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KrokoHunter
11-13-2010, 07:32 AM
Quick question:

Does a fairly good magazine that's covers GK's exist?

I have a couple of issues of Replicant .. and the newest I have, are a bit like the Hobby Search Figure Newsletter .... 99.999995% PVC's and =0.000005% GK's .... not exactly what I was looking for.

I've looked a bit at Figure Maniacs .. but I have an idea, that it's much like Replicant ...

Any ideas?

Masa
11-13-2010, 08:24 AM
Unless the particular issue features coverage of one of the major model shows, you probably won't be seeing many garage kits. I stopped buying them for this reason and only pick up an issue off the magazine rack if it has a sculpting feature or some interesting tutorial.

Xelizarios-Prime
02-26-2011, 08:28 AM
Hello,

I was wondering in general- where do you get GK magazines online these days? I picked up a Hobby Japan issue or two years ago and also got a really cool book of Monsieur Bome garage kit figures years ago at a now-defunct comic book shop in Madison, WI but that was 12 years ago. A couple figures from the book have been released in the US as PVC figures. And now there is a whole line of them. But I just never see much for garage kits. As "popular" as anime is a lot of fans only seem to watch the popular titles -- I say that because it seems to me that garage kits are still as obscure as they were 12-14 years ago when anime was just starting to soar in popularity. At least that's how it strikes me. But I never see much about GK.

Thx.

Masa
02-26-2011, 09:01 PM
To get hobby magazines in the U.S., you'd probably have to order from one of these stores in Japan.

Hobby Link Japan: http://www.hlj.com/
Rainbow Ten: http://www.rainbowten.co.jp/english/index.html
Hobby Search: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/

As far as the coverage and popularity of garage kits these days... it's sad to say that you missed the "golden age" and have arrived at the tail end of one of it's downward cycles. While it might be relatively new in your part of the country - anime and garage kits in general have been around much longer than you might imagine. The bottom line is just that there is much more money to be made with pre-painted collectibles. There are only a handful of companies who still produce garage kits for the general market. Most of the garage kits that you will see are fan produced kits from independent sculptors that are sold at events in Japan. Even these events are becoming non-profitable and are either disappearing entirely, or are severely reduced in size and duration.

Xelizarios-Prime
02-26-2011, 10:18 PM
To get hobby magazines in the U.S., you'd probably have to order from one of these stores in Japan.

Hobby Link Japan: http://www.hlj.com/
Rainbow Ten: http://www.rainbowten.co.jp/english/index.html
Hobby Search: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/

As far as the coverage and popularity of garage kits these days... it's sad to say that you missed the "golden age" and have arrived at the tail end of one of it's downward cycles. While it might be relatively new in your part of the country - anime and garage kits in general have been around much longer than you might imagine. The bottom line is just that there is much more money to be made with pre-painted collectibles. There are only a handful of companies who still produce garage kits for the general market. Most of the garage kits that you will see are fan produced kits from independent sculptors that are sold at events in Japan. Even these events are becoming non-profitable and are either disappearing entirely, or are severely reduced in size and duration.


Wow! There aren't any stores in the US that sell mags anymore? I used to get NewType Japan from a dew U.S. merchants years ago. And that was mostly to get an idea of what Anime was in Japan at a given time. But we had a store in my hometown of Milwaukee years ago that has long since folded. That was in 1997 and that's where I first discovered garage kits and Japanese figure models. The store folded after I moved to Cincinnati, OH in 2001. And I hate to say it, but this is hillbilly country. People here eat, sleep, inbreed, and snort crystal meth. OK, that's a broad generalization but you're going to find "Hobby Lobby" and "Michael's" for hobby stores. The comic shops here are good if you like the latest offerings of re-re-re-recyled Marvel and DC comics (how many times have they all been "rebooted" now?). "Anime, what's Anime?" is kind of how it is here. Most anime fans (at least here) are doing good to tune into Naruto and Bleach on Cartoon Network every day. Make no mistake - I'm not knocking Marvel or DC Comics or Naruto or Bleach - just that here you don't find specialized anime stores unless you go up to Anime Palace in Columbus and I've not met too many die hard Anime fans or hobbyists here. With the rise of prepackaged Anime stores (by that I mean all the stores sell the same 50 anime titles, the same mangas, the same figures, and Pocky for $4 a box when I can get it at Krogers for $2-something. I mean I like Pocky, but I prefer chocolate covered pretzels! lol!) and stuff that is sold at stores like Suncoast and FYE - sorry about the long explanation, just that over the years I was led to believe Garage Kits were totally dead in this country or only existed among true die hard fans.

