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Extreeeeeme Close-up! Lawson's Yamato Mechanic Collection - Somewhere It's Showa

About Extreeeeeme Close-up! Lawson's Yamato Mechanic Collection

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In celebration of the 35th anniversary of "Uchuu Senkan Yamato" (also known outside Japan as "Star Blazers") coming up in 2009, Japanese convenience store chain Lawson will offer eight different miniature spacecraft from the series, sold coupled with certain canned coffees, starting next week...and they kicked off the campaign with this hoot of a commercial!

Hey, the local denkiya has put its Sanyo Xacti video cameras on sale so cheap, couldn't help but give one a home tonight... That Lawson commercial is the first thing I tried shooting with it. Definitely plan on bringing it along to Tokyo tomorrow, in the hopes of grabbing a glimpse of something fun!
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Date:December 12th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
Those two salarymen will be glad you aren't familiar with Yamato--they'll happily grab up your share of the toys...!
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Date:December 5th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
Okay, that's pretty hilarious. XD

The toys look reasonable, too.
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Date:December 12th, 2008 04:52 am (UTC)
They do look pretty decent. Would like to check out the Andromeda and the Black Tiger...but then there's that coffee part of the deal, ooog...
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Date:December 5th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)

Why can't they do ads like this here in the U.S.?!

I have no interest in canned coffees whatsoever but I'd be buying this junk like mad. Ah well, that's what Yahoo Japan Auctions are for I guess, ne? :)

But you know, it makes me mindful of how things have changed over the years. How is used to be that the toy companies like Bandai, Takara, Clover, Nakajima, Nomuri, Tomy, blah blah blah would crank out lots and lots of cool stuff at all price points- some amazing, many things utter crap but still, lots of stuff.

Now it's down to mainly Bandai and Takara, they're more focused on expensive 'otaku bait' toys and the cool, AFFORDABLE and designed with love stuff? It's all coming from the trading figure and gashapon and game center prize companies.

(of course, Bandai in particular has their hand in all of that thru various sub-companies-Banpresto, Zacca-PAP, Megahouse, I think a couple more- but they don't get the 'push' that the main line products do, at least here in the U.S.)

Still, that's a nifty ad. But needs some Sasaki.

BTW, check out Starblazers.com, Tim has posted his bi-monthly update, this time on the Official Yamato Fan Club, with lots of nifty fun translations out of the FC magazines. Yes, he has a COMPLETE set of them. But it didn't get him that interview with Nishizaki, dammit. Maybe that's gonna end up in your lap. :)
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Date:December 14th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
Here's a YJ auction for the set, showing them in their packaging:
There are two Gamiras ships...neither of which they gave the blue guy in the commercial; go figure...

Even just a decade ago, there were so many more manufacturers in the field... Today, even Takara is Takara Tomy.

Those darn sub-companies...now Plex, with a distinctive "P" logo not unlike Popy's, is carrying on with what had been Zacca-PAP's Yamato Mechanical Collection. Probably just a name change, but sheesh, I need a scorecard...!

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Date:December 14th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Wow, those look REALLY nice. And the pack-on packaging is very sharp. I'm assuming these weren't 'blind box' but you could sort thru the cans and get the ship you wanted?

There was some back and forth between me, Tim, and Matt Alt trying to unwind some of that for one of the articles at starblazers.com. Want to be bored to tears? here we go! :)

Popy was a sub-company of Bandai in the '70s, brought back into the fold around the time of Yamato III, where it rested on the shelf. As you know, about 2004 they re-launched the name tied to the B-Club kits, the resin 'mechanical collection' continuations line. At this point Popy was a name given to a 'special design team' that handled nostalgia projects.

Zacca-PAP was a different 'label' for combi store goods (trading kits etc) that Popy did the design work on, then about...hhhmmmm, a year or so ago it was decided to rename the entire operation Plex, using the old Popy 'P' mark.

*whew* At least that's what I recall. And I've put EVERYONE to sleep with that!

(honestly, I know, nobody really gives a crap about such things, but these kind of details are fascinating because I like to know WHO does stuff, and the why of it. blah blah blah :) )

So, roundabout, ya figure it's Plex who did the actual making of these? It's interesting, the stand and the way it attaches reminds me of the Mimuko (ANOTHER short run Bandai sub-company!) 'Matsumoto Museum' polyresin ships, only the stand is plastic instead of metal.

Thank you!
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Date:December 15th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)
First, oops, lemme clarify: I don't know who did Lawson's Yamato 35th-Anniversary Mechanical Collection (yet; now that the crazy past week is safely over, though, am hoping to get to a Lawson's tonight). It's possible to see which ship you're getting; on Saturday a friend in Tokyo said he went to his local Lawson's in search of an Andromeda, but was disappointed to find that all they had were Yamatos. That made me wonder if they were releasing one ship a week or something, but nope, there are tons of complete sets for sale on YJ Auctions right now.

Just because it was fresh in mind as my latest go-round with sub-company confusion, this is what brought on the mention of Plex and Zacca-PAP's Yamato Mechanical Collection:
Plex's name is on the boxes; Zacca-PAP's name is not. Which is fine...except there's nothing about this on Plex's web site. Because it's on Zacca-PAP's web site. Arrggh...

Well, call me weird, but I think that's really interesting about Popy and Bandai and Zacca-PAP and Plex...thanks very much for explaining!

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