Sunday, May 24, 2009

I've grown accustomed to you

M1Go - Baltan Seijin 2nd (Koji custom)

I came across this photograph tonight while doing a little spring cleaning. This is something that I acquired a while ago- a custom paint of the M1Go [M1号] Baltan Seijin 2 [バルタン星人 2代目] standard size figure.

The artist responsible for this fine work is Koji Harmon. Veteran new vinyl collectors will instantly recognize this name as he is not only affiliated with the Gargamel [ガーガメル] crew, but a successful toy designer in his own right. Mr. Harmon has been customizing all sorts of Japanese vinyl toys for years, ranging from classic M1Go kaiju to toys with more of a designer spin. I think this Baltan was one of his older customs.

The M1 Baltan 2 (the 1st Baltan has a rounder, less insectile face) is my absolute favorite toy by the M1Go company. Mr. Harmon took a flesh-colored blank vinyl of the Baltan 2 toy and customized it with light blue, fluorescent green and gold spray, allowing much of the flesh color to show through. This style draws the eye to the contours of the sculpt, making it feel like, well, a TOY. It definitely matches the best of the M1Go paint schemes

Check out more of Koji Harmon's customs in his flickr group.

He also sells customs through his website,

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cardboard fetish

Tsukuda - Nessie diving toy

So it's another post with boxed toys, mm-mmm! Secretly, I am hoping that my use of the word "fetish" will drive more traffic to this blog.

Tsukuda - Nessie diving toy

This is an old toy of the Loch Ness Monster made by Tsukuda. I'm not quite sure if it's plastic or vinyl because I have yet to open the box, but I would suspect plastic. There is a small motor attached to the underside of the toy allowing it to dive and resurface when placed in the water. It's a particularly adorable rendition of the famous cryptid, with an undefinably Japanese aesthetic. Love the big, googly eyes.

I guess a diving whale toy was sold alongside this one. A whale and Nessie. A sea turtle or dolphin would have been too obvious, I suppose.

Tsukuda - Nessie diving toy

You may be familiar with Tsukuda Hobby- related to Tsukuda toy- which produced a number of nicely-detailed dinosaur models and pre-assembled toys in the 1980s. Unfortunately, it appears that most of the Tsukuda family of companies filed for bankruptcy following 2002.