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DesignerCon 2014: TOUMA

Nov 10 // Rio McCarthy
TOUMA photo
Knuckle Bear Cosmic makes his debut
TOUMA hit DesignerCon with a vengeance. His DCon exclusive Knuckle Bear Cosmic (US$55) looks crisp as usual, and I always love his designs. He also had little soft vinyl toys of Pico Mao Cat, Pico Hitch Bear and more, also sh...

TOUMA Ifrits photo
TOUMA Ifrits

[UPDATE] Mighty Jaxx's next piece is TOUMA's Ifrits

Debuting in July at Taipei Toy Festival
Jun 05
// Brian Szabelski
TOUMA seems like a real busy fellow these days. Not only were some new collabs announced at Design Festa 37, plus the work he's done with Bandai and Max Toy Co., but you can add Mighty Jaxx to the list of collaborators. A cou...

Under the Radar: Max Toy Co.'s new Monster Boogie Micros

A pocket-sized way to show your love for monsters and mecha
Mar 15
// Brian Szabelski
Max Toy Co. has a new series of mini kaiju figures that for some reason, I hadn't noticed until this week. They're called the Monster Boogie Micros, and they're a different way to enjoy some giant monsters. The recent release...

DesignerCon 2012: TOUMA

Nov 04 // Brian Szabelski
Yes, that is a Power Rangers figure you see
Coming all the way from Japan was TOUMA, who landed at DesignerCon with Mao Cats and Hitch Bears a plenty. But it wasn't just the past on display: there were some new projects on display, too, starting with the TOUMA x D...

Tomopop's Big Bad DesignerCon 2012 Roundup (Part 3)