I usually check out stores like J-List and stuff on Amazon.com, also Mandarake.co.jp, etc. but it's all prepainted figures. And I thought $100 was outrageous for some of the figures they sell, some of the really well done PVC figures and statues- then I started seeing figures for $200 and $300 and thought "that's enough!" I'm not going to pay $300 for a figure of ANYTHING! If I am going to pay that kind of money I want it for someone to sculpt me a custom figure then. Since I draw my own original characters (which can be seen on my hobby blog and website) I would want someone to sculpt my characters. but then again- if I am going to pay $200-300 I may as well spend $100 on some stuff at an art store and see what I can do with my own two hands! :-)

So I decided to pursue the idea of sculpting. I got polymer clays and as soon as it gets nicer weather-wise (where I can open my windows to vent my place) I want to get started. I looked into Resin figure making but learned that resin requires a lot of toxic chemicals to work with and has to be electrically charged so the paint will stick, etc. I vetoed the idea of resin and bought clay to sculpt with. Of course I have been told by one or two people on here that there is modeling resin that doesn't require the electrical charging and crazy chemicals I heard about. Once I learn more about that I will get into that more. But yeah it's hard to find good magazines or books about resin figures and garage kits. I didn't think people messed with that stuff anymore.

Anyho... sorry about the long winded reply. And I hope I don't sound too negative or critical, it's not my intention at all. Just that I've not had the easiest time in this pursuit. If you lived in Ohio you might be just as cynical as me! lol! :-)

But hey, thank you for those links, I will check them out.

Cheers! :D

BTW- I hope I don't sound too critical and I'm not trying to put down anything anyone likes- just trying to relate how it is here. :-)

Masa
02-27-2011, 04:23 AM
Like we said earlier... "Welcome to the club" LOL. That is exactly the same situation that all of us are stuck in right now too. Even if you could get the magazines, they aren't really worth buying anymore IMO. I can walk to the bookstores anywhere here in Japan and get a Hobby Japan or a Newtype, but they won't have anything I'm interested in reading. Hobby Japan's usual monthly 4-5 page garage kit coverage dwindled to half of one page, then went to nothing. They even used to publish a garage kit magazine called Hobby Japan Extra - 4 times a year that has since stopped publication. Replicant and Figure Maniax was supposed to be the savior for gk magazines, but even they are switching their focus to PVC and prepainted collectibles. The only time you ever really need to buy one is after a WonderFest event or if they do a sculpting special. Otherwise it's just prepaint city.

A good number of us here have been doing this since waaaaaaay back when (we didn't even know other modelers were out there until the usenet newsgroups days) and have seen firsthand - the rise and fall of figure garage kits. The late 80's to the early 90's was probably the best time to be in the hobby. Production kits were probably at their peak during the mid to late 90's. You could walk into any toy store in Japan and see Kotobukiya, Kaiyodo, Wave, and Musashiya resin kits on the shelves. Mandarake went from having half a floor full of garage kits to only one aisle. The last time I went, they had three shelves with some dusty resin sandwiched in-between vending machine toys and keychains :dotdotdot:

Funny how we've come full circle though. The hobby actually started because of independent sculptors making kits of their favorite characters. And maybe that time has come again :dunno:

Xelizarios-Prime
02-28-2011, 02:35 PM
Like we said earlier... "Welcome to the club" LOL. That is exactly the same situation that all of us are stuck in right now too. Even if you could get the magazines, they aren't really worth buying anymore IMO. I can walk to the bookstores anywhere here in Japan and get a Hobby Japan or a Newtype, but they won't have anything I'm interested in reading. Hobby Japan's usual monthly 4-5 page garage kit coverage dwindled to half of one page, then went to nothing. They even used to publish a garage kit magazine called Hobby Japan Extra - 4 times a year that has since stopped publication. Replicant and Figure Maniax was supposed to be the savior for gk magazines, but even they are switching their focus to PVC and prepainted collectibles. The only time you ever really need to buy one is after a WonderFest event or if they do a sculpting special. Otherwise it's just prepaint city.

