News & Events


Oct21

Yoshitomo Nara exhibiton at London

2014 at 12:09 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleYoshitomoLondon

Yoshitomo Nara is often considered one of the most renowned Japanese artists of the 1900s, creating his own unique style of artwork and sculpture over the past decades. Now, Yoshitomo’s artwork has gone on display in his biggest exhibition in the United Kingdom to date in the new exhibit, “Greetings from a Place in My Heart”! This new exhibit, which has recently gone on display at the Dairy Art Centre in London, England, is a comprehensive retrospective of Yoshitomo’s work over the past 30 years, and features a large number of previously unreleased work and never-before-seen sketches. Over 200 art pieces are featured in this exhibition, and includes his more recent bronze sculptures as well as his infamous paintings and other artwork. The exhibit will remain open at the Dairy Art Centre until December 7th, and is planned to appear at the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Denmark next year.

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Yoshitomo Nara, born in Hirosaki in 1959, is one of the most influential artists to emerge from Japan’s 1990s pop art movement. Studying at the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music in the 1980s, and at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Germany from 1988 to 1993, Nara has since assembled a cult-like following centered around his child-like illustrations. Drawing inspiration from the anime and manga characters that he was exposed to during his childhood, Nara creates characters, usually small children, who possess similar cartoon-like qualities, with highly stylized features and especially large eyes. However, Nara’s illustrations of children are often more menacing and devilish than they are cute and innocent. These images touch on broad social and cultural topics, such as violence and the rigidity of social structures in Japan. Since his first solo exhibition at Blum & Poe Gallery in 1984, Nara has had nearly 40 solo exhibitions worldwide, including Iceland, Japan, France, and the United States.

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Oct21

Hello Kitty museum opens in Los Angeles

2014 at 11:21 am by admin | Comments Off

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Hello Kitty has had a huge year so far, with a huge number of events, merchandise, and the upcoming Hello Kitty Con in Los Angeles to celebrate the character’s 40th anniversary. In order to celebrate the history of the character alongside the upcoming Hello Kitty Con, the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles recently opened its doors to a brand-new exhibit for the iconic kitty character, titled “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty”! The exhibit, which opened on October 11th, is the first large-scale museum exhibition of its kind in the United States, and is dedicated to the history behind Hello Kitty as well as its merchandise and artwork.

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The exhibit features a number of classic Hello Kitty merchandise from the past decades, including the very first piece of Hello Kitty memorabilia ever created: a 1975 vinyl coin purse, emblazoned with the mascot’s face. Alongside items like stationery, apparel, and purses, Hello Kitty eventually exploded into a worldwide phenomenon, spawning video games, television shows, and collaborations with artists and big-name companies across the globe. The exhibit pays tribute to all aspects of Hello Kitty’s past, and features merchandise, paintings, sculpture, apparel, and more.

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The exhibit will remain open to visitors until April 26, 2015, and will be open alongside the upcoming Hello Kitty Con at the Museum of Contemporary Art, which opens from October 30th to November 2nd. Along with this, a variety of restaurants across the downtown Los Angeles area are currently participating in a “Hello Kitty Hungry Hunt” event, in which fans can visit and purchase Hello Kitty-themed meals and restaurant items, and receive exclusive Hello Kitty merchandise alongside the courses. With the upcoming Hello Kitty Con already nearly sold out, and expecting to draw over 25,000 visitors, Los Angeles will soon become the place to be for Hello Kitty fans across the nation!

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Oct20

Futura opens exhibit in Moscow

2014 at 04:52 pm by admin | Comments Off

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Urban artist and designer Futura has been known for his grafitti artwork and character design, taking advantage of abstract shapes and mediums to create his work. His work, often meant to be seen on the streets, has now been put on display in a gallery in Moscow, Russia! Futura’s latest exhibit, titled “TIMEWARP”, went on display at the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture, and features his pieces on cold drab brick walls. While the setting is contrary to most modern art exhibits, the setting was carefully chosen by Futura and curators to remain true to his art, which was born on the streets in similar environments. The show, which explores the concept of time through Futura’s iconic abstractions, opened to the public on October 14th, and will remain at the museum until November 4th. Check out these photos to see some of Futura’s artwork on display!

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Oct20

Hofman's Rubber Duck debuts in Seoul

2014 at 04:39 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleDuckSeoul

Florentijn Hofman’s popular Rubber Duck installation piece, known to visit the water of cities across the globe like Sydney, Hong Kong, and most recently at Los Angeles, has popped up this time at Seokchon Lake in Seoul, South Korea! The giant 54′ duck appeared in Seoul this past week, and is scheduled to remain there until November 14th. The duck’s debut attracted over 720,000 visitors last Tuesday, wooing crowds with its giant adorable charm. Pop-up stores across Seoul debuted alongside the arrival of the Rubber Duck, and carried 5000 limited-edition reproductions of the art piece, each signed and numbered by Florentijn himself. Once the installation leaves Seoul on November 14th, the Rubber Duck will surely appear in another international location, so stay tuned for more information!

Oct16

NYCC Play-Arts Kai on display

2014 at 01:07 pm by admin | Comments Off

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Comic-Con has always been a place where companies and manufacturers can talk about their latest upcoming figures and merchandise. Square-Enix, video game developer and toy manufacturer, has continued this trend at last week’s New York Comic-Con with the unveiling of several different upcoming figures in their popular Play-Arts Kai line! the figures shown at NYCC covered a wide variety of mediums and franchises, ranging from comic book classics like Batman, Iron-Man, and Spider-Man to franchises like Final Fantasy, Appleseed, Predator, Vocaloid, and more!

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Some highlights from their Play-Arts Kai booth include figures of Batman, Catwoman, and Hatsune Miku redesigned by Square-Enix artist Tetsuya Nomura, who is known for his artwork and character designs for the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts franchises, as well as new figures for the popular “Final Fantasy VII” line of figures, including Tifa, Barret, and Red XIII in their appearances from Advent Children. With no release date yet scheduled for most of these figures, keep your eyes open for more Play-Arts Kai news!

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Oct15

Bandai figures at NYCC 2014

2014 at 03:56 pm by admin | Comments Off

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Drawing one of the largest crowds in Comic-Con history, New York Comic-Con offered a variety of exclusive merchandise and collectibles to fans last week, from independent manufacturers to large toy companies alike. Bandai, Japanese toys and collectibles company, was not one to pass up on the opportunity, and offered exclusive and early releases for a number of their upcoming collectibles!

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With Power Rangers celebrating its 20th anniversary this year alongside the newest season, Power Rangers Super Megaforce, Bandai has released a number of NYCC-exclusive collectables for Power Rangers fans, young and old. The highlight of this occasion is the new Tokyo Vinyl figure of the Mighty Morphin’ Green Ranger, in NYCC-exclusive Metallic colors! Designed by vinyl artist Touma, this release comes in an entire metallic coat and features a unique legacy box, making it a must-have for any fan of the original Power Rangers season!

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Alongside this release was the Limited Edition Power Rangers Legendary Ranger Key Set dedicated to the character Tommy Oliver! Best known for his appearances as the Green and White Ranger in the original Power Rangers airing, Tommy appeared in later seasons as a variety of other Rangers, all of which are featured in this 5-pack of Ranger Keys! Painted in limited-edition metallic colors, all of the keys function with the Deluxe Legendary Morpher, seen in the currently airing Super Megaforce season.

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Aside from Power Rangers, Bandai is also celebrating the release of the newest Godzilla film by Legendary Films earlier this year with a new exclusive vinyl figure! Standing 6.5″ tall, the figure features a new unique sculpt and paint job, highlighting his glowing radioactive spines as part of his signature Atomic Breath move! The figure comes in a stylized exclusive box, and shows the figure amidst a destroyed cityscape.

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Along with these new exclusives, Bandai featured a number of other figures at their booth, available for purchase before their scheduled retail release! These include the Armor-Up Baymax figure from Big Hero 6, which allows collectors to use over 20 armor pieces to recreate both Baymax’s normal and armored appearances in the upcoming film! Other collectibles at the booth include the Batman, Master Chief, and LBX Achilles model kits, allowing builders to create their favorite characters. With these figures and more available at NYCC this year, it was the perfect place for fans and collectors alike to celebrate their hobby!

