Reading this piece from The Japan Times sure made me miss having access to gachapon machines — I never bought tons, but it was always fun to get one once in a while, especially when there was a new series of something I really liked. It’s a shame we don’t really have access to these in North America.
Tsumiki is a beautiful new wood block stacking toy, designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma (designer of the 2020 Olympic Stadium). More details and photos in this Spoon & Tamago post.
I am so in need of these 6 shield pin badges, inspired by various titles in the Legend of Zelda series. Sold in Japan for 200 yen each, you can import them as a set from NCSX for a bit more (or via Amazon Japan).
I’m looking at the goods page from the Gundam Cafe in Tokyo, and I pretty much want everything there (my wife screamed when she saw the dishes, like the plate with Char, pictured). Found via my buddy Andrew, who got this glass (which I want too).
This is a great little video by Jian Shen of a visit to Goto-San, a master of sofubi (soft vinyl) toys, that also features my buddy Don Kratzer. If you like what you see and want to know more about the world of sofubi, Don’s been doing a series of PechaKucha presentations on the topic over the past few years, that you can watch online here.
Incubot, a new toy company started by Matt Alt and Alen Yen, has released its first soft vinyl figure in the form of the Nekosaur. The figure was designed by Yen, sculpted by Kiyoshi Ikeda (Gargamel), and directed by Alt, and is the company’s homage to classic Japanese vinyl robot toys. The Nekosaur will be available for purchase first at this weekend’s SuperFestival 51 (January 10), and will then be available for order through the Incubot website.
In addition to the “crystal model” (pictured), a hand-painted custom version by Matt Walker will also be available for purchase.
Matt Alt and Alen Yen have teamed up to form Incubot Productions, a company that plans to release retro robot collectibles. First up are the Nekobot USB robots (pictured above), with a 2GB capacity, and now on sale through their site.
Muji has launched its annual Xmas campaign section, which includes the new collaborative project between Muji and Lego. Imagine a mix of paper crafts, using Lego blocks and pieces as accessories. I don’t know if these are sold at all stores — I don’t think so — but I saw a huge display at the Tokyo Midtown Muji store during design week.
I am very, very tempted by this: Bandai’s Jibun Damashii, a made-to-order figure that uses a photo you send for the face, at a cost of 13,650 yen. It was shown at last week’s International Tokyo Toy Show. Via Japan Today.
Pictured above, Matt Alt‘s glorious Kappa Machine at prototype stage. Matt created the figure for the “Kappa Exhibition” in Ikebukuro (runs until July 21), and he’s put up a post describing all the work that went into creating the green mech — and yes, you get to see the final version.