Monday, December 10, 2007

Touma's Zugan by Play Imaginative

i review a Touma-designed ZUGAN vinyl figure (from Mephist Festa),
with "wrap"-design by Jim Koch [blogged]:

TOY STORY: managed to snag this figure @ an irresistible price (you say: "discount" and i say: "how high?") at the PI@Galleria Foyer showcase on their first day (Sat) - primarily becoz both Touma [tag] and Furi Furi [tag] autographed it! - quite a surprising circumstance, as both Japanese designers/creators were signing on each other's toys at one point - there was also a Wood Grabbit (which i dearly wanted but cannot afford) as well as a Back&Bocky set.

DESIGN: the colors were eye-catching enough (kudos to Jim Koch's design, 'natch) with a muted fuscia-pink and matt-black. the wings-design at the back was purdy-nice, and im wondering if Touma designed-Zugan with an "ashtray" in mind? *cough-cough* ... or am i too thick to notice the subtility?

(Touma signed at "back" of ball-head)

TREATMENT: am liking the figure's weightage (i like a little bulk in my "bigger" toys, mind) and the matt-surface finish, with a small tinge of glossier-highlights at some areas (chest crest and back logo) are a neat touch. altho i haveta say, matt-black surface makes me a tad nervous, becoz it's very prone to scratches and marks, and boy, would they show. mine already does :( - including two glossy-spots on the matt-arms ... besides that, the paint-apps were mostly smooth and decent, but for a few uneven areas, primarily at the edge of surfaces (underneath). squint your eye and you'll be fine.

there was a small (but horrifying) dent (on back of "ashtray-neckbrace") that i had not noticed before (and only until i took pictures of it at home), so it could've happened anywhere (altho i did not box-up the figure myself personally) - a shame really ... or am i expecting way too much for a vinyl figure within this price-range? either that, or i have a terminal case of toyqualicontrol-titis ... but overall a decent production figure (worth *3 dancing Bockyz*), with mondo points given to initial design and form, and minus a point or two for quality of finish, IMHO.

(lil Bocky's dancing around the ashtray neck-guard's edge)

STABILITY: even with a bulky main-body design, the figure actually stands up pretty darn well (less chances of shelf-dives). seriously, i like to be able to pose my figure and not have it fall down at any given nudge, and if ZUGAN stands between the Gates Of Hell? i would think twice about trying to knock him down! *heh*

("SAFE SEX" = LOL - base signed by Tei of Furi Furi)

ARTICULATION: a slight tightness to both the swivel head and both legs - which i feel is a good thing (don't want no free-swinging joints, yeh? LOL). and what i actually like about the arm-shoulder joints was that it's a ball-"joint" that can be detached! re-attaching it back requires a lil small amount of effort (but of coz don't constantly much about with it lah!) - great for folks who'd wanna consider customizing it, IMHO. there really isn't a attachment mechanism involved, just a tight-fit, with still room for the arm to move about = *nice*

and becoz he's stable, you would find him lying on the ground below the display-shelf the following morning, missing an arm, becoz the dog went and chewed on it. yep. horkay.


IT'S A WRAP: frankly, as much as i prefer Super7's and One-Up's colorways, this pink-boy still rawks (im endeavouring to embrace my inner-pink, thanks) ... altho my own personal preference is; the "bulkier" the toy, the simpler the design ... but that's just me.

(~happy times~)

irregardless, this figure also holds the distinction of being the second only vinyl toy in my finite collection that has been autographed. (the first one was a contest-prize) ... damn, that's how effin' pathetic i am. ya feel me? = of coz not! oh ye with a horde of signed toys! ... *HAH*

[POSTED circa 02.07.07]

The Screaming Hand (Blue)

let me start by stating that Made By Monsters X Garageworks Industries' SCREAMING HAND vinyl [tagged] is a gorgeous adaptation of the iconic design by Jim Philips, with a beautiful sculpt mysteriously peering thru a handsome matt+gloss-finish box with window display:

upon opening the box (tis a box i'd like to keep, so gingerly does it LOL) i'm initially surprised by it's sheer weight - clocking in at 1.6KG! with the bulk of the weight primarily from the solid PVC grey base and stainless steel rods, with the hand itself a much lighter vinyl piece. and what a sweet-sculpt it is, IMHO.

