Japan Venture Report

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Japan Venture Report

Post by Sideglide on Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:08 pm

Gar: Hope this is fine to have a new thread. I wanted to recount the experience at the 3A Venture show.

3A Japan Venture Review




Reception:



I was fortunate enough to be invited to the reception night because of my connection with the toy blog TokyoToyFiend. My buddy owns it and focuses mostly on Sofubi reporting and I do “everything else”. The idea was to setup a 10-15 minute interview with Ashley Wood and give a perspective from the side of fans in Japan.


Unfortunately, my interview was setup dead last. Briefly running into Ash about 1 hour beforehand pretty much transmitted that the interview wasn’t going to happen. I believe the media before me either didn’t really know about the show or barely cared other than getting a story. I could see Ash was none too happy and the rest of the interviews fizzled out.

Fortunately, This meant there was extra time to look around before the area was mobbed with people. I ran into T.P. Louise and had a short chat about the event, trip to Japan, and snacks. See, I also do reporting on Japanese Snacks (find me on Instagram #tokyosnackdetective or Facebook group Tokyo Snack Detective).



The show kicked off right on time with masks given out for all that attended. There was food and beer flowing and soon after, a cringe worthy introduction by a kind Japanese woman for the show and Ash. All artists made a short intro and everyone was let loose to enjoy the show.







Last edited by Sideglide on Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by Sideglide on Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:08 pm

It was this time that pretty much everyone was available for chatting. Suiyin, Bill Wray, Phil Hale, Amanda Vesell were nice enough to press the flesh. More on them later. Possibly one of my cherished chats was with Kim Fung Wong. Admittedly, I met him the previous year but at the time, was more into Ash’s art and just getting into the toy line. After the fact, I realized I met the man who was responsible for the stereohead figure I had on my desk by Jason Siu. I made it a mission to have a chat with him and find out more about the origins of Threezero. I also was armed with the Jason Siu fig.

During a free moment, I talked to Kim and showed him the fig. He was blown away that anyone still had one, and that it was in perfect condition, haha! He told me about when it was made 15 years ago, how he was just starting out and the struggles between ambition and budgeting. There were casting issues that needed some ingenuity to get such intricate details. Budgets were tight but he really wanted tobe at the level of Michael Lau and other heavy hitters of the time. If anything, the take away was to push for your dreams, no matter the tough road ahead. Literally the Japan Venture show’s existence hinged on Kim’s dedication.





The reception was also my chance to meet for the first time several boardies like Kevin, Derek, Dolly, Martin, Wilbur, Cody, Gregory, Dan, Atsushi, etc., etc. It was refreshing to talk to everyone about how they got into 3A, Ash’s art, etc. Everyone had a different take, a different perspective that never dulled.



But back to the art!



Everything was overwhelming, truly. The main room was a giant “U” shape that lined the walls with paintings, all paintings. Everything from early Nom works to the latest and greatest that appeared on Ash’s instagram #ashleywoodart. Photobooks and pictures do no justice. In person, you can see how a quick stroke of paint created the outline of a figure silhouette, and other areas that had paint built up while Ash labored over getting just the right perspective or look. The interior of the room was dedicated to 3A works including full-size search and destroy figures and Evenfall T.H.U.G. and Strigoi.





Absolutely fantastic. It was like a VR version of a 3A catalogue and the Extreme Finale artbook, but real. Think about that. Also sharing the interior space was Suiyin’s handmade dolls (but really sculptures). She had on display several in classic Japanese rope bondage poses (called Shibari). Also displayed were several full-size dolls. They had a somber look but a sense of secrets and power behind the pinched eyes.


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Last edited by Sideglide on Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:23 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by Sideglide on Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:09 pm

Moving into the room that would be the negative space of the “U” shape larger room housed Phil Hale and William Wray’s magnificent pieces. Phil’s paintings were excellent. Later, I told him how it was so realistic from afar and how getting close really showed the little tricks and play on light and shadows. I had to keep moving back and forth, definitely a situation where seeing in-person is a must!





