Friday, April 13, 2012

Obitsu at Sakura Con 2012

When the president of your favourite doll company is invited to Sakura Con as a special guest, you tend to want to go... So I did. He is Obitsu Saburo, the President of Obitsu Company, a company that is 100% made in Japan! All the design and manufacturing are made in eastern Tokyo in Japan.

Obitsu had the honour to be one of the first panels you can attend on Friday. Unfortunately they had some technical difficulties and their presentation was delayed for about 15-20 minutes... The downside of being first =/

So Helen took some time taking photos right behind Saburo himself!

Even with the delay, the technical problems were still not able to be fixed, so they had to resort to showing the slideshow on the laptop. Thankfully it was a small crowd and we were able to huddle up close to see their presentation which included some videos. One of them is from Culture Japan when Danny Choo visited their factory for inside look at the Obitsu factory.

One of the reasons why Seattle is popular in Japan is because of Ichiro who plays for the Seattle Mariners, possibly Obitsu's reason to come to Sakura Con. Incidentally, his name, Saburo, means he is the third son in the family, Ichiro being the first. Despite being third he does not want to lose to his older brother!

Obitsu Saburo holding up the popular 50cm line bodies, one with vinyl body parts and the other just the inner skeleton. Obitsu is famous for their slush mould. It's the process of creating doll mould from baking and rotating at the same time which makes the parts seamless and have a handcrafted feel to them.

He proceeded to take apart the skeleton showing how easy it was to replace if a part broke.

In the box in front had in some of their creations using slush mould. I was slightly confused because the translator kept saying "slash" but I looked it up for accuracy's purposes and "slush" seem to come more often.

I was sitting in the second row so I was close enough to read the subtitles on the laptop... But I know I could watch it at another time if I had to :P

One of the best demonstrations of the slush mould is the monster Garamon from the Ultraman series. The slush mould made it possible to make the scales all in one piece.

Here's a closer look inside Garamon's body. Very interesting to learn about this process.

This shoe is made to look like it has seams, but it is all moulded in one piece. The seams were part of the design for the shoes. I purposely compare it to my shoes when I took this photo XD

This is also one of the products that they're able to create with the slush mould. I was wondering what exactly this was because it's a bucket but a very long and narrow one... It turns out to be a bucket you can put on a belt if you work as a window washer. Towa Safety Bucket, to be exact.

The next sample Obitsu showed us were stomach samples. It was created for a doctor who was testing an internal organ camera. The doctor did not want to use a cadaver to make a layout of the stomach so he used his own! The doctor asked many other companies who can make these samples, but to no avail, until he came to the very last one on his list, the Obitsu company. These models were also used for medical conventions in Japan!

This one really caught my eye since it's The Terminator! It looked like a very high profile work too. I was able to find it in Hobby Search's catalogue. It looked very heavy, but in fact, a very light figure.

It looked kinda funny here, but I found it very interesting that this is how they made it. They could easily make multiple features to attach his arms without the jacket.

The next piece is Cthulhu! Helen and Raven bravely posed with him ^^; This was contracted by an American company who started out with a Chinese company at first. After six months that company showed a lot of defective products, so the American company decided to go with Obitsu to creating this monstrosity.

Prior to this Matrix-like demonstration, Obitsu showed us an old style doll that was very floppy and had lots of screws in the back. After people saw what Obitsu can do, the styles quickly changed for dollmakers.

That marks the end of their panel. They have another panel on the Saturday but it is the same as this one but perhaps they fixed their technical difficulties by then. I wasn't able to attend unfortunately, so I was not able to see anything different from the Friday one. But moving right along, they had a booth in the Exhibit Hall which I visited soon after.

I feel like I didn't do these dolls justice with the bad angle I had when I took these photos... They were actually selling them though these dolls are only for display. They would be taking your order and then ship them to where you live.

These two look so cute that I was tempted to buy them right there!

The Obitsu 11cm have their own heads and they were for sale, but my friend who wanted me to buy a couple of these had Nendoroid heads in mind.

These two look rather resin and much bigger than the anime style dolls to their left.

 They do more than just dolls!

 Many mini Kewpies!

Kewpies are one of their popular line of toys, so they had many variations of them.

A parting shot of the booth! It was nice to meet the staff again and talk a little. I think I spent most of my money at their booth ^^; I wonder if they remembered me from last year at Anime Expo or not... Oh well, it was still fun looking around their cozy little booth. They keep having new things showing up the next day which prompted me to spend more money, heheh.

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