Astro Unkotsu by Goccodo for “Lost Worlds”

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IMG_1256People were asking for us to drop something fresh, and we listened with “Astro Unkotsu” by Goccodo! This is a brand new sofubi that just popped out of the mold last week, and now it just waits for the illustrious paint application from Shige-san. Without getting detail from the crew themselves, we are not totally sure what the swirled brain skull is on top (hoping for ice cream), but we do love astronaut themed releases with rayguns!


The finished version will be ready to blast off at “Lost Worlds” opening this Friday, August 2 at Stranger Factory.


Lost Worlds: Creatures From Beyond

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August 2013 brings a new group exhibit to Stranger Factory featuring the incredible monsters of Paul Kaiju, James Groman, Josh Herbolsheimer, Stan Manoukian, Joe Merril, Goccodo, and Mutant Vinyl Hardcore.

LOST WORLDS showcases the incredible creatures of a variety of top monster makers in the pop surrealist, kaiju, and art toy fields. From the gleeful carousing of French artist Stan Manoukian’s alien creatures to the unsettling realism of Ohio artist James Groman’s sculpts, the roster for LOST WORLDS promises to provide creatures for all tastes.

The exhibit runs August 2nd – September 1st, with an opening reception on Friday, August 2nd from 6 – 9 PM.

PAUL KAIJU is a designer, sculptor, and painter working away at his kaiju creations in sunny San Diego, California. Known as much for his custom paint work as for his original toys such as Boss Carrion, Paul’s work is recognized as some of the best in the American Kaiju scene.

JAMES GROMAN is a sculptor, illustrator, and Toy & Animation Character Designer who has worked on everything from custom model kits to the famous Madball series. His work ranges from sculpts to comics to consumer goods, and his work is impeccable.

JOSH HERBOLSHEIMER is an artist, toy designer, and graphic designer in San Francisco. His paintings have a unique, organic style that complement his toy design while giving each their own unique style.

STAN MANOUKIAN is a Paris-based artist whose inhuman flora and fauna exude more personality and backstory than you can imagine from 2D drawings. With a truly unique eye for creature design, Manoukian’s creations are simply brilliant.

JOE MERRILL is a kaiju figure painter and toy designer whose work is quickly become a fan favorite among modern kaiju collectors. With original creations like the Diggler and the Cadaver Twins, Merrill’s work is a fresh voice in the modern kaiju industry.

GOCCODO is the working name for collaborative design by Japanese artists Shigeta and Shinpei Tanaka. With a whimsical and uniquely Japanese pop design sensibility, Goccodo brings a more childlike aesthetic to the Lost Worlds monster lineup.

MUTANT VINYL HARDCORE creates hyper detailed and gloriously disgusting modern kaiju figures. Designed in the US but manufactured in Japan, MVH bridges the gap between traditional Japanese monster making and the American desire for biggest, better, faster, and significantly more disgusting.

Stranger Factory
109 Carlisle Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

The Incredible Customs of Yohei Kaneko & Shigeta Tanaka for Bewitching II, 10.5

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I’m at a loss for words over these next pieces for Bewitching II, this batch from powerhouse Japanese artists Yohei Kaneko (Mirock Toy) and Shigeta Tanaka (Goccodo Design). If you’ve been following along with our Stingy Jack and Calliope Jackalope Anatomy Series, the names likely ring a bell: Yohei being the sculptor on both projects and Shigeta the liaison between Obitsu and T+CP. Much credit goes to them for getting the Tomenosuke + Circus Posterus sofubi initiative off the ground and now we have the exciting opportunity to see some of their original work on Western soil.

On the left stands Yohei’s Fūjin Skelve with Shigeta’s Oinari Skelve flanking him on the right. Both are masterpieces of resin, wood and spray paint and you can’t help but marvel at the cleanliness and precision. “(Fūjin is a) God coming from Japanese ancient times,” Shigeta writes, on behalf of Yohei. The god of wind, Fūjin resembles a terrifying demon and is often pictured carrying large bags of winds on his shoulders. “The face of the terrible ogre was most suitable for the disguise of the Halloween show,” Shigeta continues. “The sculpture of Fūjin was very congenial for Mirock Toy (Yohei), who always engraved a Buddha statue.”

Shigeta’s Oinari Skelve is equally as stunning. Inspired by the traditional Japanese god of the same name, Oinari (or “Inari”) is symbolic of enterprise and worldly success. He is often depicted with white foxes known as kitsune, which he uses as messengers. The fox mask, Shigeta explains, is also a common children’s disguise in Japan.

The third piece, titled Canon Ballo, is a collaboration between Yohei and Shigeta. A custom of one of Kathie Olivas’s iconic birds, this particular piece was made entirely for fun and it shows, with both artists taking the cart and suping it into an F1 racer, decals and all. This is such a playful piece that shows off the breadth of their talent and imagination when juxtaposed with the Skelves. That said, I’d die if it was a pullback; how hilarious would the be?!

(So much for that loss for words…)

Bewitching II opens this Friday with a reception from 6pm to 9pm. We have plenty more stashed away in our bag of tricks, so keep checking back!

Stingy Jack: An Anatomy, Part I

Shortly after production began on Brandt Peters’ Stingy Jack sofubi, Shinji Nakako of Tomenosuke-syoten has been diligently chronicling the figure’s production process from start to finish. The idea of CP sofubi was first sparked last year and since then, we’ve all eagerly watched this jester-like Jack-o’-lantern come to life, one sketch, WIP shot and prototype at a time.

But now, for the first time, experience the process from a completely behind-the-scenes perspective; the digital models, the revisions, the wax models and pantones … a glimpse at just how much goes into creating the toys we covet.

This is the first instalment of Shinji’s ‘Making of Sofubi Stingy’ series, with many more to come. Enjoy!

Read More »Stingy Jack: An Anatomy, Part I