January 31, 2015

MWOTR Evolution Goliath Review!

So, the time has come!  I have received the sold-out metallic green Goliath minifigure from the Mystical Warriors of the Ring line today in the mail.  I have it in my hands.  I can smell it with my nose.  So let's do this already and review it, no holds barred!

First off, the color looks great.  It's a very natural and fitting choice for this character, however I never really felt the standard flesh tone took away from the figure.  I was curious and somewhat suspicious to see it launch in this green, but I think it works well.

The details are nice, but maybe a bit too safe in some areas.  Maybe this can lend itself to the Glyos compatibly, because I'd love to see a Goliath head and face that tells us what sort of character this guy is.  Is he cruel or kind?  He's certainly huge, and really that's all he conveys for me.  I do really like his elbow pads, however, which I have forgotten to show, but the gator logo on them is a pretty awesome touch.

He feels really nice in my hands.  There's quite a lot of weight to this guy and even pieces like his tail don't feel like an afterthought.  As a complete figure, he's pretty chunky and spiky, and that's never a bad thing.  Sure, he'd never fit in a gumball capsule, but maybe in some alternate world, you could imagine this guy part of a "collect and built him yourself" set, which thinking now, may be a pretty neat idea.

I know how weird it's going to sound now that I gripe about it's lack of articulation, but don't lose me quite yet.  Sure, I would have loved one hunk of gator, but a good alternative to that, would be a hunk of gator in a sweet pose.  Goliath is full of all sorts of articulation:  head/neck, shoulder, wrists, tail, and legs, but I think it's missing some elbow love.  Bending this guy around, you get a few neat and interesting poses, except when you want this guy to grapple another character of the MWOTR line.  He sort of Frankensteins forward, and I think an elbow cut before or after the elbow pad would have helped him out with that, just that much more, but this sort of stuff should really be the last thing I complain about.

And finally the smell - perfect.

Overall, MWOTR made a really decent figure, and what's strange is this guy is so adaptable, any gripes I had could be adjusted in future releases.  They could release a new, nasty, snarling, face, and some jointed elbows, and he could be a completely new figure.  That could be the most exciting part.  Will there be a hand with a steel chair in it?  Will there be arms with 80's arm tassels?  Who knows, but there's nothing stopping them.

With all the suspicion I gave it earlier, I think it changed my mind on most categories, at least the ones that matter the most.  And as inexpensive as they charged for this guy, he was vey much worth the review alone, but this guy certainly is in the collection, chilling out with the rest of his MWOTR brothers.

For more information, drop by their website and give them some love, and hopefully some greenbacks too.  Click the links below!


Kinnikuman X Georgia Coffee Series Two!

Last year, Kinnikuman did a promotional deal with Georgia Coffee, where inside limited edition canisters of their coffee, they received one of six free Kinnikuman keshis.  These strange but cool figures were exclusive to the Japanese products, but they found themselves on trading forums and auction websites pretty quick.  A set even found a way to travel to my own collection, which was certainly a highlight of my collecting last year.

Well, it appears they are at it again, bigger and badder, with a second series!  I don't read Japanese, so someone please help me out on this one, but it looks like these limited edition cans with have a pair of promotion Kinnikuman keshi inside, depending on the character on the bubble.  And with eight bubbles, that brings the total miniature count of this series to a whopping sixteen!

That's pretty rad, if you ask me.  I really enjoyed the last set, so you best believe this set is high on the priority list.  I'll certainly be keeping an eye out on forums and auctions to see if they surface anytime soon, but I wonder, what sort of worth would this series generate?

The first set came out of the gate red hot.  It was getting top dollar for a Kinnikuman keshi, but as time went on, the market found there was more than enough of these guys in Japan to share with collectors everywhere else.  Series One is still very awesome to collect, and I believe you should, but it's not going to be your rare find.  I wonder if the same effect, if not more, will happen to this set.  That effect happened to a set of six.  This set is sixteen.  Are they flooding it or have they build enough interest with the first set to expand?  

Either way, I hope the promotional is successful and they continue what they are doing.  I sure will be looking out for this set, and future sets they release, really no matter how common.

January 30, 2015

Winter Wonderfest 2015 Shamrock Arrows!

If you thought the last few drops I've covered were easy-peasy, well I have a challenge for you!
Wonder Festival is a toy convention that happens twice a year in Japan.  It's big selling point, among the sea of vendors, are the one-day license limited editions.  These guys are just that done by the amazing artists at Shamrock Arrow.

These two packs are color variants previously released at the last Wonder Festival, and include some of the more gorgeous keshi in the world.