Nov 01 // Brian Szabelski
DKE Toys DKE Toys once again have one of the biggest (if not biggest) booths at DesignerCon down in #124, and this year, they've gone full Suck. That's caplitalized because this year is a very Sucklord-themed booth, though there are a few other hidden surprises: The official exclusive listed for DKE Toys is a Dark Emerald colorway of Mighty Jaxx's Hell Lotus (US$135, 25 pieces), but it's not the only thing on display by far; The big thing, of course, is the Suckathon. Not only are there going to be custom Sucklord figures and the retrospective there, but there will be a livestream of Sucklord's appearance on the Toy Break website from noon to 5 p.m. Pacific (3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern; 7 p.m. to midnight GMT). Attendees will also be able to pickup a 2-disc DVD set of last year's 5-hour-long Suckathon from the DKE booth for US$15. In addition to the livestream, episodes 1-3 of Sucklord's web series "Toy Lords of Chinatown" will be playing at the booth all day, and I've seen tweets indicating that episode 4 was being filmed in and around New York Comic Con. Bill McMullen (a.k.a. Billions McMillions) will have a special color-it-yourself poster at the show featuring Sucklord (US$25, 50 posters) that comes with 4 markers. Makes me feel a bit like I'm 6 again instead of 26. As usual, DKE will have the annual Graveyard and Garage Sale at DCon, featuring all the odds and ends and extra toys you can possibly stand. DKE's booth is also home to Scott Wilkowski's exclusives for the event, Mousemask Murphy (US$250, 50 pieces divided into two colorways) and the Labbit Skeleton (US$50, 50 pieces) that's based off the sculpt Scott uses for his see-through customs. Circus Posterus The Circus Posterus family will be at DesignerCon, and coming with them to booth #500 is quite an armada of collectibles:   For Brandt Peters fans, we have the second colorway of the Stingy Jack sofubi figure (US$95; 60 pieces at the show, 120 in total) that was produced in collaboration with Tomenosuke. Based on Brandt's Toxic Marshmallow custom, this variant is black and burnt orange with a touch of blue to it.  Speaking of sofubi, Kathie Olivas' Calliope Jackalope #1 (US$95, 120 pieces in total) is here! Painted with a seafoam greenish-blue color, along with shades of silver and white, it's another Circus Posterus x Tomenosuke collaboration and looking really nice.   Chris Ryniak's Stinky Ginger in an "raw" unpainted green colorway will be at the booth, too (US$65, 65 pieces)  Beyond that, there will be new editions of past figures, like Midnight 4-Legged and Mini Masao Skelves, Sour Peach Zombambies, Mini Zombieguts and a new critter from Amanda Spayd, Thimbleberry; and customs from DrilOne and Leecifer, among others. [Additional images via the very useful Circus Posterus Blog] Urban Vinyl Daily Urban Vinyl Daily will be attending DesignerCon for the first time, and at booth #730, they'll be releasing UVD Custom Series 1, a custom 3-inch Dunny series (US$75 each) featuring pieces from: Jon-Paul Kaiser, Carson Catlin, RSIN, Fuller, OsirisOrion, Task One, Motorbot, Matt A, Frnak Mysterio, JFury, Cucaracha Borracha, Avatar666, Jeff Beck, Ian Ziobrowski, valleydweller, Cody Phillips, Scott Kinnebrew, NERVISWR3K and JC Rivera. There's also three special ticket prizes hidden inside the blind boxes: a Gold Ticket 8-inch Dunny by Task One; a Silver Ticket 3-inch Dunny by J*RYU; and a Bronze Ticket 3-inch Dunny by Davidkraig. In addition to the Dunnys, we'll be getting Pepe Hiller's Woodkings (US$50; six available at the show, four available in Pepe's shop), who as you might imagine, rule over the world hidden in the trees. I imagine I'll want one. You'll also find Josh Mayhem's Gold Gunny customs (US$100, 3 pieces) Don P's custom Bot series, the Hell Slayers (US$75, five pieces) at the booth. Gary Ham Coming to us from booth #225 are the works of one Mr. Gary Ham. You've already seen one in the Sucklord talking plush, but there's more! The sofubi Wooper Looper he did in collaboration with Chauskoskis will be at the booth in a translucent purple colorway (US$65, 8 pieces), with 3 different detail variants: silver with black sprays, metallic purple sprays, and a matte deep violet color spray. He'll also be doing some custom Monster Toytem pieces, like the Invisible Man (price will vary; Gary says the hats for the top of the Toytem will be about US$5-10, while the monsters themselves will be US$50-60), and have the regular (US$75) and Kidrobot exclusive (US$85) versions of the Toytem available. Uh-Oh Toys In booth #111, Uh-Oh Toys appears to have a few unique pieces, including this drippy 7-inch Munny called The Blotter from Josh Mayhem (US$250). Bad Juju At booth #829 is Bad Juju, who are bringing along Dripple in two versions. First is the "Kickstarter" blue resin variant, available in a run of 100 pieces at US$95 for the show (and US$135 after). The design cues of one Sket One are all over this, as it should be; he's a co-founder. Also at the booth will be a one-off purple production prototype Dripple signed by Sket that will be raffled off.  Boombotix Boombotix is a company we haven't heard a whole lot from in a bit, but they're choosing DesignerCon booth #205 as the launching point for their upcoming Boombotix Artist Series, with Sket One (who is part of the series along with DGPH and Uberpup) doing a signing at the booth. These are up for pre-order at Boombotix in wired (US$55) and Bluetooth (US$80) versions. SpankyStokes SpankyStokes is setting up shop this year in booth #301, and First, there's J*RYU's Vita Nova Dunnys (US$120, 40 pieces), which look a bit similar in style to his Sanctum Dunnys and, if I would guess, feature the same magnetic-clasped opening face. Just a hunch. Also at Spanky's booth will be some new customs of assorted platforms and colros from Eckotyper and Nebulon5, plus the previously mentioned Frombie x ESC Lurker. TOUMA Like the Refreshment crew, TOUMA is coming all the way from Japan for DesignerCon, and in booth #603, hr'll have some brand new stuff for sale. As reported by Vinyl Pulse, TOUMA will be previewing his upcoming Power Rangers Super Samurai vinyl figure, a batch of new exclusives and original art, custom figures, and the new TOUMA x Dokutoku460 kaiju figure (US$50, 50 pieces), which share a body but have artist-specific heads. Interesting concept! Also at the booth will be Red Pico Mao Cat keychains (US$19, 20 pieces); TOUMA x Nathan Hamill buttons; TOUMA x Thomas Han mini prints; and 10th anniversary posters. There will also be signigns with TOUMA and Thomas Han (12:30-1:30 p.m.) and TOUMA and Nathan Hamill (2:30-3:30 p.m.). Lulubell Toys Lulubell will be holding down the fort in booth #317, and they won't be alone: artists Kill!, Blurble, Rusted Halo and Dski-One will all be there, and they'll be bringing a wide assortment of kaiju and sofubi with them. Also of note is the Real x Head trunk sale, starting at noon Pacific, that will have some rare pieces in there ... along with some super rare ones! Everything's a one-off at standard pricing, but it's a chance for Real x Head collectors to snag that piece they're missing out on.
Featuring Circus Posterus, DKE Toys, Gary Ham and Urban Vinyl Daily
With two parts of our roundup already posted, you might think that we're done. That's not the case, actually; there's one more part to touch on, and here lie some of the booths with the most to talk about. That's especially t...


