Volks Shop Finder

volks

The following link leads to a Google Map detailing all of the Volks Showroom and Tenshi no Sumika locations in Japan. In addition to offering a variety of figures, kits, and dolls, including the Dollfie line, Volks shops provide the craftsman and other artists with a plethora of resources for creating and modifying figures, as well as the materials and inspiration to embark on other original projects. Volks shops are also stocked with information about local events, exhibits, and classroom workshops, many of which are organized by Volks itself, and staff are usually friendly craft enthusiasts, more than willing to assist and offer advice.

No two Volks shops are the same, and those living in or visiting Tokyo might find it helpful to visit a few shop locations when collecting materials, or looking for that special SD dress. The main problem with this is actually finding the locations, as they can be hidden in buildings, basements, or dark alleyways in the sprawling urban jungle. With the aid of Google Maps, most of this guesswork has been taken away, as every nook and cranny is carefully documented from an aerial view, and you can often look at surrounding landmarks using the Street View function.

To those visiting for the first time, Volks Showroom locations feature toys, figures, resin kits, and other hobby related materials such as paint, glue, clay, molding tools, and various printed materials. Volks Tenshi no Sumika locations are specialized Dollfie outlets, carrying dolls, clothes, accessories, parts, and special care items among many other things for Dollfie of various sizes. Many Volks locations feature a Tenshi no Sumika area inside a larger Showroom store, though there are some specialized locations, all of which have been detailed on the map.

I hope you find this useful for all of your wants and needs, and look forward to hearing your feedback. And, please, don’t be afraid to mention any mistakes.

Without further adieu:

The Volks Shop Finder

The creation of the Volks Shop Finder has also inspired a number of other maps detailing some of the finer doll, art, hobby, anime, and otaku points of Japan. As such, a permanent page containing links to these maps has been created, and can be accessed under “Pages.”

The maps, however, are still a work in progress.

Journey to the Stars – 999 Collection at Suginami

Though some say Akira or even Ghost in the Shell were the first anime to cross over or hit it big in America, truth be told it was actually Battle Cruiser Yamato, back in 1978. Legend has it that it premiered at a sci-fi con in San Fransisco around 4am, originally scheduled to play at 2m, but bumped due to a reshowing of Star Wars at the behest of rabid fan boys. OK… the rabid fan boys part might not be science fact. But nonetheless, despite the insane hour of the time slot and two showings of monumental space epic Start Wars, Battle Cruiser Yamato still had the theater packed – people standing in the aisles, crowding in the back, and waiting in line hovering around doorways in case someone left the theater.

This is of course only legend.

It would seem that most English speaking anime fans of today (at least in America, which is all I can speak for) aren’t too familiar with Leiji Matsumoto, creator of Yamato, Queen Emeraldas, Captian Harlock, Interstalla 5555, and Galaxy Express 999. But in addition to this first “one small step” for the anime industry in America, it’s impossible not to notice the impact of Leiji Matsumoto and his characters in modern day Japan. A special futuristic boat designed by Matsumoto, complete with 999 character tour guides, rides along the Sumida River from Asakusa to Odaiba. An auto repair shop in my old neighborhood was called “Yamato” and their sign board featured both the battle cruiser and characters from the series. In early 2006, clips of 999 were used in commercials for the beverage Dakara. And a 999 themed pachinko / slot machine series was released a few months ago. The 999 series which originally aired in 1977 has been remade at least 5 times, and now even has a limited edition DVD box set release.

Though it’s redundant to say at this point, people love this bildugsroman of a young boy traveling across the galaxy in an antique-styled locomotive in search of hope and humanity, vested in an elusive mechanical body, together with his beautiful and mysterious traveling companion. A celebration of the 30th anniversary of this series is currently being held at the Suginami Anime Museum. It opened May 27th, and will continue until August 24.

The Suginami Museum is a free museum. It resides on the 3rd and 4th floor of a huge building on a back alley street across from a shrine, and doesn’t really seem like the right place at first. Despite this confusing facade, the museum itself is actually very cool – and even better when considering the price. Comparing it to the Ghibli Museum, which is huge and fantastical but designed in theory to be an incredibly interactive experience, Suginami really takes the cake. There are quite a few activities for visitors to engage in that replicate the animation process and that cater to all age groups. These include an “after recording” session – in which you can dub over a Black Jack animated sequence as if you were a voice actor and then hear it played back – and a sketch room, this time filled with tracing cards of 999 characters and scenes for those not so artistically inclined. Desks of various famous illustrators are remade for your amusement, complete with figure collections and various degrees of mess. However, the best part is easily the user friendly manga and anime library annex, which includes a nice cross section, and on this particular day was filled with kids on their way “home” from school.