I have limited knowledge about the Japanese studio, Shamrock Arrow, but I am already a fan.  At first, I had actually confused their miniatures as Zoomoth's, but in fact, I guess I wasn't the only one.  I've seen multiple eBay auctions incorrectly listing them as Zoomoth.  I suppose, if nothing else, it makes you wonder if it's a new studio from a familiar artist or just a team equally as talented.

Wonder Festival is February 8th, and that will be the only time these sick puppies will be able to be sold.  If you can't make it there, you'll may be looking at a giant price increase on the secondary market.  A mule would be the most reasonable option, but still these guys, and getting these guys, are hardcore.

I personally love this quality of stuff.  Zoomoth is one of my favorite studios and these guys rocket Shamrock Arrow right up there too.  I would love to travel to Japan sometime, meet the artists, and throw wads of yen at them for these gorgeous keshi, but at this time, it may not be in the budget.  One day, I hope.  Of course, when I do, I'll cover every bit of it for the blog.

January 29, 2015

Lil' Gotham Keshi Preorder!

The big talk around the keshi water-cooler is what's coming out of the Kotobukiya camp in Japan.  I have limited experience from these toy manufacturers, but I have a model from their Frame Arms line.  It's a giant plastic mecha akin to a Gundam, but also looking at their website and seeing what they have to offer, I would guess Kotobukiya would be a good comparison to NECA for us in the States.

What's got everyone buzzing is they have a keshi series on preorder.  Maybe this is something new for these guys, and that's why, either way, it's exciting to see something like this come up.  It's even being marketed as a throwback and homage to Kinnikuman, so we die-hard fans can only hope this sparks some interest on a wider scale.

The series is called Lil' Gotham and is an interesting style on the Batman franchise. I personally like the hard-cut, blocky, look of these guys.  They have an obvious anime influence, which isn't a bad thing at all, especially if you want them to match other traditional Japanese keshi more than your Handful of Heroes.

This 7 piece set is looking at a May release and is currently on preorder at AmiAmi.  Keep in mind, they are a Japanese webstore, so who knows how much shipping is and all that.  But, these guys may not find their way near us any other way.  For more information, check out the link below!

Lil' Gotham Preorders at AmiAmi

January 28, 2015

ROTB Army Green Drop!

Another awesome drop is right around the corner!

The artists over at LittleRubberGuys have been teasing their Army Green variants of their Series 1 Rise of the Beasts minifigures, and now we have a set date and time for their arrival.

Tomorrow, Thursday the 29th, at 7pm PST these guys will be available to purchase, both in painted and unpainted goodness, in what I am sure will be limited quantities.

If you followed the recent release of Goliath from Mystical Warriors of the Ring, you'll know it took only hours after their release on their website for that guy to sell completely out.  That's more common than you expect.  These are independent artists releasing high-quality minifigures in small batches.  There is simply no room in this community to wait.  You have to mark drop dates on a calendar and jump on the opportunity to get what you want before you potentially lose it forever.

These Series 1 figures came out in a variety of colorways the first time they were released, and still, some miniatures in some variants sold out.  This drop is one color way, so you have to imagine, like Goliath, this is going to be quite the competitive release.  These guys may not be available much longer than a couple hours after their initial drop, so make sure you're in it to win it.

Don't let this classic green army beasts pass you by!  Click this link down here and push your way to the front of the line!


January 27, 2015

MWOTR Goliath Drop!

Get your checkbooks ready for today's super-big release!

Mystical Warriors of the Ring is dropping the first in their Evolution line with a shiny green Goliath figure.

This beautifully-shiny green guy is a sizable bit larger than the rest of the figures made, and he's also Gylos-compatible, which means he comes in a number of locking pieces, all of which interchange with other Gylos friendly figures.

Anyone that's been around here for any sort of time knows of the beating Keshi Drop has given poor Mark and his Evolution ideas, but you know what, things have happened since that Ramblings post.  We picked up some Mutant Mania, some Rise of the Beasts, and we found out some tricky minifigures were multi-parted but glued during production.  If nothing else, we learned that opinions and feelings can change awfully quick when you have the thing sitting in your hand.

It drops today, Tuesday January 27th, at Noon Central Time on their website.  Be there and be square, google the time differences if you need to, because I'm guessing this guy goes quick.  He's new, he's Glyos, he's shiny green - there's a lot to this guy people are really going to like.  You're gonna' have to make sure you're in the front of the line, and for only $6, there's really no reason why not to.

Give Mark and MWOTR some love and greenbacks at his webstore by clicking the link below!

As always, thanks for stopping by everyone!

UPDATE:  Goliath has sold out!  That's how it works in the keshi world, everyone!  You gotta' be ready for these drops and on point. Luckily, if you missed it, there will always been more color variants coming out to grab.  Just keeping checking in with the MWOTR website.

January 26, 2015

Toy Haul 01/26/2015!

