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HAZARAI EXCLUSIVE: The Latest Tenacious Toys “Super Series Sunday” Is An Undisputed Heavyweight Champion!

Benny Kline is one tough guy to nail down, the personification of the word “tenacious.”  Therefore, when the owner of the aptly named, Tenacious Toys, offered to take a few minutes out of his 80-hour work week to sit down with us and show off the latest gem in his Super Series Sundays program we no doubt jumped at the opportunity.  For those not familiar, Tenacious Toys’ Super Series Sunday is an exclusive weekly event featuring a new release of a resin or custom figure by an artist handpicked by Benny himself.

The Ever Tenacious Benny Kline

The Ever Tenacious Benny Kline

This week’s edition is a definite crowd pleaser, SumoTrooper, a 3″ sumo wrestler/stormtrooper cast from blue tinted resin.  “That’s pretty f’en cool” we offer up almost reflexively when Benny shows us a picture of it, after all, what isn’t to love about mashing up Japanese culture with an homage to Star Wars?  “It is, right?”  Benny agrees, “but you know what’s really cool…exclusives – let me see if I can hook you up with one.”  And just like that he’s on the phone with SumoTrooper creator, the uber talented multi-discipline artist, Kris Dulfer (and to imagine, we thought we hit the jackpot when Benny simply opened a Tenacious Toys store on HAZARAI).

The "Tenacious blue" SumoTrooper

The “Tenacious blue” SumoTrooper

For those not familiar with Kris Dulfer’s work, he’s a self-taught craftsman, a beyond obsessive perfectionist when it comes to his work, and a self-described “Culture Jammer” (more on this in our profile of Kris coming soon to the HAZARAI blog).  He credits his inspiration for SumoTrooper as coming partially from Scott Kinnebrew‘s badass Buddha Fett, partially from a few stormtrooper helmets he had lying around, and partially from a handful of sumo wrestler toys that his father stumbled across at a dollar store, and figured Kris could find something to do with them.  The original plan was to produce just 25 pieces in a limited edition set sold in blind boxes:  15 blue, 5 glow-in-the-dark chase pieces, and 5 hand-painted chase pieces – along with a randomly placed “golden ticket” in one of the boxes redeemable for a special golden SumoTrooper, (more teaser images are available by our friends over at TOYSREVIL), however, as a favor to Benny, Kris agreed to produce another 15 pieces in red and make them only available for purchase in his KiD iNk iNDUSTRIES HAZARAI store this Super Sunday, 3/31.  As if it couldn’t get even better, he’s also including a “golden ticket” in one of the red exclusives too.

A sneak peak of the HAZARAI Exclusive red SumoTrooper

A sneak peak of the HAZARAI Exclusive red SumoTrooper

SumoTrooper drops this Sunday, March 31st at 4pm EST, and is the first in what hopes to be a long line of fresh creations by Kris Dulfer that we’ll be featuring on HAZARAI.  Like we said, there’s only a limited amount of them being cast, so make sure to grab your red one on HAZARAI this Sunday (3/31) @ 4pm EST, and the rest on Tenacious Toys’ website then too.

The rest of the SumoTrooper Collection available at www.tenacioustoys.com starting 3/31/13 @ 4pm EST

The rest of the SumoTrooper Collection available at http://www.tenacioustoys.com starting 3/31/13 @ 4pm EST

Our very special thanks to Benny Kline for allowing us to be part of his Super Series Sundays (not to mention scoring us the exclusive).

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HAZARAI is an online marketplace specializing in all things geek and pop culture; a one-stop destination to shop, sell, share, and geek out. Follow us on Twitter  and Tumblr, and Like us on Facebook.

Tenacious Toys is an internet-only store based in NYC committed to broadening the reach and recognition of independent creators in the growing art toy community.  For more about Tenacious Toys owner, Benny Kline, check out both parts 1 & 2 of his interview with TOYSREVIL‘s Andy Heng.

Kris Dulfer is a master Sculptor,Toy Maker, Customizer, and Resin Caster.  He has been producing fresh & fine art since 1993 through his production entity, KiD iNK iNDUSTRIES.

Sh@ring the Love

The HAZARAI Staff Picks Their All Time Favorite 100% Valentine’s Day BE@RBRICKs

Tr@sh St. V@lentine 100% Figure (2002) – How romantic, the original pair came as a set and in the same somewhat provocative box too. Although, from the looks of it, they were pretty good about using protection.

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Photo via pizza_hunter_hk

V@lentine 100% Figure (2004) – Designed specifically for those with great taste, V@lentine was available in both Chocolate and Strawberry…and, bonus tidbit: they were the first ever fragranced BE@RBRICKs.

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Photo via TOYSDORADO

Plus, they came in a pretty sweet box too:

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Photo via TOYSDORADO

Valentine 100% Figure (2009) – Changing its name from V@lentine to Valentine wasn’t the only thing Medicom did differently in ‘09. These (Chia) Valentine’s Day figures featured soft, felt-like texture in both brown and pink colors.

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Photo via TOYSDORADO

Love & Happy St. Valentine’s Day 100% Figure (2010) – Cool fact #1: The pale pink colorway with a red heart all-over design marked the beginning of the Love & Happy Valentine era. Cooler fact #2: He glows in the dark!

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Photo via TOYSDORADO

Happy Valentine BE@RBRICK Limited 100% Figure (2011) – There may have been six different Valentine’s Day BE@RBRICKs released that year, but the Limited design – ice cream cone style chocolate brown (complete with a saucey head) was definitely our flavor of choice.

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Photo via TOYSDORADO

Make sure to also check out our awesome review of this year’s 2013 Love & Happy St. Valentine’s Day BE@RBRICK.

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HAZARAI is an online marketplace specializing in all things geek and pop culture; a one-stop destination to shop, sell, share, and geek out. Follow us on Twitter and Tumblr, and Like us on Facebook.

TOY TOKYO’s 100% Pure Love

Since its first release in 2002, Medicom’s annual Valentine’s Day BE@RBRICK 100% Figure has become an over decade-old yearly tradition.  So, with February 14th just around the corner, HAZARAI hooks it up with the jump on this year’s he@rtbreaker.

As Israel “Lev” Levarek, owner of New York City’s famed TOY TOKYO leads me through the catacombs of his legendary store’s warehouse, he assures me that this year’s 2013 Love and Happy St. Valentine’s Day BE@RBRICK 100% Figure  is just like last year’s…only better.  I press Lev to expand on that, although a single “you’ll see why” is all I’m able to get out of him.  It isn’t until we turn the corner and I am presented with this year’s version that I finally understand.

The 2013 truly does conjure up some fond memories in its design.  The packaging resembles those of years’ past, with our 100% sized (approx. 2.7 inches) Valentine’s Day leading man on display in a transparent blister pack affixed to an oversized heart shaped card.

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Photo via TOYSDORADO

The similarities don’t end there either as the 2013 also features the now customary “Love and Happy Valentine” message printed on its stomach, along with the single “love is (almost) blind” heart-shaped patch over one eye.  As Lev promised, there are some differences (or should we say improvements) with the 2013 from the 2012. Most notably, gone is the translucent pink and silver speckled body, upgraded to one fashioned from pink chrome and covered with a generous bouquet of red hearts.

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Photos via TOYSDORADO

The familiar date stamp on its backside has been changed to: ‘13,2,14 – although you’ll have to open the package in order to see for yourself, something I wasn’t prepared to do.

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Photo via GToyStage.com

As is usually the case, Medicom has released only limited amount of their Valentine’s Day edition, making the 2013 Love & Happy St. Valentine’s Day BE@RBRICK 100% Figure extremely collectible and increasingly hard-to-find, however, thanks to Lev and TOY TOKYO, you can get your hands on a 2013 now ($24.99) in TOY TOKYO’s HAZARAI store.  Check it out before they’re gone.

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Ian Griggs aka Ian Credible is the CEO of HAZARAI and former writer/producer for  Spike, MTV, IFC, Fuse, and Comedy Central.

HAZARAI is an online marketplace specializing in all things geek and pop culture; a one-stop destination to shop, sell, share, and geek out. Follow us on Twitter  and Tumblr, and Like us on Facebook.

TOY TOKYO is the NYC destination for designer art toys, japanese imports, vintage toys & toys for all ages.