I spoke to ‘Gumtaro’ of toy design group Gumliens from Tokyo, Japan, who have an intriguing collection of hand-made toys, that I thought I would share, owing to the huge popularity and influence of collectible toys in Japan.
3D toy designs at Gumliens sprung out of various ideas and paintings made a few years ago by the two members of the group: ‘Gumtaro’ and ‘Hirayama’.
The work process involves alternative work by each of the two designers. Gumtaro starts of with a ‘scribble‘. The lines are cleaned and drawn out clearly by Hirayama. Gumtaro will then paint the character out with acrylic paint.
The image will be ‘made more beautiful with a computer‘. Both Gumtaro and Hirayama will then get to work crafting a 3D model out of clay based on the computer design.
In terms of the actual manufacture of the toys, most work is done in house with the stone dust clay and resin modelling in the early stages done in their home studio. The soft vinyl toy is produced with toy manufacturer ‘One Up’.
Gumliens’ toys will be exhibited at both ‘Fewmany‘ and ‘One Up‘ in Japan from June 29th 2009 to July 5th. Their vinyl toys will be on sale at the ‘One Up’ booth at the Taipei Toy Festival in July.
Gumliens is also currently working on toys for a personal booth for an event called ‘Popbox’ held in ‘Loft‘ in Shibuya, Tokyo in August this year.
Good luck Gumtaro and Hirayama!
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