It's certainly a relief to be opening up some keshi mail, that's for sure!  Between this terrible weather and this flu bug that just won't go away, you gotta' take the small things in life that make you happy and just run with them.  Spring is on it's way, someday I hope, and I'm finally feeling better, so I hope that leaves the rest of the year open for some awesome keshi happenings.

I made a trade with Little Weirdos on the forums lately and I pleasantly received the package today.  So, let's dive in and take a look!

I do have some big packages on their way, but sometimes it's not always the giant baggies of figures that make your day.  Today, in this package, was all about getting my first Slimy Sludge minifigure!  FINALLY!  I know they are probably loaded in everyone else's Toys R'Us or wherever, but I've yet to find one anywhere close to me, and I've almost sucked it up and bought one way-overpriced on the secondary market, just to finally have one.  Luckily, it didn't go to that and my cool trade bud supplied with that awesome purple guy in the top left corner.

Not seen in the picture is the baggie of green slime that was included in the package as an awesome extra.  It was certainly a pleasant surprise.  I can understand where many people would throw it away eventually, once the gimmick wore out it's welcome, but it works out in my favor it didn't go that way this time.

Also in the package was this Oh-No Alien figure slotted there in the top right.  He's a pretty cool guy, and my first Oh-No Alien.  To my knowledge, he's from a gumball machine line here in the States that would be the closest thing coming to traditional Japanese gashapon keshi, at least one of them.  This guy is surprisingly chunky and solid.  I'm impressed for sure!  You know how I like to support gumball workers, so I'll certainly have to be hunting for more of these alien guys.

Green plastic dinosaur!  Classic!  Maybe the same you used to chew on as a kid.

Finally, it's a little black bendy tree ent from a line I'm not familiar with.  Regardless, he's very cool and will fit in just fine with the crew.

And that's the haul today, guys!  A little small this go around, but no bad eggs, so that's awesome!  All these guys are going right on my keshi shelves and that goo is likely to be dropped and stained into the floor very soon.  Just like old times!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

January 22, 2015

Purist Ramblings: Bootin' N' Leggin'!

No matter where you turn.  No matter where you go, you're going to find yourself in that discussion about bootlegging and who draws the line where, well, at least when you're in the toy world.

But I guess not always.  It's likely called other things in other places, so you may find the "ripping off" or "plagiarism" discussions in different topics, but there are a lot of similarities and common threads.

You can be on a music forum and have the discussion that this particular musician completely ripped of the guitar riff or beat from a classic track.  The other side of the argument says it's a sampling, re-imagining, homage, or anything similar to that, and everyone and their mother will draw lines in the sand and dissect every facet until it's virtually not about the same subject.

There are some common things about sampling text, music, or even toy molds that just about everyone will agree.  It's generally frowned upon if you're copying someone else's work exactly with no creative altering from yourself.  It shows all kinds of disrespect to the artist, to the art, it's fans, and shows you want nothing but a quick buck.  Most people will be ok with heavy sampling, if it's reworked in ways that it becomes it's own identity.  If it feels like a new piece of art, even sharing off of others, it's generally accepted.

However, this is where I share my nuthouse opinion and receive a shower of rotten tomatoes.

I think we should not say what is to be or not to be, but decide what succeeds or fails with our support and money.  This is certainly not me condoning ripping off peoples' art and stealing food off their plate, but if the bootlegger gets away with it and makes money, who's really to blame then?  If a cheap knockoff comes out and blows sales of the original piece out of the water, then something could be said about the market's worth of the product.  If it's less-sophisticated but more successful, then something could be said about it's feature's worth to the market.  Trust me, I'm not saying I'd prefer a junkier keshi, I just think there are things to listen to and learn from when the low-end productions beat you at your own game.  The market is saying something, not with words, but with cash register bells, and I think it's worth the listen.

So I'm not the one to say "No, you can't bootleg that!"  Sure, I wouldn't find it the most respectful thing in the world, but there could be a couple good outcomes from it.  If you're hitting something the market wants out of the original, that the original isn't doing, you could succeed.  I don't mean a general variant on color, per se, but maybe something fundamental, like articulation.  For example, if particular video game or anime franchise haven't been represented in keshi yet, a bootleg version of a miniaturized action figure could be successful.  Also, if a franchise has been discontinued long enough, a die-hard market may still remain hungry for anything to collect, and bootleg may be successful.

Keshi is naturally very threatened by bootlegging because the product is both simplistic and affordable.  Keshi is a beautiful tiny sculpture, but it may not be too far removed from a glob of melted cheap plastic either.  Keshi and bootlegging has a history intertwining like DNA strands, where over time some knock-offs have become just as coveted as originals.

