February 28, 2015

S.U.C.K.L.E. Series 2 Production Update!

For those who followed and hopfully backed the uber-successful Kickstarter last December, the series two set called Revenge of SUCKLE has a lot of minifigures ahead of them to make.  It's quite the workload for sure, but we've been able to get a little glimpse into how it's going before it's Spring/Summer drop.

So far, these guys look just amazing, and I'm really glad to have gotten into the project when I did.

The green shown in the pictures here are a test shot color and plastic, likely leftovers on whatever production the factory was working on at the time.  It's not to say an army green colorway won't be making it to this line, but under a magnifying glass, you might see they might not be completely up to standard quite yet.  It's why they are only test shots.

Revenge of SUCKLE looks bigger and better than the first, and I can't wait to see some in some hot pink and glitter.  I'll certainly keep everyone posted with more news as it comes out.

February 26, 2015

It Came From a Vending Machine: Panda Erasers!

If you didn't already know, my hometown of Keshiville U.S.A is experiencing some scary and rather chilly winter weather.  What will even send a chill down your spine is what you can find in a vending machine for a couple coins!

Today, let's take a look, if we dare, at Panda Erasers!  They are 'cute and buildable', if that's even a word, or at least that's what the vending machine header advertises.  Heck, if nothing else, these endangered little guys are best in my backpack than still imprisoned in the machine.  And as much as I joke about awful vending machine toys, I always try to throw coins in them and suggest everyone else should too.

That was my intention, knowing very well these guys weren't keshi figures as we know keshi figures nowadays.  Eraser figures, I thought,... close enough!  But really, if you look back into the past of keshi minifigures, you'll eventually start finding erasers.  Now granted these guys aren't really aimed for the collectible market, with all that building you can do with them.  I'm guessing they are meant to be customized.

I'm sure there are a thousand words that would better explain it, because 'buildable' is probably the last thing these cute pandas are able to do.  What they do, actually, is come in three pieces, the front half, back half, and the black middle part that holds it all together, through willpower alone.  I certainly wouldn't slap your pandas out of your hands if you wanted the front half pink and the back half blue, but I might just stand up and shout at you for calling it buildable.

And that's it!  Analysis over!  With a complete set of three: blue, pink, and white, you would be hard pressed to figure out a way to want more.  Sure, I suppose you could get dozens, so you can have every color combination, but that's probably a little much.  But at the end of the day, it's a fun little figure thing for fifty cents.  A lucky draw and a dollar and a half will get you all three, and then you're ready to erase your worries away. 

February 24, 2015

Tenacious Toys Exclusive Despair Drop!

Everyone favorite microphone-wielding comedy demon is back again, and this time he is exclusive to the Tenacious Toys web store!

That's right.  Just announced on their Instagram, Adam Quesnell's keshi piece from The Disarticulators and October Toys called Despair is getting a new color variant!

Matching Tenacious Toys' love for their shade of navy blue, this guy is dropping Sunday, March 8th, only off the Tenacious Toys online store.

For those following the runs of this character or just like their keshi a little larger than normal, this is a brilliant guy to get into.  As an added bonus, I wouldn't be surprised a digital download of his comedy album was also included with this colorway, like others were.  If I recall correctly, he asks for something in the range of $20-$30, but where that includes a CD, that's really not a bad deal at all.

Be there at Tenacious Toys March 8th, because we know this sort of stuff flies off the shelves quickly!  Follow the link below to get a head start!

February 20, 2015

WWE Royal Rumble Mini Figure Set Preview!

The 2015 New York Toy Fair has even more news for those that enjoy minifigures and such!   Wicked Cool Toys, the makers of Crashlings, has been working with WWE with some of their oddball releases outside their action figure lines, and this one in particular seems to be a little more interesting than some others.

They are calling it the Royal Rumble Mini Figure Set, which from the picture here appears to be a container full of army men-esque wrestlers with a detachable wrestling ring lid.  The minifigures themselves look to be rather neat, maybe aside from those awful bases stuck to their feet, but for the price I'm not really going to hold them to it.