A good number of us here have been doing this since waaaaaaay back when (we didn't even know other modelers were out there until the usenet newsgroups days) and have seen firsthand - the rise and fall of figure garage kits. The late 80's to the early 90's was probably the best time to be in the hobby. Production kits were probably at their peak during the mid to late 90's. You could walk into any toy store in Japan and see Kotobukiya, Kaiyodo, Wave, and Musashiya resin kits on the shelves. Mandarake went from having half a floor full of garage kits to only one aisle. The last time I went, they had three shelves with some dusty resin sandwiched in-between vending machine toys and keychains :dotdotdot:

Funny how we've come full circle though. The hobby actually started because of independent sculptors making kits of their favorite characters. And maybe that time has come again :dunno:

So, you live in Japan, huh? I always like to talk to people from other countries. I am always interested in learning how things are in other countries.

We may be from two different countries but it seems we both come from generations that had something called "imagination" and "creativity". When I was a kid it wasn't hard to find comic shows, Star Trek conventions, toy shows, record shows, etc. where people of those hobbies could browse, sell and trade those kinds of things. People were more crafty and there ere more creative people around.

One thing I always admired about the Japanese is attention to detail and quality. There is a reason Toyota became the number one selling car in America-- they make GOOD RELIABLE CARS and they LAST. Gas milage on Toyota is superior, STILL, to the best American cars. And American cars? Would you rather tow a Ford (Found On Road Dead, Fix Or Repair Daily, F**ked-Over Rebuilt Dodge, etc.) or push a Chevy? Japanese Cartoons were (and inmany respects still are) superior to American ones - except with some of the latest stuff I've seen. I could mention some examples but I since "one man's trash is another man's treasure" I will refrain from mentioning -- I genuinely don't want to offend anyone.

But it's funny this conversation reminds me of "Otaku No Video" - which is one of my very favorite anime cartoons. But they show that- the two guys build an empire out of the garage kit fad. I know that's only an anime cartoon but it is fun to watch. I wonder how true it is some of the things they show? But comparing that anime to Japan would probably be like comparing the show "Laverne & Shirley" to my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin! lol!

I used to pick up the Japanese "New Type" - I can't read Kanji to save my life! But I always looked at pictures and then the English subtitles, I would look for words like "DVD" or "CD" or "Model", etc. to determine what it was I was looking at. Of course for an anime video I would make note of the name and look it up on CDJapan.com. but it's too bad the magazines have gone the direction you have told me. I haven't seen a "NewType" in a about 2 years so I've been due to get one. But I'll be bummed about the lack of garage kits. I would look at those too. I can't help but think though that there have to be people who are publishing fanzines or websites about this. There always are. Hell, I used to self-publish a small heavy metal music fanzine years ago I called "Razorwire News"! It's a matter of finding them. But I found THIS site because I was trying to learn about sculpting anime figures from clay.

I find it refreshing to have stumbled onto this. I don't think it will ever die- but yeah it is clearly getting hard to find this stuff.

Right now people are only interested in what is quick and easy (most people not all). But there are always some that play their own game- that is evident by the existence of this website.

When I started drawing Anime 13-14 years ago there were NO books here in America. I had to use Manga comics (when Dark Horse was publishing Johji Manabe comics- one of my personal favorite Japanese artists!) and whatever I could find- anime cels I could get, posters, etc. The books have come and gone- it's hard to find the authentic JAPANESE books now without going to particular sources. Now it's all cheesy "manga" books by American artists who still look like Hanna-Barbara cartoons. I still have my collection of Japanese Manga "how to" books (howtodrawmanga.com) but now it's figure sculpting and I feel the same way now as I did when I first started drawing anime. But I have several anime figures as references and such- so I hope it will be a little easier.

but I can relate to how you feel. but it also puts us in a unique class! So hey! I'm all on it!

But hey! I know I don't have much to offer in terms of info but I will be happy to share any info I come across or anything I learn so others can benefit also.

:-)

Not sure what else I can say on this right now but I appreciate any information and will share anything I can dig up.

I don't have many Japanese books on figures or models but I would happy to scan or share information I do have, if that is desired or permissible?

Cheers! ..for now!

Masa
02-28-2011, 11:45 PM
Otaku No Video is actually a pseudo documentary based on real life events. The characters in the anime are supposedly based on their real live company counterparts and the storyline (more or less) tells how Gainax came into being :)

There are books out there that have tutorials on sculpting. Just not as many as there used to be. I think the latest ones that you might still have a chance to procure are mentioned in this thread http://www.gkjapan.com/showthread.php?1224-Highly-Recomended-Replicant-EX&highlight=sculpting

secretasianman
03-01-2011, 01:55 PM
... come from generations that had something called "imagination" and "creativity". When I was a kid it wasn't hard to find comic shows, Star Trek conventions, toy shows, record shows, etc. where people of those hobbies could browse, sell and trade those kinds of things. People were more crafty and there ere more creative people around.