It's hard to say what the rules are.  I surely didn't want to write a piece outlining them, but instead, insist our money decides what lives and what dies.  If we support a bootleg, we may have failed the original artist, but it's their job to hear the coins drop and adapt.  It's never too late to make a choice on something or try something new.  I think the worst thing is to lose your livelihood to bootleggers without a fight, because most times, they can only beat you one way.  Listen to the market.  See where the money is going.  Understand what that is saying, and fight back.

Thanks for the read everyone and thanks to my buddy Ryan for the new image up top!

January 21, 2015

John Rauschelbach Interview @ Little Weirdos!

The guys over at Little Weirdos have a really awesome article, a Q&A actually, with toy designer John Rauschelbach.  It's a great read, especially if you're interested in some inside information about the cancellation about the beloved SLUG Zombies.

Stop reading this and click on that link below!


January 15, 2015

Purist Ramblings: Resin Revelation!

I need to come clean about being an idiotic hypocrite, again!  Get used to the disappointment, readers, it's not going to be the last time.  Far from it, I bet.  It's the SpiderEarth way.

So I was reorganizing my toy shelves when I came across my Kickstarter awards for funding the Kaiju Kaos game.  I covered them in a previous Toy Haul months ago, and I gave them glowing reviews.  And even today, I was still pleased in my preorder in these guys.  "I need to get more of these guys," I thought, so I jumped on the old computer and looked for a web store.

[Click.  Click.  Click.  Enter button.  Mouse wheel scroll.]

"$8 each.  Not too shabby," I thought, reading the screen.  "These are hand-sculpted, hand-molded, hand-poured, limited edition color resin castings by Acheson Creations...  Oh, my freaking god!  They are resin?!?!"

What a dumb jerk I am!  If not a dumb jerk, just so incredibly ignorant about the broad scope of toy making, even in the minifigure style.  I had given Kaiju Kaos loving praise for their awesome sleek and sturdy plastic figure, when they were never made of plastic at all.  Those couple Kaiju Kaos figures on my shelf next to my Kinnikuman have been resin all along, while I rant and rave how crappy I felt that medium was.

I had no idea resin could be that good and close to plastic.  I have some other resin minifigures that really don't look like plastic or rubber, but you learn something new everyday.  Resin can be pretty damn cool, and thus, I have brought all my resin stuff into the collection.

Thanks Kaiju Kaos!  I knew I needed to accept resin.  I knew it was just a matter of time, but I was just unsure when and how.  Today and because of your awesome work.  

Check out there fine minis by clicking this link below


January 13, 2015

Despair Colorways and Limiteds!

Last Halloween, I covered a limited-edition keshi figure coming out along side an American comedy album.  With help from both October Toys and Disart Toylabs, Comedian Adam Quesnell was able to get this pretty awesome guy made up.  And from it looks now, made up in a good selection of variants.

Some variants now are sold out, which certainly is common with limited edition, small run, toy lines, but it's not too late to grab the whole set now, if this is something you're interested in.

Granted the price point is a bit steep, $25 each or the whole set going for $250, but if you're into these guys, this might be the way to go.  As well as the colorways that have sold out, the clear and clear blue versions are only available in this collection.  Keep in mind, they are a little larger than convention.  They stand at three inches, so that also plays a part in the price.

These guys are pretty neat for sure.  Sure I'd like them a tiny bit smaller and cheaper, but I wouldn't be shocked if these guys turned into gems sometime down the road, so if you're the type that has the budget for the rarest keshi collecting can offer, I would track these down.

Find these guys and more at the link below.

January 11, 2015

OMFG Series 5 Winners!

The voting for the community-based minifigure line, OMFG, has just wrapped up and voted have been tallied.  We have the cast of OMFG Series 5!  Gaze upon their awesomeness!

We're looking at something that may be looking at a release much later this year, but also not without another successful Kickstarter.  October Toys' fans have been able to support them for every project before, but that's what makes it so important to support early on.  If fans don't jump on projects like this early, and just wait to see when they are released, they may never make it to that point.

I, for one, have had a lot of success with Kickstarter funding.  Granted, yes, it's a slow turn-around, but imagine it more of a pre-order service with a certain minimum requirement.

A lot of great artists and designs came out of this batch with, in opinion, Illuminaughty leading the pack.  Without a doubt, if this character finds himself in PVC, I'll be running down as many variants as I can.  I just love the design and significance he had in a point of keshi collecting within me and how I viewed the scene early last year when I began.

I will certainly be sharing more updates with these guys when are looking for love on Kickstarter.

January 10, 2015

Toy Haul 01/10/15!

Boy, either it's me or there's something in the air when it comes to clear red plastic.  Welcome to the first Toy Haul of 2015 for me, but not really the first for the blog.  Mebbles received some awesome Glyos guys in the mail recently, so check out his review down below. 

