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REVIEW: House of Liu – Qing Soldier

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Background

Veggiesomething – also known as James Liu – has created the aptly named House of Liu series. Along with Crazy Label, they have released several different characters – including Mei Mei, Di Di, Monks, Soldiers and Pirates. One of the newest vinyl releases from the House of Liu is the one we'll be looking at here – the Qing Soldier.

Under the darkness of the night and on the orders of the Qing Emperor, a large Manchurian army was sent to ambush the House of Liu while the inhabitants were asleep. Even though the House of Liu had perfected the art of sword crafting and possessed unrivaled sword fighting skills, they were no match for the Qing soldiers due to the element of surprise and the vast numbers of the attackers. The soldiers also burnt the House down to the ground as they left with Di Di and Mei Mei being the only survivors.

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The Facts



Qing Soldier
Series: House of Liu
Manufacturer: Crazy Label
Artist: Veggiesomething (James Liu)
Material: Rotocast vinyl
Dimensions: 8” tall
Points of Articulation: 5 points (neck, wrists and arms)
Accessories: Hand-weaved bamboo hat; Spear
Edition Size: 400 pieces

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Packaging

The Qing Soldier comes packed in a black box with a small plastic window cutout. The box design features about four colors: the black background, gold, white and grey. Inside, the figure and accessories are secured within a pair of snapping plastic trays.

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Our Opinion

I'm pretty sure that the Qing Soldier is the first figure reviewed on Plastic and Plush that includes its very own hand-weaved bamboo hat. That's really the focal point of this piece. The red and white hat features red tassels hanging from the top. It sets right down on the top of the soldier's head and is easily removable.

The other accessory is the plastic spear that can be placed in either hand. Watch out though, as the tip of the spear is rather pointy.

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The vinyl figure features the normal House of Liu body style. I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of the body, since it resembles a slew of other platform toys out there. But the body is clearly not the focal point of this figure.

The Qing Solider design is fairly simple. There's the Chinese symbol for...well...something on his chest. The face is a simple white with a pair of asymmetrical eyebrows and eyes. (I like the simplicity of this look) And this soldier is rocking a bendable ponytail.

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CHARACTER: The Qing Soldier fits in nicely with the rest of the House of Liu line. It adds on to Veggiesomething's characters with the bendable ponytail and removable bamboo hat.

SUMMARY: If you're a collector of Crazy Label's House of Liu figures, you'll probably need someone to protect little Mei Mei and Di Di. That's where the Qing Soldier comes in. At $59.99, the Soldier is $20.00 less than the more limited Qing Pirate (the other vinyl with a bamboo hat). And if you're looking for something to change up your vinyl collection, how about some hand-weaved bamboo?

You can pick one up at the following:

Crazy Label: $59.95

Qing Soldier Grades

Figure Quality: 8/10
   Sculpt: 8/10
   Paint: 8/10
Accessories/Outfit: 9/10
Packaging: 8/10
Durability: 9/10
Fun Factor: 8/10
Value: 7/10

Overall: 8.8/10

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Treeson’s 6th B-Day Box Sets

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On August 8th 2011, Bubi Au Yeung and Crazy Label will celebrate the 6th birthday of Treeson. In collaboration with Kusso from China, Mintyfresh from the Netherlands, myplasticheart from the USA and Playlounge from the UK, Crazy Label will be releasing a special store exclusive box set of 3″ Baby Treeson in 4 colorways. Each colorway is limited 300 pieces, and estimated to retail around $20.00 per box set (or €17.50 in Europe and RMB 135 in China).

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REVIEW: Inspector Cumulus

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Background

Introducing Inspector Cumulus! Scotland Yard's leading cloud-headed detective. Feared by criminals and colleagues alike due to his short temper and cantankerous nature. "Don't make me Cumulonimbus, you wouldn't like me when I'm Cumulonimbus!"

Jonathan Edwards, a UK based artist/illustrator, is the creator of the Inspector Cumulus character. He has teamed up with Crazy Label to bring this cloud detective to vinyl form.

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The Facts



Inspector Cumulus
Manufacturer: Crazy Label
Artist: Jonathan Edwards
Material: Rotocast vinyl
Dimensions: 8” tall
Points of Articulation: 5 points (neck, shoulders, wrists)
Accessories: Fedora Hat, Smoking Pipe
Edition Size: 500 pieces

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Packaging

The Inspector Cumulus figure comes packaged in a retro styled box. It features an illustrated version of the character on one side, with the above rewritten biography. The front of the box has a plastic windowpane in the shape of Inspector Cumulus' head, with the character's logo underneath it.

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Our Opinion

When I saw the initial sculpts of the Inspector Cumulus figure, my first thought was how well the character would look alongside Pete Fowler's Monsterism series. Those figures were my introduction to the designer toy scene...many years ago. So it makes sense that I was eagerly anticipating the release of Jonathan Edwards' Inspector Cumulus.

