Monday, August 31, 2015

GanguStars Gallery: G-001 Ultraman The 30 Keshi Part 1

Last year I did a series of Twitter posts showing off Ultraman keshi figures. I know not everybody follows Twitter, so here's the first half of the 30 keshi figures from the Ultraman the 30 set.

レッドキング Redking ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultramanUltraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultraman
レッドキング Redking & ネロンガ Neronga

Ultraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultramanバルタン星人 Baltan ALien Ultraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultraman
ドラコ Dorako & バルタン星人 Baltan Alien

Ultraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultramanUltraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultraman
グリーンモンス Green Mons & ギガス Gigas

Ultraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultramanUltraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultraman
ドドンゴ Dodongo & バニラ Banira

Ultraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultramanUltraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultraman
ザラガス Zaragas & アントラー Antlar

Ultraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultramanUltraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultraman
ゲスラ  Gesura & キーラ Kiyla

ゴモラ Gomora Ultraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultramanケムラー Kemura Ultraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultraman
ゴモラ Gomora & ケムラー Kemura

ウー Woo Ultraman keshi kaijuu ウルトラマン 怪獣 ultraman
ウー Woo



80's, galleries, kaiju, Popy, Bandai, Ultraman, keshi, ウルトラマン, バンダイ, ポピー, 消しゴム,

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Where I Was 10 Years Ago: Transformers, Gobots, G.I.Joe, Soda Pop & Japanese Snacks.

So I'm sitting here coming up with what to write while I'm listening to Depeche Mode. Because Depeche Mode is great Summer music to me. I don't know why exactly, but they just always sounds better in the Summer. I write the text in my blog posts based around the pictures I post here. I write in a very "stream of consciousness" style, or in other words I ramble on. A lot. So far this Summer is just flying by, I'm already seeing leaves fall from tress and the nights are getting cooler. I've also fallen into much deeper thought episodes over the last few months. Passing periods of thought about collecting now and the way it was have extended into hours of mulling over the thought of it. A lot of thinking seems to focus on changes in my life back around 2005.

Why dwell on things from 10 years ago? By 2005 I had really become disenchanted with collecting, selling and interacting with toys and toy collectors as a whole. I was trying to get back into producing art, and just getting my life back in order overall. The year before had been the first year since 1995 that I missed a Transformers convention, and the first year since 1998 I didn't visit Japan at least once. So in 2005 I at least made my way overseas, and for a toy show. Maybe you have heard of it, maybe not, but the Jissen Toy Show* in 2005 was a celebration of G.I.Joe, Gobots and Dino Riders. Strange combination yes? But surely 3 properties that wouldn't require their own individual collectors events in Japan.

The Jissen show was put on by the same team who operated the BotCon Japan shows. And I have to say it was a great little show. I also have to admit I didn't go there to buy, but rather to set up as a dealer and try to unload a lot of the stuff I still had left. A good deal of G.I.Joe stuff, Gobots and some rare to Japan Transformers. And I almost totally sold out of things. And sure, try as hard as I could to not buy, I did snag some rare items for myself at crazy cheap prices. Dealer room aside, there was a cool showroom featuring toys, prototypes and memorabilia from the 3 toy properties.
2005 action figures comics g.i.joe G.I.ジョー Gobots 2015 Transformers toys マシンロボ トランスフォーマー2005 action figures comics g.i.joe G.I.ジョー Gobots 2015 Transformers toys マシンロボ トランスフォーマー
Like I said about going to to the show to sell and not to buy, that went for the trip as a whole. This was my first trip to Japan that I spent as a tourist more than a toy buyer. I probably bought less than $200 worth of toys on the trip. I spent the better part of the trip taking photos and just enjoying my surroundings.
Coming back from Japan I tried to sell some things, and I tried to care about toys, but it was a lot of work. And I was tiring of it. I was finding my way back into music and checking out new bands and new sounds. Music is a part of my daily life, but I think somewhere around 2000-2003 I really didn't look out for new stuff so much. I started spending more time and money on searching out new music in 2005 than I did new toys. And that said, I didn't abandon my past music loves.
My interest in taking photos also developed more than just being about the subject of toys. I began to take a lot of photos of Japan snack foods and candies. Mush of the items either limited editions or for the most part stuff  really liked to eat. My other new fun photo subjects were pop bottles. For a few years indie and limited brands were starting to gain steam and I was all about trying them out. But now without a few photos first. I was beginning to enjoy product photography far more than toy photography.
Japan candy food Transformers, Gobots, G.I.Joe, Soda Pop & Japanese SnacksJapan candy food Transformers, Gobots, G.I.Joe, Soda Pop & Japanese Snacks
Japan candy food Transformers, Gobots, G.I.Joe, Soda Pop & Japanese SnacksJapan candy food Transformers, Gobots, G.I.Joe, Soda Pop & Japanese Snacks
My dis-interest in toys would continue for some time. I would kind of enter and exit the toy world for brief moments until 2007's debut of the Hasbro 25th Anniversary G.I.Joe line. By this time I had sold almost all of my original G.I.Joe collection, and I was really hooked on this new line. But G.I.Joe wasn't the only toy line I sold, my Gobots/Machine Robo collection was gone, my Transformers collection decimated and any lingering sign of Microman and Diaclone in my house was hard to spot. I slowly fell back in love with toys, and even began to re-build some of my past collections. Here 10 years later I'm still trying to re-build a once great collection, but I can't say I'm not starting to falter just a bit. Some signs of a waning interest in collecting are beginning to appear here and there.


