Monday, December 29, 2008

the be@rbrick is a kubrick

There's something fascinating about alter egos.

Most superheroes have them: Superman hides behind the unassuming Clark Kent. Underneath the Iron Man suit is millionaire Tony Stark. On an ordinary day, Spiderman is the dorky Peter Parker. The real Batman is the angst-ridden Bruce Wayne.

Same case with bad guys: In Batman, the evil Two-Face was the former law-enforcing Harvey Dent. The deceitful Catwoman was the mousy underdog, Selina Kyle. Spiderman's vengeful Green Goblin is Harry Osborn, Peter Parker's best friend.

In real life, there are movie stars who portray different lives on and off-screen... women who play the role of doting mother and corporate bitch at the same time... and married men who pretend they're single – haha!

Hero or not, it can be fun to lead a double life. Think: why have one life when you can have two? :-)

Check out Series 8's rare Secret Bearbrick cum Kubrick (above), released in 2004, the first ever 2-in-1 Bearbrick. (TIP: Just this month, Medicom released a black version of this as part of the new Series 17. Go grab one... or should I say two?)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

the best stocking stuffer

Last December 19, I attended a Christmas party at my brother's place along Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

All the guests were asked to bring a 'white elephant' – an ugly, unwanted gift that they had received in the past (which simply took precious space inside their closets) or something that hadn't been useful around the house for some reason.

After dinner, it was time for the gift exchange! Everybody was excited – not because of the gifts (haha) – but with the challenge of trying to land the least ugly gift of all.

Guess what I ended up with? A plus-size t-shirt with a very girly design (?!!?) – something that I should simply give away or keep for next year's funny gift exchange!

Nobody wants a white elephant for Christmas. That's why when my business partner S and I decided what to give our friends for the holidays, we made sure it was the best gift – the most memorable 'stocking stuffer' – that they would ever receive from our company, PC&V Communications.

Want to see what we gave them? Click here.

Merry Christmas, Bearbrick Lovers! :-)

(Top, left) The 2008 Christmas Bearbrick created by FrancFranc (the Japanese home furnishing store chain) comes with the cute, red stocking which can be hung on a tree. It's a Christmas stocking stuffer that any Bearbrick collector will love.

Monday, December 8, 2008

toy hunting in taipei

I just found out last weekend that Taipei is a good hunting ground for... designer toys!

How to find them: First, take the subway to the Zhongxiao Dunhua Station and get out at Exit 11. There, you'll find the Dinghao Shopping Center (above).

On the third level of Dinghao is Monster Taipei (above), a store which sells all kinds of toys, including Bearbricks. Jen Huang, the owner of this store is the driving force behind the Taipei Toy Festival, an annual event that has put Taipei on the map when it comes to designer toys.

Here, the staff will gladly give you directions to the next store (below).

Monster Gear, the sleek, upscale version of Monster Taipei, is only three blocks away. At this store, you do not have to sift through boxes – all the toys are properly displayed behind clear glass, like easy targets. If you're also scouting around for fashionable street gear, just go down the basement.

A rainbow of Bearbricks adorn the door of Monster Gear.

(Above) The next stop is Hot Dog Toyz, a two-minute walk from Monster Gear.

The store (which is on the 2nd floor) is neatly organized – it's the sheer number of choices that will confuse you!

It's the best place to find Bearbricks in Taipei (or in the world, even) – look at this display! Thanks to the wonderful salesperson (I forgot her name); she gave me two (2) free 'secret' bears because I spent so much – haha!

Finally, there's Paradise Toys, only a minute away from Hot Dog Toyz. Not quite 'paradise' in terms of size but definitely worth a visit.

In my experience, the hunt for designer vinyl toys is not easy. They are only available in a few specialty stores that are often hard to find. Even in big cities where such toys have a large cult following – New York City, San Francisco, Paris, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Taipei – you'd better come armed with Internet research if you don't want to go home empty-handed.

Happy hunting! :-)

(Top photo) The 'She' Bearbrick (wearing a cheongsam) was created by Jen Huang of Monster Taipei for the 2005 Taipei Toy Festival in Taiwan. It belongs to a set of six – the others were designed by Pal Wong, Mark Chang, Nathan Jurevicius, Brothersfree and Push Comics.

Info from / Pics by yours truly