Designer Toy

All posts tagged Designer Toy

Skullwing is a collaboration between artist Pushead, toy store Astro-Zombies, in Osaka and Japanese toy maker Secret Base. The head is based upon the Astro-Zombies store logo designed by Pushead and using the Secret Base Skull Brain figure’s body. First released in 2004, there have been a number of colourway’s and variants released over the years.

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Name: Skullwing (Rainy Day Edition)
Line: N/A
Manufacturer: Secret Base
Released: 2008
Price: Then: Unknown.  Now: 3,000 – 6,000 Yen, loose. 8,000 Yen minimum MISB.
Scale: 5
  Inches in height
Accessories: None

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I came to purchasing this particular figure during a late night hit up of Mandarke’s website, bundled in with a few other figures, I couldn’t help but not pass up purchasing this clear blue Skullwing, which marked my first purchase of a Secret Base product.

I was some-what familiar with  Skullwing, having visited Astro-Zombies store a few times at this point, however all the Skullwings seen there are ‘not for sale’.  Still, I wanted one for myself, but I was just looking for the right one to begin with as I didn’t want a massive collection of a character I wasn’t too crazy about, but still liked the look of.

I picked up this clear blue version as I’m a sucker for clear figures and the blue tones looked really nice.

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SCULPTING

The sculpting is one of the standouts for me. I really love the head design the most, it’s a pretty cool design and the wings coming off the top of the head look pretty sick! the rest of the body is quite nice too, but it’s a little too smooth in some places when compared with the head for my liking. However there is still a lot of nice detail on the body and arms. It’s a very simple design overall, but it still looks great.

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PAINT

The paint appears to be applied with airbrush and by hand. It is quite neatly applied, but used sparingly as most of the figure is translucent blue vinyl. There’s also the Astro-Zombies logo on the trunks as well.  I love the clear blue vinyl that the figure has been cast in, it’s a great tone and really pops for me.

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ARTICULATION

Skullwing has the standard amount of articulation for a smaller size sofubi. The head and shoulders can be rotated 360 degrees . If you have bought any kind of smaller Japanese designer toy this is not a surprising amount of articulation, but it’s better then nothing. You can still get a few good poses out of Skullwing, but like most of these figures you are really stretching it to get anything you would expect from a normal action figure. Most of these figures are just meant to be appreciated visually and the articulation is just a bonus.

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ACCESSORIES

Unfortunately Skullwing doesn’t come with anything else besides the figure itself.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Nothing to worry about here. Skullwing is quite well made and I can’t find any issues with mine.

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PRICE

I paid 8,000 Yen for mine, still in an unopened bag, from Mandarake. At first I thought the price might have been a little high for a figure I wasn’t familiar with, but upon receiving it in the mail, the size of the figure really surprised me and made me not feel too bad about the price. It really depends on how much you value having a MISB figure over a loose one, but obviously loose ones will be cheaper.

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OVERALL

I like Skullwing a lot, it’s a pretty neat figure, that fits in well with my overall Japanese Sofubi collection, at the moment I don’t think it will kick off a Astro-Zombies/Secret Base buying craze, thankfully. But I am quite happy with my purchase. I would recommend Skullwing as a nice entry point for anyone who is curious about Sofubi or looking to expand their collection, but wanting to take baby steps about it first.

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Bootleg Man is made by Real X Head, which is a small Japanese company run by Mori Katsura, who makes vinyl toys. Over the years there have been a number of figures and variations released as well as collaborations with other people or stores. Bootleg Man is a larger size 8” figure or “adult” sized figure from Real X Head, which have proven very popular with sofubi collectors!

 RealxHead_Bootlegman_dark_blue_01

Name: Bootleg Man
Line: N/A
Manufacturer: Real X Head
Released:
2013
Price: First released – 6,000 YEN (guestimate). Now – varies 6,000 – 13,000 YEN
Scale: 8 Inches in height
Accessories: None.

