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    I have long hair and I like to workout. If I’m at the gym, during a Zumba class, or while running I find my hair is often pulled back. I was thrilled when I received a hair ties from Heidis Hair Ties. In fact, I wore to during Zumba that day. Heidi’s Hair Ties are the new... [Continue Reading]

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    Takara Tomy Transformers design team member Shogo Hasui Tweeted Friday that both Masterpiece Prowl and Bluestreak (Streak) have been delayed. The pair were originally intended for Release in August, but now Prowl has been pushed to September and Bluestreak will be available in October. It seems the time will be used to tweak the joints and adjust the colors, possibly to prevent the paint from rubbing on moving parts. 

    Hasui also passed along some new images of the two showing off the latest test shots. Hard to say if anything has been changed at this point considering the lighting, but they still make for a great looking duo. 

    Transformers Masterpiece Prowl and Bluestreak delayed screenshot


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    If you're like me then you probably just finished the last episode of Doctor Who until it returns in November. After such an amazingly brain melting episode followed by a shocking surprise ending I can tell I'll be spending days mulling over exactly what I just saw. Times like this I wish I had something I could use to blow off the stress that comes from anticipating what will happen next followed by the realization that it'll take around half a year for it to get here. 

    The folks at Think Geek must know that feeling all too well as they're now offering up a pair of Doctor Who stress toys. Up for sale are both the TARDIS and a red Dalek to help you get over the agonizing wait. And these aren't some tiny little stress balls. The TARDIS is 3.5 inches tall while the Dalek is an impressive 4 inches. You can score them for US$14.99 each and squeeze them to your heart's (hearts'?) content. Personally I hope they make a squishable Cyberman next! 

    Pass the time with Doctor Who stress toys screenshot


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    As being a stay at home mom along with small business owner it has been important that I purchase a life insurance plan to make sure that my family is protected in case of any tragic event happens. Not that this is something anyone wants to worry about, but I think about my family and... [Continue Reading]

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    Mai Hiro’s Susan Lee at Redefine Arts Gallery

    I recently had the opportunity to attend Mai Hiro’s first gallery event of 2013. The event was held at Orlando’s very fine City Arts building, inside of the Redefine Arts Gallery, and showcased a character called Mr. Smiling, created by Mai Hiro artist, Susan Lee.

    The art showcased by Susan Lee featured her character Mr. Smiling and all of his imaginative adventures. Through thick ink and bright colors, the character appeared in each one of her paintings and drawings. Lee also designed pop art of France’s Eiffel Tower, which was very appealing to the eye. With free boba tea given by Chewy Boba Company, toy designer Nakanari in attendance, and Bluemotion Production filming and providing camera work, the opening reception to the event was a big success.

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    With a number of producers trying their hands at the lovely Katsuragi, it's only natural Griffon would jump on the Senran Kagura bandwagon themselves. While the blonde beauty seems to be everyone's favorite, Griffon's branched out a bit to provide a castoffable battle-damaged version of Ikaruga. Unfortunately, I think they may have been better off leaving things to everyone else.

    I can commend them on showing a bit of restraint in capturing the series' overly busty figures, but that's about all I can commend them on. Perhaps it's just me, but Griffon seems to have lost their way lately, and the odd detailing on Ikaruga's face and the thick, stuck-together segments of hair don't do much to change my impression. I suppose if you're desperate for a new, non-Katsuragi figure she may be worth your ¥8,900, but otherwise I think July might be too busy a month already to give her more than a passing glance.

    [ Pre-order at HobbyLink Japan | Hobby Search | AmiAmi | CD Japan | J-List ]

    Senran Kagura's Ikaruga fights her way to pre-orders screenshot


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    Reaching into the world of hentai doujinshi, Orchid Seed shows off their classiness once again with this release of Chiharu Nishikawa from Class Maid. Perhaps a pun on "classmate", perhaps not, but knowing how "cleverly" producers tend to name porn, I wouldn't put it past the author. I'm not entirely familiar with the artist Hanaharu Naruco, but after some skimming around I think I like the PVC version of their art a bit better.

    While Chiharu here is certainly blatantly naughty, I do appreciate the rather cute default face, and you can never go wrong with stockings. There is a little too much underboob for my liking though, and the alternative facial expression--seemingly based off the original artwork--is downright weird. As much as I have no problems picking up the pervier figures out there, I think this one crosses the line even for me. But if you're completely shameless, I'd still say you could do worse with your ¥9,334 than considering her November release.

    [ Pre-order at HobbyLink Japan | Hobby Search | AmiAmi | J-List ]

    [NSFW] Chiharu Nishikawa will serve your every whim screenshot


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    Just in via the offical Transformers page is some official images officially revealing the new new edition of the Autobot Driller. Check out the images of the Cyberverse vehicle that gets a all new deco for the Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters toy line this summer. The Bumblebee goodness shines through on this one. What do you think about the new look?

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    Some Steiff items are worthy of royalty - especially the company's beloved King Charles Spaniels!  So it should come as no surprise that Steiffgal all but rolled out the red carpet when a dear friend and fellow collector brought this musical "Charly" to her attention!  This dog truly is best of show for so many obvious - and not so obvious - reasons.  Let's take a look at this crownworthy canine and see what makes him so interesting from the design and historical perspectives.

    You can't help but want to break into song over this delightful doggy.  This "Musik-Charly" is standing, head jointed, and made from long mohair.  His body and legs are white mohair, while his tail, long playful ears, and the sides of his face are made from brown tipped mohair.  Charly has a very detailed facial seam structure which really emphasizes his sweet and innocent look. His face is detailed with oversized black and brown pupil eyes, a black hand embroidered nose and mouth, and a few freckles on his muzzle.  Charly's music box is activated by pulling on his tail.  Overall, this particular model of standing Musik-Charly was produced in 17, 22, and 25 cm from 1928 through 1931.  Steiff also produced a sitting version of Musik-Charly in 17 and 22 cm during the same time frame. 

    Charly has two very interesting features that make him top dog.  The first is his musical mechanism.  In the late 1920's and early 1930's, Steiff produced a number of "Musik" animals based on the company's most popular designs of the day.  These included Molly the puppy, Bully the bulldog, Fluffy the cat, and a sweet standing lamb, among others.  These were all activated either by gently squeezing and releasing the midsection or loins of the animals, or by turning the animal's tail.  However, for the standing Musik-Charly, his music was produced by tugging gently on his tail - not by turning it.

    It won't take much to muster your attention towards Charly's second fantastic feature.  In addition to his standard Steiff trailing "f" style button in his ear (on the left size of the photo), Charly also sports a second button in his tail area.  This button, called the "muster" button, was used by Steiff pre-WWII on items considered samples, evolving designs, or prototypes. This is pictured here on the right side of the photo. In general, the button indicated that the item was Steiff property and was not intended for sale or distribution.  "Muster" translates loosely from German to English as "pattern" and in a sense, these "muster" items were just that.  This Charly's "muster" button suggests that he was made in 1928 or before, as the company was gearing up to put this model into production.  

    It is interesting to note that Charly didn’t start out as a musical animal, but evolved into one. The original Steiff Charly dog was introduced in the late 1920s. He was produced both sitting (10, 14, 17, 22, 25, 30 and 35 cm) and standing (7, 10, 12, 14, 17 and 22 cm); the two versions were head jointed only. Their filling was soft kapok, meaning that they were lighter in weight and more cuddly than other animals stuffed with crunchy excelsior. An example of the 7 cm standing version is pictured here on the left.  Overall, the Charly pattern appeared in the line through 1936. 

    Charly proved to be a great source for highly successful “theme and variation” product introductions, due to his popularity with collectors. He appeared as a 17 cm light brown and white mohair puppet from 1928 through 1939.  Both the sitting and standing versions were produced as pincushions in the 1929 through 1932 time frame.  He was also made as a 10 cm standing or sitting nomotta woolen miniature from 1935 through 1937, a 22 and 25 cm purse from 1927 through 1933, and as a playful, purple dressed 28 cm Pupp-animal doll (pictured on the left, photo from Christie's) from 1929 through 1930.