Today's package is something of a follow-up from a previous look at had a Japanese promotional series between Square Enix's Final Fantasy property and Coca Cola, and with some luck on Ebay, I was able to get a sizable lot for nearly nothing.  

In that past blog, I had mentioned that limited edition bottles of the soda in Japan had little blind bags of these characters.  From what I could tell, every character from FFVII, FVIII, and FX was done in both a clear red plastic and a painted version.  Both variations has this ugly red base attached at the bottom, so I was curious to see them in person.

In hand, I was certainly impressed with these guys.  The red plastic used in the figure is soft and flexible, yet rigid in the body portions.  I would have to suggest it's nearly perfect, with negative marks for lacking a copious amount of glitter that deserves to be in any minifigure.  However, looking at these guys more detailed, there are some cheats here and there.  Not all the figures are single-mold.  Some arms on some characters, for example, are glued-on extra bits, and as I figured, the plastic base is of a different material and the figure is glued on top of it.

The plastic bases, as you could assume, are brutally bad.  They are made by lighter, cheaper, plastic, but the do have identification information on the bottom, even what version they are.  I suppose that a neat detail, but I would have to wonder what fans out there, chasing down these figures, wouldn't know who's who or could tell which ones were painted or not.

Even with the awful bases, these guys, at least the crystal red versions, are pretty neat.  The sculpt are very accurate and they aren't too small or big.  And, before too many give them attention, they are pretty cheap on the secondary market, considering they are both Japanese-exclusive and limited edition.  I certainly would suggest everyone to go out and check out your favorite Final Fantasy character in this form.  If nothing else, it's a pretty neat trinket for your desk.

January 9, 2015

Hijacked By Beasts!

I'm not sure whether to apologize or just keep going with the flow, because we have even more Rise of the Beast updates and news!  If you're interested and enjoy this line, then great, I hope you've strapped in and ready for the ride.  If not, then I'm sorry, we'll get to other things soon.

I had covered yesterday some released photos of the upcoming second series of Rise of the Beasts.  The first series saw a rhino character along side a scorpion one, and yesterday we saw the new prototypes of the lion character and the lizard character.  They even had weaponry included, which I felt was the bonus moving from the first set to the second, but today we received a pleasant surprise.  Check out this awesome gorilla character!

Color me shocked to see a third character added to the mix!  With the first set only showcasing two figures, I guess I assumed that would be the format for moving forward, but who knows what to expect now!

And really, it's a pretty good time to be involved with this line, because very soon if not already, the single-mold, rubber-cast, lion prototypes I discussed last month have hit the Little Rubber Guys' web store.  Then, I was unsure of the quantities available, but now it looks like we have a definite number.

There are only fourteen of these suckers:  four light grey, four dark grey, and six bone tone with a wash.  So, for all you limited-edition freaks out there need to jump on these guys quick, because time is running out, if not already!  It's probably best to good look, just in case!

And these prototypes are actually a good sizable difference taller than what we can expect for the final product.  The picture below illustrates it pretty well, with the grey keshi powerhouse towering over the weak and pathetic multi-part pansy.  We keshi purists really know a beasts when we see it, am I right?  High five!  No?  No?  No one?

Run, preferably without scissors in your hands, but you're an adult and I won't be held responsible for your decisions, so do whatever you like, to the Rise of the Beast web store here!

EDIT:  One more character has been released since the writing of this post, bringing series two to a whopping four figures, so far, all with weapons, and who's to say it'll stop!  But check out this awesome ant character.  He certainly is my favorite so far.  It's hard to say whether he'll be allied with the scorpion character or not, but I think they can make a great team for causing some chaos.  Keep in mind this is another 3d printed prototype, and in fact, the antennae did not print properly, so keep all that into account with these early photos.

January 8, 2015

Moar Beasts Leaks!

If you enjoyed the first set of Rise of the Beasts minifigures that came out a couple months ago, you're in Beast Heaven right now.  Not only is there variants for the first set in the works, but a bevy of news and updates about the second release has been popping up all over their Instagram at @littlerubberguys.  Check them out and follow them.

Previously, I shared that the lion character below would be a part of the new set, but just today his partner was revealed.  Look at this awesome reptilian character!  He looks pretty damn cool, considering both guys in these photos are 3d printings and are very rough representations of the final product.  I certainly love the look of both character, but I hope both of them see tails, at least the lizard.

The weapons look to be a new addition to the new set, which would give these two rising beasts a clear advantage over your scorpion and rhino figures in the territory war for shelf space.  Luckily the rhinos and scorpions have been given time to amass an army, because when these two bad guys are released, they'll need it.

I'm not sure I how I feel about the removable weapons.  My knee-jerk reaction is somewhat negative, but these guys have continually proved me wrong and have gotten me to relax my standards, so I will certainly have to see them in person to really say one way or another.  While I may personally prefer the weapon being part of the arm mold, I can see where that is completely out-of-place in this line.