the details are great; from the "veins" on the forehand, to the lightly textured tongue (i was going to add some vaseline or gel on the tongue, to make it look "moist", for photo-taking, but was too lazy and i sure didn't wanna do anything to this beaut just when i opened it, yeh? LOL) and the wrist-stump is in glossy-blood red (nice) altho there is no sign of any bone cartilage ... *heh

frankly, if the hand were more insanely detailed, it would look like a Halloween-prop! this way, it retains still the spirit of urban art vinyls, IMHO :) ... anyways, the Screaming Hand does not smoke, thus it's teeth are pearly-white LOL

one thing to note tho: the Hand can be removed from both the stumps and the rods from the base, which renders it a tad tricky to balance - becoz if not perched properly, the Hand would slant sideways (but not fall) - which frankly was a tad disconcerting, to say the least ...

according to MisterLink (of Garageworks Industries), Jim and himself decided to not glue the rods to the base and figure, so rather than having it stuck stiff on a stand; folks can pose the hand indifferent angles and/or remove it completely to "play" - which makes the Screaming Hand more "lively" and enjoyable = for which i totally agree with (see the fun i had with picture-taking and posing below LOL) and for which renders this item beyond "just a sculpture", IMHO :)

one particular thing about the Screaming Hand-vinyl is the size of it = standing at 8 X 10"-ers tall (on stand) - tis a near-perfect humanoid-size! (ie: great for game-play and halloweens - NOT that you'd be bringing your SH out and be mucking about with it, yeh? HAH) ... bare in my mind own hands are not exactly huge tho LOL

limited to 500pcs and priced at USD$150 per, the Screaming Hand, in my humble opinion is indeed a worthwhile addition to your collection, especially if you are a fan of Jim's work and the movement/lifestyle which surrounds said heritage. and while this may not be the vinyl figure for everyone, as a (basic) errant "tourist" of urbanstreetstyle, it is still a sweet sculpt to be had, IMHO.

/// hit up to order yours today, if you so please :)


/// watch out for an upcoming interview with Jim Phillips in HongKong's MILK magazine (once i know the particular issue#, i'll letcha know, yeh?)

/// Made By Monsters is going to produce a Jim Phillips X Sillything Screaming Hand - which will be sold @ Sillything HK with an exclusive limit of 100pcs ... it will be a blue-hand but with a different stand.

/// good news for the US Market, as there will be a Reverse Colorway-version made, with a RED body and BLUE tongue, and will NOT be a limited item!

/// other upcoming iconic releases planned are the Moon Hand and Rat Hand!!!!

*needless to say folks, stay tuned to this blog for future reveals!* LOL

*phew* - breatthless news indeed ... more images of Screaming Hand can be viewed on my MULTIPLY ... meanwhile here's some fun shots i did with my 1/6th-figures!

hungry hand, clueless bunny
*run away pink bunny, run away!*

*chillin' wit da Hand*

have you ever had that feeling someone or something was behind you? ....

... Screaming Hands have feelings too....
screamgirls02 screamgirls01

*my sincere gratitude to MisterLink and all @ Made By Monsters and Garagework Industries for this piece of vinyl-art and for the lurve!*

[POSTED circa 28.06.07]

DIY Blank Munny from Kidrobot (Video-Review)

my 2nd Toysrevil-Toy-Video-Review with my 1st DIY Munny!
(the 2nd part of the Anarchy In UK-contest prize)

[music: intro-sample from DJ Shadow's Six Days (Mos Def remix)
main-track: "Antique Toys" by Future Sound of London]

[POSTED circa 25.11.06]

Genius Collection Figures from Jailbreak Toys

a while back i received a care-package courtesy of JailBreak Toys containing their first ever toy; Lord Crumwell's Oddfellows / the Genius Collection ~ and as appreciation, i'd wanted to do a small review about them. and of coz the idea grew beyond initial plans and month/s later, with a borrowed digi-cam, a junked audio-commentary-track (becoz my voice is crap), may i present for your viewing pleasure and consideration: the first-ever Toysrevil-Toy-Review In Video!:

