Man was blackish-grey and could keep your headphones from tangling.  Robin Mask was blue and Terryman was yellow.  Both of them could hold small objects up for you.  Kinnikuman was orange and could prop up a business card.  Ramen Man can sit on the edge of something.  Not much of a job, but it looks like he's busy making soup anyway.

Getting this set wasn't the cheapest, but it was really fun to be a part of the buzz when they were released and I certainly look forward to more releases.

October 6, 2014

Purist Ramblings: Resin!

I know this isn't an issue for most people, and really, I can't wait for it to stop being an issue with me.  I just don't know.  I understand how awesome and available resin is for people, especially for start-up artists that don't have the funds or hook-ups for a PVC line.  I get it that there's a million and one reasons I should like resin figures more.... but I just don't.  Yet is the word I hope to finish that sentence with very soon.

I think it all falls back to my purist beliefs on what is/isn't keshi and what would make it in my personal collection.  I went through it briefly before. I think it was my first impressions on Mutant Mania.  I think all collectors have certain guidelines on what they collect.  Some are looser than others, and that's completely cool.  I know I can't say I have the strictest.  Even I have some odd exceptions, but still, I think my unreasonable opinions on resin are based on that.

It ultimately is a nostalgia thing, I believe.  For me, if I can look at a keshi line and immediate think, 'yeah, that could totally pass as a 80's/90's minifigure line' then you're likely to be collected.  For me, things like size, paint, and articulation are things I look for in keshi, but material is not far behind either.

One thing that is attached to my nostalgia, along with the other things I mentioned, was the give in the plastic or rubber.  Most if not all of the classic lines were made of a softer material than you find in your standard action figure hard plastic.  So soft sometimes they were often nicknamed eraser figures.  Resin figures hold every other standard of a perfect keshi, but that.  Resin is rock hard and brittle.  If dropped from the right height, it could even shatter.

It really does pain me to admit this, which is why I hope I have a change of mind soon, because I know there are a lot of awesome artists with really great ideas.  I am more than excited to see what they come up with and to follow their exploits.  Resin figures is the first step of making it as a toy designer, and supporting them here is what will ensure they'll see a proper PVC release.

Right now, I am lucky to have some really rare resin minifigures from some independent artists.  The sculpts are awesome and the craftsmanship is topnotch.  Even still, they are kept in a different collection - separate from my keshi.

One day, resin.  One day.

October 4, 2014

Grossed-Out 3 Revenge of the Goo!

Oh, I should have never brought up sweet minifigure lines that have ooze and/or gross humor.  I blame Slimy Sludge and how I am excited I am to finally find one someday.  They blinded me to what I can only describe as a deluge of gooey and gross minifigure lines.  I have opened Pandora's Box.  The dam has sprung a leak.  It's all over now.  Now and forever, I have been cursed to recap all gross-out minifigures - all billion of them.

Moose Toy's Trash Pack is pretty awesome.  They have a lot of sets out now, maybe going on ten, and they don't look to be stopping.  Each set seems to have a particularly cool and different gimmick or theme.  One they did a while ago is, you guessed it, figures in ooze.

I can't say I was too surprised. Aside from GPK Minikins, they are spearheading the disgusting-factor in minifigures nowadays, which what seems to be every figure they do leaking or drooling some gross green liquid.

Love that stuff, even though there are certainly factors that twitch my keshi elitist nerve.  They are a bit smaller than I'd like, softer, painted, but the extent of all that depends on the exact figure.  Some are plain, and they even came out with some "hard boiled" models that were harder plastic, so I can't really broad stroke this brand.

As much as I resisted it, both looking at the immeasurable amount of models to collect and the fact they made so few qualities I look in keshis, I started to get into them anyway.  There's something special about Trash Pack and I'm glad to see they are a healthy line and growing strong even to branch out to many other things like clothing and video games.  They even came out with another minifigure line called Shopkins, aimed at little girls, that are cute grocery store products and stuff like that.  Not my cup of tea, but I say that now.  Moose Toys know they have mystical powers over me.

More Than Outlandish!

While their Kickstarter for Series 4 is still up and running, I wanted to say a couple things why I think October Toys' OMFG line is so awesome and why now is great time to jump aboard.

