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American Girl to introduce new Korean-American and Native Hawaiian Dolls

A Korean-American aspiring filmmaker and a Native Hawaiian who helps with the war effort during World War II are among the new dolls American Girl is set to release this year.

American Girl announced the introduction of the new dolls along with the news that the company will be releasing its first male doll on Wednesday. A new African-American doll, Gabriela McBride, has been available in stores since January.

The new Korean-American American Girl is named Z. Yang.
A Korean American, Z. Yang is described as a creative aspiring filmmaker. American Girl

Since American Girl characters and stories help build self-confidence, inspire creativity, and give girls a broader understanding of the world—we now have even more for parents like you to love too,” the company said in a statement.

Z. Yang, the new Korean-American character, is described as a “an imaginative filmmaker” who uses her creative talents to connect with the people around her. “Her stories remind girls that everyone has a unique perspective to share—even if it’s not perfect,” the site reads. She is expected to be released this spring.

Yang is the company’s first Asian-American doll since Ivy Ling was retired by the company in 2014.

Set for a fall release is Nanea Mitchell, a Native Hawaiian girl growing up during World War II in what was then a U.S. territory. “Nanea’s stories teach girls that kokua—doing good deeds and giving selflessly—sometimes require sacrifice,” American Girl writes on its site.

Nanea Mitchell, the new Native Hawaiian American Girl doll.
Nanea Mitchell learns the importance of generosity and sacrifice throughout her stories. 

 

According to American Girl, the new dolls are a direct response to requests from parents and children for more diverse stories.

We do an enormous amount of research with girls and their parents,” Julie Parks, a spokesperson for American Girl, told TODAY.

The one thing we’ve heard loud and clear is a desire for more — specifically more characters and stories from today — with more experiences, more diversity, and more interests.”

Hello Kitty x Mazinger Z die-cast crossover toys unveiled with anime short

Rocketnews 24/Anime News Network:

Bandai posted an English-subtitled anime short to promote its Mazinger Z and Hello Kitty crossover project on Wednesday.

The video also teases a possible collaboration between Getter Robo and My Melody at the 1:45 mark.

The Mazinger Z and Hello Kitty collaboration will include two revamped toys in Bandai’s Chogokin line. The Hello Kitty toy now comes in the colors and likeness of Mazinger Z, which includes a pop-open cockpit featuring a Hello Kitty mini-figure in Koji Kabuto’s uniform.

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The Mazinger Z toy uses the Super Robot Chogokin Mazinger Z as a base, and is painted in Hello Kitty colors. It includes a special belt for its Jet Scrander pack that features a Hello Kitty symbol.

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Both toys have replaceable parts that allow them to depict the handshake shown in the short anime.

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The crossover Chogokin Hello Kitty is slated for release in May, while the revamped Mazinger Z is slated for June.

Bandai will also release the Chogokin toy of Sanrio character My Melody on January 18. The release celebrates the character’s 40th anniversary.

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Medicom Toy (Japan) introduces Jackson Pollock Bearbricks

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Medicom Toy has tapped Andy Warhol on a number of occasions and now the Japanese toy giant is calling upon another late, great artist: Jackson Pollock.

Featuring 100%, 400%, and 1000% Bearbricks, the collaborative endeavor sees the trio of ursine figures covered in the abstract expressionist’s signature splattered paint motif.

Retailing for ¥1,500 JPY (approximately $12 USD), ¥8,800 JPY (approximately $73 USD), and ¥37,000 JPY (approximately $308 USD) respectively, the Beabricks can be pre-ordered now through January 10, 2016 via Medicom’s web shop, project 1/6 and C.J.MART.

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Medicom Toy (Japan) ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ 100% Bearbricks

 

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With the highly anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film set to hit theaters next March, Medicom Toy has unveiled a set of 100% Bearbricks to get fans excited for the forthcoming release.

Featuring Superman in his modernized hero suit and an armored Batman, each figure measures in at the standard 7 cm size. The Dawn of Justice pack comes with both Bearbricks as a set and retails for ¥3,000 JYP (approximately $25 USD).

You can cop this limited edition offering at Medicom Toy online.

Banksy “Flower Bomber” by Medicom Toy (Japan)

 

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Japanese toy manufacturer Medicom Toy has launched a collectible inspired by Banksy’s iconic Flower Bomber stencil. After teasing a prototype at its annual Tokyo exhibition in June, the figurine has been produced for retail.

Designed by PERFECT-STUDIO, the toy is constructed of polystone and stands at 360 mm tall. The finished product slightly varies from the all-white prototype seen in the exhibit with bright colors being added to just the flowers — mirroring the tone of the original artwork.

Pre-orders for the piece are available now through January 10 at Medicom Toy’s online store, with shipping slated for May 2016.

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NIGO shares his Star Wars collection “RETURN OF THE NIGO”

HYPEBEAST:

Following last year’s “NIGO Only Lives Twice,” famed designers and creative polymath NIGO teams up with Sotheby’s again to launch the first-ever auction of ‘Star Warscollectibles. Comprised of over 600 original action figures, vintage film posters, and autographed ornaments, the collection is NIGO’s declaration of love for the iconic film series.

Presented in a total of 175 categories, rare pieces such as a Luke Skywalker figurine holding a “double telescoping lightsaber” is auctioned off alongside ‘A New Hope’ Stormtrooper Helmet and a Jabba the Hutt cookie jar. In this clip above, the streetwear guru shares his favorite Star Wars episode, explaining how the film’s endearing characters have helped propel his own creative work to new depth.

He also lets us in on old techniques he uses to follow to ensure his collection is up to date; by photocopying images of toys he didn’t have and creating a little flip book catalog which he’ll bring to toy fairs in America.

Yuna: The first Asian American girl to be the center of a doll line

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 Kickstarter: 

After watching their own kids play, David Horvath and Sun Min (Award Winning Designers of Uglydoll) began a discussion with Klim Kozinevich (Creative Director of Bigshot Toyworks) and wondered; what if there was more? The worlds of princesses and pixies, fashion models and super heroes are all fantastic, but something was missing. The trio set out to create a unique personality in a small plastic body, focusing on aspirational, inspirational and imaginative play. Something that would encourage kids around the world to embrace what makes them who and what they are, inside and out. With all that in mind, Yuna was born!

Yuna is the very first doll in an all new line called Dream BIG Friends. She’s also the first Asian American girl to be the center of a doll line! She loves science, travel, rockets, art, design, and Korean food. Her BIG dream is to run a company designing rockets that will one day take her to Mars. She’ll be the first one to stand on the planet’s surface, naturally. With your help, she’s sure to get there.

Today heralds the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for Dream BIG Friends, where you can invite Yuna and her cat Kamata into your home.

There have been many discussions about body types and unrealistic proportions and attitudes imposed through children’s toys these days. David, Sun Min and Klim wanted their first doll, and all of her friends, to feel like very real characters, complete with rich backgrounds and boundless potential… Avatars for your imagination. Made with high quality materials and built to last, our BIG Dream is that one day far from now, your kids will share Yuna with their kids.

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