2005 action figures comics g.i.joe G.I.ジョー Gobots 2015 Transformers toys マシンロボ トランスフォーマー
* For more on the Jissen Toy Show, you can view Alex Bickmore's video that shows a bit of the show here:

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Imaginext Fall Re-sets And Meijer. (Ghost Pirates and Elves)

So as we who collect Imaginext toys have been seeing, stores are re-setting all their plan-o-grams for the Fall and all the new Imaginext toys hitting the market. Target and Walmart have seemed to shrink the Imaginext section again in some cases. K-Mart may have more Imaginext than they have at any other time. Toys R Us continues to have shelves that say they have tons of stuff, but it's always hit and miss as to whether the toys will be on those shelves. So it's weird to me that when I go into Meijer last night I see some strange goings on. Yes they have re-set their section for Imaginext. But it's more than that.
Fisher-Price imaginext mattel action figures イマジネックスト 戦隊シリーズ power rangers toysFisher-Price imaginext mattel action figures イマジネックスト 戦隊シリーズ power rangers toys
It's sad to see it's quite smaller, but maybe that's because they seem to have decided against some additions to the plans. I guess. All the stuff they will no longer will carry has been moved to a clearance aisle, the Space Alien sets, a good potion of the Pirates figures, some of the Castle bits. Oh, and the Ghost Pirate Island as well as the Elf Castle!
Ghost Pirate Island Elf Castle Fisher-Price imaginext mattel action figures イマジネックスト 戦隊シリーズ power rangers toysGhost Pirate Island Elf Castle Fisher-Price imaginext mattel action figures イマジネックスト 戦隊シリーズ power rangers toys
 I don't quite understand it. I have to consider it to a mistake on the stores part, cause these are sets that have never been at any Meijer store in my area. But here they are, on clearance and fresh out of the shipping cases. I already have the Ghost Pirate Island, but the Elf Castle is so tempting right now, too bad I'm broke.


Fisher-Price imaginext mattel action figures イマジネックスト 戦隊シリーズ power rangers toys

Friday, August 28, 2015

2015 Fisher-Price Imaginext Continues - Part 2: DC Super Friends, Gotham City & Justice League.

In the second "catch up" up post I'm covering the rest of 2015's announced DC Comics based Imaginext toys. Not surprising it's very Bat-centric, but why wouldn't it be? The Batman toys really do seem to sell the best. Some other great additions this year outside any Batman toys though. We are finally getting  Green Lantern villain in Sinestro. Wonder Woman also gains a nemesis in Cheetah. Both of these villains also fill out the Imaginext Legion of Doom a bit more, so that's awesome. We're also getting a Hall of Justice, and it's spectacular, no matter how many complains of it's size there may be. Cheers to Fisher-Price for getting a HoJ out after so many years of not seeing a new version out in stores.

A few new upgrades and theme additions round of the mid-year releases. We are already getting a small glimpse at some future releases, so this list could be out of date by next week. I hope so, because I'd love to see any new items set to come out later this year or in early 2016.

Imaginext DC Super Friends BatBoat and Transforming Batmobile
Imaginext DC Super Friends BatBoat Fisher-Price dc comics BatmanImaginext DC Super Friends Transforming Batmobile Fisher-Price dc comics Batman
So the Batboat gets a new update this year. I like the water themed Batman suit. Since I don't own this toy yet, I can't really compare it to the older Batboat, which is a toy I really like. I've found that reaction to the new transforming Batmobile has been really mixed. Even opinion in my house is split, my wife thinks it's silly looking and I think it's awesome. I hope FP continues to take chances on design aspects like this, even if public opinion seems iffy.