Fans of old Monster In My Pocket and MUSCLE, October Toys look to recreate some of that nostalgia.  Oozing of 90's radical attitude and gross humor, OMFG would have been a perfect fit on the shelves of  KB Toys and Ames right next to the minifigures that give the inspiration to this line.

What's even better is that it's not all their creation - it's everyone's.  The designs that turn into the figures are submitted and voted on by the community that supports the line.  That means anyone who joins their forums and throws in at least a dollar towards their Kickstarter can have a say who makes the cut in following releases.  This is an unbelievable opportunity for any designer - aspiring or otherwise.  Even if you don't make it, it's still very awesome to be a part of it nevertheless.  Most companies wouldn't put it in the hands of their fans, and for that, October Toys gets my seal of approval.

I bring this up because their Kickstarter still has 12 days left and $6,000 more to fund.  Now it a perfect time to join the community and help build Series 5.  Submissions are still open on the forums and are currently still be tweaked and discussed.  The easiest part is coming up with the dollar for the Kickstarter.  The hard part is designing the perfect minifigure, but still, I suggest you look into it and see if it's something you have the creative knack for.

For more information, check out their Kickstarter here!

That Number Game No One Played!

Do you remember when you were in elementary school, and you sneaked a bunch of Monster In My Pockets in your backpack for recess?  There, you could battle your monsters against everyone else's.  Remember that?  Nope.  I don't, and I would be surprised if anyone really did, but that was sort of a thing for a while.

To my knowledge, it started with Transformers Decoys, you know, the robots without disguise, before Monster In My Pocket did it.  Decoys were unpainted keshi figures that came as bonus with other retro releases.  In the west, the Autobots were a plain red rubber and the Decepticons were purple, but in the east, they came out in a variety of other colors.  Yeah, figure that:  Japan gets all the awesome stuff.

Decoys had a set of 50-100 figures, and they were received really well.  Even today, people value Decoys on average a little more than your normal minifigure.  I suppose the only drawback they would have in the eyes of your normal Transformer collector is that they did not transform.  They were single mold rubber, and eternally locked in robot mode.  Personally, I have no problem with that, but I'm a keshi collector.

On the back of all Decoys was a number.  This number was to represent the strength of the robot, so when kids on the playground would reveal their single minifigure or their team, they could compare numbers to see who won.  That's the idea, I suppose, but again, I never heard of anyone doing it.

Furthermore, Monster In My Pocket followed suit.  They too put numbers on the back of their figures, hoping it would spawn a secondary need for their toys as game pieces, but at least in my childhood, I found it only created confusion.  Was it a set number or the rarity?  Growing up, we didn't really know, so it's really to no surprise, to my knowledge, the game ended there.  Pretty funny to look back though.

October 3, 2014

Night of the Keshi Dead!

As part of October Toys' 10 year celebration, they promise to fill this month with all kinds of news and releases.  I'm certainly anticipating a lot of neat stuff from them.  I enjoy following them and they have some really neat products.  They do receive from flack from the rest of the keshi community, most of which is a mystery to me.  Hey, everyone is different and entitled to their own opinion, but that's besides the point.  Today, let's cover a couple awesome zombie minifigure lines!

The first line are Z.O.M.B.I.E. (Zillions of Mutated Bodies Infecting Everyone) minifigures from October Toys, and particularly this orange/black glitter limited release.  These guys are single-mold, unpainted, zombie minifigs, cast in a translucent orange with black glitter inside.  They are perfect for the Halloween theme, and only sold for the month of October.  Once November hits, they are done.  Right now, they are exclusively on sale at Zombies & Toys webstore, so pick up a set while you still have the chance. $5 a set, how can you go wrong?

The other zombie line I really enjoy are S.L.U.G. (Scary Little Ugly Guys) Zombies.  S.L.U.G. is also a great term that references the origins of keshi collecting as well,  A slug was a term used for figures that was cast in once piece, using a single mold.

These guys were released a few years back by Jakks Pacific and saw four sets before being canceled.  They had green zombie figures portraying all sorts of characters and parodies, and flesh tone human survivors in the vein of famous action heroes.