William Wray had a whole series focusing on childhood superheroes in desolate lifestyles. My favorite being the street full of Spidermans looking like they could care less if today was their last day or not. Other pieces represented Captain America (Sentinel), Power Rangers, Batman, etc. I felt like I was looking at my childhood heroes after I had forgotten them.






Moving back out and around the corner of the main room revealed a separate room that housed Ash’s inkwork and severed feet sculptures. This was a room I found hard to focus my eyes. There had to be hundreds of pieces hanging in perfect alignment that bordered clinical. Much like the paintings in the main room, I really enjoyed seeing the secrets behind the art. Up close, we could see where the zip-tone was applied, whiteout/correction liquid to make changes in composition, etc. It was especially this room that I was happy the show was going to be around for several days. It was like living in Ash’s Instagram posts.














Last edited by Sideglide on Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by Sideglide on Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:10 pm

Also in this room is where Amanda Visell’s paintings and painted WWR statues resided. Her art was a good juxtaposition to the sea of inkwork with her vivid colors and Golden Books vibe. I was drawn (no pun intended) to her application of dry paint made the art pieces look as almost they were glossed over with chalk.








And that was the Reception!

The rest of the days…
At about 7PM the night of the reception, the line had already begun for the first day’s official sale. Throughout the night and early morning, people began to collect until about 8am when the line swelled with people and excitement hit its peak. At 11:00, the line began to make its way inside the venue and a constant stream of giant shopping bags began to float around the space and surrounding streets. People were able to get pre-order sets, gacha squares and Eddys, 24 in. Pashas, books, posters, and plenty in between.

The nice thing was, most everyone seemed to be actual fans and light on “flippers”. Many Japan Legion fans were in force unboxing their booty and taking pictures, trading gachas, etc. It was a pleasant view compared to other events that attract flippers in droves that could care less what it was they were actually buying.

Everyone was chatting and sharing stories about their collection, kit bashing, and even fan-made accessories and parts.

Soon after, a raffle for the signing took place. All Japan Legion members that bought a legion shirt through Bambaland had a guaranteed slot for a signing, then another 30 or so were randomly picked through a raffle ticket given out to all that entered.


The signing session included all artists and gave all fans a chance to press the flesh and get signatures on recent purchases, prized pieces they brought to the show, book jackets, etc. I feel Ash was really in his element at this time. Getting a chance to meet his fans and see the things they made and hearing their stories looked to energize him. His sketches really shine!

For the next week, daily sales of warehouse goods and gachas (for the next few days). I tried to attend some of these days but with work, I had to be more strategic. Just as the first day, There appeared to be no flippers besides a 2-man team of old gents. It was this time, waiting for hours in line, that I really got to know many Japan legion members, #3ajp. Many slept over the night at a chance to get pieces that have long since gone. Everyone was gracious and respectful.


Last edited by Sideglide on Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by Sideglide on Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:11 pm

Staff:
I wanted to take a moment to give the spotlight to the staff of the show. Gregory, Dan, Cody, Hiddy, etc really were top-notch. Gregory and Cody manned the US payments and kept the piece as much as they could with droves of eager fans. Dan gets a special mention for being an honest to goodness guy that made it his goal for everyone to take away a wonderful experience. Side note: I had in my haste, bought a 4square when I actually wanted the 3AGO Bertie set (sales were made from checking off a checklist). It was 100% my fault but I asked Dan if there was a chance to swap out. Gregory and Cody looked into it but their system wasn’t really setup for such a request. I accepted it, as it was my mistake, and in the end, got it to another boardie that couldn’t make it the first day so all was well. Dan even hit me up the next day to see if there was anything he could do. Wow. If anyone isn’t sure about the intentions of the 3A staff and how they feel about the fans, take this story as a little window in how awesome they are. They really do care about fans and trying to help out and make things right. I think we sometimes take it for granted especially from the safety being behind a computer screen. As fans themselves, they feel the frustration on qc issues, late/delayed items, etc. Again, hats off to the 3A staff. They don’t get enough recognition.