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After having a number of Pheyaos Men and Chaos Men in my Real Head collection, I decided I wanted to add one more variant to that grouping and that variant happened to be Bootleg Man. A couple of purchases later from Mandarake and Yahoo Auctions Japan and a slew of Bootleg Men were heading my way. I don’t want to go totally nuts with Bootleg Man purchases, I think about three will do me atm, hopefully it will stay that way. I want to continue my documentation of Real Head’s figures with my review on the Bootleg Man figure.

Thanks to Andy from Kaiju Korner for helping out and pointing me in the right direction to look for some info on Bootleg Man as it’s pretty hard to find for this figure.

 

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SCULPTING

Bootleg Man features a new head and weapon arm, everything else we’ve seen before, that’s not a bad thing as the Chaos Man body, although readily used, is still an excellent base body. I find it quite amazing that even though a lot of the same figures same the same body, they always look and feel complete and that they are their own figure.

I really like the new head; it’s no surprise to most that this head is referencing a certain Japanese live action TV show that is still being made today. I think it’s a very cool homage and fits in with great with the other figures. It does look a touch oversize, however. The new weapon arm is also great too; it’s got some nice detailing and sits snugly on the end of the arm.

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PAINT

This particular Bootleg Man colour-way was featured in Vice Japan’s ‘A day in the life of: Sofubi Toy Makers’. In the short video we get an insight into how Real Head’s figures are made and shown the masterful work with the airbrush gun by Goto-san, Real Head’s one and only painter. I really enjoyed watching how these figures are painted and it was great to learn a little bit more about Real Head as information can be a bit scarce for those of us who can’t read Japanese.

That said, I really love the metallic blue on this figure, it works really nicely with the sliver and red. I also really like the design work around the head too, it’s pretty sweet. It’s a more subdued colour-way for Bootleg Man when compared to the other ones I’m lucky enough to own, but it’s still pretty neat.

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ARTICULATION

Like Chaos Man and Pheyaos Man, Bootleg Man has the same six points of articulation: head, arms, elbows and waist. All these joints are swivels and can be rotated 360 degrees. For this type of figure and the material it’s made out of, this is a great amount of articulation for the larger size. You can get a good number of subtle, yet expressive poses as well as little more “extreme” ones. It really is a great base body for the small, yet growing, variants and collaborations.

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ACCESSORIES

No accessories for this figure, besides the scarf/neck wrap if you can even call it an accessory. It still looks pretty cool and it’s good this was carried over from the smaller figures.

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POTENIAL PROBLEMS

There are none at all – this is an adult designer toy after all. It is made very well, so there are no issues with it.

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PRICE

I paid around $90 for this particular Bootleg Man, it’s a bit of a mark up, sometimes with Real Head figures you do have to pay a bit more than the normal price for a figure you really want. I bought this particular Bootleg Man from Mandarake in Sibuya, and as per usual they did a great job with their packing and prompt shipping time too.

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OVERALL

I like Bootleg Man a lot, he’s pretty cool, a great homage and you can find him in a lot of awesome and funky colour-ways if you have the patience. Do you need one in your collection? Well that depends how much you like Bootleg Man. I think he’s great and he’s placed alongside my other Real Head figures with pride. Worth picking up if you are a fan of Real Head’s larger figures and want to beef up your collection.

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Bootleg Men!

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Bootleg Man and Pheyaos Man

 

 

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Real X Head is a small Japanese company run by Mori Katsura, who makes vinyl toys. Over the years there have been a number of figures and variations released as well as collaborations with other people or stores. One such collaboration is with the store Ichiban –Boshi, which sells new and vintage vinyl toys. One of their custom figures is the subject of this review: Ryusei Ninja.

  REALXHEAD_ryusei_ninja_01

Name: Ryusei Ninja
Line: Ichibanboshi
Ninja Gaiden
Manufacturer: Real Head X Ichibanboshi
Released:
2008
Price: First released – unknown, now – $50-$60 MIB
Scale: 5.5 Inches in height
Accessories: One bandanna

REALXHEAD_ryusei_ninja_02

I’ve already reviewed Ryusei Ninja here. So to save from just repeating myself, this is going to be a photo review as this is a fully painted version of that same figure, now with a bandanna! I will say that this was one of my most sought after Real Head products and picked it up recently thanks to a great Yahoo Auctions Japan bidding service! For a steal as well! I’m very happy with this particular colourway as I feel that as a character the Ryusei Ninja finally comes into his own! My first fully painted Ryusei Ninja and definitely one of the best!

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Chaos Man is made by Real X Head, which is a small Japanese company run by Mori Katsura, who makes vinyl toys. Over the years there have been a number of figures and variations released as well as collaborations with other people or stores. There are a number of Mutant Chaos variants ranging in size and shape. Chaos Man is a larger sized figure and kicked off  the 8” adult sized figures from Real X Head, which have proven very popular indeed!

Chaos_man_01

Name: Chaos Man
Line: N/A
Manufacturer: Real X Head
Released: 2009
Price: First released – 6,000 YEN (guestimate). Now – varies 6,000 – 9,000 YEN
Scale: 8 Inches in height
Accessories: None.

Chaos_man_02

After buying a few Pheyaos Men, how could I not pick up at least one Chaos Man? It is the character that started the larger 8” Real Head toy series after all! So with an intention to buy at least two Chaos Men I ended up with a semi translucent red/pink version with a black rub (bought in Japan) and the subject of tonight’s review: A fully painted version (bought from the US).

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SCULPTING

I’ve partly covered what I think about the sculpting on this figure in my Pheyaos Man review. There are a couple of small differences between the two, firstly the hands have one less finger on them and secondly, but much more obviously, we have a different head. All parts have great amount of detail and it never looks like too much detail in the one place, its spread out really well. I’m a big fan of this base body and it still looks amazing even after acquiring a few Chaos Man/Pheyaos Man figures. The new Chaos head sculpt is excellent and coupled with the new body really makes the character look a lot more mature.

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PAINT

This is where this particular Chaos Man really shines for me. Beautifully blended reds, golds, silvers and blues topped off with a black rub that not only shows off the details in the sculpting, but really makes those colours pop! Masterful work with the airbrush gun on this one, by Goto-san Real Head’s one and only painter. Normally the paint application is always to a high standard, but for this one I think it’s really been pushed to the next level!

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ARTICULATION

Chaos Man has six points of articulation: head, arms, elbows and waist. All these joints are swivels and can be rotated 360 degrees. For this type of figure and the material it’s made out of, this is a great amount of articulation for the larger size. You can get a good number of subtle, yet expressive poses as well as little more extreme ones. It really is a great base body for the small, yet growing, variants and collaborations.

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ACCESSORIES

No accessories for this figure, besides the scarf/neck wrap if you can even call it an accessory. It still looks pretty cool and it’s good this was carried over from the smaller figures.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

There are none at all – this is an adult designer toy after all. It is made very well, so there are no issues with it.

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PRICE

I paid around $100 for this particular Chaos Man, it’s a bit of a mark up, but I haven’t seen this colour way anywhere else, so sometimes with Real Head figures you do have to pay a bit more then the norm. I bought this particular Chaos Man from Vicious Fun, and as per usual I’m very happy with their customer service, packing and prompt shipping too.

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OVERALL

I enjoy this figure just as much as the Pheyaos Man version, considering they are fairly similar, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Chaos Man looks cool and the size is very impressive too. I’m very happy to be slowly building my own ‘Chaos family’. If you have any of the larger Real Head figures, you are going to need at least one Chaos Man in there as he is the starting point for all the rest.

The ever-growing Chaos Family

The ever-growing Chaos Family

Chaos Man and Pheyaos Man

Chaos Man and Pheyaos Man

 

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Real X Head is a small Japanese company run by Mori Katsura, who makes vinyl toys. Over the years there have been a number of figures and variations released as well as collaborations with other people or stores. One such collaboration has been with Onell Design, firstly with smaller 4” sized figures like Pheyaos mini and secondly, with the larger 8” sized Pheyaos man. Onell’s character Pheyden and RealXHead’s Mutant Chaos have been merged together in a very interesting and awesome way that has created a very cool looking toy.