They were quite popular and well-received, but between the fourth set and the release of the fifth, they pulled the plug on the line.  This isn't particularly strange in toy lines, even so in niche lines like keshi figures, but what made it odd was that both fifth and sixth sets were rumored to be complete and ready for shipping.  Pictures on the internet exist of the figures and of the set lists, but that's it.  To this day, none of the figures have surfaced, so S,L,U.G. Zombies are truly in a situation where they could crawl out of their graves and walk the earth one day in the future.  Only time will tell.

October 2, 2014

Grossed-Out 2 Electric Boogerloo!

Moments after posting my first blog about slimy minifigures, I couldn't believe I forgot one of the all-time classic in slimy, ugly-looking, toy lines.  How could I have ever let Miniboglins off my initial impression.  Wow, such a slip up there, but maybe I was speaking more of my personal experience growing up.

I had one of the regular sized Boglin puppets growing up, and it was a great toy.  I would have really enjoyed the minifigure line too, but I think that kept close to Europe for the most part.  I do have a small bit in my collection, but I'm always looking for more.

Although not slimy, Boglins and Miniboglins were mutated-looking swamp monsters that had a Gremlins look to them.  They had the perfect look for scary yet cute monster characters.

While I am here, I did forget to mention a couple new lines that also should get a mention.  The first is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Mutagen Ooze from Nickelodeon and Playmates.  The canister for the ooze and minifigure is exactly what the ooze containers look like in the cartoon, so it's very cool you can bring home something that looks like a life-size prop.  Inside, you get a nice glob of various colored ooze, primarily metallic blue-green, with a random tiny pre-mutated ninja turtle figure.

The minifigures are cool, but there are not too many to collect.  A complete set is only four, one for each of the brothers, but I suppose that makes sense too.  It would have made sense to see a bigger collection, but I suppose it's best for the younger crowd to get all the turtles the easiest.  I'm also not sure what they could have done to make the set bigger, aside from chase variants.

To close out part two, I want to make mention of the Marvel Test Tube Goos that are hitting stores now.  Now, I do understand Marvel might not be in the keshi scene, so I shouldn't expect too much.  Even so, these fall really short for me.  I do have some random Marvel minifigures in my keshi collection, and I would have loved to add some more American characters into the lot, but these guys are not making the cut.

It's okay that's it's not necessarily random.  Inside the Hulk tube you get a Hulk figure, and I'm okay with that.  In fact, the metallic gold goo is pretty impressive, but the figures have one enormous flaw.  For whatever reason, the figure inside the tube is connected to the inside of the cap and cannot be removed.  This leaves the figure always standing on a giant unattractive figure base, unless you feel confident enough to start hacking it with a knife.  Even freeing it with a knife or something, doesn't that immediately ruin any sort of value between collectors?  They could have easily used the same material on both the figure and the cap, but refused to use more than one mold.  That is unfortunate, because I feel that would be a giant deterrent to classic keshi figures, effectively making it a product just for ooze fans.  So, then why make the figure at all?

October 1, 2014

Beam Me Up!

I haven't seen them in person yet, but I'm sure they are invading toy shelves around the country as we speak.  It's the Crashlings from Wicked Cool Toys, and I admit, I really dig these guys.  In their initial set, they have 150 minifigures to collect, from aliens to monsters to dinosaurs and insects.

They come pseudo-blind bag form with a blister package revealing a one or two minifigures to set your collection.  The rest are hidden inside rubber meteors that function as a popper for your Crashlings.  Separate your meteor in halves,turn one half inside out, place a Crashling inside, and watch it fly through the air.  Cool gimmick, I suppose.

The big draw for me is that haven't gone overboard with the Crashling minifigures themselves.  They are almost fully unpainted, which is a plus for classic collectors, and they look to be the right 1-2 inch size.  They do have paint applications on eyes and tongues and such, but that doesn't kill it for me.  If paint was covering them, then maybe.

There are also rare variants that are molded in a metallic silver or gold plastic, which is always a welcome addition to a set.  Chase figures are always fun to pull from a blind bag, box, or in this case meteor.

I certainly look forward to collect these little guys when they crash land in my area.