Oct15

DreamWorks virtual reality booth at NYCC

2014 at 02:49 pm by admin | Comments Off

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With DreamWorks Animation’s animated sequel, “How to Train Your Dragon 2″, releasing in theaters earlier this year, the animated film company brought their newest film to last week’s New York Comic-Con in a brand new way with their virtual-reality experience booth! Using the Oculus Rift, a virtual-reality headset previously seen in several booths at this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con, the exhibit provided visitors with an interactive gaming experience, allowing players to control an airborne dragon as it flies through several obstacles.

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The exhibit, designed to resemble Viking vessels similar to the ones seen in the film, featured unique seating that mimicked the way the movie portrayed riders on their dragons, and featured a number of interactive features to make the experience even more realistic. These included a vibrating motor placed underneath the seat that activated on turns or other bumpy aerial maneuvers, and a fan pointed at the users’ faces that would turn and shift direct based on where you piloted your dragon steed! All of these additions turned the game into an interactive experience for fans of all ages.

Oct14

MegaBots giant robot debuts at NYCC

2014 at 03:59 pm by admin | Comments Off

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Last week’s New York Comic-Con, which took place from October 9th to October 12th, debuted a number of exclusive and upcoming toys and merchandise from a variety of independent manufacturers and large-scale companies alike. However, nothing was quite as large as the debut of the MegaBots giant robot! Created by Andrew Stroup, Matt Oehrlein, and Gui Cavalcanti, the giant 15-foot tall robot is known as the MegaBot Mark I, and stands as a prototype for an upcoming series of paintball-shooting giant robots. The mech, which currently only featured a working cockpit and moving arm, weighs a total of 15000 pounds, and came equipped with a cannon arm that fired paint-filled foam shells at designated targets.

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Meant as an entertainment tool and big toy rather than a fully-automotive giant robot, the MegaBots series are planned to face off in large-scale paintball matches, and will feature working legs, central torso, and two-man cockpits upon completion. With previous mechanical constructs including the 18-foot wide walking Stompy robot in 2012, keep an eye out for more MegaBots news when the project’s Kickstarter page goes live later this month!

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Oct14

Mishka's Bad News Dunny at TOMODACHI

2014 at 02:44 pm by admin | Comments Off

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As the Halloween season draws closer and closer, apparel company Mishka and Kidrobot have announced their newest creepy collaboration in the form of the Bad News Dunny! These figures, which debuted as exclusive pre-orders at the Mishka booth at last week’s New York Comic-Con, will now be available at TOMODACHI later this month! An entirely original sculpt, this new line of vinyl collectibles comes in a variety of colors and sizes. The larger 8″ Bad News Dunny will be available in the brown-colored Kodiak Edition, while the smaller 3″ Dunny collectibles will feature both the Kodiak Edition and a white-and-pink Polar Edition! While the 8″ Polar Edition of the figure is a Kidrobot-exclusive release, the 8″ Kodiak Edition and both of the 3″ Dunny figures will all be available at our TOMODACHI locations in the Rosedale Shopping Center and the Mall of America on October 24th, making this the perfect seasonal gift for fans and enthusiasts alike!

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Oct13

First 3D-printed rocket set to liftoff

2014 at 12:46 pm by admin | Comments Off

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Researchers and designers at the Special Projects Bureau of The Register, a British technology magazine, have announced their plans to launch a 3D-printed rocket into outer space later this year! The rocket, which was recently completed by the team of 30 designers after four years of testing, cost over $9500 to construct, and will feature an outer frame made entirely of 3D-printed material, similar to the metal parts that NASA is using in its own 3D-printed rocket parts. The rocket was even modified to use a standard hobby rocket motor at extremely high altitudes. The team will launch the freshly completed rocket later this year from Spaceport America in New Mexico, where the rocket will be lifted to 65,600 feet by a helium balloon. There, the rocket will ignite and launch into space, where it will then use on-board cameras and autopilot to return safely to the surface.

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