The special exhibit portions of the museum were the only places you couldn’t photograph, and included many original cells from memorable scenes. Just in case you couldn’t remember, they were all labeled with their respective episode number and title. Character design sheets were also presented, along with the various notes for quintessential character composite points. It was interesting to note that Maetel’s sheet had a very big section dedicated to an eye, along with explanations of all the locations and sizes of white dots to give Maetel her signature twinkle. Other characters also had eye legends, though not nearly as intricate.

The on-site theater mixed episodes of the original 999 series in with other animated works, and on that particular day Batsu and Maru watched the two-part Illusion of the Big Four and a Half Mat Room Planet, episodes 60 and 61. However, on the 9th and 10th of August a special 3D CG animated Galaxy Express 999 movie will be playing, and a few other special theater events, along with guest speakers and workshops, have been going on throughout the exhibit.

A commemorative photo opportunity with Maetel and Tetusuro inside the 999 was also very cool. However, Tetsuro was at least three times the size of Maetel – technically, this should have been reversed… or the same amount of mass with different proportions. The Queen Emeraldas floating across the star scape through the window sort of compensated. A special stamp rally was also in effect, and collecting all of the character stamps placed at various locations around the museum resulted in a sticker prize.

Overall, though rather small, the exhibit was very well done, especially if you consider that the visit doesn’t cost a thing. The museum, too, had a rare charm; it wasn’t too showy but still contained a wealth of information. I think I’ll be stepping into the anime annex on my “way home from school” pretty soon, too.

It’s a Rumic World – Rumiko Takahashi Exhibit

In a random and informal poll of junior high and high school aged kids I used to teach, only about 10% knew Rumiko Takahashi by name. But on the other hand, nearly all of them could recognize her work. Though most of her life has been devoted to only four series, it’s the length of those series that really stands out; all have animated adaptions, and all of them garner huge international appeal.

The ongoing exhibit at Matsuya Ginza is a celebration of the manga artist who just finished the Inuyasha series, which had been running in the Shonen Sunday weekly publication for nearly twelve years. This, in addition to Shonen Jump‘s 50 year anniversary, prompted this tribute to the artist, which in addition to her own legacy of work included 50 other mangaka’s rendering of Lum, easily her most famous and influential character.

The exhibit space itself was very nice, well decorated and well arranged with just a few notes at the beginning of each section. It was divided into five major areas, not including the intro room, final artist’s tribute room, or theater. Illuminated doorways, more like four illuminated walls covered with huge comic strips, served as the portals between the areas, transporting the visitor between comic worlds. The gallery itself was predominantly watercolor paintings by Takahashi for comic covers, posters, and calendars, with a few done in colored pencil, oil pastel, and mixed media. In addition to the art, some of Takahashi’s personal collection was also displayed – like a Tendo Dojo signboard, for example – that really tied into each series, and at least for this visitor made the comics and characters really come to life. Most areas were capped off with a few pages worth of pre-published panels, showing just raw ink and paper with pasted dialog to get a feel for manga production.

The cute and funny video intro to the exhibit featured Ataru, Lum, Ranma, Inuyasha, and Kagome inviting you to celebrate 50 years of Shonen Jump in a roughly three minute short. The wall was flanked with two brief messages, one from Takahashi giving a heartwarming thanks to you and everyone involved, and one from the curators describing the exhibit. Displayed in a case to the side were some of her treasured items: a very very worn protractor, a couple aged aprons, and funny “beware of fire danger” emblazoned and rather worn red, black, and white cushion, likely used while she worked. This pretty much set the precedent for the subsequent areas, more or less divided chronologically and by series, and each of which had an artist’s message, original art piece done for the exhibit, and story summary prior to the jump.

The first area, Urusei Yatsura, contained perhaps the most work, but the paintings had by and large not been well preserved. This isn’t surprising, considering their age and composite material, but still left sort of a bad first impression. It made one wonder if Takahashi wasn’t a poor housekeeper, or if the whole exhibit was going to be works warped with time. Nonetheless, even these early pieces show Tahashi’s seemingly simple character design splashed in a wealth of immaculately detailed scenery and signature comedic edge.