The price these guys are going to be releasing this figure set for is only ten dollars, which is quite the bargain, considering their might not be much to collect after the initial buy except for possible color variations.  Granted these guys are nothing world-shaking, and somewhat disappointing compared to Kinnikumnan figures, but for the price I think it's worth the support to nudge them further down the minifigures path.  Heck, one can only hope tossing ten bucks down on a silly figure set like this will ensure we will see something better in the future.

Now what the heck is up with all this optimism?

February 19, 2015

Grossed Out 6: The Day The Earth Stood Gross!

It seems like if it's not Wonderfest in Japan, or a marathon in California, it's certainly the Toy Fair in New York City.  I just can't catch a break with all the news, drops, and everything, but I'm not complaining.  It just means it's shaping up to be an awesome 2015 for minifigures.

These guys were announced just recently at the Toy Fair from the awesome guys at Moose Toys.  You know from my past posts, I enjoy Moose's stuff, well, mostly.  I keep them in my radar and always give them a shot.

This go around, they announced they are coming out with a blind bag series called Ugglys Pet Shop.  It's a minifigure version of the hand puppets they released under the same name, but this time seem to be following the Trash Pack model.

I'm a sucker for animals.  I love dogs, cats, birds, everything, so these guys are so ugly they are cute, but what about them as minifigures?  They appear a bit larger than Trash Pack, which isn't completely a deal-breaker, but they are completely covered in paint, which, on top of that, might just keep them on the store shelves for me.

The coolest thing, oddly enough, with these guys is that these minifigures come with little plastic models of poop, and even stranger, rare chase golden poop.  Exactly how rare these poop pieces will be, and if anyone will really be shredding boxes to get them is still up in the air, but it's certainly a cool added bonus in a set I would probably otherwise not get into.  

I'll be honest, there's a lot I like and don't like with these guys, so I imagine I'll grab the ones I like the most in auctions and be done with them, but I suppose we will have to see if that's what will truly happen.

February 16, 2015

Grossed Out 5: It Came From the Gross Dimension!

News of the minifigure variety came from the New York Toy Fair over the last weekend.  It appears after some time in the classics section of the movie store, Ghostbusters might be coming back.  Of course, I'm sure all of you have heard of the new movie in the works, but I was even pleasantly surprised to see a product like this lined up for release.

It's called Ghosts in Glowing Slime, and it appears to be something of a blind box with ooze and a mystery minifigure from the classic 80's movies.  Pictures available are scant at best, but these guys look pretty awesome.  You know me, I love my gross ooze and blind minifigures, and these guys look to be right in my wheel house.  I do have to say, the bases on some of these figures are pretty ugly looking and a bit too large for my liking, but some appear to have it's base blended in with the dripping goop body of the ghost, so I'm guessing it'll be a piece-by-piece sort of judgement.

Either way, I'm interested to see this happen and pick up a few.  Hopefully it takes off and gets more people interested in this sort of stuff!

February 14, 2015

New Mystical Warriors of the Ring Prototypes!

Mark looks to be hard at work, putting his next series of Mystical Warriors of the Ring that much closer to production and release.  But if you can't wait, you're in luck, it appears his online store has some resin prototypes you can get your hands on right now!

Three different guys are up:  Tembo Jiwe the elephant, Takeshi Sumo the hippopotamus, and Clubber the horse.

All of these guys look pretty sweet, but I have to say, I am really looking forward to Takeshi Sumo.  I've been getting into sumo fandom lately, and this character is just scratching that itch.  Plus, I love how thick and chunky this guy looks as well.  He's certainly something on my radar for later on this year.

 To grab these guys before they are sold out, go to the Mystical Warriors of the Ring website and online store!


February 13, 2015

Mega Toy Haul 02/13/15!

