Michelle, Marcus and I have been watching Kickstarter for some time now, observing the way it has changed the paradigm of how independent projects get funded. Our own operating systems are designed to allow for only a certain amount of tooling dollars per year, with no real wiggle room. There are negatives and positives to this approach, but it has proven pretty reliable for nearly 7 years, albeit sometimes frustrating. That being said, with the rising costs of manufacturing, I believe that using Kickstarter type funding programs will eventually (if not now) become the only way for a small business to make any significant progress in regards to new products actually seeing the light of day. This in conjunction with clubs, subscriptions and straight pre-orders will most likely be how the majority of direct to consumer collector based toy companies operate in the very near future, with very few exceptions.
The risk of rolling the dice on full runs without any kind of guaranteed commitment is becoming extremely risky, again due to the intense price increases overseas. My personal goal is to keep things open as far as Onell Design goes, following the path that we have been traveling since we started, with specific release nights, unannounced projects, surprise products and the like. However, the choices of how we run things here cannot be expected to work for our sister companies. You will be seeing more Glyos based Kickstarters this year, ranging from smaller projects to fairly large ones.
I personally hope you guys enjoy the expanding Glyos compatible universe, and continue to foster your own creativity and imagination as you travel through it!
Thank you to George and Ayleen for being truly open and honest with all the aspects of this project. We spent a lot of time working on the details together and it was always done with clear communication and a positive attitude.
We're also super excited to see another Traveler come to life, in the form of Skeleden. George and I each sculpted parts for this strange twist on the Traveler design, with George making all the best looking parts! He truly is a damn talented artist and was a blast to work with.
Marcus and I have some neat crossover posts coming this week, expanding a bit on who Skeleden is and his connections to the Skeleton Warriors universe. Skeleden represents a number of homages for me personally, and we'll explore some of them in the coming days.
Sega's classic video game Golden Axe is a major one of them.
Here's the full scoop on the project specifics from October Toys:
We are super excited to announce the launch of our latest project – Skeleton Warriors! We are redesigning and updating one of our favorite brands starting with the bad to the bone Baron Dark on Kickstarter now!
These new, Glyos compatible action figures were designed with collectors in mind while drawing inspiration from both the 90′s Skeleton Warriors cartoon characters as well as original concept art provided by the awesome team at Goddard Film Group, LLC.
There are three main figures you can pledge for on Kickstarter now including:
• 5″ fully painted PVC action figure
• 17 modular official Glyos compatible pieces
• 26 points of articulation
• Comes with removable sword, cape, loin cloth, and arm guards (for a total of 21 pieces)
• Packaged in full color collectors window box
• 5″ fully articulated unpainted PVC action figure
• 17 modular official Glyos compatible pieces
• 26 points of articulation
• Available in bone and glow-in-the-dark
• 2.75″ PVC official Glyos action figure
• 13 interchangeable parts
• 12 points of articulation
• New axe accessory (first melee weapon for Pheyden)
• Exclusive version available exclusively through this Kickstarter!
For more details, incentives, and stretch goals, please check out the project on Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/georgegaspar/skeleton-warriors-glyos-compatible-action-figures
Korean rock group FTISLAND have continued to do very, very well for themselves in Japan, so it should come as no surprise that they've just released a new Japanese single, which actually happens to be their 13th Japanese single already. (Where does the time go?) As you can see above, it's entitled 未体験FUTURE. Phonetically, that's Mitaiken Future. Google translates that as "Non-Experience Future." That might sound kind of dismal, but the song's music is entirely upbeat with some of Choi Jong-hoon and Song Seung-hyun's best fretwork to date, the guitars downright scorching.
Once again Marty's eye for color has resulted in a some great color combinations, focusing on the first tinted translucent editions of Kabuto Mushi. Familiar hues such as Infection Clear Red, Neo Phase Clear Green, Mordireus Clear Pink and good old Smoke Clear Gray will all be available for the first time on the fan favorite Mushi. To spice things up, Marty is offering some PVC color swaps in the mix, with the "Watermelon Twins" taking center stage in their robust pink and green final forms.
The Glyaxia colors also return for a fresh run across another of the extended Glyos family molds! It's been a lot of fun playing with the two figures shown above (and in recent posts). The samples luckily arrived right before I had to break down Block Base, so the twin Kabuto Clones managed to just sneak into the mix.
As we were planning these latest assortments together, Marty and I discussed a story arc that involved Glyaxia Command snatching some Kabuto Mushi specimens, with the intention of cloning them aboard Block Base. I actually play out all these stories like some overgrown goof, and having the base still intact to greet the latest KM assortment was really fun!
The crew over here wishes you luck tonight Marty, congratulations on another wave of Kabuto action!
Europe’s premiere collector toy event, ToyCon UK has come and gone, but a few Super7 x The Hang Gang exclusive releases are available online! Check out the ToyCon Leroy C. and Pocket Rose Vampire!
