30 November 2013

NAFA JAPAN: Kingdom of Characters Exhibition

There is an exhibition going on at Nayang Academy of Fine Arts Singapore regarding Japan Kingdom of Characters. It is open from 15 November to 12 December 2013 at Lim Hak Tai Gallery at NAFA building itself and Free Admission.

So what is this exhibition about? It is all about Japan character in term of illustration. If this exhibition is about naming and pointing characters from Japan that you know in your life time, it is already a successful one. I would obtained an A if that was the requirement.

The exhibition I think is to pay tribute to some characters and what happen to them to go international.

The starting of the exhibition start from introduction through timeline in 1950s.

In the 50s and 60s after the second world war, Japan started to created Manga Astroboy, cartoon Tetsujin28gou and even motion picture character Ultraman.

If you must know Godzilla was also created in 1950s but somehow was not in the picture. Doreamon Manga first issue was created in 1969 too which suppose to be in this timeline.

In the 70s, things are more happening and you have much more lasting characters which are big today like Hello Kitty in 1974. Most of this characters cross out of Japan as no one else where ever thought of it but Japan.

In this timeline, the animation was very long lasting such as Mazinger Z, Galaxy Express 999, Captain Future and Gatchaman. In motion picture with real actor was Kamen Rider aka Masked Rider which blew my mind as a child.

The exhibition will take you as far to the millennium of a more up to date characters.

The exhibition not only having picture but some sculptures and toys display too of some popular characters like Hello Kitty....

A tall Ultraman which look awesome

Life size Rei...

A human scale Gundam RX78-2

life size Pikachu and more!

If you want to know just how much a Japanese character has influences in people liftstyle, check out this real bedroom theme at the exhibition to have a sense of how Hello Kitty has enter into lifestyle as every item on display as a room are all Hello Kitty theme.

If you have the time, pop by the exhibition to experience yourself just how much Japanese character has on your lifestyle.

You may read more detail at Nafa website

McDonaldLand Plushie Hamburglar

McDonald has once again started another series of plushie toy and this time it is McDonaldLand. Don't know when there was a mcDonaldLand... is it like LEGOLAND that is a theme park?

The first of the release is the Hamburglar. This plushie toy measure less than 10cm in height and come in a box.

I personally love the artwork of the box which show only the character that it comes with. So for Hamburglar, nothing but Hamburglar. Here is both side of the box artwork. One the sneeky Hamburglar and another of him cycling.

At the back of the box was a short write up on the character. Did you notice the color of Hamburglar in the illustration are having White and Purple theme rather than White and Black?

Bottom of the box, it stated the Safety tested and suitable for children age 3 and up.

Time to Open the Toy!

Here is Hamburglar out of box. You notice the toy color theme is different with the box illustration. This Hamburglar is having the traditional color theme of Hamburglar which is black and white.

They give the toy a kind smiley face of Hamburglar rather than a cheeky look like the box illustration. Somehow this face remind me of some Charlie brown character.

Both gloves, shoes and tie are in striking red.

On the side view, the plushie look quite flat.

At the back, you see only the brown hair, his hat and his black cape.

This Plushie comes with a string for you to hang on bags or other items.

Overall the toy look cute by itself. I wonder how Hamburglar toy will look like if it was in the box illustration color theme. To me it is quite refreshing.

You need not get any full meal in McDonald for you to pay SGD$2.90 for this toy which is a good move. It was stated that for each toy you paid, 10 cent of the toy will be donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities Singapore.

I have a mixed feeling reading that as the toy cost SGD$2.90 and only 10 cents goes to charity. Does this statement make the customer more willing to buy a toy for the sake of charity or for their own collection? The sales of the toy alone is a profit and I am certain you can give more to your own charity isn't it?

Even if the toy selling at SGD$2.90, the GST would be more than 10 cent! If it is for charity, then I am pretty sure it is not even taxable right?

Anyway I am not here to tell them how to run their business but don't make some statement that will make people leading people to think they are doing for charity for personally I feel if it is for Charity then make it fully profit to charity.

