Sunday, May 31, 2009

collector's profile: the boy behind bare

This letter B stands for...

... the handsome Bill Psonis (below), the brains behind Bare (, an online toy shop based in Greece. He's the one who took the pic of the Series 16 'B' Bearbrick (above) against the famous White Tower of Thessaloniki.

Bill told me that his love for Bearbricks inspired him to start his own web-based shop in 2006. Today, he sells a good variety of toy brands such as Medicom, Toy2r, Kidrobot, Amos Toys, Strangeco, Crazylabel and creations from known designers like Kaws, Michael Lau, Patrick Chow, Kennyswork, Devilrobots and upcoming ones like Michael Kwong and T9G.

His blog (which you can access from highlights new toy releases, as well as news about designers that he personally likes.

That's a 1000% Mastermind Bearbrick he is holding in the pic above. (I love his dotted Nike Dunk shoes designed by Japanese musician/trendsetter Hiroshi Fujiwara.)

(Above) His shop's official business card. You can tell he's a very creative guy.

(Below) Bill with his 1000% (0r 28-inch) Bearbricks and other toys from his collection.

(Left to right) Sex Pistols "Never mind the Bollocks", Sex Pistols "God Save the Queen", Rolling Stone, and Mastermind. FYI, the 16-inch bear on the extreme right is not a Bearbrick – it's a Qee Toyer Bear.

As you can see, Bill (in black Converse x Fujiwara sneakers) has a simple but sharp sense of style. He wears Sophnet, Visvim, Originalfake & Head Porter Plus, all trendy street fashion brands from Japan.

He has around one hundred eighty 100% Bearbricks...

...and twenty-five 400%s (or 10-inch) bears.

Aside from Bearbricks, Bill also collects Kubricks and Hasbro Star Wars 4-inch figures. His favorite Asian toy designer is Michael Lau. He told me that he even managed to get Lau's latest CSBOOTH16 figures in his shop – at very reasonable prices!

Part of his vision was to provide toy collectors an alternative to today's outrageous eBay prices. Boy, do we need more guys like Bill! :-)

Bare Shopping Tip: Enjoy FREE shipping via registered airmail for all purchases above 70euro. Happy shopping!

All pics by Bill Psonis / Nike X Fujiwara pic from

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Back in kindergarten, I learned the basic things that I could do with a pencil:

1. Write.
2. Draw.
3. Stab an annoying classmate.

But through the years I discovered that pencils could also be used as backscratchers, earpicks, darts, bookmarkers, chopsticks, corkboard pins, etc. I especially like filling a coffee mug with newly-sharpened colored pencils and using it as decor, in lieu of flower arrangements.

My artist-friend Christina Quisumbing-Ramilo has been more inventive with pencils. Her latest artworks make use of hundreds of them glued together to create bas relief-type sculptures of various kinds.

From paisley-shaped eraserheads to pencil tips that form a large teardrop.

Don't these remind you of art deco architecture? Like the top of the Chrysler Building?


Deep sea flora?

I like the one on the right. The arrow-tips inside the black crater look like volcanic spew.

From pencil scraps to pencil art. From a simple tool to a slew of possibilities. Congratulations, Christina – once again, you've turned the mundane into magical. :-)

These sculptures were part of a group show entitled "PARAMETERS + PLAY + REPETITION = PATTERNS" at the Manila Contemporary Art Gallery along Pasong Tamo Extension in Makati City, Philippines. Conceptual artist Judy Freya Sibayan curated the exhibition.

(Top) The bearbrick with childlike pencil scrawls is the Series 8 Secret Bearbrick. Named 'Stash & Ariel', it was created by Brooklyn-based graffiti artist Stash (a.k.a. Josh Franklin). From spray painting 60 X 20 feet subway trains in the eighties, 37-year old Stash has moved on to selling his brand of pop art in galleries, collaborating with fashion labels such as Nike and his own Recon streetwear, and designing toys. See more pics here.

Info from and All pics by Bearbrick Lover, Copyright 2009.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

a visual haiku

fleeting images
framed by the earth and the sky
frozen with a click

Poetic pictures of Japan, Spring 2009. As captured by my Canon IXUS 970 IS camera.

(Above) The BWWT 6 Bearbrick designed by Japanese contemporary poet Sandaimeuotakehamadashigeo. You can get CDs/DVDs of his poetry readings from his website.

1. Looking out into the garden of Nijo Castle, Kyoto.

2. Ducks at Ueno Park, Tokyo.

3. Short pine trees at the edge of the Castle Park, Osaka.

4. Wooden prayer boards called 'ema' are hung outside the Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo.

5. Trendy Japanese teenagers at a Tokyo JR Station.

6. Nothing compares to dining under cherry trees in bloom, behind the Yasaka-jinja Shrine in the old Gion district of Kyoto.

7. Red Japanese parasol at the Nijo Castle Garden, Kyoto.

8. The majestic Osaka Castle before dusk.

9. An arch of paper lanterns outside the Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo.

10. The sand garden at the Ginkakuji Temple (or Silver Pavilion) in Kyoto.

11. Wooden Japanese architecture at Ueno Park, Tokyo.

12. The bridge across the moat at the Osaka Castle.

13. If you lie down on a picnic blanket at Ueno Park, Tokyo, this is what you will see.

14. Huge lanterns outside the Senso-ji Temple at Asakusa, Tokyo.

15. The landmark Prada Building, designed by Herzog and De Meuron, at the chic Aoyama shopping district in Tokyo.

16. The most beautiful restroom sign I've seen. Lumine, Shinjuku Station, Tokyo.

All pics by by yours truly. Copyright: Bearbrick Lover 2009 :-)