Haven't gotten on board yet?  Do these guys look awesome?  Well, you're in luck, visit the link below and check out the series one figures and prepare yourself for the rise of series two.

You can find your Rise of the Beasts goodness by clicking right here!

January 7, 2015

Purist Ramblings: Sketchy Resin!

In previous posts, I had made mention that, although I own resin miniatures, I have a particularly unfavorable opinion on them.  I don't dislike them.  I just find them hard to compare to traditional keshi.  I had used some reasons before, like the heaviness and brittle nature of resin compared to the classic flexible rubber, but I have also expressed a desire look past some short-comings and accept them, for no other reason, to support new artists.

They remain separate, even to this day, although they are inspired by keshi and aimed at keshi lovers.  There are some arguments to have to why they should be included.  Like my analysis for Mystical Warriors of the Ring and Rise of the Beasts, I had wondered if deviations from the pure keshi model should be treated as equal crimes, especially when I let Trash Pack minis virtually pass with a failing grade.

So, I've given it some though and really wondered if the weight and fragile nature of resin should logically be a deal-breaker when considering it keshi.  The easy answer is still yes, but the harder answer is more complicated than that.

I won't go into it too much, but there is something of the traditional keshi model.  I wrote about it plenty in past posts, so please refer back to them if you need some context.  Generally, traditional keshi are small, inch to two inch tall, unpainted, single-mold, rubberish minifigures.  Very few toy lines actually stay within these confides anymore, and some would argue for good reasons.  You can produce better a better designed product with it coming out of more than one mold.  Paint can make it look more realistic, and something larger can add more to the playability, but you can't simply super glue a G.I. Joe stiff and call him keshi.

I had suggested something to the effect of 'product be damned!  it's about the art or the objective of creating the perfect keshi within these rules!', as if I was some sort of sushi chef purist.  I was something I said in defense of the tradition, but accidentally, on the topic of art, I think I hit the nail on the head.  As dumb as I can be most time, I done struck me some black gold.

Imagine it, if you will.  You have a truly stunning keshi figure.  Let's say it's your favorite Neclos Fortress mini, because, frankly, I find them so beautiful.  Imagine that piece, that single, unpainted, rubbery guy is the keshi equivalent to a finished painting on the wall.  If you can imagine that, imagine what the resin figure is.  Would it be safe to assume that the resin figure, with it's fundamental flaws, could be the sketches or proofs of that same artist?  I don't think it's that far of a leap to believe.

The nature of resin manufacturing is very much hands on.  Hand-casted, likely from the artist themselves, and in low production, these are likely trial-versions of a product the strive to create.  Such are the scribblings on napkins and notepads covering studio tables and walls.  Although these pieces are very inferior to the final product hanging on the wall, they are still valuable and coveted pieces of art, even more to those that enjoy the limited-run or one-of-a-kind aspect of art collecting.  They are, if not keshi, part of keshi and part of the keshi artist, and that's something certainly to ponder around the purist mind.

January 5, 2015

Drop Down and Give Me Keshi!

Hot off their successful Kickstarter, the fine people at Brogamats are taking preorders for this interesting reimagining of the classic army men figure.

They are called Yoga Joes, and they certainly have character about them.  I'm not sure what sort of connection army men, in particular, have with yoga, but nevertheless, I'm always in favor of people getting outside and active, no matter what fashion.

One thing I enjoy seeing in these is the clever use of that ugly base in classic line.  Yoga Joes don't settle for blob of plastic around their army mens' feet to stay balanced.  They instead rework that into the yoga mat.  I'm not generally a fan of figure bases, but you can't have proper yoga exercises without the mats.

As cool and clever as these guys are, I do have a couple complaints.  These guys, at least from the few photos I've seen, look a bit too glossy.  I don't remember the originals being this glossy, however every toy factory with a pile of cheap green plastic made some, so maybe there were some that I've never seen.   Also, although the poses of the positions are spot on, the sculpting job on the figures themselves are rather subpar and blobby.  They have little to no details, outside what you may expect from cheap army men, but I think their aim with these guys was a little more than just that.

Regardless, good luck finding yoga army men anywhere else in the world but at www.brogamats.com so stop in and check themselves out for yourself.  They even have a hot pink variant if you're in need for something a little more limited edition.

January 4, 2015

Purist Ramblings: Flesh Color!

I'm sure everyone has come across that sort of situation that just sort of doesn't feel right.  You're almost blind to it at first, but you're slowly realizing that something has been done for such a long time, but probably not for the best.  At this point, it's established and well-known.  It's been accepted and it's virtually created a definition onto itself and no longer really rooted in it's origin.  However, no matter how vestigial, the root remains.  Footprints are created and can be lead back to where it came from, if anyone wanted to trace them.  So, I wonder, is something that is considered part of a tradition immune to reevaluation and/or change?