More of Birdie, Grimace, Officer Big Mac and Ronald in the series

27 November 2013

KT x TMNT Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty in the recent years has done much crossover with other brands and products by Hello Kitty cosplaying. Today I want to share the news that a Japanese toy maker,  Dreams Come True will be making a Hello Kitty x TMNT limited edition.

Isn't it exciting to have such popular East and West characters mixing together?

There will be 4 TMNT Hello Kitty to collect from as each design is limited to 1000 in production. Each Hello Kitty can have arms articulation and holding each of the TMNT special weapons.

Each figure will be around 14.5cm and each at the listed price of 6980Yen. They will be releasing on the 23th of November.

Sometime ago a New Zealand based illustrator and art director Joseph (AKA Yodanz) has created a series illustrations called “Hello Teenage Mutant Ninja Kitty collection” which look like this as a plush concept.

Sadly these plushes are just concept designs.

I am pretty sure collectors will try their best to collect all four.  It's TMNT x Hello Kitty!!

Kitty in a half shell. Kitty power!

26 November 2013

Hi5! We turned Five.

Open The Toy has turned FIVE today. Five long years of toy blogging and why am I still doing this?

Seems like a tradition I have to blog some personal thoughts on this blog regarding the history which is in the past, present and the future.

For the history I think I will skip as I have done four posts previously on Open the Toy Anniversaries.
Year 1: Happy One year old
Year 2: We turned Two
Year 3: Third Year
Year 4: May the fourth be with you always

For the Present, this blog turned FIVE. The question you may asked would be has there be any changes?

The answer is YES.  As a regular readers, you may have observed a slow down in posting daily but instead just a couple of post in the week. Why? because blogging do take quite amont of my time and I have been posting and discussion on Open the Toy facebook page instead. That does not mean I will forget about this blog. It just take time to do proper writing and taking photo on toy reviews.

Talking about toys, I have been more strict in getting new toys as my space are running out and my kid now has his own league of toys. Plus the sadden toys prices are getting higher in Singapore.

The amount of money compare to the quality and the fun factor doesn't match up for me. I rarely spend more than a hundred on a toy regardless it was full height, good details or LEDs. As I travel out of my country more,  I discovered we paid premium prices for toys regardless Singapore was a tax free port. Some argue on the ridicules prices on retail rental which could be true but end of the day is still the profit margin.Will I still be a sucker to pay much more than a toy that is worth lesser than it should?

Truth to be told, I noticed many toy collectors and even toy bloggers started out with me has been slowing down too. Collectors are no longer suckers now and reseller now cannot let go of some Mint-in-box toys thinking it would fetch profit. I guess the bubble would burst soon and the generation of toy lover may wake up and do away with some toy robber and learn to do without as life is short and you cannot take it with you in the end of days.

Why is this post so depressing on the anniversary? Am I going to close this blog on toys? Well if toy prices continue to be ridiculous and the quality of toys get worst I would. Because there will be nothing much fun to blog on toys.

That is the very reason you may notice I go for more simple toys to blog and connect. Having a young child now, it taught me what is fun all over again. There are some toys that I have overlooked but my son will love it because of some feature and characters he seen on TV which he can connect.

I guess that would be the direction going forward on Open the Toys as Toys are meant to be FUN and as much as fandom and collector addiction, I will go for some simple and fun toys.

Lastly I want to say a Big Thank you for your support and following. I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy about sharing my thoughts and passion on Toys, Games and anything FUN.

24 November 2013

WCF Kamen Rider Fourze Elekstates

Today I am going to review on the World Collectable Kamen Rider series on Fourze Elekstates

These series come in box and it was not those blind box. What you see on the cover of the box is the actual toy. For this Fourze it is at the number 50.

Another side of the box will have the various Kamen rider in the series.

Out of box, the figure details like painting are superb although it stand shorter than 3 inches.

The bigger head make the figure cuter. The golden paint on the costume was even from head to toe.

For Kamen Rider Fourze, it has the ability to switch with element and make this series for him to have many forms.

Back to the figure, you can see the translucent belt painting was precise at where the paint on the button should be.

At the back which is on the butt was a hole for the stand support. For this Fourze, it doesn't really need a stand as it balance rather well.

