News & Events


Artist recreates Totoro house in paper

2014 at 11:33 am by admin | Comments Off


“My Neighbor Totoro” is one of Studio Ghibli’s most iconic and popular films, known worldwide and even featured in Studio Ghibli’s own logo. One diligent fan has now paid tribute to the 1988 classic animated film by recreating the Kusakabe house from the movie entirely in paper!


The artist, known as Kurosuke on the Japanese website Nicovideo, uploaded a production log of the project, which spanned two and a half years of work. The kit is based on a 1/150 scale official papercraft diorama kit of the house, though Kurosuke had to significantly alter the original structure to achieve the look intended for the project.


The house features screen-accurate architecture, and was hand-painted by Kurosuke in order to match the weathered appearance seen in the movie. Not content with simply painting on details, the artist even cut out 1800 individual scraps of paper in order to create the tiled roof of the building, along with adding actual weathering effects to wood panels across the house!

The finished result, which turns the house into a miniature masterpiece, features a detailed diorama with dirt, trees, and plant life in order to make the display as close to the movie as possible.


Nintendo announces new Pokémon arcade game

2014 at 12:11 pm by admin | Comments Off


Fan of the Pokémon franchise has a lot to be excited for, with the upcoming Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire remake games releasing in October as well as the recent Pikachu swarm in Yokohama, Japan. Today, in a special video presentation, Nintendo and the Pokémon Company have announced a brand-new addition to the Pokémon franchise with the new video game, Pokkén Tournament!


Pokkén Tournament comes as the result of a collaboration between Nintendo and Bandai Namco Games, known for their work with the Soul Calibur and Tekken fighting game franchises. Like these two popular franchises, Pokkén Tournament will be a fighting game, and will be the first of its kind in the Pokémon franchise. The teaser video, which was shown earlier today, showcased a brief battle between the Pokemon Lucario and Machamp, and showed off gameplay elements and combat mechanics that will be featured in the full game.

Pokkén Tournament will debut in Japanese arcades in 2015, with no known information on a stateside release or a port to consoles, though a US release is likely to happen in the future. More information on this brand-new Pokémon game is sure to come in the coming months, so stay tuned!


Rubber Duck makes a splash in Los Angeles

2014 at 11:45 am by admin | Comments Off


The Rubber Duck, a floating installation piece by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, has been traveling the world for the past couple of years, showing up in locations like Taiwan, Osaka, Hong Kong, Sydney, and the United States. In a continuation of this giant 54′ tall inflatable bird’s quest across the globe, the Rubber Duck made its debut appearance last week in Los Angeles! The Rubber Duck was a star attraction in Los Angeles’ Tall Ships Festival, which lasted from August 20th to the 24th, and attracted a lot of media attention as well as admiration from spectators and fans.


The duck, which was originally intended to leave the harbor following the end of the Tall Ships Festival, made such a huge splash with spectators and fans that city officials have decided to keep the Rubber Duck on display at the Port of Los Angeles until September 6th! Events have also been planned alongside the duck’s extended stay at the port, including photo ops, dress-up events, and more! The Rubber Duck is now scheduled to leave the Port of Los Angeles on September 6th, so make sure to stop by if you can!


Hello Kitty sends messages from space

2014 at 07:12 pm by admin | Comments Off


In another innovative celebration of Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, Sanrio has worked together with the Japanese government in order to get Hello Kitty into space! In a movement to promote Japan’s high-tech industry as well as a means to celebrate the iconic character’s landmark anniversary, a 1.5″ Hello Kitty figurine was placed aboard the miniature satellite Hodoyoshi-3 and launched into space.

While on-board the miniature satellite, Hello Kitty sports a digital message board, where fans can send in their own personalized messages to Sanrio, who will then display the message to a live camera feed. Sanrio is currently accepting messages up to 180 words long in both English and Japanese, allowing fans from all over the world to show off their messages with the adorable mascot.

While the first round of applications ended earlier today, asking for general salutations and greetings from space, a new question theme has been opened up and will remain open until September 8th. In this round, Sanrio is asking to fans to tell them what they would do if they went into space, so feel free to enter a message to the official campaign website here!


"Stand By Me Doraemon" making-of video released

2014 at 05:59 pm by admin | Comments Off


Doraemon has been celebrating the release of the newest Doraemon movie, “Stand By Me Doraemon”, in a number of innovative ways, even going so far as to appear in a pre-rendered interview with famous Japanese new personality Tetsuko Kuroyanagi. Now, with the film having released in theaters throughout Japan on August 8th, the Stand By Me Doraemon channel on YouTube has uploaded a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the fan-favorite film!

This making-of video shows several of the steps taken in creating the 3D computer graphics used in the creation of the film, ranging from initial animatic to the fully rendered final product. With “Stand By Me Doraemon” selling nearly 2.5 million tickets within the first 10 days of its theatrical run, alongside the news that the movie will be distributed in 21 countries across the world, including Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and more, Doraemon’s newest film appearance is sure to make an impact across the world.


Shipyard begins testing robotic exoskeletons

2014 at 01:38 pm by admin | Comments Off


Wearable exoskeletons have been in the works for years, with dozens of suits from researchers all over the world showing off the potential use of these exoskeletons in laboratory tests. Now, researchers at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering facility in Okpo-dong, South Korea have taken their tests to the real world by employing the use of their own robotic exoskeleton designs at their shipyard.