Crazy Label has created a vinyl figure that closely resembles the source illustration. The only difference? In the illustration, Cumulus' right hand is in his pocket. And that might be my lone issue with the sculpt, the right hand looks a little awkward.

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Inspector Cumulus comes packaged with a pair of accessories. There's that fancy black fedora that sits upon his puffy head. And Cumulus' pipe fits into a small hole in the figure's mouth. The left hand is sculpted so that you can place the pipe between his index and middle finger.

As far as quality, I think Cumulus is slightly above average. There's not much painting on this figure, with most of the paint detail around the neck/tie/shirt area. I like that Crazy Label went with a soft vinyl – and semi translucent – head.

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OVERALL: I'll admit that I was expecting a must-have release with this Inspector Cumulus figure, and I think the puffy-headed cloud detective has lived up to my lofty expectations. I think that Crazy Label released a contender for our 2011 Vinyl Toy of the Year Award.

You can pick one up at the following:

Frozen Empire Toys: $39.95
Tainted Visions: $39.95
Crazy Label: $39.95

Inspector Cumulus Grades

Figure Quality: 8/10
   Sculpt: 8/10
   Paint: 8/10
Accessories/Outfit: N/A
Packaging: 9/10
Durability: 8/10
Fun Factor: 9/10
Value: 8/10

Overall: 9.1/10

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CONTEST WINNERS: House of Liu Contemporary Series

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Thanks to the fine folks at Crazy Label, we were able to give away three pairs of 3" tall House of Liu Contemporary Series blind boxes (designed by Veggiesomething).

The winners - each receives two blind boxed House of Liu Contemporary figures - are:

@le_tam
@xoxotoki
@KennerSeaWees

CONTEST: Win a Pair of House of Liu Contemporary Series

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Thanks to the fine folks at Crazy Label, we're going to be giving away a pair of 3" tall House of Liu Contemporary Series blind boxes (designed by Veggiesomething) to 3 lucky readers.

This might be one of the first chances that US collectors have at snagging a pair of these. All of the new House of Liu figures will be exclusively available at Rotofugi's SDCC booth. They'll be the the first shop in US to carry the toys.

Here are the details on how to enter the contest. You'll need to enter on Twitter by including the following in your tweet:

#PnPHouseofLiu @crazylabel @plasticandplush

Use the remaining 97 characters to tell us whatever you like. The three winners will be chosen at random. All entries will need to be submitted by 11:59PM EST on Friday June 17th 2011. Winners will be announced on Monday June 20th.

The House of Liu is fully stocked

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Crazy Label has unveiled a pair of new House of Liu series from artist Veggiesomething. The 3" House of Liu Contemporary Series is a blindbox line that features a Baby Di Di or a Baby Mei Mei vinyl figure. These are retailing for $9.95 per blindbox (or $74.95 for a display case).

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They have also released a pair of 8" tall House of Liu figures. The Qing Soldier features a red and white hand-weaved bamboo hat as well as a 7" tall spear. The figure is limited to 400 pieces and available for $59.95.

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Also, the Qing Pirate has been released in a limited edition run of 100 pieces. This 8" tall figure includes a black and white hand-weaved bamboo hat and a 6" tall sword. This slightly more limited piece sells for $79.95.

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Help fund Luno the Moon Rover

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Luno the Moon Rover is the newest designer toy looking for funding via Kickstarter. The character-based spaceship is created by Sergey Safonov, with the project managed by Jeremy Brautman. And the figure, if funded, will be produced by Crazy Label. The funding goal is $4,000, and there are plenty of options available.

Luno the Moon Rover will measure about 5" in diameter and have three spinning wheels. The Mini Luno will be a little smaller - 3" in diameter. Both versions will be made of hand cast resin and painted glossy white.

Luno is both an art sculpture and a toy for painting and playing. It is designed with storytelling in mind. We hope to fund this project on April 12th and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first man in space.

Inspector Cumulus up for Pre-Order

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Crazy Label will begin taking pre-order for their upcoming Inspector Cumulus figure today (March 18th 2011) at 1PM GMT+8 (which I think might have already happened). You'll be able to pre-order a figure at a special discounted price of $29.95 (regularly $39.95) until April 15th 2011. They are expected to begin shipping in May.

As a bonus, the first 10 owners will get a signed and numbered original illustration by artist Jonathan Edwards.

An edition of 500 pieces, the Inspector Cumulus is an 8" tall vinyl figure with 5 points of articulation (neck, shoulder and wrist). Each figure includes a miniature Fedora Hat and Smoking Pipe.

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REVIEW: Treeson and Other Stories Series 2

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Background

Over the years, Crazy Label has released Bubi Au Yeung's now iconic (at least in the designer world) Treeson character in a number of shapes and sizes. The latest release is a follow-up to the extremely popular Treeson and Other Stories blindbox line. The Treeson and Other Stories Series 2 drops seven new blind boxed figures (plus one super rare one).

