f(x)'s last album -- Pink Tape -- was one of my favorite albums of 2013. I hadn't heard them prior to that release, but I loved it from the very first time I listened to it and I knew I was always going to be a fan from that point on, just as other groups like 2NE1 and Girls' Generation previously made me a fan from the first time I heard them. Suffice to say that I was excited when I learned they were releasing a new album for summer 2014.
Dubbed the Lava Strike Force, these fresh additions to the Weaponeers Universe are a true sight to behold in hand. I recently took a few of them up to Gloucester and snapped the pics above as the sun was nearing the horizon, resulting in some pretty wild lighting effects. The combination of clear neon orange parts, black PVC and painted accents really delivers a unique and visually arresting assortment. Brilliant work!
Be sure to head over to the Weaponeers of Monkaa story page to discover the secrets of the Lava Strike Force for yourself, accompanied by the extraordinary imagery of the one and only Nate Baertsch!
Fantastic round, Jeremy and Brian! Good luck today!
In San Diego no one can hear you scream! It is nearly time for the most epic convention to end all conventions of the greatest things comic, sci-fi, fantasy, toy, game, and more! As always, your friendly neighborhood Super7 will be there.
Be sure to come check us out at our NEW LOCATION – Booth #4945, to check out our SDCC Exclusive ReAction Figures, Soft-Vinyl Toys, T-Shirts, Prints, and more:
ReAction Figures Alien Egg Chamber Playset
Look kids! Now you can relive the excitement of the Nostromo Crew’s journey into the Derelict Alien Spaceship! Venture with Kane deep into the mysterious Egg Chamber ReAction Playset and pose your sturdy ReAction Figures on the detailed, egg-covered base. Inspired by the playsets of the 1970’s and packaged in an era appropriate photo box, the playset provides the perfect backdrop for all of your ReAction Adventures. The playset comes complete with classically styled action base made from durable hand-cast resin and corrugated cardboard, full-color Alien Egg Silo backdrop that slides into the base for display. ReAction Figures sold separately. $100 each.
ReAction Figures Alien Deep Space Mystery
From Deep Space comes a mysterious Alien Egg containing an unknown life form! Only by looking inside the hideously detailed egg can you find out what ReAction Figure lurks inside. Doubling as a blind box, each Alien egg contains an extremely limited, secret ReAction Figure. Hidden in these eggs are new sculpts and colors never before seen in the Alien universe. Once opened, the egg doubles as an action figure stand featuring a foot-peg to pose your ReAction Figure standing in the terrifying open mouth of the Alien Deep Space Egg! In space no one can hear you scream… $25 each.
ReAction Figures Gimp in a Box
It’s time to Bring out the Gimp! One of the strangest characters seen in the cult movie phenomenon Pulp Fiction is being released from his basement dungeon as a poseable ReAction Figure! Now you can hide the Gimp away in your own authentically detailed wooden crate and bring him out to play when you need that special kind of release only he can provide. The 3.75” tall ReAction Figure features an ornately detailed outfit and comes packaged inside a wooden storage box.
Super7 Soft-Vinyl Toys
In addition to the all-new ReAction Figures, Super7 still has you covered with gorgeously hand-crafted soft vinyl toys featuring characters both creepy and cute:
Bug Splattered Crystal Mecha – Crystal Mecha has been cruising through space at ludicrous speeds, colliding with all kinds of interstellar insects flying in his path! Cast in grey, blue, black, and glow-in-the-dark drip vinyl with paint splattered details – $95 ea.
Radioactive Puke Fossila – Cast in vomit-inducing yellow vinyl with blue, green, brown and orange vinyl drip, and red, purple and bone colored sprays. $95 ea.
Mummy Boy Adventure Set – Swap between the standard Mummy Boy, Pumpkin Boy and Keep Watch heads! Cast in marbled bright pink and silver glitter-embedded clear vinyl – $75 ea.
The Incredible Eye Keep Watch Mummy Boy – In collaboration with our friends at Mishka NYC, the Keep Watch Mummy Boy is cast in marbled green and purple vinyl with silver, white, green and red painted details – $65 ea.
Marbled Madness Mongolion – The Mighty Mongolion continues to raise the bar! Cast in marbled bright green and gold glitter-embedded clear vinyl – $65 ea.
Zombie FrankenObake – In the dead of night, the Zombie FrankenObake rises from the grave in undead marbled blue and grey vinyl in a black vinyl suit! $65 ea.
Ooze It Tribute Ooze Bat – Throwing back to the classic oddball toy that started it all, the Ooze Bat is cast in green vinyl with yellow painted details – $50 ea.
Volcano Fire Caveman Dinosaur – Not content to with his place in ancient prehistory, The Caveman Dinosaur clubs his way into the modern era in Fire Red Vinyl with brown, black and metallic gold sprays! $35 ea.
Burnt Offerings Honoo – A mysterious fire burns deep in the woods, swirling in marbled black and metallic copper vinyl with yellow, brown and metallic gold painted details – $35 ea.
