Category Archives: 3D-2D Modeling

Reading Reddit So You Don’t Have To: DQ/GSC AMA

I missed cherry blossom season just by that much

In summary, these are probably the most interesting actual questions/answers (IMO):

  • A blurp about Mikatan’s translated blog posts and being too sexy? It’s kind of funny to read this, and that is probably only because I read Mikatan for luls. For people who don’t know, Mikatan is a GSC employee who “reviews” figures by posing photos of new products that go on sale or on pre-order. Review in quotes because it’s more just plain PR, although it is still quite functional. Her blog also includes a lot of inside info, as expected of a social media outlet for a small, otaku-focused company. It’s just in the past few weeks there were some entries that is LOL, shall we say, a bit fanservicy. And she gets right down to it (“One of us”). Perhaps what is truly notable is that she writes in Japanese and someone translates it into English (old posts) usually a day later (and I think part of that charm might be lost in translation, causing it to feel more pervy). It’s also kind of prolific (a couple posts a week).
  • Regarding import restriction. I don’t have the full picture on this but it comes down to that there’s some degree of price discrimination between Japanese releases and oversea releases, plus an additional time lag. It’s most notable with Kotobukiya figures. The price difference between oversea and domestic releases are usually not very big so it’s not a super big deal, but the larger Japanese online shops do brisk and good business selling overseas, such as HLJ, Hobby Search and AmiAmi. There’s a reason why Amazon doesn’t sell overseas I guess. At the same time, you get into this situation where an official oversea distribution setup has to jump through more hoops like licensing issues and what have you, and that puts local retailers at a big disadvantage. What has happened in the past is that some JP distros will tell JP retailers to not sell to oversea buyers, but that doesn’t really hold any weight legally so the practice continues for the most part. Thing is, most importers aren’t paying any less to get our figures from Japan, so the real victims here are local shops, who may get the same figures, often for a slightly lower price, but months later. Well, with the exchange rate being what it is, it’s even cheaper now.
  • GSC is planning to hold tryouts for figure sculptors in the USA? Very interesting.
  • Future of 3D printing (including paint). I guess this hit the JP news cycle a while back but it’s good to see it again.
  • Sales patterns between US and Japan. Pretty much what you expect.

Some bigger picture things:

  • People want more vocaloid figures, duh. By more I mean non-Crypton ones. I’d say IA, because she’s still new, not to mention I’d buy one.
  • Pretty much everything popular, GSC will try to make it, or so it seems.
  • Figure collecting is still a niche market, overall, but like what DQ says, it’s got a very wide bottom, with a sharp spike somewhere representing you, me and all these peeps.

I like GSC. They run their company as if they know what they’re doing in terms of marketing. I hope you guys going to Acen or AX take the time to visit their booths, should be a good time.


Boomslank Tees

The guys at Boomslank sent me a couple shirts for review. I don’t do product reviews outside of Jtor because it’s just not something I’m comfortable in doing, but these guys have been on my mind over the past year so when they cold emailed me about it, I figured why not. Call it a delayed favor, because these are the guys I referenced to back in this post (all the way at the end).

I think I first saw their wares in the flesh at Animazement last year. They’ve been sending out some PR-type things and as always they have some pretty striking artwork. Original anime-style apparels is a tough market with a hard sell. Most people who wear that stuff tend to go for the references (which I have a mixed feeling about re: the J-List category of unlicensed clever shirts) and the official licensed goods tend to be kind of, well, boring. (Unless you are Cospa, which then you don’t make any shirts bigger than a L and would cost you $50 a pop.) But maybe that’s what nerds want.

On the other end of the spectrum we have your usual catalog of wearable memes and the stuff you find at shirt.woot.com or Threadless. It passes for either super nerdy or somehow mainstream enough for normal people, and everything in between.

Boomslank

From what I can tell, Boomslank is trying to marry the two.

It’s hard to say if this stuff is fashionable. I think it makes sense in my mind, but I am no trend-setter. Maybe more like a risk-insensitive trend-detector? I’m not sure. But it’s the closest you can get pixiv-style ink spoiled on your shirt short of actual pixiv-style artwork on your shirt. Think vania600’s impeccable landscapes, but toned down so your dryer won’t destroy it after one wash.

Oh, wait, there are no trains. You know what you need to do next, Boomslank guys.

