About a year or so ago I got news that some friends in the toy community, Tim Brisko and Robert Duban were in town. They were working on a super secret project in Alen Yen's mountain fortress. I had never met them in person, so Mason and I took a trip down to say hi. What we found there was beyond words. Laid out upon the table were neatly ordered boxes of the finest specimens of vintage Japanese toys you have ever seen. C-10 Popy Mach Baron, C-10 Gaikings... the works. Josh Fraser was there, with his custom designed shipping containers, ensuring nothing got damaged in transit. Tim Brisko had a darkroom set up in the corner, taking shots of these beautiful toys, while Robert Duban unpacked and supervised. Over lunch at the King Fung Garden, we learned some details of the super secret book project, now finally available for preorder from Amazon.
Shogun Warriors. Godaikin. Micronauts. They came in their legions, leaping straight from Japanese TV sets onto toy shelves. Shiny, outrageously colorful, sporting spring-powered missiles and "rocket punches" - they were unlike anything seen before. Super #1 Robot showcases these unique action figures created during the heyday of Japanese robot toys, 1972 to 1982. From Popy's classic "Chogokin" Mazinger Z to Takatoku's Valkyrie (the first seamlessly transforming toy), these are the pinnacle of modern Japanese robot toys, and transformed not only themselves, but also today's toy culture.
5.5 x 7, color, 256 pages. Available late summer, 2005
About the authors
Matt Alt's childhood obsession with the Japanese giant robot led him to major in Japanese and International Relations at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He lives near Tokyo, where he and his wife run a translation agency.
Robert Duban met Matt Alt while working for ToyBoxDX, a popular toy collector website, for which they have cataloged the works of every Japanese toy company producing during the 1970s and early 1980s. He lives in Los Angeles.
Tim Brisko's photography has appeared in Toyfare, Xbox Nation, and Super7 magazine. He lives in Houston, Texas.
Saburo Ishizuki founded Bullmark and Ark, the creators of some of the most influential toys of this period.