RealXHead_Pheyaos_Man_Purple_01

Name: Pheyaos Man
Line: N/A
Manufacturer: Real X Head
Released:
2013
Price: First released – 5,800 YEN. Now – around 8,000 YEN
Scale: 8 Inches in height
Accessories: None.

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Here is the story of this particular Pheyaos Man colour way, well at least how it found its way into my collection. I tried ordering it before going to Japan in June this year through the Mandarake website, this figure was at their Nakano store. Once ordered they have to check if it’s “in stock” or not as the figures are on display for sale as a “store front item” too besides the website.

They say it is not in stock.

I go to the store as soon as I can when I get to Japan and there it is sitting on the shelf…..

I waited until the store opened then snatched it up! I’m glad to have bought this figure I thought had escaped my grasp!

I don’t know whether it was the same one or another or if someone didn’t do their job very well when “checking the stock” but this pick up made my whole day and nothing else I bought that day of toy hunting made me feel as happy than the fact that I now owned this particular Pheyaos Man colour way!

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SCULPTING

This is one of the stand out categories for Pheyaos Man, even though he uses the Chaos Man body, with newly added weapon arm and new head, it is still a very impressive amount of detail. There is detail all over the figure and it is balanced out very well. For me, the head is the coolest part, the combination of Pheyden and Mutant Chaos looks awesome! The doll eye is once again reused and really helps the head sculpt stand out. You can definitely tell there are two characters merged together. The new weapon arm is very cool too and looks very organic. It’s as if Mutant Chaos is done sampling and now ready to fight! Overall it’s a great figure and an instant classic for me!

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PAINT

Pheyaos Man is cast in purple coloured vinyl, with mainly black and silver sprays separating each purple part. There is a little bit of extra paint added to the chest, eye and belt as well. I really like the overall colour choices for this particular Pheyaos Man, obviously with Real Heads product there are tons and tons of different colour ways. But out of all the Pheyaos Men I have this was the first one I bought and easily my favourite. I love how the purple and black work so well together with the little bits of silver highlights accenting the black sections. It’s probably just one of those deep rooted physic things seeing Skywarp is my favourite Transformer and he has very similar colour scheme. My absolute favourite part is the black spray over the face; it gives Pheyaos Man a menacing and mysterious demeanour – as always excellent paint application.

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ARTICULATION

Pheyaos Man has six points of articulation: head, arms, elbows and waist. All these joints are swivels and can be rotated 360 degrees. For this type of figure and the material it’s made out of, this is a great amount of articulation for the larger size toy. You can get a good number of subtle, yet expressive poses as well as little more extreme ones. Don’t get me wrong, this toy isn’t super articulated, but it’s not meant to be; even with just the arms down by its sides, in the so called “museum pose” it looks cool. It just has that cool factor about it.

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ACCESSORIES

No accessories for this figure, besides the scarf/neck wrap if you can even call it an accessory. Like most Real Head figures this one is pretty damn awesome just by itself, so it’s not a big deal we don’t get anything else!

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

There are none at all – this is an adult designer toy after all. It is made very well, so there are no issues with it.

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PRICE

I purchased this particular Pheyaos Man from Mandarake Nakano. As it was loose, it was most likely second hand, but that’s fine, because it’s in excellent condition. The price wasn’t too bad and I really wanted this one in my personal collection. I paid 8,000 Yen plus consumer tax so closer to 9,000 Yen. I’m pretty happy with that price. It’s been marked up a little from its original sale price, however, and unless you live in Japan it’s pretty hard to get a hold of Pheyaos Man, so with that in mind, I don’t mind paying a little extra.

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OVERALL

I’ve wanted a Pheyaos Man for a while, mainly for the awesome sculpting, but I really wanted to get one in which I was in love the with the paint application too. So I really don’t have anything bad to say about Pheyaos Man, and in case you haven’t noticed, this was a pretty biased review. I’ve got about four so far and I love every one of them; it is easily my favorite Real Head figure and one I would be very happy buying more of! If you are like me and really enjoy Real Head’s products it’s pretty much a no brainer that you need at least one Pheyaos Man in your collection.

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