And that kind of sums up my issue with Boomslank’s offerings too. On paper all the artwork you see on their store fit the design profile of stuff I would want to own and even wear. But they all lack just that little something to push it over that I’d fork out the $25-30 to buy. Maybe it needs to be more cheeky, in the case of “Flag” (which is one of the samples they sent me). It’s a nice image but not at all remarkable beyond “cool graphics tee,” at a glance. I guess that’s nice if it’s what you’re going for, but there’s more you can do in terms of the layout to showcase the clever details on it. (For example, it would be pretty neat if they sold 2 companion shirts from the angles of the two characters from the back.)

the shirts have been worn a couple cycles, but the note cards have not

Another example, the “Carwash” one, well, could look just as cool with a bullet train, and it would… anyway. I mean, it’s a slick piece of art and a great idea as is but it lacks that one slant that makes it really stand out. Maybe if it was a retro prop aircraft with high-tech hoses attached to it? The other tee I have for review is the “Soundflow” image which is not listed on their website; it comes printed with the key graphics on an offset, where you see the anime-style girl bust-and-up image from the bottom of the shirt. The headphones are a major plus. Unfortunately given how you have to wear it properly for the full effect, I can’t really quite pull it off during the period I had to test-drive the tee (winter is…cold), so I’ll reserve my judgment on this. I might still have a pair of baggy jeans somewhere (yea it’s not quite my style). I guess I rarely have to cosplay as a homie from the 90s. In retrospect I probably should’ve shot some more photos when I first got them, whoops.

As far as the bread & butter aspect of t-shirts, these Boomslank shirts are cotton, unisex Fine Jersey short sleeves tees (I guess that’s American Apparel’s?) and they’re of good quality and comfort. It looks comfortably worn after 2 dryer cycles. I like it, it’s on the thick side but not too thick. Each of the shirts came with a postcard with the illustration and name on it, so you know what it is. I guess it’s good to note that what they offer on the online store is just a section of their total offering, such as XXL shirts for certain items (at least I can’t find it on their store). One real important thing about these shirts is that they’re really colorful and vibrant looking, so I probably won’t even recommend using a dryer if you want to really maintain the color accuracy on these. Keep them fizz free guys–always wash your printed tees inside out, etc. For a couple of these, like “Gate Keeper“, you might want to wash/dry it especially careful–it’s super colorful for something that isn’t custom made.

(Test notes: I wore the 2 shirts, each at a time (lol) for a whole day at a time, over the course of about 2 laundry cycles. Just in my routines on weekends when I’m out and about doing stuff. Of course being sub-freezing half the time makes testing the T-shirts in public rather difficult but it’s showing when I go indoors, usually. The shirts go through my usual wash routine–nothing fancy, just liquid detergent–after each use. )

I think my favorites are the two flying fish ones, although only “Pieces” is available as a shirt, where as the other, flying-with-Cenco “Blue Serengeti” is just a print. But it’s always the kind of question where you have to ask yourself, “Do I really want to wear a flying aquarium?” At least, major props to Boomslank for offering phone cases for the Samsung GS3, a welcome break from the iPhone dominated marketplace for graphic phone cases (and they have those too, and for other iProducts). It’s that kind of stuff that will be necessary to push P-shinobi’s guys over the verge of being something worth my monies.


Autumn Cleaning

I’m in a figure state of mind: sales, selling stuff, cleaning, putting things where they belong…and did I say cleaning?

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For Sale: Grab Bags

As mentioned in the prior sales post, here are the grab bags! More like, bag o crap, except they’re in boxes.

They are $20 + shipping each. Here are some sample items that you might find in any one of them. In the average box I’m aiming to have at least 6 from this list, plus more items.

  • A KOTOKO 2012 Aisa tour paper folding fan
  • Takuya Tsunoki’s autograph on a shikishi (He’s a Madhouse producer). This one is p. cool because he drew Kaiji on it.
  • Aniplex USA’s Madoka DVD vol 3
  • Mangagamer’s Kira Kira (all ages)
  • Nemu boob pad (thanks, Mangagamer!)
  • Bandai/Crunchyroll’s 5 Centimeters per Second DVD
  • Sentai’s K-ON Season 2 Blu-ray Disc vol 2.
  • Masakazu Ishiguro autographed clear plastic folder (mostly known as mangaka for Sore Demo Machi wa Mawatteru) with printed JManga promo artwork on it.
  • One set? of Yujin Aria the Natural trade figures
  • Random OOP type-moon trade figures (Sorry too lazy to ID what they are, but it’s across 2 sets I believe)
  • Some trade figures from Namco’s Tokimeki Memorial 3.
  • Random promotional items, like pencil boards, stickers or post cards.
  • A… Strong Bad beanie cap. Fan-made probably.
  • Imported(?) JAM Project CDs
  • Maybe some packing filler. You know you want some.

Figure Liquidation 2012

This is a pinned/sticky post. It will be updated over time.

[Last update: Oct 11 2013 1800 EST, Sale is basically over~ Nobody got grabbags so uh.]

I’m selling some merch, mostly figures. Click for details!

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