Too Ihoshi

Discussion in 'Japan Toys' started by zindabad, Jun 30, 2021.

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  1. zindabad

    zindabad Line of Credit

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    Too Ihoshi
    New toymaker Too Ihoshi popped up recently, and I wanted to make a thread to keep impressions in one place (and keep Skullbrain updated). I'll post my impressions of the first toy release in a few.

    The maker's Instagram is @tooi_hoshi, and previously contained sculpt and prototype photos of their first toy, Commando D. Most of those posts have now been deleted, sadly.

    As far as I'm aware, the toys are made in Japan, but the maker is based in Taiwan. Too Ihoshi means 'distant star' (major thanks to @akum6n).

    Toys
    Commando D
    First Release - June 2021, run of 15, price $193

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2021
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  2. zindabad

    zindabad Line of Credit

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    Too Ihoshi
    Reserved - let's see if this gets used
     
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  3. zindabad

    zindabad Line of Credit

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    Too Ihoshi
    Got this guy in-hand today. A bigger-than-usual glut of reposts followed this release, so I was curious to see how it would turn out. To save space and be a little less self-important, I've nested this in sections. Check the end for a neat hidden feature. Also, here's a warning: the metal chain gets hot, and if you're overzealous with the hairdryer while taking this toy apart, you will burn yourself.

    I have mixed feelings about the toy, mostly given the $190-ish price of entry vs the rougher style. But I think the novelty, soul and additional detail make it worthwhile for some, and I'll be watching this maker with interest. I particularly like the asymmetry going on with this sculpt; the different details on each side work well with the simplified and slightly uneven sculpting style.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The first thing that surprised me was the size--it's just about 6in/15cm tall, which given the style is on the large side. I'd expect a toy with a lot of smooth surfaces and sparse detail to be smaller, but ended up digging it. The main toy is 5 parts, with an additional 3 in the accessories and another 3 hidden away, for a total of 11 parts in the whole ensemble. You can see all the bits of plastic together above. The vinyl feels good, rigid but softens easily with heat. No smell out of the bag.

    He comes with a small and large missile, and can hold both. The large missile stretches the claw hand a good deal though, which gave me some pause, but it packs good detail and looks good wielded club-style. The smaller missile can slot into either side of his backpack easily.

    [​IMG]
    In the side-on view above, you can also see a second half of the small missile stowed away on his back. It's connected by a chain to the inside of the body, and rotating the arms actually spools/unspools it. This makes moving the toy around a little fiddly, but it's a fun gimmick and not something I've ever seen before. It's also what sold me on the toy, because I'm childish. In hand the whole assembly works very well most of the time, but occasional parts-slippage can be annoying.

    You can see in the photo below I extended the chain to place the half-missile in his hand. Big props for novelty. One of those asymmetric details I banged on about is also there, the vague suggestion of a face on one side of the robot's head. The opposite side has a striking red star.

    [​IMG]

    The red ring poking out of his arm is part of the assembly that lets you wind up the chain. More on that later, but I dig the contrast there. You can push it further in easily to make it less pronounced as well.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Headers are bright with some lovely clean art of the Commando parachuting away from some nasty roller-shaped chaps. The omake come in a separate headered bag, with a circuit-board design on the card. The headers are printed on both sides, which is a nice touch.

    [​IMG]

    You can see that the main header has a sticker hidden away underneath, which is part of a collectible set (that probably nobody will ever complete, unless they're sold separately). It's a cool touch, one of those faux-mass-produced details that I find a lot of works going for this style lack. Ilu Ilu also does this very well (I know you were all waiting for it!). Text google-translates as:
    "Evil organization are getting closer and closer!"
    "Collect stickers!"
    "All 15 kinds + 5?"
    [​IMG]

    The toy comes with a parachute, which feels like it might be thin vinyl-cape material, along with instructions on how to make the parachute. There's also a second omake missile, somehow even more phallic than all the others, which you can use to weigh it down. This missile won't fit in Commando D's hand or backpack, so I might as well actually try this later.

    [​IMG]

    Finally there are 2 other printed sheets in the style of old toy ads, plus an instruction sheet on the reverse side of the parachute sheet. These are on regular old matte paper, but nicely printed. Thicker glossy paper would have been nice given the cost of the toy, but it remains a cool touch and I will likely try to display one of these. The graphics themselves are really nicely done.

    [​IMG]
    "Missile Robot
    Commando D Price
    20000 yen total
    Length 15cm
    9 parts
    For 20-100 years old"

    "Small but strong, good! Commando D!", "6/13 Now on sale"
    "All 15 types of stickers + 5?"

    "Let's pull it around!", "Missiles can be stored behind the aircraft", "1-3 period limited with hyper missile"

    "I'll shoot a ray from my eyes!", "You can pinch anything!", "Evil organizations are getting closer and closer! What to do? Commando D?!"

