Thursday, March 27, 2008

Japan Toys are smart



Kali let me in on A secret the cartoonist girls seem to know. Japan makes the most interesting and fun toys. Here's a kind she just showed me.
They make little tiny characters with stumpy armS and legs (when they have legs)

and the key is they make tons of them, so they are collectible. Part of the fun is that they look like little funny crips.
Disney has hopped on the bandwagon too. I think it's a good idea. They are even allowing the toys to be off model.
They give them a nice Jap feel.
Kali suggested :"I think it would be keen if you made Spumco toys in the stubby small style" and I agreed.

So I'm on it.
Would you buy these if you saw them in a gum ball machine?


How about a line of stubby cartoonists?
These were also featured in a monumental post on Kali's blog.

Go check out her million latest crazy and creative doodles and studies!















Hyrma took a shot at it. Pretty nice!

32 comments:

Tim said...

Would I buy those if I saw them in a gumball machine? Are you freaking kidding me? I'd cash a 20 into quarters and spend 'em all. Beats the hell out of "Homies".

Mitch K said...

I would totally toss a couple of quarters for those things. Do a Cigarettes one too! Oh man I'd love a cat!

Erik Griott said...

yes i would! i would buy them all!

Johnny Mastronardi said...

I think one of the reasons Chibi works is that everything becomes so rounded, so I'm not sure Jimmy is the best candidate with his funny shaped head. I love the others, though. Uncle Eddie should be on all my pencils.

megabulk said...

speaking of which, have you seen the new(ish) Japanese take on Disney figures?
http://www.gachausa.com/products/disney_figures.asp

This is wild.

Juan Pablo said...

It's hilarious when the pen-cap-style toys have the hole for the pencil in the middle of the butt of the character. Gotta love those!

NateBear said...

i would buy EVERY SINGLE ONE. Even the super secret ones that you can only win by clicking on easter eggs and solving puzzle. i would be the spum -stub champion just for the greatness of the toys!!!!!

lastangelman said...

Wow! Gumball Spumco characters. And Cartoonists,too! I'd collect a John K, Unca' Eddie, Kate'n'Kali, and Marlo, too. Then there's Mike F. and Eric Bauza. Marlo would probably do a great job doing the designs for the cartoonists.

annamator said...

hey john k,
i looked up one of your old animation lesson posts and did a little of it. im just getting into animating in flash more. the in betweens were the hardest part.

http://annabelle.deviantart.com/art/anna-s-animation-81216140

whaddaya think?
thanks,
anna

Josh "Just What the Doctor Ordered" Heisie said...

I'm not a huge fan of the Disney stubbies...have you seen the Donald and Mickey ones?!? But the others are sorta funny.

Yours are great! Especially the George Liquor and Eddie! Not a huge fan of the Sody one though, too anime-ish.

DO IT.

Vincent Waller said...

You Know I'll buy'em. Hell I'll kill someone for an Eddie pencil topper!

Shawn said...

YES!

Joe - fourhman.com said...

Hurm.... isn't that Chip topper just part of the Disney Cuties line? I recall seeing Cuties stuff getting discounted right out of the Disney Store some months back, a made-for-merch line that Disney seemed to dump just as you noticed it existed.

Nico said...

go Kali!

Those machines at the place we were at had a ton of 'em! I think they are pretty cool too, and I like the off-model Disney ones.

I would kill for an Uncle Eddie Stubby Crip!

ernie kim said...

I'd buy the George Liquor for sure. haha.

Hryma said...

Hi John,
I went and made Jimmy the 'topper',

http://www.hryma.blogspot.com/

hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll have made the the rest of your sketches into toppers.
I'd like to cast them if that's cool with you and make them out of eraser material, not for any profit or selling whatsoever just for my own enjoyment. And if you'd like, i'd like to send 'em your way.

Cheers,
Anthony

Mitch L said...

Lol, that would be awesome!

Bitter Animator said...

Funny "crips"? You mean, like the gang?

toonaholic said...