The beauty to me of a Kamen Rider are on the helmet of the big eyes. You can see the clear detail of the eye and the helmet paint is flawless.

This series isn't cheap but for the work on the details and painting it is really worth it for a collector. Unfortunately for many, mostly these series do not sell separately but in a full set which make some collector turn off as they maybe some they are not interested to get.

However if you do get the whole box, you will get the whole set for sure as there will be no extra or rare.

Do you like this Elekstates from World collectable series?

23 November 2013

TakaraTomy ANIA Chimpanzee Action Figure

I remember in my childhood, I had some animal toys. Now when I say animals it is not those Mutants but really animals like in the zoo series. Back then those animal are more like a mold casting as there are no articulation.

I was glad that TakaraTomy had ANIA series which focus on animals and there are a couple of animals that attracted me. One of them is a Chimpanzee.

Chimpanzee is one of the species of the Ape family. Now I want to clarify Chimpanzee is not a monkey. A monkey generally are smaller and has tail while the APE are bigger although some Ape can climb trees.

For this TakaraTomy Chimpanzee, it has both articulated arms and legs. Too bad the head has no articulation.

APE can stand up like a human with two legs and if he happen to walk, it would generally a short distance.

The feet of the Chimpanzee are amazing as it is very much like the hand with the ability to provide powerful grip to climb trees.

Generally the arms of the Chimpanzee are longer than the legs. The long arms enable them to swing from trees to trees.

Notice the fingers of the Chimpanzee are often in this position as they use their knuckles to walk on all fours. Chimpanzee are one of the rare animals that uses tools like human to solve everyday problem such as cracking nuts with rock or scoping ants with stick when his fingers are too board to be inserted into the holes of the ant nest.

The lifespan of a Chimpanzee on average is around 40 human years. They are social animals and often enjoy company and communication.

Due to the intelligent of Chimpanzee, human has kept them as pet and in some situation for lab testing. On one instance was a Chimpanzee name Ham which was sent for landing test of how the body (which is close to human) would react. Ham survived the test and lived 17 more years in a zoo. The good thing now many are against such animal testing.

I always believe animals should belong to their natural habitat which is out in the wild. I am all for more space for them to not only survive but to live happily in their own ways with minimal human interaction. I wished we human will spare some thoughts and not just keep animal as pet as Chimpanzee although very intelligent should not be kept as Pet in anyway or even make them as actor in any Hollywood movie.

The recent movie "The Rise of Planet of the Apes" was produced by computer graphic and not by any live animals which I am glad. Although the story was rather far fetch, I guess it stand for animals having their rights to live in this Planet as Human.

If you are a Chimpanzee fan, you should get this toys as this is one of the closet and best Chimpanzee toys you can ever asked for so far. The scale is good and the details are awesome. Too bad there is only one design and expression.

PS: I am not really those full animal lovers who do not eat meat but I just feel that we should spare a thought for animals to be themselves. If we continue to be inward looking to have more land for money, these animals will go extinct in our lifetime and the future generation will never get to see them again or at best under a restricted area called zoo and forever capture and lose their freedom.This in turn will cause our own extinction no doubt.

20 November 2013

Tokyo Front Gundam Gashapon

At my visit to Diver City at Tokyo, I went for the capsule machine which is exclusive at Gundam Front. Between a translucent and the normal RX78-2 capsule toy, I got the normal.

Out of the wrapper, putting this up would be easy as there are only 7 pieces.

I start off with the legs which have a slight variation between left and right feet.

Much of the torso and head are intact. Once assemble, it is firm and won't fall off easily.

The left hand comes with the rifle. You can twist the hand around.

Final piece, the Shield with the marking of WB102.

Close up one the painting which is quite bad but then again it is small and the price is alright. The decal was well put on and the detail of the copper paint on the elbows look good too.

More details on the whole body. Most of the paint are neat except the reds on the head.

Here together with the Real Grade 1/1 Gundam Construction set side by size for size comparison. You can see the size of the Tokyo Front Gundam Gashapon is bigger. 

This should be one of the must get souvenir when you visit Diver City 1:1 Gundam. It is affordable and symbolic at the same time.

How do you find this capsule toy?

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