Designed by Invisible Creatures, this version of the might Leroy C. is cast in black and metallic silver swirl vinyl and is the first Super7 figure to ever feature a metallic swirl. He has Yellow and metallic silver sprays and stands 4″ tall. Available here!
This adorable little critter was designed by Josh Herbolsheimer and is cast in yellow and brown vinyl, with gold, brown and red sprays. Available here!
The Star Wars Printed Saga continues with the Tauntaun Cuts Limited Edition Print!
Perfect for a galactic butcher shop far, far away, the Tauntaun Cuts print highlights the choicest cuts of meat inside the furry snow-romping creature which, though they smell bad on the outside, are delicious on the inside. The Tauntaun Cuts print is silkscreened on 16″ x 20″ heavy archival stock with white, black and grey with metallic silver flake inks, in a hand numbered edition of 200.
Available Thursday June 5th, 12noon PST exclusively at super7store.com. $50 ea.
Super7 is celebrating our Lucky 13th Anniversary with some KILLER Lucky Bags!
The 13th Anniversary Lucky Bags are available in two sizes, featuring a variety of limited edition vinyl figures. Each bag contains a mix of large, small, and medium figures, unseen and unknown samples and tests, one-of-a-kind hand-painted custom pieces and other random rarities! No two bags are alike!
Large Lucky Bags containing six figures will be available for $250 and Small Bags of three figures for $125.
Available Friday the 13th in the month of June, 12noon PST online, and at our retail store for our 13th Anniversary Party!
The 13th Anniversay Celebration begins Friday, June 13th, 7pm PST at the Super7 Store:
1427 Haight St
The Japanese government commissioned a report on the history of Japanese robot animation. Yes, the government. My government's robot studies are undoubtedly focused on stuff like killer Predator and Reaper drones. Japan's? Astro Boy, Tranzor Z, and Voltron. More power to 'em, I say. (Pun intended.) "Japan" and "robots" go together like chocolate and peanut butter. It's fair to say that no other country has become so intimately associated with robots both real and fictional.
But until now, precious few have explored the history of the robot shows that are a virtual synonym for Cool Japan. Ryusuke Hikawa wrote the majority of the report. He's been on the front lines of otaku culture since day one, chairing the fan club that played a big role in getting the Space Cruiser Yamato movies made back in 1977. Today he's one of Japan's top anime critics and I can't think of anyone better suited to have authored the report along with Sunrise's Koichi Inoue and writer Daisuke Sawaki.
AltJapan was hired via the Mori Corporation to translate the 90-page beast into English. And now it's available for free download on the Agency for Cultural Affair's Media Arts Content site. (Scroll down for the English link.)
The English-language ebook editions of Fujiko F. Fujio's classic manga "Doraemon" have started coming out. AltJapan translated it for Voyager Japan in association with Fujiko Productions - some 12,000-plus pages over the course of last year, easily the biggest manga localization with which we have ever been involved. It's finally being released in 3-episode chunks: volumes one through ten have come out via the Kindle Store as of this posting. (Apologies if you can't see them - they're only available for download in North America at present.)
This release is a really big deal. Doraemon is Japan's single most popular character, yet the comic has never been officially released in English. There have been a handful of bilingual editions created for students of English, but never a truly localized edition intended purely for enterainment's sake.
If you've never read Doraemon, you can't truly call yourself a connosieur of manga. I challenge anyone to find a middle-aged or younger Japanese person, otaku or not, who hasn't read at least a few pages (and probably a lot more than that.) It is the first sci-fi most Japanese read. It's part of the fabric of Japanese life in the same way that classic Disney films or Peanuts are in the West. The cast of characters are archetypes: Nobita the nerd, Sneech the rich kid, Big G the bully, Shizuka the neighborhood idol. They are given homage in countless other works, parodied in nationwide advertising campaigns for car companies. People casually drop references to them in daily conversations in the same way an American might refer to Homer Simpson's love of donuts or Lucy yanking the football away from Charlie Brown.
So why hasn't it ever come out in English before? It's hard to say. Perhaps because manga and anime are often associated with dark, edgy imagery in America, and that's the last word anyone would ever apply to Doraemon. It is kids' entertainment par excellence, but quintessentially Japanese kids' entertainment, meaning it's filled to the brim with subtle cultural references, occasional nudity, and inevitable toilet humor of the sort that sends certain types of parents into a tizzy. And simply due to the age of the series - it debuted in 1969 - modern-day analogues of many of Doraemon's "22nd century" gadgets are available to anyone with a credit card. The Asahi Shimbun quotes a "former industry ministry official" theorizing that Americans can't sympathize with a passive loser like Nobita, but that can't be right - Charlie Brown is an even gloomier protagonist, minus any hope of salvation from a pal like Doraemon.
Whatever prevented Doraemon from getting an English release didn't stop it from being translated into many European and Asian languages, where it retains a huge following (particularly in SE Asia.) The English-speaking world is simply behind the curve on this one, and it's been our loss - until now. Doraemon is a cornerstone of Japanese pop culture, and it has been an honor to be part of the team that is bringing it out in English for the very first time.