Wednesday, September 2, 2015

STGCC 2015: Do You Know The Story of Instinctoy?

The Glam Bloggers' Alliance are back again for STGCC 2015! The alliance aims to cover a broad spectrum of geeky topics for fans who will be heading to the convention next weekend.

In a first cross-post for the year, Red Dot Diva is "koping" an article by Ed of Toys-etc about Japanese toy brand Instinctoy.


The Story of Instinctoy 

The journey of Hiroto Ohkubo began with a Be@rbrick.

He was doing design and fine art and, other than having an growing interest in toys, he knew next to nothing about them but he was drawn to the three inch figure. This was Be@rbrick's first run. It was an opportune moment, just before the explosion of global interest in designer toys and he decided to act on his childhood dream of having a toy that showcases his artistic expression.

For the next three years, rest and vacations were something other people had. To dismiss the success that Instinctoy is having today, to call it a lucky break, would be to ignore the hundreds of drafts, many of which were just spent on perfecting the position of the eyes, ears and paws while coming up with the final version of Inc; the thousands of hours poured into market research, trying to understand the volatility of appeal before he picked up enough confidence in a design that would win the audience over without compromising his aesthetics; the solo trips to Hong Kong to find a factory willing to bring his toy to life, and then the process of getting the eyes right, one that spanned two years (start of 2006 to end of 2007).

Inc was born, a marriage of inspiration between Be@rbrick and Venom, and while the alien organism wraps Spider-Man with a sexy black and almost indestructible living armour, Liquid engulfs the bear in a cute drippy mess, happily positioning itself in the rear. Riding the surge of interest in toy collectibles, Inc sold out, run after run and it was near to impossible (a very small number was set aside for international sale) to get one outside of Japan without taking a stinging hit to the wallet.

Naturally, Hiroto-san quit working for other people.

The overwhelming response for Inc drowned out the detractors, most of who cared little for a sloppy T9G ripoff, and Hiroto’s impeccable standards only kept fans happy and returning. There was none of the airbrush approach. He never settled for going round the colour wheel. He strove to make each release as different from its predecessors as possible, experimenting with Mazoria, flocking, GID, GID accents, glitter and fades.

Things took off, like at an astronomical speed.

Hiroto-san went on to create Liquid to explain how Inc came to be and evolved it to become Liquid Erosion, collaborated with Banana Virus on Pandemic, came full circle with his own Be@rbrick, made a pumpkin head for a Halloween exclusive Inc, paid a tribute to his biggest fan in Taiwan with the eponymous Vincent kaiju, hooked up with Blackseed for Muckey meets Fluffy and released Baby and Mini versions of Inc.

Before he was 30, he had his own shop, a retail space that focuses on customer experience with elaborate window displays so one could enjoy the seasonal sensations.

Hiroto-san will be back for his third STGCC experience and he's practically bringing his shop over. There will be new characters and true convention exclusives! Booth AA92 and AA94 is where you want to be if you want some bear loving.


Red Dot Diva personally likes the Ice Liquid collection. They seem to be happily-gooey with that wide toothy grin of theirs. Also, they come in all kinds of pretty colours!

Do you already own an Instinctoy? If not, STGCC is a good time to start collecting! :D

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