    [​IMG]
    Mostly the same text

    [​IMG]
    "1. Pull out the back part (please insert at this angle when inserting)", "2. Press the right hand to to bring out the parts in the left hand"

    "3. Turn Commando D upside down and turn your hand", "4. If you want to adjust the angle, please do not force it and adjust the angle again"

    Weighing all of the above, the standout parts of this toy to me are the rough-hewn, creepy-bootleg look, and the very novel gimmick. The amount of care that went into all the printed material is nice, but to me might indicate some misplaced priorities. For almost $200, I'd expect an immaculate toy first and foremost. But here there's just a little paint messiness, some odd sizing that makes the claw arm strain too much, that sort of thing.

    Even with those things fixed, the asking price is high for what you get, and the reliance on brand mystique and hype to justify it is disheartening out the gate. Still, Commando D's uniqueness has won me over. It's a quietly unsettling toy, derpy kiddish robo-hero on the surface with emerging skulls and torn-up missiles underneath, and I hope the maker has plans for a little universe of menacing boot-bots to accompany him.

    Alright, here we go. If you looked at the header or printed material, you might have noticed the little cylindrical guys harassing our Commando all around the shop. Well, they're red, they have the same arms--you know what I'm thinking. Let's see what's lurking in there.

    Removing both arms, I forced out this red inner tube, which acts as the spool for the chain. It's a tight fit, and more difficult to get back in.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And there it is! One of the evil little dudes has been powering the robot all along. I was very surprised to find this piece was actually painted. If you want to see this yourself, I'd recommend detaching the chain before putting the red piece back in, or better yet, just take the feet off for a spookier view without the fiddling:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2021
  4. akum6n

    akum6n Vintage

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    Too Ihoshi
    'Tooi Hoshi' means 'distant star'.
     
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  5. zindabad

    zindabad Line of Credit

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    Updated the original post and acknowledged you. Thanks as always :)
     
  6. Mr. Humphreys

    Mr. Humphreys Mini Boss

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    Too Ihoshi
    Thank you for the translation Daniel! Quite a pricey toy, but I appreciate your detailed description (and logo closeup) and photos Zindy :D. The parachute is a fun addition, and lots of interesting detailed parts. Fun to look at, but I'm saving for the new Buta coming soon! :)
     
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  7. zindabad

    zindabad Line of Credit

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    Too Ihoshi
    Thanks Grace! It's definitely neat but I wouldn't go for multiple colours just now. I figured with the price and this being a new maker, it might be helpful for people to have more info before deciding to buy.

    And I too am watching my emails anxiously for the new Buta :dam:
     
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  8. gatiio

    gatiio Side Dealer

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    Too Ihoshi
    Cute toy but that price is pretty steep for not very much avant-garde design, I guess.

    if you factor in the copper masks and molds, etc. One can see why the cost is so high, so I’m just whining Bc I’m a SBer.

    thank you for sharing the info and thorough intro,@zindabad

    It’s a nice toy, expensive or not
     
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  9. bryce_r

    bryce_r Die-Cast

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    Too Ihoshi
    It looks like it's missing legs. Great job on the poster and paint but I can't into this one.
     
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  10. Kirara

    Kirara Fresh Meat

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    Too Ihoshi
    Great primer for this new brand and toy.

    For me, the most interesting part of it is the parachute, wanna know if it can really work.
     
  11. zindabad

    zindabad Line of Credit

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    Too Ihoshi
    Still have to give it a try. But I think it'll work with the omake missile attached, like the instructions say. If you put it on the toy, you'd end up with a pretty beat-up toy :lol:
     
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  12. JoeMan

    JoeMan Mini Boss

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    Too Ihoshi
    Overall form reminds me of the old Darkside Rad, which has not really aged well or remained desirable, despite the star wars origin. Can’t say I’m impressed with this, while I admire the DIY aspect, the overall figure looks very "melty", I don't know if it's because it was over surfaced or sanded, or overly smoothed in wax, but the detail is kind of lost to me. It has the typical popular mech features, the testsujin colorway, the ilu ilu chained fist, but overall, yeah there are tons of better ways to spend 200 on a toy.
     
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  13. zindabad

    zindabad Line of Credit

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    Too Ihoshi
    Yeah, what threw me off is the most detailed part of the sculpt is one most owners aren't going to know exists, let alone see. Just points to the same overall problem, putting the production value into ancillary stuff rather than the meat of the toy. I'm pretty happy with my iffy judgement here but it's a totally correct criticism.

    What's the Darkside Rad?
     
  14. akum6n

    akum6n Vintage

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    Too Ihoshi
    Dark Side Hero Toys / DxSxHx Radd. It's a homage to the Star Wars Rancor from years and years ago.

    I have a big soft spot for their stuff (which has admittedly remained really 'niche' even among soft vinyl collectors), so I can't agree with @JoeMan ;P
     
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  15. JoeMan

    JoeMan Mini Boss

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    Too Ihoshi
    Haha, I like a lot of their stuff too. I have some Garblin and Bozz and a bunch of their Stag Beetle suits, and some other figures. But the Radd was not my favorite.
     
  16. doomboy

    doomboy Toy Prince

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    Too Ihoshi
    It immediately made me think of Starcase' style sculpt wise.
     

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