8th elephant's blog

2:28 AM on 02.17.2013

iam8bit: Plush

It's all you're fault Tomopop! I couldn't resist checking out the Plush exhibit at the iam8bit gallery and just couldn't leave behind this awesome mammoth which is part of the Flat Bonnie collection.
This is going to make a great gift form my sis :-D   read

1:07 AM on 01.08.2013

It's here!

Just a little teaser as my 1st prototype has just arrived :D   read

12:50 PM on 12.15.2010

Nathan Ota's Midnight Crooner: A Little Illuminated Review...

Xmas came early this year as a little green creature (+2 birds) crept into the studio early this morning; complete with lemon-yellow packaging :D For those of you who aren't familiar with the Midnight Crooner; It's a limited edition hybrid-vinyl figure based on Nathan Ota's original painting from 2008, is produced by Double Super+Three Zero, and is distributed by STRANGEco. And darn this site for alerting me of it's existence in early September this year; as I could not resist! You can see the announcement here: Nathan Ota's Midnight Crooner open for pre-order As you can see, the painting is reproduced in it's full green-glory on the face of the box, the rear has a brief description of Nathan Ota, and sketches adorn the sides. Ok, so let's get to the unboxing.... The Crooner, Bird+Light+Cloud Base & Cigarette are securely encapsulated in two vacuum formed plastic shell halves. But wait, don't pull those apart yet!!! There's a twist-tie going through both halves to secure the Cig from floating around; which needs to be removed 1st or you'll tear the plastic shells. See the two holes above & below the Cigarette? That's where the twist-tie was. Notice that the Bird+Light are attached to the base via wire. The underside of the base reveals the on/off switch for the LED Lamp along with the battery cover and Nathan Ota's signature + Three Zero's logo. Midnight Crooner assembled (LED Off) I was pleasantly surprised to find that the head and arms do swivel while the waist is only limited by it's elliptical form. One strange thing about this character, is that the eyes aren't painted. Maybe it's just my unit, but I do remember them being white in the preview photos. Some metallic fleck might be a cool alternative too. It's not clear weather the conical forms are traffic cones, dunce hats, or unicorn horns; but all's good as long as they don't impale me someday ;) The top view show's just how awesomely 3-Dimensional this figure is. With small pointy parts protruding out everywhere; it's definately a toy for us bigger kids only. As the box states "NOT A TOY. NOT A CHILDREN'S PRODUCT" On to the Details: The larger of the two birds is nicely detailed with a very content expression. However, bird & light housing are molded as one piece; forcing beak & eyes to always be starring right into the lamp. Crooner's hand also has a loose grip on the lamp, causing it to fall if the arm is rotated too low. The Cigarette has detailed red embers and is very snuggly placed between the fingers. The smaller bird appears to be bowing down peacefully and is permanently perched/glued on Crooner's tail which does not swivel either. Let there be darkness....well just a little. In daylight, the amber LED isn't quite powerful enough to do much more than cast a little glare, but at night with some ambient light, a soft glow subtly replicates the original painting and the metallic paisley print on the jacket gives off a nice reflection too. Guess I could've put the box illustration behind to try and get the full effect... I know it's asking a lot, but I would have preferred the ruffles be hand stitched or made out of a textile which more closely represents Nathan's original illustration rather than using lace trim. Conclusion: $124.99 price tag and a few minor flaws aside, this combination of packaging, vinyl, paint, textiles and illumination makes for the kind of killer figurine all of us should aspire to collect/make. I've been so busy saving up to for the release of my own line of toys, that I usually wouldn't spend this much on a single figure. No regrets here though as it's the perfect addition to the collection :)   read

9:07 AM on 12.15.2010

Sanyo Eneloop: "eneloopy" Canine Battery Checker

Went to the hardware store and guess what i found? A Dog with a light-up nose!
This is Sanyo's kawaii attempt at an AA & AAA battery checker.

Once again, i'm suckered by the all-white & transparent blue packaging and the fact that
this figure is actually useful.

Inside is a pseudo dachshund-beagle (with ribbon of course), 2 charged AA NiMH batteries,
2 adapters and 2 bones. Bones?...What are they for? read on.....