Next up was Maison Ikkoku, a series I’m not too familiar with, but it was still impressive. After a winding room of art, the gallery is suddenly a doorstop and house facade – complete with lawn and dog house. Walking through the door, the next area contained a remake of a room interior; probably Kyoko’s, the manager of the boarding house which serves as the setting for the series. Adjacent to this was a 1/50th scale replica of the boarding house, complete with furnishings and moving windows, though only Kyoko’s room was illuminated, providing a nice juxtaposition.

The Ranma 1/2 area was particularly nostalgic for me, as I could recognize quite a few of the paintings from comic covers, published in bi-weekly installments by Viz in America. It was the first manga I ever bought, and without really knowing what I was getting into – the cover art looked so cool to my slightly-ignorant-barely-teenage mind. In reflection, it was without doubt no mistake. The Ranma 1/2 area had on display the aforementioned Tendo “Anything Goes” Dojo signboard along with a big kettle.

The fourth section, Inuyasha, her final and most recent series to date, had a huge reproduction of Kirara in demon form flying at the ceiling near a large torii gate that stood over one of Takahashi’s katana. The gate itself was speckled with one sticker reading “Kagome” on either side and an “Inuyasha” on top, perhaps symbolizing how Inuyasha is the arc linking Kagome to the two worlds she inhabits.

The last section was dedicated to Takahashi’s shorter miscellaneous works, such as the Mermaid Forest series, and Half Pound Gospel among others. Again, as much detail was paid to chronology as personal flair, and various well-worked boxing implements were on display.

The theater area featured a lot of seating, but compared to the other areas of the exhibit which were relatively uncrowded and easy to navigate despite the crowd, it was simply packed. After one episode of Ranma 1/2 – which had immaculate video and sound quality – I was nearly trampled by the stampede of people both leaving and rushing to get a seat. It was still well worth it though, and I even experienced a little jolt of joy when the “Mommy, can we see it again?!” kids received smiling approval.

In finale to her lifelong legacy – though who knows, she hasn’t retired yet – 50 different manga artists whom she lovingly refers to as sempai, or upperclassman, regardless of age, drew their rendition of character Lum for an area entitled simply, “My LUM.” This was the second most crowded area, even during movie screenings, and there’s no question why. It’s hard to describe what original twists were added, but needless to say it was very easy to identify who did what. Seeing various alternate versions side by side was quite intriguing, as some choose to draw out more of her sexy side, while others focused on other aspects of her character, and each one came with a commentary by the artist about their exposure to Urusei Yatsura and/or creating the drawing. Some of the contributors included: Mine Yoshizaki (Sgt. Frog), Taiyo Matsumoto (Tekkonkinkreet), Gosho Aoyama (Case Closed), Kagami Yoshimitsu (Lucky Star), and Kiyoko Azuma (Yotsuba&!) among many others.

Like any good Japanese exhibit, the souvenir area past this was huge, but also included a vast selection of all Takahashi’s manga. Various stores in Matsya Ginza, which is a huge designer shopping mall, also offered limited edition theme goods. Though all of them seemed to be chocolate, it still had a real artistic and inspired quality about it that made dropping 5,000 yen seem reasonable. I visited one of said retailers to see how popular these chocolates were, and witnessed a whole group of giddy ladies marveling but not thinking twice as they reached for their wallets, giggling amongst themselves.

Overall, the exhibit was fantastic, and I’ll definitely visit again before it ends on the 11th. There was a lot of care that went into presentation which makes the experience incredibly interactive if you’re familiar with her work. Apparently, this is the first exhibit of it’s kind, but here’s one hoping that it won’t be the last.

Antiques: Remembering it for You Wholesale

The charm of a well preserved treasure is ageless. Be it a Ming vase, a grandmother’s jewels, your dad’s first teddy bear, or a Spiderman issue 1 first edition comic, the nostalgic appeal of these relics creates even greater a treasure when you yourself can hold it firsthand. Whether or not the individual owner has significant or personal memories attached, the mythic appeal of an “antique” or “vintage” item creates in itself a vast library of historical fiction, infused with an array of commercial and social repercussions. That is, regardless of the names, dates, and intriguing ethnicities associated with such objects, one thing is certain: the price.