Hey guys!  As you may know, this last weekend was a crazy one for toy drops and happenings, and today I got a good chunk of the spoils from it's events.  The picture above is a shelf that homes a lot of the newer stuff, but still, some of the other small random things I picked up are crowded on other shelves and unfortunately are not pictured at this time.  Moving on, let's take a look at what I got in the mail today and share some views on them.

Starting off with the tiny stuff not pictured, I grabbed all the of OTMFG releases for this month that were on sale during their 24 Hour Toy Break marathon.  That included the dark blue Mini Gwin, the clear purple Zombie Pheyden, and the light blue Toy Break mascot.  All of these minifigures are variants of others I already own.  Picking these up just expanded my already complete set of them.  I like all of them, but some criticism could go towards the Toy Break mascot for being top heavy and the Mini Gwin for being rather small.  Other than that, these are cool additions to the set and I'll likely continue snagging up these cheap guys as they come along.

Now to the stuff in the picture.  Finally, after some deliberation, I have a quasar, clear pink, set of OMFG series one.  I have the clear red and the maroon variants already, but these guys are just stellar.  I love the color, just as I figured I would.  I'm such a sucker for hot colors and glitter, and these guys stand as some of my favorites right now.

In front of them in the picture, are my first couple sets into ToyFinity's Mordles minifigure line.  These guys are pretty neat, all sharing some sort of trait together, while having little differences, they certainly feel like a species of alien creatures.  I picked up both the unpainted flesh set and the black detailed set, and I like them both equally.  They are a little on the small side, but for only a dollar each, you really can't go too wrong.

Finally, but certainly not least, I have the second series of Kinnikuman x Georgia Coffee promotional keshi figures, straight out of land of the rising sun.  I love how wacky and juxtaposed these figures are to their natural buff and wrestling poses, but there is one big difference with this new set that I never considered, covering it the first time.  The keshi in this set is noticeably smaller than before.  And, really, of course it should be - the set is twice as big, doubling up on room on the coffee can.  I guess I never really thought of what it meant when I was going to get two figures instead of one each bubble, but it makes perfect sense now.  The figures aren't small enough to not fit in scale, but compared to the first set, they look rather tiny.  But what's odd, is that they are actually more to scale to classic Kinnikuman figures this set than before.  I wonder why I didn't notice the first set was so large...  Hmmmm...  But even still, some of the minifigures in this set are just perfect and I'll certainly be looking out for series three, if it's ever a thing.

Anyway, that's what I got in the mail!  All great stuff!  And I'm sure more is on the way, so I'll be back soon with them to share!  Thanks for stopping by!

February 11, 2015

Strange Monsters: Tug O' War Preview!

I've certainly been covering a lot of Japanese keshi lately, with Wonderfest and all, but that's by no means where the good stuff is.  Well, sure, maybe there is an argument for that.  You all know my absolute love for the new Kinnikuman promotional stuff, as well as the utter heartbreak on missing the Punk Drunkers x Onion Fights release, but still, there's a ton of great stuff being made by artist here at home.

Zectron, of the Disarticulators, has been working on something a little special that I think is worth your attention.  He, along with a few other independent artists, is doing something of a keshi all-stars series, centered around Japanese kaiju inspiration.

It's called Strange Monsters, which is awesome, because that might actually be the exact translation of what kaiju means.  That aside, Zectron has been working hard on his submission for Strange Monsters and I think it's quite the beast.

Take a look at Tug O' War!

Granted this is still a piece he's working on.  It's not the final product, but even with these early photos, the minifigure looks just outstanding.

You can look at the design of this character and see how it would lurk just under water level, waiting for a poor ship to pass him in the bay before leaping up and destroying everything in his path.  The pose is just electric and really gives you an idea of what this strange monster is all about.

Last year, when I was writing about the art in the simplicity of keshi, I had detailed why I enjoy the toy medium over others with less restrictions.  I felt making something great in keshi, even in the face of immense restrictions, showed expert-level design and talent, and I feel this piece is right there.  I can't wait to see this guy completed and hitting the market.

February 10, 2015

Keshi Weekend Recovery!

