Every year, fanboys and fangirls of varying stripes descend on San Diego for Comic-Con. Although the event has extensive programming, there’s one activity that unites the collectors with the cosplayers, the MMP gamers with the manga readers, the superheroes with the steampunks: the pursuit of SDCC’s exclusive toys.
Designer toys are always among the highlights of SDCC. Imagine taking something that is already in limited supply by its very nature and then making a small portion of rare inventory available only to the members of an annual convention. Since most designers and distributors keep a tight lid on what they’re bringing, it’s impossible to say what surprises are in store for SDCC attendees. ToyCyte will be publishing a weekly bulletin of SDCC revelations.
Friday, June 13th, 2008: Here are this week’s toys to grab:
Frank Kozik’s Ludwig Van (A Clockwork Beethoven) SDCC Colorway. Kozik fans have their work cut out for them at SDCC. There’s something for everyone: Anarchists get Labbits (Kidrobot) and Sharkeys (ToyQube). World War 2 re-enactors get 8” versions of Qee platform figures, Fritz and Ivan (Toy2R). But in absentia of the twenty spendy 16” bronze on marble busts, it’s the 100 vinyl mash-up of Ludwig Van Beethoven and Alex from A Clockwork Orange that are going to really drive the lewdies bezoomy.
Joe Ledbetter’s Swamp Yeti Smash. The sixth colorway (green) of this 7” vinyl ape by one of the scene’s most popular designers is also one of the most coveted. Ledbetter’s toys can ascend into the thousands (yes, that’s U.S. dollars) making them especially sought-after by collectors. Toy2R is releasing just 200 Swamp Yeti Smash figures—and only 100 of them are headed to San Diego.
UNKL’s MaK.Po. Portland design team, UNKL, based this figure on sci-fi legend Kow Yokoyama’s Maschinen Krieger mech suits. Fans have been waiting years for this piece, which features ten inches of exterior vinyl fighting power and an interior velvet comfort zone. MaK.Po is expected to debut at SDCC in a limited run of 400 green and 100 orange figures.
Scott Tolleson’s Tricycle Terror. A newer name in the designer toy movement, Disney digital artist Scott Tolleson transitions from 2D to 3D with his first figure. While the full-color 5” poly-resin Tricycle Terror is available in an edition of 450 pieces, the SDCC-exclusive mono Throwback version is limited to just 50 pieces.
Uglydoll’s Solid Green and Solid Orange Wage Kaiju.David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim continue their reign of all things cute and creepy with a line of 6” Japanese vinyl kaiju (strange beast) Uglydolls for adult collectors. They’ll have just 50 pieces of each colorway on hand at SDCC. Expect more fun stuff, like the unveiling of a new Uglydoll plush.
Friday, June 20th, 2008: Here are this week’s toys to grab:
Victor (Marka27) Quinonez’s Killa Instinct. Much-hyped newcomer BIC Plastics acts as producer for the first urban vinyl toy from veteran graffiti guy, Marka27. The 8″ Killa Instinct comes with brass knuckles that spell “KILL TOYS,” spray-cans and markers, bloody bat, bolt cutter and gas-mask. Killa Instinct is “set to destroy anyone or anything that gets in his way of world domination through the means of getting up, with his Killa Styles, burners, tags, throwups, by any means necessary.” Price TBA.
Paul Pope’s Karimbah. Cast in Pope’s signature manga-meets-fine-art style, this two-figure action piece includes an original box design, a 16-page comic and a secret vinyl throw-in. Karimbah’s dog is apparently the size of an actual little Boston Terrier. Kidrobot says this was the most complicated and challenging toy design they’ve tackled yet. There are 300 available at $150 each. Paul Pope will be at the KR booth to sign on July 26th from 1-4pm.
Mike “Nemo” Mendez’s Haremongous. Not much is known about this elusive warrior rabbit collab from Nemo and ToyQube. There are two versions–a white standard release and a black-on-black colorway for SDCC. Both figures wear a battle-ready helmet and an armored arm brace and come adorned with a black skull tattoo on their chests. Killer rabbits? What’s not to love? Price TBA.
Munky King’s Black on Black Trio. Munky King has been running banner ads for three all black limited edition figures from their in-house production line. Each is limited to 150 pieces. The figures are Nathan Jurevicius’s 8″ Monkey King, The Pizz’s Eyegore, and Yoskay Yamamoto’s Koibito. Prices TBA.
tokidoki’s Geisha, Kaniza and Dunny. tokidoki has a handful of exclusives for SDCC 2008. First up is the 4″ Geisha for $40 from ToyTokyo in an edition of 500. Next we have the Kaniza from ToyQube in an edition of 1000. Finally, there’s an 8″ Dunny for $50 from Kidrobot. A wee bit of controversy surrounds that last one; some folks feel the figure is merely floating by on the tokidoki name, others complain of Italian stereotyping. But tokidoki fans are sure to love them all. Simone Legno will be signing at the KR booth on July 27th from 11-2pm.