Trying not to go off topic or derail (seeing how the OP question was answered thoroughly) but it's refreshing to see the sentiments about hobby in general shared by others than myself. Also, forgive the disjointedness of my rant, it's been a while since I've written anything compelling.

Just last year I noticed "hobby" is dying and hobbyists are a dying breed. As I'm nearing 40 I reminisced that there was once a time when on weekends, people built trainsets in their basements and flew model airplanes that spewed more blue smoke than a bus with a cracked piston ring. When a hobby store had more shelf stock than they could put on shelves and the ability to make something with your own two hands wasn't considered sorcery

Nowadays people who say they have hobbies simply play video games. With the exception of a gardener and a new homeowner, there is not a single person in my finite collection of RL friends who have a pasttime that has any evidence that they have passed any time producing anything.

So what happened? The internet had arrived. The world's largest textbook, mail order catalog, magazine, garage sale and anything else that could be digitized was rolled into one. Everything is available with a click. ADD and autism per capita is on the rise and no-one has patience for anything that can't be achieved with a single click of the button anymore. So what's next?


Funny how we've come full circle though. The hobby actually started because of independent sculptors making kits of their favorite characters. And maybe that time has come againI'm hoping this is the case. Touhou Project seemed to open up a new market for imagination but since it's become a freight train of fandom it's made a very fast leap to plasticware with fans often favoring brands over quality

I'm *hoping* the snake bites its own tail and either :

kids with seemingly bottomless pockets wake up and stop paying $100 for 6 inch statues or
the increasing mass of the PVC tidal wave drives MSRP beyond what is (ridiculously and aguably) affordable.

Otherwise there's little reason for the unknowns to pay license out of pocket and make a compelling sale against the "special editions" and "rare mass produced items" they're up aganst.

Xelizarios-Prime
03-01-2011, 09:06 PM
Otaku No Video is actually a pseudo documentary based on real life events. The characters in the anime are supposedly based on their real live company counterparts and the storyline (more or less) tells how Gainax came into being :)

There are books out there that have tutorials on sculpting. Just not as many as there used to be. I think the latest ones that you might still have a chance to procure are mentioned in this thread http://www.gkjapan.com/showthread.php?1224-Highly-Recomended-Replicant-EX&highlight=sculpting


Otaku No Video is one of my all time faves for sure! I figured it was a parody/satire type anime. I heard it was based on GAINAX but never knew for sure. But then again GAINAX did it! Just like Golden Boy - the artist who made it put himself in the video! (Golden Boy is another great anime!)

I am already starting to mess around with modification of existing PVC figures but I need some tools, resin and additional paints. The weather is starting to warm up so I hope to start sculpting soon too.

Thanks for the link on the sculpting mags. I want to see if I can score some of those. :-)

Xelizarios-Prime
03-01-2011, 10:56 PM
@ secretasianman

First secretasianman - I love your post. Also like the handle! A play off a classic song! :-)

I think you hit the nail on the head on certain things. I'm an 80s kid myself so you're in good company here! :-)

I think hobbies have been dying. Real hobbies. Like I said, I left my hometown of Milwaukee and moved to Cincinnati in 2001 - we had one full-blown anime store there and one comic book shop that gave that guy some fair competition. But the anime store had videos to buy or rent, toys, collectables, garage kits, etc. then in the late 90s anime suddenly "got popular" and everyone wanted to get in the game. The major retailers did like Media Play, FYE, Suncoast, the Musicland Group (now since defunct themselves) and drove the independent anime store in Milwaukee out of business. Now you can only find the to 30-40 titles of Anime at the big chains like Suncoast and FYE, and the top collectables, plenty of pokemon stuff, and of course Pocky! (Brach's Maple Nut Goodies are good too you know!) I mentioned this on another thread.

Ask anyone under 25 (well, a lot of people, not everyone - and here in America anyways) what anime they watch and you usually get Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Vocaloids ("Vocaloids?" sounds like a type of antacid tablet to me! lol!), and the rest of it. And I am not trying to say anything bad about those animes. I don't like them but people can like whatever they want.