It's silly and I know, but maybe it's not.  

Race in America has been anything but perfect and how tradition handles race has been something of a divided discussion.  Some people argue for an alteration, while others suggest it's fine the way it is.  An example of this is the Washington Redskins football team name, and the suspect nature of it's namesake.  There are many native American tribes to name a sports team after, and many things from their heritage to consider, if you desire something a bit more ambiguous.  Simply calling the team Redskin and reducing the influence of the name to something so distasteful, shows the need for a name outweighed the care to create a meaningful one, especially when you're dealing with other human beings.  But football purists will argue the tradition in the name, and suggest it not be changed, no matter how dodgey.

Moving away from the football example, in the keshi world there is a color that became the standard.  It was used famously by Kinnikuman, or MUSCLE for us 80's kids in the States.  It was neither orange or pink, but maybe a little mix of the two.  It was called flesh, or flesh tone, and to this day keshi is made and released in standard, quote end quote, flesh tone.

I recall George and Ayleen from October Toys having a passing spat about it on an episode of Toy Break.  If I remember it correctly, Ayleen turns to George and wonders out loud of it's offensive to call that tone flesh.  I think it was this scene that sparked my interest in the topic.

The word flesh is a particularly weird one.  Unless I have my definition wrong, flesh is considered all the meaty bits under the skin, or it's supposed to be, but I can see where others can assume skin tone and flesh tone as interchangeable terms.  Even so, a pinky/orange tone doesn't fit the universally 'Ow! Bring me to the hospital now!' red color that lines under any mammal's skin.  So, I wonder what it's supposed to mean.  What are it's footsteps?

Much like hardcore Washington fans, the Japanese don't always have the best win/loss record in being the most culturally or racially aware.  Japan has a secluded nature to the country.  They like to keep theirs theirs, and uphold tradition.  They are proud and very hard working, but may have questionable understanding of the rest of the world.  Various anime characters and fashion fads, drawn from other cultures and peoples, are examples of this such of a thing.  Although purely unintentional and innocent in intent, they show poor understanding of the subject matter, at best.  

However, I'm not sure I can blame Bandai in Japan.  Only when the name flesh tone as a color was a translation off their designs can we suggest it was their idea.  It could have been the American side.  It could have easily have been Mattel, considering they changed the name from Kinnikuman, which meant Musclemen, to just MUSCLE, possibly removing the emphasis away from words associated with weightlifters or wrestlers and brought it into body parts.

They are just toys after all.  They have no intention of being offensive, at least not these ones.  Maybe the Sucklord's collection has, from time to time, in a tongue-in-cheek way, but that's almost to be expected from the dark lord of bootlegging.  So, when it's all said and done, I think flesh tone is nothing to shout at the skies over, however I think it deserves a moment to think about.  White people aren't crayon white, just as black people are not crayon black.  No race has a color swatch, to be exact, but we can see there was a hiccup in translation that maybe needs to be amended.

Flesh tone is Kinnikuman's original color.  They came to the States and we flubbed it up.  We dropped the personification in their design.  We dropped part of the translation and repackaged them with all the care and understanding of "Ehh, they kinda look like fleshy body parts" when we shouldn't have.  We effectively Japan'ed Japan.  We can trace our steps and see that.

Unlike Redskins, the term flesh tone doesn't hit a target on a race, thankfully for the keshi community, and for that, I imagine the term will likely stay, but still, I think we owe it to ourselves and the little toys we love to do it right, or at least consider it.  

Why not Muscle, Musclemen, or Muscle-flesh tone?

Thanks Earthlings for dropping by!  If you haven't already checked it out, Mebbles has a great Glyos review just below this post, so go check that out too.  I've been harping on him to write something up for me and I've been neglecting Glyos for what seem infinity now, so it would be very awesome to give him a read and a comment.  Thanks again!

January 3, 2015

Noboto Neo Phase review!

Hi guys, I am Mebbles, a new contributor on here at The Keshi Drop and I have a little review of a crazy awesome figure I got from Onell Design recently! Being by Onell, of course it's Glyos compatible, and that means it has a lot of movable joints and parts can be replaced. I was sure amazed how much this guy can move about! It even has wrist articulation!

   Ok, ok, I'll try to keep my hype level down a tad, but it's always awesome to get a figure that you haven't got something from before. The color of the variant I got is a dazzling transparent green that is very pleasing to the eye. The height of the figure is pretty small as you can see, but I think it's a perfect size, especially for people that like keshi or keshi-like sizes. It comes with a different head that has another eye style and also some extra pieces to do stuff with (which I am unsure what to do with since I don't have any other Glyos thing to modify and I am happy on how this guy looks outside right outside the bag).

