Paperback: 136 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st edition (March 1, 2003)
Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,024,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #219 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Dolls, Toys & Figurines > Toys #454 in Books > Humor & Entertainment > Television > Guides & Reviews #892 in Books > Humor & Entertainment > Television > Shows
As a long time collector of Japanese vinyl monster toys, I'm so glad that we finally have a domestically published book for stateside collectors (until this great book was published, we collector-types had to rely on expensive and hard to find Japanese import books as reference tools).This book is beautifully put together by Jimbo Matison and follows the format of many of the Japanese toy collector books, i.e. each page consists of a single photograph of a toy placed in a fantasy setting (similar in format to the book on vinyl toys available from the Marusan USA website) with a "key" at the back of the book that gives the name of the toy, date of production, manufacturer information, etc.Rather than a comprehensive collector's guide that tries to list every vinyl toy ever made (like Sean Linkenbach's Godzilla collectibles book), this book takes a selective approach to showing these toys. There are "chapters" organized according to genre of toys (heroes, monsters, female characters, vehicles, etc.) with a sampling of both vintage and new toys in each category. This is not a price guide, rather, the toys are photographed and presented for their design and artistic appeal. There's a nice combination of toys from vintage manufacturers such as Bullmark and Marusan as well as modern companies like M-1 and Marmit.The only criticism I have is that I wish the book showed more toys! On balance, this is a beautiful, large format book with page after page of beautifully photgraphed japanese vinyl toys. You'll love this book whether you collect these toys or are just interested in their aesthetic appeal.Nice work Jimbo!
Just got this book and it Rocks ! The photos are richly reproduced, most in full page format. The innovative use of textured backgrounds paired with some of the craziest looking toys ever made, make this book a must for your coffee table.This book is pure , 100% eye candy to feed your imagination..it's no wonder many if not all the current hot designers and artists have been influenced by Japanese toys, old and new.
I'm so happy to see a book that has a whole chapter dedicted to female heroines (and villains)! The chapter is called Rockin' Chicks. I never knew such great female characters existed. Only in Japan. The other chapters are fun too. Ultraman is in the Men In Rubber chapter. My brother and I watched Ultraman when we were kids. I totally forgot about Ultraman until I saw him in this book and all of the memories came back. (I actually bought this book for my brother but when it arrived I decided to keep it for myself. Bad sister! I ordered him one too.) The photos are so vivid and the design is great. I recommend this book to anyone who knows all about these Japanese shows (like my brother who loved it) or anyone who has an imagination. I have a new heroine and her name is Mimina! Great book.
I must admit that I am no expert in the japanese toy field, but I LOVED this book as though I have know these toys for years! I came across it in a bookstore while I was looking for a gift to give to a friend that actually knows about this stuff. I had no idea there was such a comprehensive and specific book out there, I figured some book about rock and roll was what I would find, BUT NO! I found the PERFECT thing! SO CRAZY! I thought at first the layout of just pictures was a little odd, but the friend I gave it to said that is the old school way they put these things together. He absolutely loves it! (so do i, i got one for me too...)THANK YOU MISTER MATISON FOR GIVING US SOMETHING TO GIVE TO OTHERS THAT IS SO FUN, SO COOL, SO CRAZY AND SO GOOD!!!!
[You] can't hide the author's vast knowledge of this fascinating subject. I found it alternatly charming and illuminating. The author ("Jimbo", obviously not his real name), most likely some kind of bike riding hero in strange suit himself, has managed to capture the flavor and oddity of the strange and wonderful world the japanese have created. The beautiful photography is a catalog of the bizarre no culture miner should be without. This book should serve as a "must-have" resource for students of Japan, Kaiju, Anime, Toys, and anyone who can't resist the lure of brightly colored vinyl.
First I'll state that this is generally a really a fun and wellput together book. I give it props for presenting the toys in a clear,large, and well-laid out format. The book typically presents a picturein either a full, half or quarter page layout, any of which doincredible service to the toys themselves. There is just the rightamount of text and commentary, allowing the picures to speak forthemselves (each 'chapter' has a one-page intro).I don't give this book five stars for the following reasons:1. as the book is only 136 pages, I wish they had not let so much page space go unused. For example, there are about 17 pages which have blank color-toned space that could have easily been used to present more toys. I am familiar with the concept of using blank space to 'let the eye rest' - I don't know if that's what they were attempting, but I wish they hadn't gone that route. This book could "easily" have fit another 30 to 50 (if not more) figures without adding more pages. Its not like Jimbo, Mark and the others lacked resources.2. The book devotes several pages worth to TV stills (i.e. Ultraman, Kamen Rider, etc) which are 'nice' but didn't warrent whole pages. There are even gate-fold (two-page) layouts that have the books seem going right through the middle of the image! Why not just reduce the image a bit? Why did they do this?Anyway, as much as those points annoyed me, the book is a rare kind anddeserves appreciationfor what it is: by fans of the genre, for fans of thegenre. Jimbo Matison is a super talented guy and shared his fun with therest of us. Thanks Jimbo (and don't forget Vol. 2)!
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