Thursday, 12 February 2009

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Cortex Man

I am always captivated by homunculus man / cortex man. Akin to something out of the studios of H8Graphix, these models reflect the amount of sensation and motor function (left and right respecively) that our brain gives to parts of the body. This goes some way to explaining why pain in some parts of the body can be far worse / intense than others.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Vinyl Respirators

The gas mask has become a well established motif of the vinyl movement. Whilst I suspect somewhat cynically that its use may sometimes serve as a way out of developing a character’s face it still serves as an effective solution viz. CMC by BxH. Three Zero have made the facial filter theirs, with it being both a uniting theme amongst all the figures and extending to their logo (designed by Michael Lau). I guess the use of the gas mask by Three Zero goes back to Wong Kim Fung’s GI Joe customs. But like the spray can, what may be an indicator of a visual style can also easily become a cliché. I think BxH achieved perfection with their use of the gas mask back in ‘99 with Pagoda Kun. Three Zero have also skilfully united various artists designs with their mask, including Eric So and Jason Siu. But both these companies were there at the beginning; they started vinyl toys; this gives them a pedigree and almost impunity in the use of the mask. Those who seek inspiration or apply the motif must act with care or fall into the trap of the cliché and sub par. The troughs of mediocrity in vinyl toy design will be surmounted by fresh ideas rather than rehashed themes.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Sunday, 1 February 2009


I spent some time today sifting through the subcultural blog world of the TNSIL. There is an active online presence of dedicated followers of classic American clothing, most commonly referred to as preppy. Whilst some see this as a pejorative term, others embrace it. Other names for the style ar Ivy League , Trad (especially if describing the Japanese take on it) and for the otaku, TNSIL. This somewhat cumbersome acronym stands for “Traditional Natural Shoulder Ivy League” and was coined by a gentleman named Ken Pollock. Whatever the look, a common thread amongst men’s (and it is always men’s) subcultural uniforms is attention to detail. There is the product itself; the heritage behind the brand, the materials used, where it is made, the detailing both on the outside, and equally important, the inside. Then there is how the product is worn. In TNSIL the duct taped Bass Weejun perhaps epitomises this.

Sites worth checking: