Mikee’s Mail Day: Splurrt’s Mecha Cadaver Kid!

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A day late but not a buck short, Mikee’s Mail Day is still alive and running folks! Bewitching had me firing on all cylinders and I had no time to open my mail. It was very painful to stare at a bunch of fun boxes and not get to play. But now is the reckoning, I am gonna spend all day tomorrow playing with new toys … be jelly!

This week’s mail piece is the first-ever Mecha Cadaver Kid from Splurrt. Now if you’ve read my column before, then it’s nothing new to you that I love Splurrt’s stuff and the Cadaver Kid is among my Top 5 all-time favorite toys! So when Joe Splurrt decided he needed a new head with a big soggy eyeball, I cried tears of joy.

Now here we are, and the Mecha Cadaver Kid is out and in my grubby hands: the new head sculpt is awesome! Look at the picture folks, you see that clear vinyl? That’s a flippin’ brain plate cover! You can see his BRAIN! Seriously, I can’t stress how incredibly awesome that is. Rumor has it that Splurrt is going all-out for NYCC, so hopefully we got some more Mecha CK heat coming our way!

Until next time, live that 24/7 Toy Life!


Review: Stranger Factory’s Exclusive Wooper Looper

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To start off, let me say that the term “spirit animal” gets tossed around a lot at Stranger Factory. Some of us know our spirit animal no problem but others are still searching. I am of those others. I bring this up because the Wooper Looper (or axolotl) is quite the creature to behold: the term “Wooper Looper” is mainly used to explain a group of salamander indigenous to the areas around Mexico City (or so Google has lead me to believe). Now if you had asked me if I found it possible to relate to a salamander at some point in my life, I don’t think I would have even taken you seriously. Until Gary Ham made a toy of him, that is.

Designed by Gary and sculpted by Chauskoskis, the Wooper Looper is quite the impressive piece of sofubi. The extensions from the head alone create some very interesting production challenges. That said, the lengths the factory went to preserve the charm of Gary’s character really helps make the piece shine as a whole. The figure serves as a great example of the playful side of sofubi in general.

The main feature I find so endearing about the Wooper Looper (besides that cheesy grin) is the choice in articulation. I really enjoy that the figure has a solid body piece and the tail is used to create a firm anchor so the toy is guaranteed to stand. Also the arm articulation really helps to sell the fun idea behind the figure: he reaches out like he really wants to give you a hug!

All in all,  the team of people that made this toy possible all deserve kudos. The toy is a definite gem and something I will happily display on the shelves in my house.

The cute shelves. Not the creepy ones.


The Stranger Factory exclusive Wooper Looper is an edition of 33 pcs and retails for $68. The figure releases on Tues., Oct. 9th at noon PST via the Bewitching Preview. Want to catch one for yourself? Get the full scoop here!

Mikee’s Mail Day: The Pollen Kaiser!

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Sometimes you have a mail day so good it brings you to tears. Standing behind the counter, weeping and worshipping a new god, while customers stare at me confused. These mail days are few and far between. But yesterday was one of those days.

If you are in the know in the Kaiju scene, you know that one man towers over most with his top hat and trademark evil grin: Paul Kaiju. He is a beast, pure and simple. His works are this amazing blend of sick and elegant. The Pollen Kaiser is a huge example of how great Paul’s work truly is. The Pollen Kaiser stands 10″ tall and around 12″  with the staff. This particular version was the recent Toy Art Gallery factory paint release and is a great lure to getting people to look back at some past Pollen releases. Seriously , the handpaints from SDCC this year still haunt my dreams. That and I would sell my mother into slavery for a Mockbat … any takers?

Until next time, live that 24/7 Toy Life!

Gary Ham’s SF Exclusive Wooper Looper for ‘Dead Wood’ 10.5

As part of Gary Ham’s Dead Wood exhibition opening next month, Stranger Factory is offering an exclusive colorway of his popular sofubi figure, Wooper Looper! Sporting the gallery’s signature black and orange, this adorable axolotl is here just in time for Halloween. Designed by Gary Ham and sculpted by the great Chauskoskis, this edition is a run of just 33 pieces and can only be purchased through Stranger Factory. Be sure to sign up for the preview via the email form on the Stranger Factory homepage for the full scoop (if you haven’t done so already — you need only sign up once!).

 Dead Wood opens Oct. 5th in conjunction with Bewitching II. A reception will be held for both exhibitions on Oct. 5th from 6pm to 9pm. Shows are on until Nov. 4th!

Mikee’s Mail Day: Cure Fungah!

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This week is kind of a cheat. I have many things on the way but no mail this week (so bummed!). Luckily I have these awesome bosses who brought me back a surprise from Paris, so Mikee’s Mail Day continues and the toys keep coming in!

This week we have a Fungah by the almighty and unstoppable Cure. Cure are based out of Japan and make some of the best vinyl goodies out there. The Fungah here is a good example of the fun  side of Cure, which would also include their minis called Suck Flies. Reminiscent of a monster we’re familiar with, this specific version is done in the Frankenberry colorway! Nothing like vinyl toys and cereal, it takes me back to my days as a mischievous youth. Cure also make the amazing fellows surrounding our pink friend called Boogie Men. But I feel we should save them for later; something tells me a story about them is on the way…

Until next time, live that 24/7 Toy Life!

Calliope Jackalope: An Anatomy, Pt. III

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Previously on Calliope Jackalope, An Anatomy, Pt. II: Our little lady is assessed by Obitsu and it’s determined that the figure would require five molds. The wax master is sculpted, the metal molds are forged and the first Calliope test figure is born. Now: we add a splash of color.

With the test figures pulled and green-lighted by KO, it was time to bust out the Pantones and whip up a paint master for the factory to replicate. For her debut Calliope, Kathie chose a soft robin’s egg blue:

At a glance, Calliope’s paint finish seems relatively simple; buuuut … that definitely is not the case. The spray mask alone had to be applied three times more than that of Stingy Jack’s. The figure has a total of eight masks: propeller, face, broken antlers, whites of the eyes, the pupils, lips/cheeks, belly and zipper. The lips and cheeks were the most tedious as they had to be airbrushed by hand to create a realistic ‘rosiness’.

Up next, we take a look at the completed Calliope Jackalope in all her glory. Stay tuned!

 [via the Tomeno blog]

Kathie’s Travelling Calliope: A Quick Jaunt in the City of Love

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Hanging with her pal Mr. Tentaclees at CP HQ in Albuquerque, NM.

When KO first posted this a few weeks ago on Instagram (@circusposterus), citing the Calliope handpaint was “just for fun”, I wondered if we’d ever see the little lady again. Well, it appears Kathie has found herself a new travel buddy: similar to the travelling toy photos so many of us have seen (Podgypanda’s Baman and S Fisher Williams’ Milque Toast are personal faves), Calliope’s passport is already impressive with CP’s recent tour in Paris as part of Le Carnaval des Spectres.

Shaking off the jet lag with Ms. Elemental at their villa in Paris.

With Baby Tattooville, Haunted and DesignerCon just around the corner, the rest of 2012 will be hoppin’ for the Circus. Let’s see if our little pink jet-setter makes any cameos!

Taking in the sights at the Musée des Arts Forains (Museum of Fairground Art).

Calliope Jackalope: An Anatomy, Pt. II

Previously on Calliope Jackalope, An Anatomy: Calliope is rendered in 3D and from that a prototype is made for the factory to map out the mold process. We head there now for some mold-makin’, waxin’ action!

Like Stingy Jack, the Calliope prototype was taken to Obitsu to determine how many metal molds the figure will require. Given her complexity, she, too, would require five to cover her multiple parts: head, body, legs, hat, ears and tail.

The figure is re-cast in wax and the metal molds are made. From that, we get our first test:

And from there, the header card art is submitted by Brandt and Kathie and voila! Our first packaged Calliope!

[via the Tomeno blog]

Mikee’s Mail Day: Monster Kolor!!

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Well another week has passed over here at Stranger Factory, and admittedly, it was a little slow for me mail-wise. That said, I did get one package I feel like geeking out over:

This week’s mail day is brought to us by the amazing, unstoppable beast known as Monster Kolor! Monster Kolor is a company that lives to make the best paint they can for toy customizing, be it vinyl, resin, PVC … whatever your little twisted heart desires. Recently I picked up some Monster Kolor for my airbrush gun so I could do a little recreational custom work. I’m getting the hand sharp for some projects in the works and have to be able to do “gruesome” just right! Don’t think it’s all airbrush though; they also carry brush and aerosol paints to help give your creature just the right finish or feel.

When it came in Brandt and Kathie made me promise not to sit in the house and spray it. Also they said I have to wear a mask while I do it from now on … safety first kids!

Until next time, live that 24/7 Toy Life!

Stingy Jack, An Anatomy: An Afterword by Brandt Peters

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After years of designing characters and toys brands for Slap-Happy!,The Serv-O-Matics, Dead Bunny, The Carnies, Big Sal, and other odds and ends with almost every toy company out there, I went back to the drawing board to really consider what I was trying to accomplish and say with my characters. The public only gets to see the final result in the stores or online, but each of the above projects were months and years of my time developing and it takes a lot out of me. In order to stoke and keep the creative fire going strong, I had to reach even deeper and closer to mine and my creations’ raison d’etre.

Following a month or so of scribbling, note taking, researching, talking to my colleagues and friends, reading the industry – I reached in and figured exactly what my inspirations are, who I am and precisely what I want to leave, as far as a mark on the planet and this toy world. Stingy Jack is the first project (of many in development) that hits closest to home. I guess as a growing artist, my tastes change, I get more honest with myself, I hone in closer and closer to what makes me tick and Vintage Halloween has always thrilled me… just as much as all of my other toy subject matter: Ancient Aliens (Big Sal), Coney Island and Depression era ephemera (most of my toy designs to date).

Read More »Stingy Jack, An Anatomy: An Afterword by Brandt Peters