Mix Japanese Folklore And 80s Horror And This Is What You Get: Two Face Todd - Designer Toy From Tokyo
When it comes to designer toys, Japanese rock. As proven by this new and exciting "up-and-coming" toy designer from Tokyo: Masa-shi.
Masa-shi founded his designer toy label Bad Attic in summer 2015. As a Japanese toy designer and illustrator he is heavily inspired by 80s and 90s gross-out toys, and that's probably why his first submission to our magazine reminds us of US underground comics - MAD- oder Mars-Attacks-style. According to the artist, trading cards such as Madballs and Garbage Pail Kids have also helped to inspire him when he set about designing "a modern, grosser version of a monster ball toy with a little Japanese flavour."
Meet his debut toy "Two Face Todd", a janus-like ball toy with one face paying homage to 80s horror balls and the other a nod to Japanese "yokai" characters - a class of supernatural monsters and spirits that are most famous in Japanese folklore. As often in Japanese culture yokai can bring about various effects: they range from malevolent to the mischievous, but occasionally bring good fortune to those who encounter them and they usually have a spiritual supernatural power, mostly "shapeshifting".
Two Face Todd of course is a little shapeshifter, too, given his ability to turn into an 80s trading-card-alien. He was released September, 11 and is for sale on Masa-shi's website in a limited edition for $100 each.
Each limited toy has been crafted in sofubi in a local Japanese workshop by experienced sofubi technicians, and has then been handpainted by the artist himself. The first incarnation of Two Face Todd is painted in purple and delivered encapsulated in its own display case-style box that includes a limited edition trading card, illustrated by Masa-shi. Two Face Todd is the first in a planned series of six two-faced monster balls. A further release in green sofubi is planned for the near future.
And just in case you don't know what "sofubi" means: It is a Japanese word for "soft vinyl", but besides referring to the material used, it also indicates a special design style and refers to finishing techniques and underlying principles that are applied to the creation of each piece. Sofubi are hand painted and very detailed. They have multiple layers of paint applied.