Imaginext DC Super Friends Transforming Batcave
Imaginext DC Super Friends Transforming Batcave Fisher-Price dc comics Batman
Batcave number 4.It wouldn't be a new era of Imaginext DC Super Friends without a new flagship Batcave. As it stands, this may beat the last Batcave set, but it's gonna be hard to top the 1st and 2nd Batcaves since they are really great toys. This new Batcave comes with a really cool straight jacketed Joker exclusive figure, and has light up features. Oh, and it actually transforms a bit, so that's pretty neat. Yeah, this will probably be a popular Christmas item.

Imaginext DC Super Friends Hall of Justice
Imaginext DC Super Friends Hall of Justice Fisher-Price dc comicsImaginext DC Super Friends Hall of Justice Fisher-Price dc comics
Yes. Yes. Yes, yes, yes! Even as I write this, I can't help but to think of all the negative comments made about the toy, but it's such a perfect starter set for kids, and Imaginext rendition of the Hall of Justice. Priced at a modest $20-$25 for the US market, this toy will be a great gift for any kid just starting out with Imaginext or for the kid ho may have the figures but no base set for them. The set comes with 2 new sculpt figures of Batman and Superman. Sure I would have loved to see something more 70's Super Friends cartoon related in terms of character selection, but the Bats and Supes additions will surely help this sell with parents. And the more we see sets like this sell, the more sets like this we'll see get made.

Imaginext DC Super Friends Cheetah & Sinestro and Firestorm
Imaginext DC Super Friends Cheetah & Sinestro Fisher-Price dc comics Legion of DoomImaginext DC Super Friends Firestorm Jason Rusch Fisher-Price dc comics
So as of posting, I don't think there's been an exact location announced for where these 2 figure packs will show up. They could easily be Target Justice League sets. Any way they come out is going to be greatly appreciated by fans. Sinestro has been a most wanted figure for years, ever since we saw a Green Lantern figure issued. And female figure fans have been clamoring for a Cheeta for some time. For better or worse, she's about to hit retail, but more on that later. With Firestorm showing up in the Flash t.v. show many expected we could see him appear in the Imaginext DC Super Friends line, and here he is. He looks to be a version of the Jason Rusch incarnation, which I'm kinda stoked about. Imaginext can always use a little mix up in which versions of characters they make. And Jason is a Detroit guy, so that's a plus for me.

Imaginext DC Super Friends Red Robin and  Man-Bat
Imaginext DC Super Friends Man-Bat Fisher-Price dc comics BatmanImaginext DC Super Friends Red Robin Fisher-Price dc comics Batman
These sets will be available at all stores being in the basic DC Super Friends assortment. I have some fears that Man-Bat could become another Clayface and scare kids as well as shelf warm, so let's hope that is doesn't. Red Robin is another great teen Robin upgrade figure. We've had a couple Robins and then last year got a Nightwing, so it's cool to get a Red Robin figure released as well. How about we go retro next time FP and get a 60's/70's Dick Grayson in legless shorts and a cape? :)

Imaginext DC Justice League Green Lantern Jet (Target)
Imaginext DC Gotham City Joker & Garbage Truck (Toys R Us)

Imaginext DC Justice League Green Lantern Jet TargetImaginext DC Gotham City Joker & Garbage Truck Toys R Us
A few new store exclusive vehicles are also coming this year. A new Green Lantern figure and GL Jet will be hitting Target as part of their Justice League series. I'm not write sold on this one just yet. I'd love to find that this is actually the Kyle Rayner GL, but I am not holding my breath. I'll probably end up getting it anyhow because I'm a sucker for translucent plastic toys. The Joker Garbage Truck is a silly and yet awesome addition to the Toys R Us Gotham City series. Of course the Joker would steal something as useless and crazy as a dump truck. Decking out in his colors is only more insane...or genius!

Imaginext DC Justice League 7 Pack (Target)
Imaginext DC Super Friends Gift Set (K-Mart)
Imaginext DC Super Friends 5 Pack sets (Kohls/K-Mart/Meijer/?)

