Kaiyodo is a well known toy manufacturing company in Japan. They are especially famous for the Revoltech line of action figures, but they also produce other lines, including capsule toys.
A capsule toy gets it's name from the way it is distributed: the product is dispensed through a capsule machine. There are all sorts of capsule dispensing machines in Japan and many of them are for toys, and of these a few of them target the anime and manga crowd with figures approximately at 1:18 scale. A lot of these are not articulated, being just PVC statues, but some are.
Recently Kaiyodo released a line of skeletons, very articulated ones, as a Capsule Q gashapon toy. Gashapon is another name given to capsule toys, as the name's pronunciation resembles the sound the capsule makes when being first opened. The Kaiyodo capsule toy skeletons are highly detailed and somewhat realistic looking. They come in blue capsules, disassembled in a plastic bag, with instructions. There are two colors for the bones: grey and tan/brown; and four helmet types. But which ones you get from a capsule machine are not guaranteed as the dispensing is random.
The Kaiyodo capsule skeletons are supposed to be US Navy Seals that somehow continue to fight. No further background story or explanation is given. As a GI Joe collector I can imagine something like Compound Z or nanomite technology being used to reanimate a skeleton.
There are accessory packs as well. How many packs are available is not clear, but certainly one, if not then two. The pack(s) expand(s) the basic skeleton with additional skulls -- damaged skulls from bullet holes to sword slashes -- and with various small arm weapons and the hands to hold weapons.
What plans might Kaiyodo have with this line of skeletons beyond what is released is yet to be seen. It'll be nice to see other skeleton themes. For the larger scales Kaiyodo has samurai skeletons. It would be nice to see samurai skeletons in capsule toy scale.
Bangkok, every year, becomes more cyberpunk.
Not just the image of cyberpunk, but the entire cyberpunk theme: high technology mixed with the grime of everyday life. Cyberpunk is often highlighting the difference between the haves and the have-not, where advanced technology is enjoyed by those who can afford it, and the have-nots struggle to achieve that same level of comfort making do with whatever they have.
Asia is full of the cyberpunk theme. There is a very stark contrast between people who work for one of the many corporations here and everyone else. Tall, technological buildings, like those you see in Tokyo are here as well. Buildings shine with animated lights, giant TV displays that line an entire building, glass and tech gives Bangkok a very futuristic feel. And yet the mechanisms that keep the city gleaming is just a little away, just a little out of view: concrete infrastructure turned grey from polluted air -- acid rain, smog -- and neglect. People of all sorts intermingle at the street level: the office worker, the construction worker, the student, the employer, the mechanic. Some dress nice and sharp, some in worn, unwashed clothes, but all of them have some technology with them.
Cell phones and smartphones are the easiest to point out because everyone has them. But walking around the city one notices the street vendors with smoke filled kiosks selling all kinds of food and electronics are connected to the Internet with Apple iPads and Samsung tablets. Tablets dangle on the power cables of the kiosk or a vendor holds an iPad while sitting on a plastic stool. People walk by wearing cosplay animal ears with bluetooth devices on their real ears, lighted headphones, even earbuds glowing with an LED light. Others zoom past on hoverboard/Segway-like devices.
Cosplay culture from Japan has spread here too. The younger generation dress with a fashion that resembles something from an anime. It's like walking in a real life Akira or Ghost-in-the-Shell world -- a Blade Runner city without the lighted umbrellas.
The Internet-Of-Things (IOT) is very much present here too. Obvious are the security cameras mounted on the city utility poles, but increasingly more and more boxes with antennae's are becoming noticeable. More and more things are becoming wirelessly connected. No idea what things, but those boxes are there for a reason. But the IOT is only present in places where classes of people intermix: at mass transport, at the commercial shopping areas, at the business districts. And little-by-little people are wearing the fashion of tech: the smartwatch, smart-headphones, smart-jacket.
It's small now, but it's increasing. Bangkok is becoming more cyberpunk.
It's that time of year again when DioWarriors takes to the skies and travels the world looking for action figures. This year is a little different than most other times since unforeseen events caused us to postpone our original travel dates -- and to a list of several countries -- to a smaller, more tighter schedule.
It is a disappointment. In April and May there are many national holidays in S.E. Asia. Our main stomping ground is Thailand. It is central to everything in Asia. Need to get to a toy convention in Singapore? It's a short flight from Bangkok. Need to get to a toy convention in Indonesia? Also a short flight. To the Philippines or Japan? Just 7 hours more or less. Thailand is an ideal location for being involved with the toy industry.
But Asia likes national holidays, and there are many. Most likely you've heard of Golden Week in Japan. Other countries have similar strings of days off. There is much travel and it gets quite fun. This year we plan to locate items to sell in the DioWarriors Store. If we have to miss conventions, then at least we can hit the markets and find items to enhance diorama scenes. Wish us luck!
Use the hydrant for your city diorama. An urban scene is not complete without a fire plug near a corner. Find a police officer figure writing a ticket for parking too close or a dog taking an interest. It's up to you. :-)
The DioWarriors Fire Hydrant is one of many city props either currently available or coming soon. This is a prototype that will be made available very soon, along with props for traffic lights.
These Hex Stations are fun when combining multiple toy lines. For example, Cobra troopers (GI Joe) monitoring the activities of Omanga, Agurts, and Gafia (Acid Rain World) somewhere deep in the wastelands of the Soil Ghosts. They could be used as a backdrop for a future workshop with tools and spare parts littered on the shelf and piled up -- a maintenance alcove for Star Wars droids.
The small size makes the DioWarriors Hex Stations easy for taking along on a road trip somewhere. The station is designed in sections, where the walls are made up of three separate parts. The roof and ceiling (not pictured) is another part, and so is also the floor. Assembly is easy. Being plastic they are more durable than traditional diorama building material such as foam board. Take it to the beach or place it into a flower bed. The small size means you can take it apart, put it into a bag and take it with you across town, across the country, or even around the world.
Right now DioWarriors is designing the Hex Station. Expect to see the station on the DioWarriors Store very soon this year.
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