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Before diving into the insanity of DesignerCon setup, we were offered the rare chance to check out the DKE warehouse. For those not on the west coast, the warehouse is something of legend — like the end scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I’ll tell ya now, it lived up to all expectations and I did my best to sneak in photos when I wasn’t busy staring in awe!

Above is one of the inner offices where you see toys you rarely see pop up in normal conventions. Further around the offices is where you see complete sets of all the Wilkowski pieces, bones, and even prototypes we will never see.

Above is just one of many many rows of stock. This where you really start to think the Ark is hidden between 16 cases of Chueh’s Target and the five stacks of Mummy Boys.

There isn’t just rooms full of stock going to your favorite retailers, there are also specific rooms. Now next to Skywalker Ranch, this might be nerd nirvana because DKE have a Star Wars room. Yes, a room filled with lots and lots of loose and in-box Star Wars toys! Here you find a herd of At-At hiding in the corner, a box of 18 power droids, fast food promo toys, a portion of a Wookiee, and much more. It is an epic sight to see, and I pretty much hung out in here for quite sometime in pure amazement.

Not to be outdone with a Star Wars room, the warehouse also has an entire book room and a plush room. Both these scream “grab an art book and belly flop into a pile of plush to read it for a few hours.”

Once again sorry for my lack of pictures because I was being a little kid at Christmas. I did get one of  DrilOne showing off his dunking skills outside the warehouse for everyone to enjoy.

Thank you again to Dov and Sarah Jo for the invitation, and check out their blog for news on upcoming toys.

Now these are some seriously slick lookin’ wings. DrilOne posted this WIP on his Twitter a few days ago of a secret release that he has forthcoming with Circus Posterus. Just what — or who — could these war-torn wings be for? One thing we know for sure: there will be an army of them.

Dril has engineered similar wings in the past for custom CP figures, including a Greeter Skelve for last year’s DesignerCon. Stay tuned to see what kind of artilleric angel he’s forging this time.

[Skelve photo by Jeremyriad]

It’s official: the boys have touched down in Japan and Shinji at Tomenosuke has announced that Trouble Boy No.7 [Drifter] is releasing at MIDNIGHT Japan Time on June 16th for $150 USD. Given that this is a retailer release, shipping is likely extra. The edition is limited to 150 so prepare yourself for an Olympian-level race, folks!

Also: be sure to check a time zone calculator to determine the release time for your region. I’ve linked one here.

OK so SPECTRUM RECAP! In case you missed the earlier coverage, the Circus Posterus caravan (Kathie Olivas, Brandt Peters, Travis Louie, Chris Ryniak and Archer Dougherty) rolled into the fine city of Kansas City, MO, for the first-ever Spectrum Fantastic Art convention. Held at the Kansas City Convention Center from May 18-20th, the show was essentially an offshoot of the annual mag, celebrating the cream of the crop of the contemporary art community.

Not surprisingly, the level of talent in Bartle Hall was unprecedented: more than 200 creative professionals from all over the globe exhibited at the event. But that didn’t stop the Circus from making its presence known, with some fans lining up as early as 6am and most editions selling out in the first 15 minutes. (Biznass.)

Talking toys specifically, Spectrum saw the introduction of the Frostbite 4 Legged Masao and the first resin Calliope Jackalope handpaint from Kathie Olivas and Brandt Peters. Travis Louie brought along a trio of gorgeous custom Stan Skelves and Chris Ryniak let loose some custom Bubblegut and Crumbeaters.

And there was also some pretty sweet surprises: do you see what I see below?

IS THAT AN ULTRA SQUID GIRL?!

Indeed, it is! I’m going to wager that it’s one of the resin editions and details on this project will emerge soon. A Classic Stingy Jack, Octopus Girl and some Ghostly Stans also made an appearance. Seriously: I’m jealous, Kansas.

And if that wasn’t enough, the 2D art was off the hook, as well: small original paintings, drawings and prints from each of the artists. A nice change of pace; here’s hoping we see more of this at future cons.

That’s a wrap for this year! There’s a whole whack of event photos below and also via the gallery. Enjoy!

*Sniff* *sniff* … ahhh … you smell that? That, my friends, is the scent of sweet, sweet sofubi vinyl going into production. Following his big first reveal during the Monsters & Misfits Japan tour last month, Brandt Peters’ devilish Stingy Jack (in collaboration with Tomenosuke-syoten) has since been improved in a couple of areas, making the toy thicker and better supported. Level up, baby … this little mischief maker is hitting the conveyer catwalk looking better than ever.

The first colorway is anticipated to drop at the end of June (fingers crossed). We’ll drop a sneak or two closer to the date.