A few exclusive gift sets are also out there now. Target has a new 7 pack made up primarily of their own Justice League figures. The high point of this set is the inclusion of an exclusive Ras Al Ghul figure. The K-Mart gift set features a Batmobile re-issue, and 2 new vehicles in appropriate colors for the Joker and Robin. The Joke is features a slight re-color with racing stripes added to his outfit. K-Mart and Meijer may also be selling the exclusive 5 packs that Kohl's has had for the last year which feature a mix of heroes and villains. None of the figures appear to be changed from prior releases.

Imaginext DC Wonder Woman Poison Ivy Harley Quinn female figuresImaginext DC Wonder Woman Poison Ivy Harley Quinn female figures

Now as I mentioned I wanted to go into a bit more detail on the Cheeta release, or problem with it. I love the look of the figure. I love that we're getting the figure. Other adult DC Imaginext collectors love that we're getting the figure. Will the kids who are the primary market for these love this figure?

For the last few months I have been seeing the same thing from store to store, the packs with female figures starting to clog pegs. As more fans request to see the likes of Supergirl, Batgirl and others, it seems less people are buying the female figures already out there. Is it a problem that boys are mainly the ones who are into Imaginext and the great portion of them don't want the female figures or is it a larger issue of how they are sold. I've notice another lingering figure pack at Target stores is the Justice League Superman and Darkseid. Probably the least popular figure pack of the whole Target series. So is it possibly the male counterparts that these female figures are sold with? Harley with yet another Joker? Wonder Woman with the same Superman who has had other releases? Poison Ivy with a pretty scary Scarecrow, a less than top tier Bat villain to those under 10 years old. Catwoman seems to have sold quite well, and was even popular after being brought back after a short time out of stores. She also just happened to come with a cool cat motorcycle. Maybe a little shake up needs to come about with how female figures are handled in the DC line.



action figures batman dc comics Fisher-Price imaginext mattel イマジネックスト アメコミ バットマン

Do You Wash Your Auction Wins? (Robotech Robolinks)

So I have an honest, no joking around at all question. Do you wash the toys you receive in auction wins? How about flea market and garage sale finds? Or even just toys you've picked up at toy shows and events? It's not the weirdest question I can think of regarding toy purchases. And I don't mean that new mint in box specimen you just gabbed, I'm talking about lots or sets of loose, used toys.

Robotech Robolinks Revell Takara 1984 robots Blockman value cost sale selling buy

I picked this lot up cheaply. Even cheaper than I would normally pay for these. Which in this lot would have been $2 for the solid blues and $2.50-$3 for the mixed color bots. I've been buying these long enough to know an accurate value of the things and that's what I've found. Greedy Ebay sellers and selfish band-wagon jumping collectors will no doubt disagree.

Now this lot came from a Transformers collector and was probably just bits mixed in a Transformers lot they bought. They were in pretty good shape, a little dirt and what seems like clay in some of the joints and fist plugs. Nothing major, and even without that little bit of dirt and grime I'd still wash these guys. Because I'm a bit of a germophobe.

Robotech Robolinks Revell Takara 1984 robots Blockman value cost sale selling buyRobotech Robolinks Revell Takara 1984 robots Blockman value cost sale selling buy

First step is to grab a small container for soaking and soaping. I then "open" the little guys up to allow the soapy water to get into the places it needs to.

Robotech Robolinks Revell Takara 1984 robots Blockman value cost sale selling buyRobotech Robolinks Revell Takara 1984 robots Blockman value cost sale selling buy

I use just a bit of normal dish soap to clean the toys. Sometimes I may use a disinfectant, but that's not needed in like 80% of the cases.  Then the little dudes get to take the plunge into the slightly warm soapy water.

Robotech Robolinks Revell Takara 1984 robots Blockman value cost sale selling buyRobotech Robolinks Revell Takara 1984 robots Blockman value cost sale selling buy

I let the toys soak for about 5 minutes and then begin to shake the container and agitate the toys just a bit. I then take them out one at a time and clean them up with a cloth or paper towel. I work out any tough dirt or mess with a toothpick, dipping them back into the water as needed. After all the cleaning is done, I run them under water quickly and then drop them back into the container that I have re-filled with just warm water to let them soak out any soapy residue.

Robotech Robolinks Revell Takara 1984 robots Blockman value cost sale selling buyRobotech Robolinks Revell Takara 1984 robots Blockman value cost sale selling buy

After their bath is over I grab 1 or 2 at a time and wrap them in towel and shake out the water. The last step is a dry out where I just let them sit for a few hours on a cloth. Then it's play time!



1984 1985 action figures Blockman Japanese Robots Japan robotech Robolinks 合体戦士ブロックマン タカラ Takara