The Doll World Festival provided ample evidence for such a hypothesis. Many dealers exhibited vast collections of German dolls and dresses, including reproductions. Scratched faces and yellowed clothes reeking of mothballs sat immersed in mountains of antique fabrics and lace. Century-old stuffed toys weathered and near rotting perched precariously at tables ledges. Buttons of various styles, chipped and tarnished, lay in carefully measured portions. Small plates, spoons, unidentifiable metalworks, and other knickknacks provided ample yet garish accents. And books, detailing most every angle on the subject, were also set at antique prices.

Though the festival itself did not solely consist of such treasures, this was indeed the majority of the event space and boasted a good share of the patrons. Some, though they collected antique dolls or teddy bears, had dressed their product up in a closet of colorful kimono, reminiscent of children’s holidays, creating something of a classical (if not hallmark) Japanese twist on the formerly exclusive European tradition.

However, Japanese antique dolls and replicas, though small in number, made a very large display. One corner of the event featured remakes of Edo Period mechanical-style wooden dolls and toys, including the somewhat notorious “tea serving” robot-like dolls: a doll’s head, hands, and feet framing a kimono robe that masks an ensemble of wooden gears. Two elderly gentleman in craftsman’s garb gave display of their creations, one giving presentations while the other carved away. Another booth had life-sized Japanese style wooden dolls, which though elegant were also creepy and slightly intimidating. No one gathered at that particular table.

The dealer with the biggest area, and incidentally the one most out of place, was Korean ball-joint doll manufacturer Blue Fairy. Many limited edition ball joint dolls were on display, attracting large groups of patrons to indulge in limitless photo sessions, clogging a good portion of the venue. Upon my approach, one of the Blue Fairy clerks was desperately trying to locate “Ticket holder number 5″ to no avail. Apparently, the limited edition dolls were for sale by lottery, a practice commonly employed by Volks. However, none of the onlookers gathered before the table displayed the least interest in the lottery. They continued snapping photos, one by one denying involvement in the event as they were individually questioned as to whether or not they had a ticket by the staff. In addition to the only area housing poly-resin ball joint dolls, this area was very conspicuously the only place where people were openly wielding cameras, and they did so quite aggressively.

Though this event seemed by and large overrated, it was thankfully free of charge. On the other hand, there is admittedly something I don’t understand about collecting smelly yellow 30,000 yen swatches of “antique lace.” The market of memories isn’t yet something in which I trade – yet, as works of art most of the pieces were amazing.

For more photos: http://www32.ocn.ne.jp/~japandollworld/08list.html

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In an aside, my favorite dealer went by the name Sachie. O. Though she doesn’t have a website, all of her dolls are white anthropomorphic variations. Wooden and hand carved, most seemed to be ball-jointed. All of those on display stood about 15-20 cm in height, and were beautifully painted.

Echo World – A Remembrance of Things Past

One of the miniature scenes above boasts “2mm cuts of salmon on a 1cm low-sitting table.” However, when compared to the one-yen coin sitting beside it, the reality of those sizes is likely to be much smaller. This is just one of the many extremely small re-creations which are currently on display as part of the “World of Echo Models” exhibit, which also features Showa Era photos, in addition to domestic, bucolic, urban, and suburban scenes, many prominently featuring contemporary vehicles and electronics.

Echo Models, established 35 years ago, has long toiled over making accurate and “heartwarming” Showa Era reproductions. The current collection, constructed by a handful of artisans, does its best to depict what is fondly remembered as Japan’s modern “Golden Age” in 1/80 scale. Fields of rice, trains rolling along tracks cut through the countryside, prominent stations in Tokyo, residential blocks, city streets, and a student’s small “6 tatami mat” sized room were just some of the many themes represented. The amount of detail and time that went into each piece was stunning – even portions of the model obscured from view do to buildings, windows, people, or other obstacles were earnestly depicted, viewable only through good balance and esoteric body movements.

Islands in the middle of the exhibit hall pointed out the finer details of model construction. For the most part, all models were constructed and painted in ways that mirrored larger plastic models, such as Gundams, the major difference being size in relation to the scale of the model. Tiny parts like teakettles were forked out on something like a plastic tree – actually incorporated into the plastic mold. Given that this setup exposes the most surface area while still keeping the object poised in suspension, it provides the perfect environment for painting model parts, which dry in the same fashion. After the parts are dry, they are then carefully removed from the “tree” base. Other parts, such as those for bicycles and other machinery, came suspended in very thin frames of plastic. They were colored similarly before assembly, though it’s important to remember (anyone who’s made a plastic model would attest to this) that smoothly removing objects from their frame is key to making a realistic depiction. This proves ever more difficult when the objects are rounded at the point of removal, or if the point of removal will expose a visible area, and thus must be painted smoothly in order to conceal the underlying plastics.

It wasn’t surprising to see products from companies such as Tamiya in the gift shop. Tamiya apparently has a special line of flat acrylic paints for such models, in addition to various types of greenery and textured bases. Some of the gift shop items included miniature Showa models made exclusively for the Maruzen exhibit, ranging from 30,000 – 180,000 yen, with optional Tamiya display cases. A huge collection of Showa Era books, including photo collections, period novels, and old maps among many others, drew in a lot of people. There even seemed to be more visitors in that section than the rest of the exhibit hall at most times.

Surprisingly, or otherwise, more than half of the visitors there seemed too young to have known the Showa Era. Though it actually lasted about 63 years, from 1926-1989, and includes WWII, the Showa that lingers in people’s hearts and minds started after the American occupation, in about 1954. This is also the time referred to as the “Japanese Miracle,” during which time Japan re-built itself both politically and economically through the help of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. This miniature exhibit is certainly not the only homage paid to Showa, of which airs are also recreated in small theme parks and restaurants around Tokyo.

Writer and scholar Jordan Sand attributes these predilections for Showa to a lost sense of self, as most Tokyo-ites are not local and lack the nostalgia generated from personal and family history. Thus, a false sense of nostalgia is generated through this same capitalist structure, which in fact caused their displacement in most cases, in order to appease an innate human desire for belonging and stability. This is arguably recreated through other outlets as well – such as obsessions with branded goods, and play-like domestic spheres created in maid cafes. However, no matter what the generation, the mere mention of the Golden Days of Showa almost always strikes the same brand of nostalgic appeal.

The exhibit is currently being held at the Marunouchi branch of Maruzen, located near Tokyo Station, and will last through the 12th; admission is free.  Promotional materials from the encourage you to have a “Gulliver moment” as you browse through the 1/80 scale Showa world.

This Month in Toys

This is just a small collection of some the bigger events going down in Tokyo this month. Bastu and Maru will of course be getting coverage, but if anyone happens to be in the Tokyo area I strongly encourage you to go. These events are usually a lot of fun, even if you’re not buying.

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What: 18th Tokyo Toy Festival

When: Sunday, June 8, 2008; 10am-5pm

Where: Tokyo Big Sight

Cost: 1000 yen

Link (Japanese): but with awesome video… http://www.toyfes.jp/

I think the video says it all. This is a huge flea market style event with a mix of official brand dealers and resale-ers. A variety of stage events are held throughout the day. Toys include everything from figures, vintage, Volks, cars, etc.

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What: Doll World Festival

When: Saturday, June 14, 11am-5pm; Sunday, June 15, 12pm-4pm

Where: Tokyo Industrial Trade Center

Cost: free

Link (Japanese): http://www32.ocn.ne.jp/~japandollworld/

An event for dolls of all varieties, in addition to doll related crafts and goods. On different floors of the same convention hall will be the related Tokyo International Miniature Show, and Japanese Teddy Bear Convention.

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What: Toyko Toy Show 2008

When: June 21 9am – 5pm; June 22 9am-4pm

Where: Tokyo Big Sight

Cost: free

Link (English): http://www.toys.or.jp/toyshow/english/index.html

Only new toys – most yet to be released – will be on display as companies from Japan and around the world try to find buyers. Press and hotshots have their own days – the 21st and 22nd are open to the public. They also have a variety of stage shows, mostly youth-oriented, but cool in a silly way.

coppers hayakawa

In 2002, a father-son team of “Hayakawas” joined forces to create a unique style of metal work. According to their mission statement, “coppers hayakawa” bring forth a “modern-style retro-future world… a world populated by creatures composed of copper cells.” Mixing elements of “emotion, intrigue, and humor,” they insist that the beings are not born of their imagination and intent alone. The finished work rather develops through tens, often hundreds of laborious hours, in which their “right brain intuitively takes control of the design,” bringing forth an amazingly natural and curious metallic being.

