Monday, November 17, 2008


On our recent filming trip to Tokyo, we were fortunate to visit Obitsu, a famous Japanese factory that specializes in vinyl toys. Obitsu is world-renowned for its unmatched production quality. President and owner of the company, Saburou Obitsu, graciously spoke with the Toypunks crew in an unprecedented, revealing interview about the history of his company and the process of making soft vinyl toys, or sofubi. Obitsu-san's factory is one of the largest and most prestigious in Japan, having crafted countless toys for both mainstream and, in very recent years, boutique vinyl companies such as Toygraph, Secret Base and many more.

Since the first Ultra Q and Godzilla toys were made decades ago, the vinyl production process has not changed, allowing Obitsu to refine production techniques to the highest levels. Among collectors of the genre, Japanese vinyl is considered the best in the world.

After our interview, we were invited to film the sofubi process. Obitsu's longtime factory worker, Shizuo Matsui, showed us how to mix and pour vinyl, which was truly stunning, providing tremendously fascinating filmic moments.

The Toypunks crew and our good friend and translator, Yo Miyamoto, also had the opportunity to pull vinyl toys from the mold, which, not coincidentally, were Space Troopers by Toygraph. Shuuji Kajimoto, owner and creator of Toygraph, was on hand that day for an interview and was integral to our Obitsu visit. Later that day we'd speak extensively with Mr. Kajimoto on film, which we'll be blogging about very soon.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Obitsu, Kajimoto-san and everyone at Obitsu factory for their kindness. We hope that you enjoy these photos (in no particular order) from our amazing day.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Upon our arrival in Japan to film for Toypunks Vol. 2, we had a great meeting with Hiddy Kinoshita, owner and creator of Secret Base toy company. Hiddy starred in Toypunks Vol. 1 and has become a good friend over time. As new vinyl companies come and go in an ever-mercurial market, Secret Base remains one of the top toy makers in Tokyo.

After exchanging gifts and catching up (Thank you so much, Hiddy!), Hiddy showed us this new original sculpt by American tattoo artist Chris Trevino.
Trevino is a gifted tattooist and painter who, among myriad accomplishments, studied under Japanese tattoo master Horiyoshi III. In the tradition of Horiyoshi's lineage, Trevino was given the Japanese name Horimana.

The Trevino, or Horimana, toy will be released by Secret Base and Osaka's Three Tides Tattoo, where Trevino has served as guest artist. As many will recall, Three Tides was featured in Toypunks Vol. 1 and is one of the most respected tattoo shops in the world. Three Tides will release toys by other renowned artist in the future, all of which will be produced by Secret Base.

The original concept art for Trevino's toy is amazing!

After Hiddy shows us this toy and another stunning piece that we won't reveal here until December, we discuss Toypunks' filming schedule for the week. Chika, Secret Base's manager who's become one of our favorite people on the planet, kept us all in line!
With our next meetings confirmed -- we'll see Hiddy and the Secret Base crew many more times throughout the trip -- it's back to the hotel to rest for our first full day of filming!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


We've returned and settled from our recent trip to Toyko, where we filmed extensively for Toypunks Volume 2. A massive thanks to Hiddy Kinoshita and the entire Secret Base crew; we could not have done it without you!

Also, Yo Miyamoto deserves our deepest thanks and respect. You will be hearing more about Yo from us in the future.

Next step: stateside filming begins!
Please check back here for updates on the film and for the announcement of the brand-new, set to relaunch in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned!!