If you've never heard the story behind Treeson, check it out below.

Treeson is a kind creature raised by the trees in the forest. He was stabbed in the chest with a tree branch by the logger who was trying to cut down the tree that raised him.

After being wounded, he met Ren, his only human friend. Neither Treeson nor Ren were very popular with the local kids, but they kept each other company and tried to save the trees in the city from being cut down by humans that wanted to put up more buildings.

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The Facts



Treeson and Other Stories Series 2
Series: Series 2
Manufacturer: Crazy Label
Artist: Bubi Au Yeung
Material: Rotocast vinyl
Dimensions: Between .75” and 3” tall
Points of Articulation: 2 points (Mushroom); 1 point (b, Chestnut, Girl, Ren); Zero points (Shy Treeson, Star Pack, and Treeson)
Designs: b, Chestnut, Girl, Ren, Shy Treeson, Star Pack, and Treeson & Mushroom (plus one 1/128 mystery figure)

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Packaging

The Treeson and Other Stories Series 2 is packaged blindbox style. The front of the mini box features an illustration of Treeson and Baby Treeson hugging. On the back, there is an illustrated listing of the various characters that you might pull. Inside, the figure is packaged in a foil bag...so does that make it double blind?

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Our Opinion

With each Treeson and Other Stories Series 2 case you purchase, you will get 8 figures. You'll get a complete set of 7 figures, plus either that 1/128 mystery figure or a double of one of the other 7 characters. Since we just got the shown figures, we'll take a look at them one at a time.

Hmm...so I'm not really sure if b is a boy or girl. B looks a little androgynous. I leaning towards it being a girl because of the hairdo, but it could be that b is just from the 1970's. The appears that the figure was sculpted to be holding something (similar to Ren in Series 1), but there doesn't appear to be anything in this series. (EDIT: Saw a picture where b is holding Series 1 Ren's hand)

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Chestnut was my favorite character when I saw the initial designs. He sort of looks like Sloth from Goonies, if he would have become a school teacher. The issue with him is that his head is a little too wide for his body, so part of the head overlaps on one side.

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Girl looks a little bit like Little Red Riding Hood. She's primarily a foggy clear red vinyl. But she's sort of posed in a weird position, no? Well that's because she works in conjunction with another character – the Star Pack. The Star Pack features four stars of various sizes and a net. You can place the net in Girl's open left hand and even position a star inside of it.

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The Ren character has been released in both Series 1 and as a 5” tall figure. This version of Ren features him in the same outfit (without a backpack) and in a seated position with his hands on the ground.

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The Shy Treeson is probably my favorite character of the series. It's probably because Treeson is one of my favorite characters in the designer toy world. If you have other Treeson figures, you're getting something a little different here. This sculpt has Treeson holding a heart behind its back.

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The Treeson & Mushroom pack includes a tiny Baby Treeson that appears to be ready to eat a leaf. You can place him underneath the red, white and tan mushroom that has a nice little base attached (no tipping over that).

Quality-wise, I found that one issue with Chestnut. The paint really depends on the character, but they're mostly average with some of the hand painted areas showing a little run.

OVERALL: I'm a sucker for the whole world of Treeson, and I know I'm not the only one. So, I'm glad that Crazy Label expanded on Series 1 and came back with some great new designs in Series 2. I like that they kept the pricing well below the $10.00 threshold I have for a blindbox series, and that you can get the entire series in one 8 piece case.

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You can pick one up at the following:

Crazy Label: $7.95 ea.
Dragatomi: $8.00 ea.
Frozen Empire Toys: $7.95 ea.
Tainted Visions: $7.95 ea.

Treeson and Other Stories Series 2 Grades

Figure Quality: 7/10
   Sculpt: 7/10
   Paint: 7/10
Accessories/Outfit: N/A
Packaging: 8/10
Durability: 9/10
Fun Factor: 9/10
Value: 8/10

Overall: 8.4/10

b: 8.5/10
Chestnut: 7.7/10
Girl: 8.2/10

Ren: 8.4/10
Shy Treeson: 9.1/10
Star Pack: 8.0/10
Treeson & Mushroom: 9.0/10

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Treeson and Other Stories Series 2

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Pre-orders for Crazy Label's Treeson and Other Stories Series 2 start today, with shipping estimated to take place by late December 2010 or early January 2011. This series consists of seven official figure plus one mystery figure (1:128 ratio). The available characters are: Ren, Chestnut, b, Girl, Star Pack, Treeson & Mushroom, and Shy Treeson.

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Each display case consists of eight blindboxes, which will get you all seven figures plus a random duplicate...or that mystery figure. Look for these to retail around $7.95 per blindbox.

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