Thursday, August 12, 2010


Blue & Pink Pocl

Without a doubt one of my favorite vinyl toys, Pocl is part of the Mysterious Island Jambara series from toy designer Kaijin. It's actually a pretty small line, the only other inhabitant is the rabbit-like creature known as Tiruru. Both toys have great sculpts and gorgeous colors, but my devotion lies with this chubby little critter.

Pocl Lineup

Kaijin is a pretty prolific designer, perhaps better known for his Steel Fairies and Fulcraim figures. The Jambara series is a bit different from his usual work, and seems to be his contribution to the rapidly expanding scene of 4-6" creature toys. It also happens to be the exact type of vinyl toy that I'm obsessed with, so I became instantly infatuated with this mini beast.

I've managed to track down five different versions, and as far as I know there are at least two more (glow in the dark and unpainted gray). Usually produced in low runs of around 50, if you miss the initial release it can be difficult to track them down. The demand isn't really that high, so these guys will often sit in shops for months (the first one I bought was actually on clearance). Once they're gone though, that's it, there really isn't a secondary market for them.

Pocl in the city

Collecting has changed so much since the dawn of the internet, and it's easy to forget how unbelievably spoiled we all are today. There was a time when collecting stuff like this was virtually impossible, unless you were willing to drive across the country looking for specialty shops or possibly even take a trip to Japan. For me it mostly involved staring at Japanese hobby magazines and marveling at the many incredible toys and kits that I could only dream of owning...

Blue Pocl with Pellets

Now, all you need to do is browse the various webshops and make your purchase. Forums and blogs have replaced the photocopied zines of the past, and I can actually read and comprehend the news about the latest kits and figures instead of just looking at the pictures. The most recent Pocl I bought, the blue guy seen above, was actually through a service that deals directly with the designers of the toy. They act as a sort of middle man and bridge the language barrier, allowing fans like myself to pick up beautiful pieces like this with no trouble at all.

Hopefully I'll be able to add another Pocl or two to my collection someday, but for now it doesn't really matter because I'm just delighted to have this crew hanging out on my shelves.

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