I’m going to go out on a limb here… albeit a very large, sturdy limb… and say that over the past couple years, 1000toys has become one of the most talked about and watched toy companies around. Despite being a very small studio with only a few figures under their belt so far, each of their releases have been highly anticipated and sell out in minutes. The result is usually a bunch of flippers holding them ransom on the aftermarket for some 2 to 3 times retail… leaving some unlucky “true” fans to smash their piggy banks while swearing under their breath.
Fan’s willingness to pay said ransom, is testament enough to 1000toys growing popularity.
It may surprise you to learn that 1000toys, based out of Japan, is made up of only 3 people. They work closely with various factories in both China and Japan to make it all come together but really it’s all due to their collective vision in that they felt they could push 1/6th toy design further than anything currently available on the market. Speaking with one of the founders, Uchibayashi Takashi about their process I learned that one of the key factors in the formation of 1000toys was simply “to make the things I wanted for myself.”
Previous 1000toys figures have been pretty bare-bones, accessories-wise. You get the figure, which has no clothing or weapons and MAYBE a 2nd set of hands.. that’s it. All for roughly $150+ retail. That may seem a little steep, until you actually get one in hand. That’s when you realize that the hype 1000toys has been getting isn’t undeserved. Their figures are easily among the most well engineered and finessed out there. You can check out our previous reviews of Synthetic Human and CaRB for more info… but like, do that after you read this one!
I can probably trace the entire basis for my interest in giant fighting robots back to a few years of my childhood in the mid 80’s. As a kid, I lived in a small town in Texas a few hours outside Amarillo. I don’t know how he did it, but somehow my dad found this eclectic little Japanese import toy shop on one of our many trips to the “big city”. He knew I’d love it as I was obsessed with Transformers and Voltron, probably the two most popular robot franchises at that time to most kids my age in the states. But this little toy shop had things I’d never seen or heard of. They had VHS tapes full of this stuff called, “anime” and shelves full of these little backwards comics called “manga”. Most importantly of all, it had shelf after shelf of incredibly, mind blowing giant robots. The existence of that shop hooked me onto everything from Gundam to Godakin! I was instantly obsessed. That shop became a regular weekend destination for us, so much so that the shop owner had a small list he’d keep of all the bots I told him I wanted so my dad would know what to look for if he happened to be hunting a Christmas or birthday gift for me. Life was good and my plate was steadily full of random anime, manga and die-cast giant robots for a solid year. We eventually left the Texas pan-handle and moved away to the Eastcoast.
Despite not having access to a similar, amazing Japanese toy import shop anywhere near our new neighborhood, I maintained a fascination with Japanese robots, watching cartoons and movies that featured them as much as possible. Voltron, Transformers, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, Gundam, Giant Robot and the ‘bot known here in the states as Tranzor Z.. the mighty, Mazinger Z.
I’ll admit, it’s been FOREVER since I’ve watched or read anything about Mazinger Z. But the instant I saw him teased by ThreeZero so many of those memories came rushing back. I knew I’d have to have him in my collection.
I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to preview him while he’s still up for preorder at ThreeZero’s shop. I find it a little ironic that the same toy company who is largely responsible for reawakening the toy nostalgia within me a few years back is the same one responsible for bringing such an iconic super robot from my childhood back to life.