I love the stubbie little spumco Idea. especially if they were pencil toppers. I know 25 year old kids like myself would love em'. better than those little homies toys, and I'm sure that guy made millions.

Timefishblue said...

I would start writing with pencils so I could use those

Bitter Animator said...

Wow, nice work, Hryma! They turned out really great.

Sean Worsham said...

I'd buy them, make a toy of me John (hahah)

Franky said...

Sold - I want a Sody pencil topper.

The Butcher said...

Speaking of the Japanese, John, have you ever read/seen any drawings from the original Dragonball series (before Z when they added "tude" and the characters took themselves too seriously)? For a manga there are some really appealing drawings. Theres lots of "chibi". Tiny little puff-ball children just walloping the shit out of men 20 times larger than them. It's very funny and exaggerated. All the plants and innanimate objects in the backrounds are caricatured as well. To me it's pure cartoony goodness. Of course, there's still the problem with the weird faces that defy the laws of physics, but other than that, I can't take my eyes off the stuff.

Freckled Derelict said...

DO IT DO IT NOW!!!!!
They would sell SOOOOOOO FAST!!!
A George liquor or Jimmy in your pocket! Genuis

Booo Tooons Ltd. said...

I'm still waiting on the Sody doll with realistic-feeling breasts. You can betcher bottom dollar I'd play with that all night and in into the dawn of morning.

- trevor.

PS: You touch them and she says, "My father's a cop."

mdouglas said...

My pen is staring me down wanting a Jimmy one!

Bugs said...

Hey John
Are you making any cartoons currently? Enjoy your blog a lot. Not so into the toy stuff myself...more interested in the animation discussions. Are you interested in doing an animated feature or series? And are there any already-existing characters, other than your own, with whom you'd like to work?
BB

annamator said...

john k...
im sorry my comments of late are so irrelevant to posts, but i've got some animation confusion. if youre working with a 12x animation (12 frames per beat) and you are in 24 fps (is this the industry standard? why? is it anymore now that people are using computer programs? is it 24 for ease of aligning with music?) this means 2 beats per second. in animation that means the same thing as it does in music right? so 2 beats per second = a 120 tempo (a very standard music tempo). if you have a 10x animation (10 frames in a beat), 2.4 beats per second in 24 fps (assuming youd keep it 24?)... so 2.4 beats in a second x 60 = 144...this is a reasonable tempo. is this the right way of thinking of it? what does the animator do if the song fluctuates in tempo, or is not a mechicanical consitent 144 all the way through as you might find in electronic music? these old swing bands must have been playing incredibly precise time for the old animators to go along with their music so exactly...you think? just tryin to understand the process as i get more and more into the marriage of music+art. your blog is my mentor. i wish i could call your blog and ask it questions.

thanks!

owen said...

The japanese make the best toys! AND some of the funniest, most ridiculous films!

Fun japanese stuff that defines fun:

http://www.markdery.com/archives/news/000046.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaXnQy0E8SA

BadIdeaSociety said...

I think you slightly missed the point of the successful design attributes those "Jap" pencils feature that your versions lack. Your models are slightly too large for easy portability.

The Japanese designers created a pencil-topper that is slightly larger in circumference than the pencil itself. Your designs make the pencil into a bludgeoning weapon.

From a marketing standpoint, you are shooting yourself in the foot. If I buy your pencil cap, I would only be able to fit a single design into a single pencil case. But if you stick to the design size of the Japanese version, you could have kids running around with 10-30 of your pencil caps in tow.

I know those are first drafts... so you have plenty of time to scale the designs down for mass-production.

The character designs somewhat violate the super-deforma aesthetic that drive interest from Japanese children and American teenagers... I'll be honest, I am not well-versed enough in construction, structure, and texture to point out the problem. But I think the characters are bulbous and obese.

I know you are not trying to directly imitate the Japanese stationery design aesthetic, but there is something unattractive about the figures I cannot adequately express.

Doctor Jones said...

"They give them a nice Jap feel."

Nice use of words, there John.