In other news: Kathie Olivas’ Callipe Jackalope is just about finished in wax and is on its way to molds. We’ll keep y’all in the loop on that project as it develops as well. So much goodness in the works right now! *Asplodes*

For those new to all this awesome, Circus Posterus’ sofubi vinyl is a brand-spankin’-new collaborative project in conjunction with Japan’s Tomenosuke-syoten. Three figures in this series have been revealed thus far: Brandt’s Stingy Jack, Kathie’s Calliope Jackalope and Chris Ryniak’s Stinky Ginger. The figures are slated for release throughout 2012, with Stingy Jack making the first exit around end-June(ish). Since it’s a collab project, the editions will be shared between CP and Tomenosuke, with each party receiving half. In other words, these will be limited, there will be chaos and you’ll feel freaking INVINCIBLE when you score one after stumbling with anxious fingers and a pounding heart. Welcome to the league of F5.

Stick around, folks — things are just starting to heat up!!

 

Continuing last week’s coverage of FERG’s CHIPP s004 and Boomer comes the full shebang on this sweet new series, dubbed [Fort Burnout – DSRT].

First off: hot damn. Look at the utter MAGNIFICENCE of this Squadt + K11 combo: interchangeable smoke and yellow lenses; a ton of gear including a tactical vest w/ pouches, totally pimp b&w bandana, Fort Burnout shirt and the overly impressive pew-pew power of a sMK23 w/ holster and SM4 w/ red dot suppressor.

And that’s just CHIPP.

Boomer, on the other hand, lives up to his name with a head case packing two pipe bombs. He also has a harness (aka ‘the treat pouch’).

These two will be making their exit via the Project Squadt store this Monday, May 28th at noon Central for $115/set. There are 200 of them. Hope y’all haven’t taken off for Memorial Day; it’s time to polish the crash helmet!!!

Some interesting history about [Drifter] and the Yakuza from Shinji at Tomenosuke-syoten. Trouble Boy No. 7 is slated for release mid-June.

At the preparatory stage of the Trouble Boy #7 DRIFTER, I talked about the symbol accessories of the Yakuza with Brandt Peters. One of them was “tanto knife” that comes along with the Mac11. However, some of the ideas were finally omitted. One example was a badge which was drawn on the concept art of Brandt’s. I sent him a picture of real badges which is famous as a symbol of Japanese syndicates; however, I told him that our design should not be associated with the real one. Finally the idea was not adopted, so honestly I was a little bit relieved. It was just like ”Better safe than sorry.”
On the other hand, Brandt had a tattoo idea from the early stage. The special point of the Trouble Boy this time is the hidden tattoo covering the whole body under the clothes presented by so-called Brandt’s specialty touch. The above image is the first tattoo layout sent from Brandt on July 7, 2011.

[via the Tomeno blog]

Next up from the Project Squadt stable is CHIPP s004 & K11 Boomer, a killer new combo and first-ever production release of the [Fort Burnout] series of Squadts. Pimped out with desert fatigues, multi-pocket loadout and pipe bombs, CHIPP & Boomer are ready for the sandstorm.

The set is limited to 200 pieces and tentatively scheduled for release May 28th, likely via the Squadt Store. Price is TBD but similar packs went for $115. Looking forward to seeing what kind of heat CHIPP’s packing, as well as these fabled yellow lenses (Ooo!).

And for those who may be wondering: the previously-announced K11 companion for GERM is still in the pipeline — he’ll be released later along w/ some new QPMNT pacs (Ooo!). Stay tuned!

Man, Spectrum is already shaping up to be a killer con, what with beautiful handpaints from Kathie, Chris and now Travis Louie. A handful of custom Stan Skelves will be up for grabs from Mr. Louie, including one similar to the custom Stan from the Bewitching Halloween show, and an amphibian-type that looks “straight out of Avatar.”

Travis will also have small paintings and drawings on hand for anyone looking to sex up their wall space. Prepare to sprint to booth #919 if you want to be one of the first to add these coveted pieces to your CP collection!

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live kicks off May 18-20 at the Kansas City Convention Center (Bartle Hall). Party up in hee-yah!!

Watch your step when heading to Rotofugi this Friday because a new wave of Chris Ryniak’s Snybora will be hitting the streets for some splish splashin’! The Mud Puddle Snybora is a warm caramelized vinyl that features a burnt sienna rub and deep brown accents. His glossy black eyes glisten like the puddles he’s belly-gliding in! Hand painted by Kirby Kerr of Rotofugi and Joe Somers of Squibbles Ink, no two of the 3.5″ critters are exactly alike!

Snag one in store or online Friday, April 27th at 11am Central for about $35.