In summation, the show was amazing, people excellent, art speechless, Ash and gang fantastic to meet in person, and all of it will be a memory I will never forget. Thinking of it will always put a smile on my lips.












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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by Sideglide on Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:12 pm























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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by dtrain on Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:38 pm

Excellent recap and perspective Brandon, it was a pleasure meeting you.
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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by gundamben831 on Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:37 am

great read, love seeing this kind of coverage and the behind the scenes perspective from fans that most don't get to see. Thank you for sharing, I only wish that someday to randomly be traveling through some of these countries to be lucky enough to go to one of these events.
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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by x43x on Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:39 am

This is great!
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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by aconners1 on Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:29 am

great job thanks for going to the trouble!

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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by fluppeco on Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:16 pm

top notch!
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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by Chivo on Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:16 pm

Bravo! Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It's stories like this that make the collecting experience worthwhile.
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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by ESeffinga on Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:39 pm

Exactly. Thanks a ton for taking the time and giving us all a feel for what it was like to be there and experiencing it. Kudos!
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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by gimbat on Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:13 pm

Great read Brandon, thank you!

And it was a pleasure to meet you, wish we could hang more!
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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by thumbtack82 on Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:46 am

Great job with this report! I had started following the other Venture thread when it began but stopped watching it when I realized the show wasn't happening for awhile and that the thread was more of a planning area for the folks who would be attending. Since I couldn't go I wasn't interested in the finer details of travelling to Japan, but the great photos and easy reading here make me feel like I'm all caught up. Thanks for taking the time to compile this report, and once again, great job!
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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by Sideglide on Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:47 pm


Thanks everyone! The show has stayed fresh in my mind.

Epilogue:
As I think upon the show, I think I can easily say I will be going to the next Venture, if there is a next one. And I'm saving up for it right now. Even though I still had to work my job through more than half of it, the time spent looking at great pieces and meeting everyone was well, well worth it. I know making international travel can be tough, and can be out of many's price point but I will say this: you won't be disappointed.

I plan on making a savings fund for it. I mean, why not. Even 20 dollars a month will get me to 720 in the next 3 years. If Venture shows come around every 3 years, that is a good nest egg for going. If not for the art, the up-close chance to meet artists, see other fans and experience a new location (probably); then do it just to get out of the house.

On a personal level, the show gave a chance for my girlfriend to see not only why I enjoy the art and 3A, but also to see others that are like-minded. Before the show, she took things at face value. An art book was a book, a figure was a toy, etc. She didn't really care for much other than the few Isobelle Pasha figs I had because of their "smiling eyes".

At the show, she was blown away by honestly everything. She started to "get it". She began to see how many of us see and it was fun to watch. She got an Ashley Wood book and was able to attend the signing (raffle ticket picked). Here she is below after getting a fantastic sketch.





Funny, I think she fusses with the 24in Pasha I bought mare than I do trying to get a good look, still trying to make those "smiling eyes " shine. Anyway, I guess what seems to linger the most is the memories of the people and experiences more than anything else.

A few weeks prior, I had bought an old metal sign. My intentions was to see if Ash would do a sketch on it. I felt the look fit his art aesthetic and just looked overall cool.



When I presented it he said, "is this real? Are you sure you want me to draw on it?" After I gave the go ahead, he looked at the star and said "well, first we're doing this" and proceeded to make it into a Star Criminal. Then I asked if he could add a Nabler but whatever he wanted was A-ok. The results are a bit hard to see on camera with the flat black pen but is a toothy Nabler. I think it all gels together.




Taking some video up high:


But being careful..


Below are a few more pics that Supernova took for me during the Reception. Thanks!

Bill being goofy




Mentioned earlier, talking to Kim about the Jason Siu figure



Amanda doing a sketch for a fan



And one of my favorite paintings, HUGE!


And my favorite 3A Doggy



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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by chiowhon on Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:14 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience at venture. Many thumbs up Very Happy:D:D

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Re: Japan Venture Report

Post by Albino on Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:27 pm

Wow! Thank you for covering the JPV 2015!
Very good pics and so many intresting stuff!

Sideglide, Bravo !
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