(music: Kevin England's Summer Down, from Dubbed Out in DC)

and here are some images for size comparison (click to view bigger image)
shakespeare poetry-slam-night a new canvas
as you can see, i had some fun :p
reality teevee is relative stereophonic classico
and re-visiting my previous dios and even Dr.Greensworth again hahaha
analysing dr.greensworth
*heh* ~ watch out for their upcoming Artist Collection :)

thanks again to Jason and JailBreak Toys for the figures :)

[POSTED circa 19.11.06]

dKiller Panda's Monster Theatre Figures (Dark Horse)

hot off the production-line and into my grubby arms comes Series One of dKiller Panda's new Monster Theatre-mini figures (produced by SD Toys), courtesy of Dark Horse. first thing i noticed (as compared to the small images found on DH's product reference site) was that the figures were far more impressive than the images shown. waaaaay impressive. do take a virtual walk with me thru my humble review of the figures, shall we? :)

THE PACKAGING: boxed-up in a simple (but classy-ish) elongated black-box with frontal window display, with white text and graphics. the DKiller Panda's icon/logo is prominent on box sides, while the back shows the entire family of the Monster Theater-series. the packaging is stylish. (but i've always been partial to anything "black" anyways LOL)

both dKiller Panda's and SD Toy's website URLs are displayed clearly (at back), and that is something i would appreciate, rather than just "nameless" designed-figures randomly displayed LOL (a small quirk of mine, my apologies)

THE QUALITY: the 3"-er tall PVC figures have no articulation whatsoever. and regardless of some minor finishing irregularities, the black-and-white paint-work was commendable. and they could stand/balance by themselves. that to me is a big-plus :)

THE DESIGN / SCULPT: designed by dKiller Panda [interviewed here], there are 6 classic horror characters in this series, split-up between two "sets", with Set One featuring Nosfe, the Invisible and London [here] while Set Two features Franky, the Bride and Mummy (which is the set i have and am reviewing :p)

personally, i feel the designs are "killer" (sorry, i had to get that in LOL) and the sculpts are phenominal. as unarticulated as these figures are, they have a "life" of their own, just from the design. a quasi-super-deformed design-take on classic horror characters, perfect for the quasi-kitty-cute-generation, while not alienating the older folks (*ahem*), IMHO

and as "scared" as we should be from these things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, they are enduringly cute adorable and an actual delight to look at, IMHO ... heck, i can even imagine them squealing in miniature voices, for attention! especially Mummy who goes around trying to scare folks, while teh Bride calmly and coolly stands back and just wants to dance, while Franky seems so keen to have fun as well, but am clueless to get about it! .... or maybe tis the caffeine in my system babbling ... *twitch-twitch*

wish i had Set One too tho, i kinda like Nosfe (from looking at the images) *heh*

EXTRAS: in addition to the two boxed-sets, there is also the Monster Theater Display Cases = where a singular display-box includes 2 each of the 6 characters, from Monster Theater PVC set 1 & 2 -- (Vampi, London, Invisible, Frankie, Bride, Mummy) - which means it'll be "easier" for collectors to just get whom they like, without getting the entire box.

PLUS: great sculpts and design. 'nuff said .. and with it's small size, i reckon i could/would be able to cobble-up some diorama/s for them to muck-about in, innit?

01. no articulation. it would have been nice if at least the arms/shoulders were able to move, where we could do the "im-coming-to-grab-you"-pose, yeh? LOL

02. packaging: mayhap folks not looking specifically for these figures might miss it, as the figures might not "pop out" enough, laid against the blackened-interiors, IMHO. altho one can argue about the "whites" popping out from the blacks ... but only if tis under a spotlight? but stacked-up with other boxes? ... other than that, how could you look away from the mysterious monstrous faces looking out back atcha? *heh*

MY TOY-WISH-LIST: wouldn't be cool if they are bigger vinyls, yeh? i would really mind a decent 6"-er, yeh? heck, throw me an 8"-er and i'll be all over it in a deadened-heartbeat! *LOL*