Friday, June 27th, 2008: Here are this week’s toys to grab:
Dan Goodsell’s Mr. Toast Vampire Plush. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you’ll want to fortify for the SDCC with this 7″ Mr. Toast Vampire Plush (who bears the unofficial moniker, Count Toastula). The leavened leviathan will be on sale for $10 (cheap!) in an edition of 1000 slices.
Bounty Hunter x James Jarvis‘ King-Kun. This has, so far, been one of the most talked about collaborations of the convention. STRANGEco (booth #4269) will have the black BxH and the gray Amos editions on hand at what is assured to be an ultra-high price and an ultra-low quantity. The black colorway already sold out in Japan and sells on the aftermarket for $285.
MAD’s Blue G.I.D. MAD*l. Jeremy Madl’s been in the news a lot lately for Phase 3 Mad*ls and blinging logo hats, shirts and jewelry. But it’s this blue G.I.D. Mad*l spied on his Flickr page that’s got fans buzzing about an SDCC ‘08 release.
Craola’s Capn’ Rotnclaw. You know, I’m not really feeling the criticism on the KR forum for Craola’s first large-scale original toy. Craola makes great art, pirates are cool and a mono colorway is always a nice touch. So what if it’s got hinges? I’m looking forward to seeing this piece, as well as more toys to come from Craola. Pick yours up at STRANGEco booth #4629.
Rocket World’s I.W.G. Airborne Series. Along with a series of 17 I.W.G. zipper pulls ($3.95 each), Rocket World is dropping it’s I.W.G. Airborne Series at the convention. The 1.5-inch paratroopers are available blind-boxed in 11 colorways + 4 chases for $6.95 each. Be sure to stop by the booth #4633 to get yours.
Friday, July 4th, 2008: Here are this week’s toys to grab:
Itokin Park’s Super7 Exclusive Himalan. Super7 has several SDCC ‘08 exclusives (including Squirm, Stomp, Beetlar and Mummy Boy), but it’s this 5.7-inch Himalan from Itokin Park that I’m picking for the weekly roundup. The figure is clear orange vinyl with yellow, blue, red and black sprays. Pick yours up for $100 at Booth #4729.
Chi-Kit Kwong’s ChiBo Series. Choosing between brothers is especially difficult when both Michael Kwong (Galaxy Bunch/Alphamaniacs) and Chi-Kit Kwong (ChiBo) have great new figures making their US debuts at SDCC ‘08. Michael has sounded so proud of his younger bro’s series on his Flickr page, that I figure these guys have no rivalry. ChiBo is Chi-Kit’s first series of 60 characters. Five characters: Action Kwong (modeled on Chi-Kit himself), Tall Kitty, Space Funky, His Royal Highness, and Teenage Track Star will be available at the convention. Each figure stands between 5 and 7 inches and comes with a different mini-comic.
JailBreak Toys‘ Barack Obama action figure. Rumor around town is that Barack Obama himself will be attending SDCC ‘08. The possibility of getting this action figure signed makes the $12.99 pricetag for the standard version (now that’s change we can afford) an even better deal. The 6-inch figure has 8 points of articulation and comes in a window box. If you’re setting your sights on something a tad more exclusive, head over to ToyTokyo (Booth #5237) where you can pick up the Barack Obama action figure in a “white summer suit,” which is limited to just 200 pieces.
Daniel Johnston’s Jeremiah the Innocent (pink variant). Musician, artist and cult icon Daniel Johnston took his Jeremiah the Innocent character 3D with sculpting by Dave Pressler and production by New York’s At Arms. Previously, the figure was available in three colorways: white (edition of 350), green (edition of 250), and yellow (edition of 250) for $99. The 12-inch figure is back for SDCC ‘08 in an exclusive pink colorway (image is my mock-up only). Price and edition number TBA. Get yours at ToyTokyo (Booth #5237).
Gama-Go x Toy2r’s Yeti Qee. Both Gama-Go and Diamond Select (Booth #2607) will have exclusive preview samples of the 2.5-inch Yeti Qee available at SDCC ‘08. According to Gama-Go’s blog, there’s a 75% chance, they’ll have the real deal for sale too. If not, the Qees will be available in August. There’s also a 9-inch vinyl Yeti with a light-up log torch in the works from Gama-Go for later this year. Maybe they’ll have a sneak-peek?
