I went to the Kaiyodo’s 50th anniversary exhibition: ‘KAIYODO Figure World’!
I bet everyone has had bonus toys when they were still a kid. I collected bonus toys from chocolate eggs when I was a kid, too. The manufacturer who made these toys is called Kaiyodo. Kaiyodo is a company based in Japan and I bet every kid in Japan has had toys made by Kaiyodo once.
I had the chance to go to the Kaiyodo 50th Anniversary exhibition ‘Kaiyodo figure world’, and that is why I decided to write a report on it.
What is Kaiyodo?
Kaiyodo is a Japanese company that makes figures, models and toys. The toys made by Kaiyodo are famous for its creativity and high molding techniques. All products made by Kaiyodo are in high quality and that is why Kaiyodo is being known world-wide.
What is the Kaiyodo Figure World?
The ‘Kaiyodo Figure World’ is an exhibition held by Kaiyodo to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
The exhibition is separated into seven sections and over 2300 figures are being shown in the exhibition.
Below are the seven sections shown in the exhibition:
（１）The beginning of Kaiyodo
（２）The birth of garage kits
（３）The museum of capsule toys
（４）The world of vignette figures
（５）The challenge towards action figures
（６）Figure collections from world-wide
（７）Introduction to the sculptor genius
So, let me start by introducing each corners through pictures and descriptions!
The beginning of Kaiyodo
In 2014 Kaiyodo celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Kaiyodo was originally a one and half square meter sized store in Osaka back in 1964 that specialized in selling plastic models.
The birth of garage kits
Back in the old days, toys (such as monsters) that were sold in store were simply what we would refer as ‘toys’ nowadays. Though since most toys in stores were only based on popular animes, thestaff at Kaiyodo decided that they should create something new, something they like and from scratch, and that was how the garage kits were born.
In 1982, Kaiyodo received their first permission from a movie company to create the garage kit: ‘submarine’. That is when Kaiyodo started its way as a figure maker.
These were the first garage kits made based on animes and special designed characters.
The high quality garage kits made by Kaiyodo were loved among the model maniacs back in the old days.
This is this first garage kit made by Yuji Sakai, the father of figure of Godzilla. His works are still known in the present days for having its realistic features.
The standard robot figures sold nowadays weren’t on shelves back in the 1990s. This well designed L.E.D Mirage figure is known as the monument of figure maniacs in Japan.
The ultraman series figures are made based on monsters and heros from television shows.
Kaiyodo was the manufacturer that produced non anime nor character based garage kits back in the 1980s. Look at this kit, the texture of its skin is so real!
During the end of 1980s to 1990s, more variations of mangas and animes were being created, which ultimately lead to a significant increase in amount of the garage kits, too.
The museum of capsule toys
The toy (bonus toy) that came along with chocolate eggs during 1999 brought a huge revolution to Japan. Chocolate eggs are eggs shaped chocolate with capsule toys in them. Back in the old days, these toys were very popular back due to its quality and detailedness. These toys were also the key that made Kaiyodo successful.
The World of Vignette figures
‘Vignette’ is a french word that has the meaning of ‘a small, graceful literary sketch’; and, Vignette figures basically mean a figure that summarizes a famous scene from a movie or an anime. It is a figure that allows you to picture the scene in your head by looking at it.
This section exhibits vignette figures that are based from classical animes to modern animes.
The challenge towards action figures
The first japanese made action figures were based on the series ‘Fist of the North Star’ back in 1998.
In 2006, Kaiyodo has brought a new sense of action figures to the world with their new technique ‘Yamaguchi kadou style’ that gives the figures a wide range of motion and stability, allowing for many dynamic and varied poses. The ‘REVOLTECH’ was the first series of action figures that Kaiyodo created.
The action figure is combined with many movable parts which allows one to play with it in numerous ways.
Figure collections from world-wide
The founder Miyawaki created this company with the hope that people will buy such detailedly made but affordable miniature figures as a ‘souvenir’ and bring it back home as a memory. Such thoughts of Miyazaki have gained worldwide attentions, and now his figures have been displayed on a worldwide scale including aquariums, zoos and museums overseas.
Introduction to the sculptor genius
There are five sculpturists that work in the front line of Kaiyodo. Videos of their interviews and works are shown in the exhibition corner.
The father of the ecosystem (oceanic creatures, animals, dinosaurs etc.) figures.
The uniqueness and detailness of his works are known worldwide. He is also known for sculpture making in the recent years
The action figure genius who created the ‘REVOLTECH series’!
One of the most powerful sculpturists nowadays that creates different sort of figures.
The worldwide’s master of female figures
This is BOME’s work desk.
So how was it?
This exhibition exhibits stuffs varying from the history of Kaiyodo to the works of popular sculpturists. All of the figures shown are made by hands. To me, these figures are more like art pieces than merely just products. Just like how Kaiyodo have grew into a famous company in over 50 years, I believe they will continue to expand in the future. I am really looking forward to what Kaiyodo will bring us in the future!