TOUMA & Friends opens tonight at Munky King

Jul 21
// Brian Szabelski
At 7 p.m. Pacific tonight, TOUMA's first U.S. exhibition in a while opens at Munky King (7308 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles), called TOUMA & Friends! Running through Aug. 12, TOUMA & Friends features new works from TOUMA,...

Tomopop About Town: My Little Pony Project 2012

May 07 // Natalie Kipper
Attending the My Little Pony Project really made me realize how lucky I am to be a member of the press. If you were an average fan, this is were you were headed if you wanted to get into Toy Art Gallery. Press, VIPs, and artists were able to get in early to mingle, take pictures and, you know, not wait in a long line on Melrose. This photo was taken just as the event was getting started and the line only got longer as the night progressed.  Once you did make it inside, it was all ponies, all the time. Well, that and a bar in the rear of the gallery. Other gallery-goer goodies included free mini cakes with the Mane Six's cutie marks on top and a photo booth, where fans could hold up a giant cardboard frame that read "Greetings from Equestria." Oh, and the merchandise! So much amazing stuff from the Mighty Fine team was available for purchase over at Toy Art Gallery. The walls and islands were packed with all sorts of shirts, hoodies, bags, and iPhone cases. The official event tee was a big hit. The front side had the My Little Pony Project Logo while the back resembled a band tour shirt, with all of the participating stores' and sponsors' logos lined up along with the dates and location of the exhibit. I had to take a picture of the Sailor Pinkie Moon shirt because Sailor Moon references are always awesome. On two walls of the gallery were glass cases full of vintage, first generation My Little Pony toys. I thought they were a pretty neat addition to the exhibit. I found it curious that part of the press release had mentioned something along the lines of "25 ponies for 25 years," yet the placard in the vintage toy case said they had been around for nearly thirty. Were they just rounding up?  Now, without further ado, onto the main event: the custom My Little Pony figures! This pony, named "Lucky," is by 64Colors. It indeed had a mystical, almost voodoo, feel to it. I loved the expressions on all the little spirit-looking fellows painted on the pony's body, especially the one on its face. Notice: even the back hooves have characters painted on them. Ana Bagayan's "My Little Pony Baby Pony" had some of the cutest details, in my opinion. Her face has tiny freckles, adding to her youthful appearance. The skillful application of lace, pom-pons, and buttons give this toy the appearance that she is wearing clothes, rather than something painted on.  We had previewed J*RYU's "Goodnight, Sweet Dreams ... XO" before the opening of the show and I was anxious to see the ethereal beauty in person. I have to tell you, you have to see it it in person to fully appreciate this custom. The pony's body has a sort of glisten to it. The ghostly little girl appeared to be slightly translucent under the gallery lights. I may never look at carousels the same way ever again. Winning my vote for "Best Use of Accessories" is Junie Moon's regal custom, "Pony Couture." Lace, pearls, and velvet decorated this pony's bow (topped with a crown!), faux fur capelet, and waistcoat. She looked so refined and elegant!  TOUMA's "Chaos Pony" was dark, moody and full of twisty, spirally things. You can't really tell from the photos, but the dark purple spirals had a metallic sheen to them which contrasted nicely with the smooth black of the pony's body. I also like how you can see some of the rough carved edges of the spirals, giving it a more pronounced and, dare I say, chaotic, look. Perez Hilton may not be a famous artist but he is apparently famous enough to have garnered a spot (and a pony) at the My Little Pony Project. I don't really have much to say about this one. This is but a taste of the awesomely artistic ponies at the event. What? You want more? Good! A second part of this feature will be coming up shortly with more ponies than you can shake a hoof at (I had to add a pony pun in here somewhere). 

This last Saturday marked the opening of the My Little Pony Project 2012, an art exhibit of custom My Little Pony figures that took up four stores on Los Angeles's Melrose Avenue. Twenty-five big name artists made one-of-a-ki...


Rotobox's new Suparobos built from Touma technology

Jan 19
// Brian Szabelski
Rotobox's next custom creations are a two-piece set using a platform I haven't seen many other people use yet. For the Mazingoon Z vs. Getter Fang set, they've taken Touma's Goon and Fangwolves figures and completely tra...

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