Their work is surprisingly reminiscent of sci-fi genre anime. Indeed, their circle of friends includes Koji Morimoto and Katsuhiro Otomo. They even made the special basset hound fusion piece “Gabriel Mk2″ for an exhibit commemorating the theatrical release of Mamoro Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell sequel Innocence. “You’ve exceeded the bounds of imagination,” praises Oshii, who “can’t pry his eyes off the piece even for a photograph,” joke the Hayakawas.

They recently held a free exhibit of works for sale at the Marunouchi location of bookstore Maruzen, near Tokyo Station. It was absolutely breathtaking; Batsu and Maru pondered the small area for nearly an hour, finding new favorite pieces and re-examining finer detail work such as the cacophony of small metallic tubing that snaked through certain pieces, infusing a mechanic yet decidedly organic element to the copper creatures.

Their next showcase will be in Nagoya, at Creator’s Market 18. It will be held June 14 and 15 at Port Messe Nagoya, Building 3; entrance is 800 yen.

Angel Dolls – Go Figure

Conspicuously placed in Ginza, Tokyo’s uptown brimming with the newest in “classic designer chic,” Angel Dolls has been buying, selling, and displaying museum quality dolls for over a decade. Though the shop has relocated several times, it has remained “always in Ginza,” according to the proprietress, also commenting that it has stayed in its current main street location for over five years. Slightly confused as to why such a seemingly out-dated children’s pastime should rub shoulders with the elite, one need only look at the prices – sculpts range from 80,000 – 3,000,000 yen. Then again, somewhere in the middle lies the Volks Super Dollfie, albeit much more customizable.

Angel Dolls caught my eye for a few reasons. First of all, they hold at least one special exhibit per month. Free of charge, it features both new and classical style sculpts from all eras. Second, in addition to dolls they also house a wide variety of antiques, including dresses, glass works, and furnishings. All of these are nicely woven into the shop, giving the impression of walking into someone’s living room as opposed to a museum or showroom. However, what stood out most were porcelain dolls sculpted, dressed, and posed very similarly to Asian ball-joint dolls.

In search of answers, Batsu and Maru combed their hair and ironed their shirts before wandering into fancy-pants Ginza up the back streets. When we arrived, we were kindly greeted, and left to wander about for a while. Since very few items are kept in cases, I was happily surprised we were given no warnings or shown the door.

The shop was divided into roughly three areas: European made dolls, Japanese made dolls, and the exhibition portion. Most of the European dolls came from Germany, and were over 100 years old. It gave an interesting perspective, as they sit in the middle of the shop and can be easily compared with more modern sculpts. There were many varieties of Japanese made dolls, and most were ornately posed with props, antique toys, and other dolls.

When asked about the style of Japanese made dolls, the proprietress was quick to summon the traditional European school and point to examples which illustrated some resemblance; namely child sculpts dressed in kimono. However, “newer artists are gaining their inspiration from figures and anime – so though the materials and technique may be traditional the product is something quite of their own invention.” She gestured towards the table behind us, upon which sat dolls called “Naoto,” a thin and pale male doll dressed in feathery black, and “Alice,” another rendition of Carol’s classic. A female doll lay languidly on a red sofa, wrapped in a seductive red satin robe that made her skin look ever the more pale while enhancing the subtle shadows in her face. Some dolls stood no more than 10cm high, while others were probably near 60cm – about the same sizes as commercial poly-resin ball joint dolls.

Showing no preference, only passion and knowledge, she was very helpful and invited us to come back anytime. I’ll inquire about photographing my next visit. Though I didn’t see any signs to prevent the curiosity seeker, it seemed the better thing to do. Please see the Angel Dolls website for pictures.

The most interesting thing that came out of this adventure is the suggestion that one trend in doll culture is coming full circle. That is, the modern poly-resin ball joint dolls which incorporate classical techniques in doll-making are now being cast in traditional materials. Perhaps a new era of neo-classical dolls will soon walk the earth. However, I don’t think this will sway most BJD enthusiasts, save for those who tend to lean towards pure collection; the strength and durability of poly-resin give the hobbyist much more flexibility over porcelain.

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