Boy, let me tell you, what a crazy week it was for toy collectors and me particularly.  Of course, across the Pacific, Japan was enjoying the first Wonderfest for 2015, and in the States, October Toys was doing their annual marathon, 24 Hour Toy Break.  Not to mention, plenty of keshi were being released all across the globe.

I did what I could, but I'll tell you, the marathon just drained me completely.  Even so, I completely forgot about that amazing Punk Drunkers x Onion Fights keshi that I wanted so much.  By the time I remembered the next day, it was long sold out.  My heart is broken, but now, I have a goal for this year.  I will find that keshi in my collection.

Besides that, however, everything else was really fun.  It felt, even super far away from Japan and even California, there was something of a keshi convention going on everywhere on the Internet.  Instagram was on fire with convention photos and the 24 Toy Break stream was fun to watch from start to finish.  I really tried to stay up for the entire time, but I failed a little here and there.  I even bought a four-pack of energy drinks, but a couple cans of that stuff in and I had a massive headache, so it was working against me.  Soon, I had my eyes closed and turned from the screen just so my head wasn't pounding, and then... I woke up a few hours later.

Even missing a couple hours, I think I scored a fine haul.  Every release October Toys had in limited quantities I was able to snag before they sold out.  I even angrily bought the quasar set I had my eye on, just for missing that Punk Drunker.  And as an even better ending to the weekend, I was able to purchase the new set of Kinnikuman X Georgia Coffee promotional keshi figures.

Overall, it was a great time.  It very much felt like a convention, which makes me want to travel to Designer Con this fall or all the way to WonderFest someday as well.  It was fun, but boy, have I been tired.  Completely wiped out.  Even fully rested, I was overwhelmed by the keshi/toy world, I just couldn't really think straight about adding anything to the website, but I'm certainly fine to go now and I can't wait to do it all over again.

February 5, 2015

24 Hour Toy Break Drops!

All this weekend, the team over at October Toys is doing a marathon event filled with news, reviews, auctions, and special guest visits.  It's starts this Friday at 5pm PST and will end 5pm PST the next day.

There hasn't been much talk to what will be happening through the marathon, but it's always been a fun time, and for the first time, it appears I'll be able to hang out through most, if not all, of the event.  So, come chat with me during the event - just don't outbid me on auctions!

Some things were announced however on the latest Toy Break.  This month's OTMFG releases will be on sale a little earlier than usual and will be hitting their online store during the marathon.

The releases this month are a clear purple Zombie Pheyden and a dark blue Mini Gwin.  Another cool announcement is the light blue Toy Break Mascot character being released during the marathon as well.  October Toys announced that his variant of this figure is quite limited and if a light-blue character like interests you, you better dive into the events quick.

Finally, a pack of 10 flesh tone Mordles, both bare flesh and flesh with black details, from the fine people at Toyfinity, exclusive to October Toys, will also be released upon their webstore.

Even if you're not into keshi, all kinds of designer vinyl and art will be there, as well as hot, hot, news from some of the most talented artists in America.  If nothing else, come by and chat will all us collectors.

For more news about 24 Hour Toy Break and all of the October Toys goodness and minifigures, check out the link below!


Onion Fights x Punk Drunkers Drop!

Collaborations in the toy community sometimes bring the coolest products forward.  There's something about the collision of two different artistic minds coming together that brings out the very best for us collectors and supporters, and really, I think this stranger-than-hell guy is a perfect example of just that.

Slated for a February 8th release, this mash-up between keshi studio Onion Fights and fashion designers Punk Drunkers is just perfect for a collector like me.  Let's be real for a second - this guy, and in particular his facial expression, is just bonkers, but I love that.  His body has that thick, chunky, Kinnikuman-esque form we've come to expect from Onion Fights, but wow, this guy is all about that freaky face that the artists involved executed flawlessly.