  All together, the figure comes with 19 parts, which amazes me how much of that is the highly articulated figure itself!

If you too are interested in Onell Design stuff check out their website here:


January 1, 2015

Purist Ramblings: Art Without the Artist!

Hey, Earthlings, it's 2015 and let's cheer for what I hope will be another awesome year of tiny, rubber, minifigures of all sorts!  Wooooo!  I can't wait!  But, first, check out the new gloss of paint!  Say hello to The Keshi Drop!  I know it's not much, but I think it was time I do something, even if it's not a ton, and pull a little away other intellectual properties, their logos, and all that.  I've gotten a lot of attention last year, and I owe it to everyone to do on the merits of my writing and posts and not on the shadow of another toy line we all love, but I have more New Year Resolutions than just that.

I want to cover bigger issues.  Now, now, yes, they will all still be about keshi and minifigure greatness.  I just want to tackle bigger discussion points in our community.  I want to do more than just toy reviews.  Sure, they will still be there, but I think that job is already filled by so many talented people.  I don't need to add to that.  I can do something I feel more passionate about than passing on information really anyone else could find on the Internet.  I want to push the boundaries.

And I want to do that... now!

What if your favorite musician blurted something offensive out on Twitter?  What if your favorite actress acted really poorly and rudely at a charity event?  What if your favorite sports player was exposed as some sort of criminal?  The question I ask is:  Can you enjoy the art without the artist?

It won't take you too long in a community of a particular category to find out the ones crowds will love or hate for various reasons, the keshi community is no different.  Everyone is different and everyone has different degrees of tolerance, for example, so I wonder if it's possible to be a toy maker and sell your product to people that don't like you.  Is there a Walmart effect?  Could a product could be too good to pass up?  I think in many possibilities there are, but many not in designer toys.  Our community is a niche within a niche within a Russian egg doll wrapped in an enigma inside a box.  It might be small and refined enough, that personal connection can be made, and thusly, can an inferior product be more successful when the artist behind it is generally loved by the community?

I've talked to a few people on the matter.  Granted, it should have been more, but I did find some common threads.  I've found in cases where the product wasn't a necessity in life and generally considered small, like a mom and pop store, feelings of the producer of the product were valued more.  I find it strange, yet not.  How does a big box store like Walmart get the pass, when they have possibly the worst reputation in the States?  I'm not sure they always do, but certainly, when the individual customer has a bigger say or impact, you'll find a stronger connections, positive or negative.   At least, with the small numbers I have, that's my guess.

I'm not going to call out any names.  This isn't a witch hunt or a drama stunt to get attention, so I hope everyone respects that and leaves names out of comments as well, but the keshi community has there share of polarizing people.  There are some artists out there that have a well of talent, and really could be the next big thing, if they only knew how to stay out of some nasty flame wars.  Maybe it's inescapable.  Everyone deserves to have an opinion and to voice it.  Whether to stand behind your product or your beliefs at a given time might be something for business psychology class, or something.

Regardless, something may be said that the keshi community, your product demographic, is rather small.  It's been said by various artists that sales numbers have been consistent for the last few years.  One could gather that's it's only growing by the number of people leaving the hobby.  Under that, one could suggest there is less room for error.  Each offended or insulted person is a larger percentage of the demographic.

To be honest, I have found myself turned away from some artists' work because of their online interactions.  I, unfortunately, found it so unsettling I couldn't clear the stigma away from the product.  I knew it was of that artist.  I could notice, or I felt I noticed, design choices made from the mind of that artist and I couldn't assume the product more mine than theirs.  Even with a gorgeous collection from a very talented hand, I couldn't stomach supporting the work, and I actively make a mental note when looking at independent keshi I am unfamiliar with just to make sure it's not from them.

Luckily, in the year I have been following this hobby, I am holding this strike on only one artist, that will remain unnamed.  Everyone else I've seen or interacted with, through forums or videos on Youtube, have been nothing short of amazing.  Even a character like the Super Sucklord is a treat and an obviously passionate artist, hungry to push his art form to the very limit.  And guys like Mark from Mystical Warriors of the Ring have showed the blog here patience and understanding that certainly earns my respect and fandom.

What about the rest of you?  I am excited to hear your thoughts on it as well!  Do you find it hard to enjoy work from people you don't particularly like?  Please, share your thoughts and opinions below, but please don't bring up any names unless it's positive.  I don't want that sort of weird, tabloid, attention.

So that's it, Earthlings!  That's the first post of 2015!  It was a blast and a honor blogging it up last year and I can't wait to do more of the same this year.  It's a brand new year with a brand new name, but it'll be same old nonsensical, rambling, borderline brainless, SpiderEarth giving all the insides to this awesome keshi hobby.  Happy New Years, everyone!