    Steiffgal hopes the discussion on this most amazing vintage Charly dog has been like music to your ears.   

    Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures? Let's talk! Click here to learn more.  

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  • 05/18/13--19:38: Kaila Gymnastics 2013
  • Before the end of summer every year Kaila celebrates the end of gymnastics season. She gets to show off a few routines and the skills that she’s learned. It was really fun actually being able to take photos and videos!!  

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  • 05/18/13--21:20: Volks

  • Had the pleasure of being invited by the Managing Director of Volks (pictured here to my right) to Kyoto a while ago but only just managed to make the trip this week ><

    Volks is one of the major players in the Japanese hobby world. They have a long history of manufacturing injection moulded kits and also bring us the Super Dollfie and Dollfie Dream line of dolls.

    Today Volks gave us a tour of their Tenshi no Sato museum in Kyoto and after we had a long lunch meeting to discuss this n that ^o^

    Yuki-chan is my fave Dollfie Dream who got to go with me to Tenshi no Sato.

    While I do have some comrades who work at Volks, I've never really had the chance to hook up with the top management but now that I have, I can tell you that they are one of the nicest family run businesses that I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. The Managing Director is such a sweet lady too who is also the wife of the big boss.

    I've always loved their Dollfie Dream line of dolls which have really had an impact on my life - not only are they so cute and great to have around - they have also enabled me to connect with other Dollfie Dream owners around the world. My first Dollfie Dream I got was Saber back in 2008.

    The Dollfie Dream line of dolls is also one of the factors that has influenced my decision to produce my own doll of my mascot Mirai Suenaga too.

    I'll talk about it when the time is right but Volks and I will be working together on some really cool stuff in the very near future - keep em peeled ^o^

    The last few photos in this post with Yuki-chan taken at Arashiyama in Kyoto which is very near the Volks Tenshi no Sato.

    Just spent a week in Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe) going through back to back meetings - will post photos of my trip soon.

    Read more about Mirai Suenaga >>>

    「創作造形©ボークス・造形村」©1998-2010 VOLKS INC. All rights are reserved.
    「創作造形©ボークス・造形村」©2003-2010 VOLKS INC. All rights are reserved.
    スーパードルフィー®、ドルフィードリーム® はボークス社の商標登録であり、その全ての権利を所有しています。

    About Mascots Subscribe by Email Twitter Facebook

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    MANILA, Philippines – Stop wasting money on cosmetics and boy toys, personal finance guru Suze Orman told a crowd of bankers and media on her most recent visit to the Philippines. Orman said women spend way too much money on cosmetics, from the expensive shampoo they buy when they visit a ...

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    Wizkids' Heroclix line has sometimes evoked split reactions due to the dichotomous nature of its product. On the one hand, you have a group of players who often see these figurines as game pieces first and collectibles second. The other side is fans who see the figurines solely as collectibles since they don't care about the game. The problem for the latter group is that the figurines don't always offer great display value.

    Wizkids may have addressed this gap with their Team Base mechanic. First seen with a Teen Titans set, some individual Heroclix figures apparently can detach from their normal bases/dials to be placed in a much larger, decorative base/dial with special game rules. This feature greatly adds to the display value as seen with this Danger Room base which is apparently part of the Wolverine and the X-Men set.

    The Danger Room (or X-Men?) Team Base looks fantastic. The base is split between the hard mechanical Danger Room and the forest environment it's partially simulating. Toward the center is a sculpted blue grid representing the room's transformation. In short, it's an excellent display piece for the figurines that tempts me to collect Heroclix figures.

    The only issue is that I'm not quite sure how these bases are available. They could be randomly included in the superbooster packs or, given the statement that "Team Bases will generally come with 1 or 2 figures", it's possible (and I hope this is the case) that the Team Bases will be sold separately as a non-random bit. Either way, this is still a really cool concept that may help bridge the gap between the two audiences.