Friday, July 11th, 2008: Here are this week’s toys to grab:
Amanda Visell’s Good Poopicorn. This Good Poopicorn was designed and hand-painted by Amanda based on her Birthday Wish painting and sculpted in resin by Julie B of Pretty In Plastic. Good Poopicorn measures 6.5 inches long and contains 6 pieces: Poopicorn, two children, ice cream and poop. There will be 25 of these available for $400 each on Friday, July 25th at the DKE Booth (#4732).
Michelle Valigura’s Pistol Pedro Belt Buckle. This functional belt buckle with real mustache spinning action is being released through Michelle’s Switcheroo imprint (with Amanda Visell). Each metal Pedro was hand-cast at Fully Visual. A plush Pedro is on the way, but for now, pick up a belt buckle for $60.
MINDstyle x Kathie Olivas‘ Benny and Red Bird (Cool Version). MINDstyle will release the highly anticipated SDCC Exclusive Benny & Red Bird (Cool Version) on Wednesday, July 23rd at Booth #4249. Limited to only 150 pieces, this art toy set will be available each day by random drawing. Tickets will be given out each morning with numbers drawn and posted for day-of sales at 12 Noon. Only 25 pieces will be available each day. There is a limit of one per person daily. $150 + tax.
STRANGEco x tokidoki’s Cactus Friends, Cactus Pups and Bulleto. tokidoki continues to dominate SDCC ‘08 with even more exclusives. At STRANGEco’s Booth (#4629), you’ll find platinum edition Cactus Friends and Cactus Pups and a mono Bulleto.
IDW x Ashley Wood’s ZvR Bertie. Just when you thought your bank account was safe, Ashley Wood drops another limited edition Bertie the Pipebomb variant. Dubbed Zombies Vs. Robots, this 14-inch fully articulated warbot is exclusive to IDW publishing. Each ZvR Bertie will go for $350 at SDCC ‘08 Booth #1705. Based on the ZvR comic by Ashley and Chris Ryall, only 100 ZvR Berties were made. Both Ashley and toy paparazzo Brian McCarty will be on hand for signings with exclusive SDCC prints.
Friday, July 18th, 2008: Here are this week’s toys to grab:
Tristan Eaton’s G.I.D. Billy Bananas. This 5-inch tall glow-in-the-dark Billy Bananas is made of injection-molded, soft vinyl designed by Tristan Eaton of Thunderdog Studios. There was some bellyaching about the NYCC X-ray version of Billy not glowing, so hopefully that issue has been sorted for this figure. But who is Billy Bananas? Billy Bananas is a ladies man, a butcher, a scenester and a moocher. He’s a two-bit hustler and a no good, dirty rascal pimp… but no matter what you say about him he’s Billy and he’s Bananas. Price and edition size TBA.
Koji Harmon’s Tokoji Seijin. This glossy green soft vinyl is hand-painted at Cometdebris headquarters in seven colors inspired by the Japanese river sprite, The Kappa. Price and edition size TBA. Available alongside minis, middles, standards, clears, glows and paints by Gargamel at Booth #4739. Look out for customs by Bwana Spoons and Martin Ontiveros too.
mphlabs x Tokyoplastic ’s Koguma. mphlabs now has a splash teaser that indicates we’ll be seeing the finished figure at SDCC 08. Tokyoplastic (Booth #4837) will reveal their anatomically equipped sleeping bears on black speaker chairs to a flurry of pent-up eager online anticipation. Price and edition size TBA. Mad rush guaranteed.
Erick Scarecrow’s Kissaki Sandstorm version. Erick is bringing this Kissaki figure to SDCC 08 in an edition of 300 pieces (available at ToyTokyo Booth #5237) for $69.99 each. Erick will be signing on Friday, July 25th from 10AM -1PM and Saturday, July 26th from 10AM-1PM.
Tim Tsui’s Lupus Hope. Tim will have 50 Lupus Hope figures available during SDCC 08 at the ToyQube booth (#4837) for $100. He will be signing and giving out free postcards on Thursday, July 24th from 3-4PM and Saturday, July 26th from 1PM-2:30PM. This werewolf in the Da Fighter series is an edition of 150 pieces. The first 50 sold out within hours at TTF 08. The remaining 50 figures will be available at the Team Zero online shop. Don’t expect them to last long with this endorsement from Huck Gee on the KR Forum: “Hands down the best figure I saw at Taipei. It’s huge… and f’n gorgeous!”