the convergence of American Cultural iconic influences in the toy,
punk rock and fashion industries with the Japanese cultural
influences of art, work ethics and business sense that further
influence the genres, this movie superbly captures a visually
stunning portrayal of Japan's most dynamic vinyl toy makers, fashion
and punk rock icons in this documentary by Houston writer and
director Chris Nelson titled "ToyPunks".
and Created by Justin Kovalsky, "ToyPunks" dwells
into the merger of art, toys and punk rock in Japan and its
influence in the America's.
Christopher Nelson takes you to back to 1995 and the creation of a
new subCulture started as a result of Hikaru Iwanaga's new Bounty
Hunter. Considered the original designer toy company and one of the
most influential clothing brands to emerge from Hara Juku's fashion
scene. From its American influence and from this point on
designer toys and subculture fashion would never be the same in
Japan. Likewise, for American's being exposed to the Japanese toys
and fashion. The influence both ways creates some outstanding
and very marketable toys, fashion and art.
43-minute documentary gives you an inside look at the people that
started this craze and the people that were highly influenced by
cross cultural ideas, without which they would not be who they are
today and leading up to The Kid Hunter line, considered to world's
first "designer vinyl" toy and Skull-Kun. All leading to
more and more designer influences on both sides of the world.
with a Panasonic DVX100B, the documentary also sheds light on the
lost "toy" appreciation and today's lack of
"toys" as an art form and the American verses Japanese why
of thinking about toys, and, more importantly, designer toys.
is Houston Director Chris Nelson's first documentary venture.
News & Entertainment Magazine was honored with an exclusive
interview with Mr. Nelson. You can read that interview in our August
2008 issues at: http://issuu.com/c47houston/docs/c47houstonaugust2008
excerpt from the interview)
Nelson: "As an independent this is my first indie project.
In terms of film, “ToyPunks” is my first big solo-directing
venture. But I have been working professionally in Houston and
across the country doing documentaries, webcam stuff and industrial
for some time but “ToyPunks” is the accumulation of all my work
and experience coming together to create my first venture into type
of independent market genre. “ToyPunks” was my time to make an
original media from scratch. My partners are exceptional people and
without them this film would not have been done, but they didn’t
come from a production background at all so I shot, cut and directed
this film on my own."
"Toypunks" is what you would expect a documentary would
be...Interviews and such. The camera work was typical and creative,
in that there wasn't too much that can be done with interviews. The
team was able to incorporate file footage, pictures and the
cinematographer was creative in shooting these designer toys in some
we had a problem with was subtitles. The were a bit small and hard
to read, however, not impossible if you pressed the pause button for
additional time. Often we find subtitles to be a distraction as our
nature is to encompass the face when someone is talking and not
looking down at words on the screen. I would basically have to
pause, read and then start up the DVD. It's the best way to do
wise, "Toypunk" was gradual in presenting an evolution of
the people and trends that make up the designer toy genre. The team,
we think took on a little too much as they tried to expose the
designer toys, but also dwelled into punk fashion and incorporated
it with the punk music scene.
was consistent with a documentary and leveled throughout the movie.
Lighting was, as well consistent.
not a bad job by Director Christopher Nelson in presenting a very
unique look at a cultural interchange between two economical power
countries and the influence they have on one another, as it relates
to designer toys, art and music.
is an interesting documentary to watch. Well worth the time.
rated "ToyPunks" at a strong 4.4 out of 5 stars on the
ToyPunks: Part 1
Houston, Saturday, August 16th, 2008 at the Aurora Picture Show,
Company: Toypunks Production Committee (Christopher Nelson, Carl
Wormley and Justin Kovalsky
and Created by: Justin Kovalsky
by: Christopher Nelson
Videography by: Carl Wormley
by: Christopher Nelson
Logo and Mascot are drawn by: Mike Giant
interviews and Translation by Carl Wormley and Keijiro Suzuki
Design and Mix by: Matt Crawford
by: Angela Meloni
Toypunks Original Score by: TS
with: Hikaru Iwanaga/Bounty Hunter, Frank Kozik, Hiddy
Kinoshita/Secret Base, Hirosuke Nishiyama, Akio Imai of Balzac, Ken
Kakinuma/+8 Paris Rock, Masa Sakamoto/Three Tides Tattoo, Kiyoka
Ikeda/Gargamel, Carl Kent Smith/Super Collector, Mark Nagata/MaxToyCo-Vintage
Toy Expert and Isaac Ramos/RealFanshitOnly.com