    Wizkids welcomes you to the Danger Zo... err, Room screenshot

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    A few days we created a family tree for the CARS diecast Universe + CARS diecast Expanded Universe. Most you knew or were already out or about to come out (Planes) but there was a mysterious one hinted at by Disney called “Rescue.” It looks like Disney gave the go ahead to Tomica (in Japan) [...]

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  • 05/19/13--01:48: Kaiyodo Office Tour

  • One of my agenda items during my visit to Kansai this week was to meetup with Shuichi Miyawaki [宮脇修一] - the boss of Kaiyodo which is one of the longest standing hobby makers in Japan who produce the Revoltech series and also own the worlds biggest figure and garage kit event Wonder Festival.

    Before we settle down to talk and visit their office, we go for some nom noms Osaka style.

    The Kaiyodo office is located in Osaka which we headed to straight after meeting up with Volks in Kyoto. The exterior of the Kaiyodo headquarters is a mixture of modern and the past with the brick walls which is not so common in Japan.

    Greeted by a huge sculpt at the entrance.

    One of Kaiyodo's major hit products - Revoltech Danbo.

    Miyawaki-san is really into military stuf and owns a few vehicles used in past World Wars.

    Yep - he owns a few anti aircraft vehicles too ^^

    ...and a few cannons ^^

    A peak around the Kaiyodo warehouse.

    Ton O figures ready to hit the shelves.

    Huge Ah My Goddess figurines.

    A look around the main meeting/show room.

    Now taking a gander at the sculptors studio.

    Got to meet sculptor BOME! He made my first ever figure of Aya Natsume that I got back in 2005.

    Taking a look at the workspaces of the other sculptors.

    The design of ED209 is classic.

    My precioussssssss.

    Airbrush booths.

    I need more practice if I want to paint my own doll faces one day.

    Name that thingy.

    Still my most fave ship from Star Wars.

    Now its time to take a lookie at Miyawaki-sans model collection - certainly the biggest in Japan and possibly the world?

    Time to sit down and talk about this and that and a new collaboration ^o^

    I should have got one of these way back then ><

    Bottle caps in Japan are most coolsome.

    The Yotsuba Danbo has seen many collaborations so far with companies like Amazon, 7/11, Tamiya, Pepsi and Calbee.

    I think you can guess what comes next ^o^
    Check out more office tours of other Japanese companies in the anime industry listed up below.

    Read more about Mirai Suenaga >>>

    About Mascots Subscribe by Email Twitter Facebook

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    Star Wars CARS Weekend Celebration? Like Darth Maul, it was cut in half and fell down a dark hole … apparently Star Wars CARS & Vinylmation product DID NOT ARRIVE. OH THE HUMANITY – as “AidensMom624″ reports in … I actually had my uncle doing all of my leg work today. Here’s his synopsis — [...]

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    Reagan's Toy Chest expands their organic toys for toddlers category by introducing Little Leaf; an American maker of organic, wooden handmade teethers. (PRWeb May 19, 2013) Read the full story at

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    Episode SIXTY FOUR of the AFB Podcast is live at iTunes and is now available for direct downloadDownload and subscribe to the podcast at iTunes now! 

    Join Ben, Scott and Adam for Episode Sixty Four of the Action Figure Blues Podcast! The AFB Podcast is a weekly look at action figures, statues and other collectibles from the worlds of comic books and pop culture.

    This week our Toy of the Week is the McFarlane Toys Walking Dead Michonne Action Figure, and our discussion topic is The Pros and Perils of Pre-Ordering.

    If you can't use iTunes, you can download Episode Sixty-Four here now! Click on the link to listen, or right click to save the file! The podcast will always be available from the “Podcast” tab here - but if you can subscribe and give us positive ratings at iTunes, that will help us greatly! 

    The AFB Podcast is also on Stitcher Radio!

    Have a listen, and please give us some feedback at - we might even read out your feedback on the next show!

    Happy listening!

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