If you had a curious house guest looking over your keshi collection, I would have to imagine this minifigure alone would spark curiosity and conversation.  This guy, with that almost serial killer-like stare, is so captivating and enthralling, it's hard to not stare, even as odd as he looks.  If that was the intention, then I would consider it a home run.

If you can't see it in the fine print there, he'll be on sale for 1,800 yen (about $15) from the Punk Drunkers web-store.  Readers here may know how restricted my keshi budget is most times, and usually I would say something like this would be a bit too much, but I think this guy is quite the exception.  I'd hate to say it so early in the year, because it's only February, but I am in just in love this figure and I'm not sure if I can connect to another keshi as much as this freak this year.  I just have to own one.  I just hope they ship to the States.

And you can own one too!  Click the link below for info and more awesome things Punk Drunkers have up for sale!


February 4, 2015

Newtervision Black Karnov Wonderfest Drop!

Recently revealed on their Instagram feed, there is more keshi goodness on the horizon if you're in the Land of the Rising Sun this weekend.  February 8th is the winter-version of the Wonder Festival, and we've already seen all kinds of limited-edition offerings from various artists and studio.  Today, we can add one more to the bunch.

The talented Newtervision will be releasing a new black colorway of his licensed Karnov keshi.  Any retro gamer will recognize this Russian brute and his ladder.  If you haven't played it on the old Nintendo back in the 80's, check out some gamers on Youtube and Twitch that cover Karnov and all kinds of 8-bit awesomeness like him.  They'll catch you up to why Karnov is such an enjoyable character, despite being so obscure.

This won't be Newtervision's only offering at Wonder Fest.  The previously released variants in blue, green, and classic flesh, will also be there, just in case you've missed them last summer.

I honestly wish I can make it to Japan for an amazing keshi trip, but it's just not in the cards at this moment.  It's not all lost though, these great little dudes will be reaching the secondary market for sure.

Newtervision has a blog about his work and stuff going on.  Check it out sometime, and if you can show up and support him at Wonder Fest, I assure you, you won't regret it.


February 1, 2015

Q&A with Mark Vasquez, Mystical Warriors of The Ring!

Hey, it’s Mark Vasquez, everyone, creator of Mystical Warriors of the Ring! Thanks for dropping in and answering a few questions.  They are all super-serious, I swear, but first, congrats on Goliath, like, instantly selling out!  He’s a neat one, for sure!  I hope you see that sort of success with the rest of your releases this year and on.  So, Mark, are you ready for a few random, poorly worded, questions?  All right!  Let’s do this!

Q1 - Where did the idea for Mystical Warriors of the Ring come from?  Any inspiration from toys you grew up with as a kid?

It come out my love for all things wrestling, I grew up in the 80's when wrestling was over the top, with colorful characters and big long arching storylines. Over the past 30 years that has all changed and the format now is all about realism, breaking down the third wall, and being a heavy soap opera. I also grew up with Kinnikuman which as we know had their toyline adapted in the US as M.U.S.C.L.E. I have always collected minifigures of sorts (Army Ants, Micro Machines, etc) so when you combine the two you end up with the essence of MWOTR.

Q2 - I have to say, the quality of your minis are pretty amazing.  What would you say is the hardest part or stage in the process?

Thanks, we often keep trying to push the limits in terms of detailing. The hardest part I would say is designing the pose, especially with production overseas. I like my minifigures to be able to play with each other, whereas a lot of minifigures are just static poses not meant to really do anything but look great. My desire can be a pain in the butt sometimes.

What you can accomplish in Resin/Urethane/Rubber casting is a bit more lenient then what you can do with PVC. This is not to say you can't replicate this in PVC production, it is just the more parts and the more steel means more expenses. So what was maybe a 1 or 2 piece affordable mold in other material becomes a multi piece expensive piece of steel molding in PVC and makes some figures extremely costly to produce. Goliath was an example of this and why he was not included in Series 1.