HOWEVER- when that anime store was open he had over 2500 titles and I would always rent the more obscure ones no one seemed to care about. This was BEFORE you had these series with 500 episodes! Most of them were between 6-25 episodes and he had a LOT of OVAs (another apparent casualty of the industry!)

I even used to rent from his collection of fansubs (a dead breed anymore!) I have a copy of the original Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke) for example before Disney got it! I also have a bunch of other obscure titles - Johji Manabe's "Carpicorn" and "Outlanders", "Iczelion", "Fight! Iczer-One". "Megami Paradise" - I even have the Japanese Raw of "Castle Fantasia" by Studio E-go which was based on a hentai video game on the PC and the Japanese Dreamcast system.

I remember all the Japanese mags he used to sell - not just NewType- but Hobby Japan (WITH Garage Kits!) he had JAPANESE Manga books (NOT this "Tokyo Pop" stuff! - "Tokyo Pop" is fine but they are like the anime video companies in this country- they are so limited and only publish the popular titles - you never see new or obscure stuff anymore! that's why I've got a beef! And the anime is not the problem- but the greedy CEOs who only care about what they can sell. I doubt you have serious anime fans running these companies.)

Seriously- where can I get doujinshi books anymore?

I'm starting to sound like "Otaku No Video" but it's a fave - and frankly, I'm into a lot of that stuff! (sue me!)

I created my own characters 14 years ago and have been drawing them since. Now I want to make figures of them. I want to make clay sculptures, and eventually molds and resin figures of them. My icon is one of my own characters I draw!

There used to be actual TV shows with actual story lines, now it's "reality TV". I mean where IS imagination anymore! And I used to play the first Zork game when your RPG was all TEXT by the way!

OK, sorry to rant and I don't mean to offend anyone. People can like whatever they want and are entitled to their opinions. So I am not trying to belittle anything anyone likes and I apologize in advance if it sounds that way. That is not my intention at all.

It's just that the REAL hobbies seem to be gone and I'm not happy about what has taken it's place. That's why I do my own stuff anymore. But it's greed from the companies and like you said, the lack of patience of people who want everything "now!" so for the hobbyest I for one, don't have to depend on the entertainment business so much. I got my own hobbies. You mentioned video games! but the other "hobby" these days (and I seriously do not mean to step on anyone's toes here) is "texting your friends" on a cell phone and "going on Facebook" which to me is only a step above "Twitter" - it's "Twitter with Pictures!" whoopie doo! (I killed my Facebook months ago! haha!) Again if you like Facebook and texting, that's cool. Just that I meet a lot of people where, that IS their "hobby". Very sad to me. They act like it's a big deal to do a drawing like this:

1840

I can only do this because of years of practice. And I still got a ways to go! But I DO want to sculpt this elf woman character of mine into figures. I didn't mean for my last like to sound snobby or anything - just that it strikes me as odd that people should find drawing to be so "out of the ordinary".

What is "Touhou" by the way if I may ask? I have heard of it and I see the name used a lot but don't know what it is.

By the way- these PVC figures these days- check out J-List - some of the really good ones are topping prices like $100, 200, even $3-400! That does it! I'm learning to sculpt and make my own stuff! :-)

Anyways, sorry to rant myself- it's just frustrating when you want to find things to satisfy your creative buzz. Getting hard these days! :-)

And I hope I haven't offended anyone. It's not my intention. I'm just venting!

Cheers!

secretasianman
03-02-2011, 03:53 AM
What is "Touhou" by the way if I may ask? I have heard of it and I see the name used a lot but don't know what it is.

To put it simply, Touhou Project is a doujin game. In other words, it's software distributed at conventions much like doujin materials like manga, cds etc. It's mainly a vertical scrolling shooter of the "danmaku" sub-genre (also referred to as "bullet hell" or "bullet curtain") that separates the men from the boys when it comes to dodging bullets, because there will be lots of bullets. And they mean LOTS.

Its hook? You're not piloting a spaceship, you're in control of a shrine maiden, a witch or what have you, and the gameplay environment makes Alice in Wonderland look as plain as Apple's "1984" commercial

It's visage:
http://tinyurl.com/tpsummary

the game play :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmviUhLOq-0#t=208

And their star, as modeled by one of ours : http://www.gkjapan.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1328&d=1244576397 (http://www.gkjapan.com/album.php?albumid=22)

:snicker: