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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.”

New “Submariner Camera” is ready to get up close and personal with your pet fish

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RocketNews 24 (by Krista Rogers):

On April 28, CCP, a subsidiary of Bandai, will release an underwater recording device dubbed the “Submariner Camera” which can take up-close pictures and videos of your fish like never before. Designed in the guise of a miniature submarine, the gadget is controlled via an infrared remote control and is capable of underwater navigation, surfacing, and left-right rotation.

▼ The Submariner Camera

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▼ The infrared remote control

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▼ It even comes with headlights on each side for some nocturnal navigation!

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▼ Use the bait-holding extendable arm to lure unsuspecting fish into the camera’s field of view.

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The camera (VGA: 640×480 pixels, 30 FPS) is able to record videos for approximately five minutes and can store approximately 800 photos (Quad-VGA: 1280×960 pixels) in its built-in 256MB internal memory. Use the accompanying USB cable to upload the best shots onto your computer and share them with friends.

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The submarine is safe for use in any water 50°C (122°F) or below, meaning it could also be a fun little party trick at your next pool party, or even a way to keep your little ones entertained long enough to give them a bath.

About the only downside to this nifty little gadget is its hefty 10,778 yen (US$100) price tag (tax included).

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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Kidrobot & Sket One transform the Dunny into a Sriracha bottle

Fresh off the release of the Ron English and Mark Dean Veca-designed figures, Kidrobot is back at it — this time with a spicy take on its signature Dunny.

Designed by Los Angeles-based visual artist Sket One — who previously decorated Medicom Toy’s Bearbrick in the Huy Fong Foods motif — the three-inch-tall figure is transformed into a sriracha bottle and will come in two variations: “full” and “empty.”

Blind boxed, the $14.99 USD sriracha bottle Dunny will soon be available via Kidrobot’s web store in limited quantities.

Thousands show up to Ani-Com & Games Fair in Hong Kong

Channel NewsAsia:

Thousands of comic book fans, gamers and cosplayers are thronging the 17th Ani-Com & Games Fair in Hong Kong. Organisers are hoping to beat last year’s attendance of more than 720,000 people.

About 100 die-hard comic book fans and gamers camped out overnight ahead of the fair. Previous years saw larger crowds wanting to score limited edition merchandise, which organizers have since banned.

At the head of the queue was a fan eagerly awaiting a deluxe edition of his favourite videogame. “I’m here for the Playstation’s latest Metal Gear Solid video game. This year, I’ve set aside about US$1,000 to spend,” said Mr Chan.

There are also many comic characters coming to life. Cosplayer Paul Ho said: “We’re the crazy, crazy people. We take annual leave and come to the Comicon Hong Kong to support society, support the positives. I always say, you have heart, you can be the superhero.”

Mr Ho, an event organiser, paraded around the fair with friends in home-made costumes, inspired by the Avengers movie.

The dark side of the force was also strong when its most famous Sith Lord made an appearance. One would also likely need a second garage to fit a 1/6 scale of the Millennium Falcon spacecraft, which needs no introduction to Star Wars fans.

A Millennium Falcon movdel from the Star Wars is displayed at the 17th Ani-Com and Games exhibition in Hong Kong.

Hot Toys, a Hong Kong-based company that produces high-end figurines coveted worldwide, build the highly detailed model, which is 18-feet by 12-feet in size.

“We built it because we’re die-hard fans of Star Wars, we want people to love Star Wars, and that’s why we built it, but it’s not for sale,” said Chere Li, marketing manager at Hot Toys.

What is for sale and is its bestseller is the Iron Man Hulkbuster action figure that was featured on the big screen recently.

Channel NewsAsia‘s Hong Kong Bureau Chief Roland Lim also had the chance to test a product that is not out in the market yet. Sony‘s virtual reality headset, codenamed Project Morpheus, will not be ready until next year and Sony is planning for 30 games to come with it.

Hong Kong is the first in Asia for gamers to play Star Wars Battlefront, while Microsoft has set up a special wall with 200 car models to celebrate the 10th anniversary of racing game Forza.

The convention runs until Tuesday.