But with that said I have an extremely hard working and insanely talented team surrounding me since 2012. Marty "THEGODBEAST" Hansen, Josh and Adam at TrueCast Studio (prototypers for NECA and Sideshow Collectibles), Lee Burbridge of BigManToys, my concept artist Jazyl Homavazir and of course the man who sculpts the minis in the amazing detail they are Simon Grell. Without them MWOTR would simply be a cool idea I have in my head and not what it has become today.
Q3 – I’m not sure if you’re a die-hard pro-wrestling fan, but this year’s Royal Rumble just happened.  Of course, as it’s creator, you get the final say in that universe, so who would have won this year’s Royal Rumble in MWOTR?

Die-Hard fan would probably not explain me enough, I own stock in WWE and subscribe to Japanese wrestling video services so probably obsessive wrestling fan would be better lol

I think if we were to have a rumble with the Top 30 MWOTR stars I would have to say the winner would most likely be Sheldon Sabre. To win a battle royale you would need more then just strength and smarts, you have to have experience and patience.
Q4 – I think one of the raddest things about MWOTR is the on-going story of its characters and championship.  Does Sheldon Sabre have his title again? And if not, why have you forsaken him?

Sheldon has an unfortunate obsession with being Champion. He is a two time AWF Heavyweight Champion, and lost the title to Widowmaker at the end of Issue III. To be fair he should not have won it back in Issue II but what can you do.

Sheldon is a character you really get to have fun with, an insane amount of in-ring skill and an over the top personality makes for entertainment. Sheldon deserves everything that he gets, good and bad. At the end of Issue IV he will be taking the AWF down a very dangerous path and he might not like what and who is coming.
Q5 – If MWOTR could have a wrestling feud with one other independent toy company whom would it be and why?

 That is a toughie, I would say if I had a choice I would want them to battle someone like Onion Fights in Japan (http://ameblo.jp/onion-fights) simply because they are the most like us which is cool and I think would make for a pretty entertaining "when worlds collide" event ala the old NWA/WCW vs New Japan events or the current CMLL vs New Japan events.

Q6 – What can fans of the minis expect to see from MWOTR this year?

They can expect Series 2 to finally be released in the late Spring, we are still working on some of the tiny details on the masters to get them to where I want them. If I had to guess maybe a C2E2 debut or shortly after! They can also expect to see some of the characters that may be released in Series 3. As fans know we tend to show off a variety of characters over the course of a year, some make it in the PVC line and others do not. Fans have seen 1/2 of the Fortune Seekers, will they see the other 1/2? Fans have seen Lapin Loco but not Winged Fury. So there are still plenty of surprises for minifigure fans, the biggest misconception that people seemed to have was that we somehow abandoned that format with Evolution Goliath.

We are constantly playing with new formats and trying to expand "the brand" to new audiences (you will see more neat things on that front in late 2015 and 2016), but none of that ever means we are leaving the 1.5-3" scale. It just means to survive and thrive we want to introduce the characters to multiple audiences. Kinnikuman does that in Japan and thrives more than 30 years after its debut because of it, WWE does the same. It is simply the "business" part of making toys :)

Q7 – Will you be attending any conventions this year?  Where can people meet you and see the championship belt?

Currently we are set to be at the following cons, more may be added:

Kansas City Planet Comicon 3/13-3/15 http://planetcomicon.com/
Chicago's C2E2 (At the Nerd City Booth) 4/24-4/26 http://www.c2e2.com/
Wizard World Des Moines 6/12-6/14 http://www.wizardwor...-desmoines.html
Des Moines I-Con (Dates TBD) http://www.iowacomicbookclub.com/i-con
D-Con in Pasadena 11/21-11/22 http://www.designercon.com/

Q8 – Okay, final question! Gamera or Godzilla?

Gamera is cool but I would have to say Godzilla, you can see some influence from Godzilla in Goliath and Godzilla is just so iconic.

Thanks for dropping by again, Mark!  I had fun!  Hopefully you did too! Let’s do this again sometime soon!  And of course, check out more of Mark's offerings at the Mystical Warriors of the Ring website and webstore!  Click 'em and check them out!