WRAP-UP: be it you're a classics-connoisseur or contemporary urban vinyl collector, these sets are worth every penny, becoz the "value" goes beyond the after-market price-points, and would have a place in yourr memories, if not your toy-lurving-hearts, IMHO :)

- Set One (nosfe / the invisible / london)
- Set Two (franky / the bride / mummy)
- Monster Theater Figure Display
- dKiller Panda's website

- the dKiller Panda Interview ON TOYSREVIL-weblog
- more Monster Theater images on my multiply

[POSTED circa 13.05.07]

Spider Man Black (Spiderman Origins: Signature Series)

and so i stumbled into this new figure in Toys'R'Us, with the intention to utilize the uniform for a Shadowman-bash ... but alas, this Spiderman Origins Signature Series figure left me wanting ... read my short review on my multiply

and there's a few more shots of the Venom Deluxe figure too here ~ *heh*

[POSTED circa 11.03.07]

Amy & Jordan Bendable Figure Set (Dark Horse)

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Amy & Jordan is a comicbook couple created by Mark Beyer, who victimize each other and by blind circumstance. the dysfunctional duo appeared in a long running weekly comicstrip that had appeared in alternative newspapers in the U.S, and had been collected into trades and comicbooks (Agony) and was even listed in Time Magazine's "Best Comix of 2004". [wiki/dh]

now you are able to "re-live" the couple's "adventures" in your own
home with Dark Horse Deluxe's Amy & Jordan Bendable Figure Set:
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THE PACKAGING: front-window display box with a panel of "original" Amy & Jordan art at back of box (would've been nice to actually have an entire self-contained story-strip tho, and/or a write-up about the artist and his creations, IMHO). the box opens up to a base which could actually double-up as a diorama-backdrop :p

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THE FIGURINES: within stands 2 X 8" bendable figurines featuring Beyer's characters sculpted by the folks @ Yoe Studio. and becoz the comicbook-look of the duo is "2-D", the 3-D bendy-figures actually reflects that, a pancake-thick couple - which i had thought was pretty cool and farnie :p

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and becoz they are bendy (like Gumby), certain parts of their bods, like arms and legs, even torso, can be bent to a certain extent ... be it the Marcarena (spl) or bustin' a b-boy wave *LOL*

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WRAP-UP: this set is no doubt a treat for Amy & Jordan-fans! but priced @ near USD$30, i would say this collectible figurine set will only appeal to the A&J comicbook fans, but outside of that would get lost in the display shelves, amidst the hyper-detailed and colorful figures of today's toys and designer vinyls. "recognition" is key and if this appeals only to the "alternative comic-readers"-crowd who already knew of their existence, then it does a decent job of that. but to gain newer fans who know nothing about A&J?

(1) character intros or even information of their creator could've been printed on the back of the display-box.

(2) mayhap the set could include a re-print of their stories in a comic? to gain newer fans, rather than just bank rely on the "older" ones? i feel mayhap to fully "appreciate" these figures, would be for the folks to know what Beyer's comicbooks/strips were all about.

(3) i had wanted to suggest a display-box color-change, but in reality, if folks are not familiar with A&J in the first place, a colorful box might end up just another colorful box (abetted an eye-catcher tho).

- click here for a Amazon collected hardcover book :p

- the Amy & Jordan Bendable figure set is available here @DarkHorse

- for a more detailed review and bigger+more pictures (18 images), do log unto my multiply-album here *heh*

[POSTED circa 02.02.07]


This is my personal weblog and ALL stuff written herein is of my own personal opinion and is copyrighted by myself (*blog owner*) including images posted (unless otherwise stated or credited. the copyright of said images will remain with the originator credited). I will not be responsible for copyright-issues nor infringement thereof for 3rd-party images i choose to post on this blog. I will not be responsible for any dealings you may have had directly with the retailers or owners of the links i have provided in my reviews.

Reposting images fron this blog is acceptable - all i ask for is for you to credit and/or link back to this blog/myself if you want to use any images posted on this blog (unless of coz the images are credited to someone else) not too much to ask for, innit? drop me a line if you so please to. always welcome the possibilities for collaboration. If you want to send me free toys and/or items - also do email me @ toysrevil [at] yahoo [dot] com