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.