Cookies and Cream Pie Guy – Part of a trifecta of treats, Pie Guy is cast in delicious marbled brown and glow-in-the-dark vinyl with white and brown painted details – $25 ea.
Cookies and Cream Foster – Part of a trifecta of treats, Pie Guy is cast in delicious marbled brown and glow-in-the-dark vinyl with white and brown painted details – $25 ea.
Cookies and Cream Milton – Part of a trifecta of treats, Pie Guy is cast in delicious marbled brown and glow-in-the-dark vinyl with white and brown painted details – $25 ea.
These days digital singles are dropping every other day in the Asian pop world, and especially so in the K-Pop realm. It seems that labels are signing more and more artists in part because they can easily release a digital single without spending nearly what it costs to press CDs that nobody might buy. Granted, making videos for these singles can cost millions, but they can also be done on the cheap, which was probably the case with TOP.IC's video for "See Ya," the first track on their single release See You Again.
It's been ages since i've painted anything. I seriously cannot remember the last time. I have been going through and cleaning up the shelves and recently came across this old Bounty Hunter x Secret Base Skull Kun DX. It's the smoky grey version that came out a few years ago. Probably one of my favorite toys. I think there is only five colorways: GID green, clear blue, clear orange, clear and smoky grey. So i'm looking at this thing and a scene from Toy Punks vol. 1 comes to mind when they are interviewing Hiddy from Secret Base and in the background, there is a Skull Kun DX in clear purple...!! I believe it was a test shot or something. Never released. It's a homage to the Dokuro King. Not sure why this colorway was never produced. It's the most obvious choice.
So I thought why not dust off the airbrush and paint it up? After some masking, I went out to the garage and tried to clean up my airbrush. This thing had cob webs on it and it seemed like there was no way I could get this stuff to work. Not to mention that I didn't have any V-Color thinner to safe my life. But it came out ok. some dry brushing on the helmet and i'm happy with it. Long live Dokuro King Skull Kun DX...!!
Just for kicks, here is the Toypunks Vol. 1 teaser. Brings back some great memories. It's a great DVD...!! Must have for any toy collector.
I'm a huge fan of Josh Herbolsheimer. He's one of the coolest guys you could ever meet. Super chill and one of the best artists around. Translating his art into toys is never an easy task, but I think Earthwolf does a pretty good job. All the quirky details are there from the arrow sticking out of his torso to the leaves and branches on the right shoulder and especially the eye in the palm of the left hand!. It's a weird, lanky, awkward sculpt not unlike Josh's paintings. the minimalist sprays with the masked details on the clear glitter vinyl is just superb. Unfortunately this particular version was only included in the Super 7 13th Anniversary Lucky Bags which are now sold out.
See earlier Earth Wolfposts including art work by Josh HERE
Crap, my hand blocked out my Boba Fett t-shirt from Super 7. That was the whole point of the picture.
Despite the fact that Santa Rosa was recently named the 5th Snobbiest Mid Size City in the United States don't let that deter you from going to the Santa Rosa Toy Con. It was a lot of fun and everyone was very nice. The vendors and fans seemed to genuinely want you to be there. There was plenty of room to move around Mason and I had fun. Not a lot of Japanese toys, but I did manage to pick up something really cool. More on that below. Not sure it's really the Bay Area's largest toy convention. Perhaps by square footage, but I think the San Jose Toy Show does have more vendor tables or at least that's my impression. But the show did have more charm than San Jose. The vendors are nicer and the atmosphere seemed more relaxed. Small town charm I would call it. None of that frenzied I'm going to cut out your heart for that toy vibe here. Worth checking out.
These display cases are pretty cool. but at $80 a pop, a bit spendy.
Free Hot Wheels...!!??? What?
Was thinking of buying one of these Robo Cop guns. One was just a replica. the other was an airsoft gun. But both were $150 each. pass.
I did buy this Hot Wheels trailer set. the ramp comes down so you can drive the Willy up. cool.
Ghost Busters was a theme today.
No this Popy tank wasn't $9.99. More like $110.
That's Ernie Hudson on the right. One of the original Ghost Busters.
Probably should have passed on these kits. $5 each. but they suck.
Here is my prize. $10 Astro Boy. the eyes light up..!!
I left off a few parts so you can check out the skeleton inside. love this.
Good times had by all on Friday as it was Super 7's 13th Anniversary Party and Skullbrain reunion. It was great to hang out with all the old guys from back in the day. I found out that I still love toys and these guys are still fun to hang out with.
uber rare sighting of one of the originals Keith and Alex
Luke and Joe holding down the fort.
another OG Harmond and his son David
the man himself Brian Flynn striking his best Iron Man pose
Josh, Drils, Leecifer and Brian
Joe Bunny. We used to camp outside Super 7
Len and Brian
oh man, this Earthwolf is amazing. Need!!
last but not least is the OG of the OG Connell!!!!
Nothing screams Otaku more than Gundam and Maid cosplay. Why not combine the two? Manga artist Michiro Ueyama thought it would be a grand idea and thus you have the following Gundam Maids. Can you identify all of them? My favorite is Jaburo. Spot on!
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.