These exoskeleton suits, which are designed to work alongside the movements of the wearer, was originally unveiled last year in laboratory tests, and has recently moved out into field testing earlier this week. The suits currently allow workers to lift weights over 65 pounds with little effort, and have been shown to be able to life a number of sizable objects including frames, pipes, and metal slabs. The frame runs off of a battery with a life of three hours, and reportedly allows users to walk at a normal pace without obstruction. The exoskeletons even feature a swappable aluminum frame, which can be replaced to carry specific objects or perform certain tasks.

The exoskeletons are still in their prototype stages, and researchers state that versions of the exoskeletons in the future should be able to lift up to 220 lbs. With shipyards like Daewoo already using a number of robots and automated features to ease stresses on workers, these exoskeletons might be the next step to improving shipping times and quality of life in general at work sites all over the world.


7-Eleven retails giant Evangelion statues

2014 at 12:38 pm by admin | Comments Off


International convenience store chain 7-Eleven has been known to collaborate with famous anime icons and characters in the past, most recently producing a number of 7-Eleven-themed Gundam model kits and other merchandise. Now, 7-Eleven has collaborated with popular anime franchise Evangelion in order to create towering statues of the iconic Eva Unit 01!


This statue, which measures in at 2 meters tall (6 feet 5 inches), was created for an upcoming Japan-only 7-Eleven competition, in which customers can follow their Twitter or Facebook pages for a chance to win one of the two giant Evangelion statues. Fans who aren’t feeling particularly lucky can also purchase a statue directly from 7-Eleven’s online store for 1,700,000 yen. On top of that, two color variants will be produced of the Eva 01 statue: a normal version with anime-accurate colors, and a brand-new design that covers Eva 01 in 7-Eleven’s iconic color scheme and decals!

7-Eleven has also announced that the Evangelion collaboration will continue with Eva Racing over the course of August, and will carry other Eva-based limited edition goods in their convenience stores, such as Eva-themed BearBricks, stuffed animals, collectible figurines, and more!


Art Everywhere opens in Times Square

2014 at 03:10 pm by admin | Comments Off


The highly anticipated “Art Everywhere” movement, originally started as a touring exposition in the United Kingdom, has kicked off its US debut with a large-scale showing at New York City’s Times Square! Announced this April, Art Everywhere plans to be the largest outdoor showing of classic and modern American artwork in the nation, with over 50,000 public displays set to participate in the nationwide exhibition. With works donated from museums like the Dallas Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, New York’s Whitney Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and DC’s National Gallery of Art, the show features a wide variety of artwork that strives to bring art to the public in a unique and inviting way.


The show, which will run through the duration of August in various cities across America, took over New York City’s Times Square on its grand opening on August 4th. A number of electronic billboards, ad spaces, bus stops, and other displays throughout Times Square and New York City were taken over by classic artwork from artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Chuck Close, Edward Hopper, and other artists. With more artwork and locations coming as the month goes on, make sure to check out Art Everywhere’s website here for detailed information on locations near you!



Disney begins Muppets web series

2014 at 12:22 pm by admin | Comments Off


The Muppets, created in 1955 by puppeteer and artist Jim Henson, have been going through a revival recently with the release of the first Muppets theatrical movie in 12 years in 2011, along with the recent release of “Muppets Most Wanted” in theaters this past March. In order to advertise the upcoming release of “Muppets Most Wanted” on home video, Disney has launched a new digital-only series titled “Disney Drive-On with the Muppets”!


This new six-episode series, which will only be available on Apple devices through the Disney Movies Anywhere app, will consist of a new releases every Friday, starting with the first episode releasing on August 1st. The series will follow newcomer puppet Walter as he works alongside his fellow Muppet stars and characters at Walt Disney Studios. Featuring popular characters like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Animal, and more, the series will also give insight into some behind-the-scenes looks at the creation of “Muppets Most Wanted”, which releases on home video on August 12th. The entire first episode of “Disney Drive-On with the Muppets” has also been made available through the Disney Movies Anywhere YouTube channel, giving fans a taste of the series and a chance to see some beloved classic puppets in action once again.


Pikachu takes over Yokohama, Japan

2014 at 12:00 pm by admin | Comments Off


The Pokemon franchise, originally created by Nintendo and Game Freak in 1996, has been as popular as ever, with new games Pokemon X and Y releasing last October. In order to celebrate the release of upcoming remake games, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, The Pokemon Company has organized a Pikachu invasion of Yokohama, Japan later this month! The second largest city in Japan, Yokohama will host a variety of Pikachu-themed events and attractions over the course of the event, titled “Pikachus All Over the Place” which will run from August 9th to August 17th.


A commercial for the event was released recently, showing off a number of costumed Pikachus enjoying the city. However, Yokohama citizens have already started spotting the Pikachu invasion, with dozens of Pikachu characters as well as Pikachu-themed boats and stands popping up around the city. On top of that, the Pokemon Company has announced that the Pikachu invasion will consist of over 1,000 costumed Pikachus, wandering around the town and posing for photo ops! This Pikachu invasion is set to be one of the biggest in the history of the franchise, and is sure to please Pokemon fans around Yokohama as well as across the globe.