Here's the spread. At about $18, it's not too pricey considering you get the batteries too.

The 1st Column: AA Battery and then AAA (energizer) being loaded into the pup.
The telescoping body closes merely to keep the battery from falling out.
The Adapters are for AAA batteries only. You get two of these incase you loose one as
with the bones.

*note: Larger C & D Cell eneloop batteries are actually AA's inside larger adapters,
so this ckecker should work for them too.

The 2nd Column: The Bones are actually used to "pop out" the batteries from the housing.
Yes, you will need the bones unless you've got small fingers.

And now.....Lights!
Red = Low or no charge, Yellow-Orange = Less than full but usable, Green = Full Charge.
The actual voltage checking as it where, is tuned to the eneloop batteries so a full charge is 1.2 Volts vs the usual 1.5 V but this is still OK for standard batteries.

Well, I'm quite happy with this "loopey-dog" and my only complaint would be that there's no
built-in storage for the adapters and bones. :)

A Little update:
Recently, i had to check a whole stack of 25+ AA batteries (NiMH & Standard) and this little tool proved to be the fastest for the job compared to my other ones. The trick is to just flip the doggy upside-down and load the batts like shotgun shells without closing it. Load, Press Button, Push Out w/ Bone or eraser tip, Repeat.   read

6:04 AM on 03.25.2010

MYBU: Trendy BU & Baby BU...

Here's an interesting concept from BUBU Company;
"Finding your other half" and apparently undressing them too :D

Here they are with the male figure disrobed. (No, the dog isn't peeing on his clothes!)
Not much to see here really, but using the little slip-on cups to remove the sleeves is clever.

And of course there's baby versions too.
Funny thing is; they're supposed to bought in sets but are sold individually.
Although it's fair to say you could have girl-girl and guy-guy couples; then there should be different versions of guys and girls in each series....Unless of course you want someone exactly like you?   read

4:07 PM on 03.20.2010

Trexi-Coke & Cinnamoroll

OK, i'll admit this is an odd pairing....but the Mini-shelf is getting full and Cinnnamoroll needs protection right?

Trexi: This is from a promotion a while ago. If i recall correctly, you buy a T-Shirt with Trexi on it and then get a discount on a few blind-box figures. PlayImaginative's printing is pretty crisp on this one and i like the fact that the hands can hold the Coke bottle. I hardly see this done, but some of the Trexi heads are interchangeable...

Cinnamoroll: I wasn't familiar with this Sanrio character till this appeared at McDonald's.
Yeah, it's a Happy Meal toy, yes it does light up with an LED, and yes the head is articulated.
However, it locks left right and center since it's actually a toggle switch for the light.
Funny enough, it also has a main on/off switch at the rear too which is really redundant.

I'm not sure if the light is a drink or a jar, or why Cinnamorol is clutching it, but its an ok nightlight if you're feeling too stingy to turn on the real ones when going for that midnight (or later) snack.
All in all, pretty cute and nice injection-molded cast lines.   read

3:33 PM on 03.19.2010

Snoopy, Woodstock x3 & a Biplane too...

Out of the many Peanuts collectibles out there, this one's pretty cool.
It actually comes in 3 pieces: Snoopy+house, Smoke, and Clouds+Biplane; which all locks together nicely to keep it's shape. Loads of detail here :)

The sculpting and paint job are a little reminiscent of porcelain, but I can't help but wonder...are those knots or bullet holes in Snoop's ride?   read

8:40 AM on 03.17.2010

A few in my collection......

The Mini-Shelf
Here's where selected 6" or less figures are on display.

A Student Monk stands proudly to greet everyone.

An overview of the line-up. As you can see, all kinds of toys are welcome.
Even if they happen to be modernist furniture....   read

8:39 AM on 03.17.2010

Student Monk by House of Liu/Crazy Label

This is character is a really good concept.
One thing that irritates me about many vinyl figures though; is when the paint or material isn't as opaque as their original illustrations. This could be due to overspray, thin material walls, or thin paint. Maybe i'm a little picky?
Such is the case here, where the monk's orange garb just isn't as solid as it should be....

Aside from that; the necklace and articulated hands+head are a nice touch.   read

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