Welcome back to Plastic Love! Today I’m breaking the streak of looking at Good Smile stuff to look at Japan’s even bigger toy giant, Bandai. The SH Figuarts line—it stands for “Simple style and Heroic action”—is Bandai’s standard action figure line for adults. Though it specializes in and excels at superheroes, the line has no particular genre focus: anime idols, Marvel movie heroes, and real-life superheroes like Bruce Lee have all been produced. And of course, there is an army of Figuarts of the characters from the immortal Dragon Ball series.
Hello again! Today we’re going to be looking at a figure from a recent line by Phat! Company—another maker under Good Smile’s giant umbrella—called Parfom. Figma and Nendoroid have led the Japanese action figure market for over a decade now, and everybody in the business is always trying to come up with a new angle for a competitor line. Even companies that actually produce Nendoroids and Figmas, like Phat!, come up with new concepts every once in a while.
Phat’s website, by the way, confirms that the company name stands for Pretty, Hot, And Tempting. Nice.
Before we get down to business this week, I thought I would point out this video interview with Max Watanabe, legendary modeler and CEO of Max Factory, a company that produces many of the Nendoroid and figma toys that you’ll see on the average comic shop shelf. There’s a lot of footage of Max and company hard at work, and a bit of insight into how and why people get so into plastic. The whole “toco toco” series is excellent, and I’ll leave it at that before I swerve off topic.
Hi! I’m Dave, and I want to talk to you about toys. I’ve been digging in the toy, statue, and figure subcultures for years, and the craftsmanship and engineering of these little mass-produced art pieces have never ceased to fascinate me. In this regular feature, I’m going to share some of the more interesting pieces I’ve come across, ranging from videogame characters like Street Fighter’s Chun-Li to Freddy Mercury. Yes, the one from Queen. Toys and figures have come a long way from GI-Joe.