Japan is Too Cool with this Latest Update!

24 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Tim Craig’ss Cool Japan 2nd Edition is a very welcome update to looking at what’s trending, and how it affects the industry. The term was coined circa 2005 and when this look “Inside Japan’s Cultural and Creative Industries” can change overnight due to many influences–be it on a global scale or amid crisis–the effects are often longer term than a return to form.

The fast and furious industries in the business side of Japanese side entertainment–ranging from anime fandom to J-pop to manga and sumo (to name a few)–are not the only industries affected by change. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry coined the term.

Like the original edition, it’s written for folks who want a deeper look into the industry and it’s a perfect textbook to use not only in a high school level but also academic. Two new chapters–”Shesha and the Manga Industry Face a Midlife Crisis” and “Japanese Comedy: Entertainment Powerhouse Yoshimoto Kogyo Shaken by Scandal”– fill in the years between this edition and last. For the other chapters, addendums and what’s happening now are added to reveal whether or not projects like the Cool Japan strategy works.

Continue reading

Equilibrium Urban’s Not So Convention Tour!

22 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Whether you are a college student or just in need of a new carry all bag (backpack or messenger-style), Equilibrium USG has a product you can customize. You can have specific types of smaller pouches to store items in. This company hits all major comic book conventions (well, those that are managing to continue during this medical crisis) and I was curious why cater to a specific audience? Why don’t they have a product to sell in a regular store? The reason is that they can’t decide on how much stock to keep. They take orders to build on demand. To note, due to the current global shutdown, their output has slowed until the COVID-19 cases are in control.

With pop culture conventions more or less year-round, it’s inevitable you will see this company showing off their product at a nearby show. I’m thinking of adding to what I currently have. While I’m waiting on last year’s Black Friday sale to arrive (it can take up to eight months, depending on workload, & coronavirus fears in Asian manufacturing notwithstanding), I’m already considering an upgrade.

Unless I missed a tutorial, you can’t carry the Assault Panzer style completely along its longer (horizontal than vertical) axis. The Recon Prime is closer to the traditional vertical axis messenger bag design, but not by much. I have a pdf where they were once advertised as messenger bags, but after some weeks of use it feels more like a backpack. I might as well turn it into a proper one. I just need to decide on which harness is best for me, and I did not want to mail order blind.

Continue reading

The Internet, or is it the Interview of Everything? The Future is Connectivity

20 Mar

Broadcast Premiere
March 22, 2020
on CBC Docs

9:00 PM EST
and will stream on CBC GEM afterwards

The cyberpunk revolution is here. No, we don’t have massive corporations in control yet, but the Internet–the backbone of what drives data back and forth between the user and computer systems–is considered everywhere. Brett Gaylor‘s The Internet of Everything nicely explores where we are at presently and perhaps where it will go.

His documentary suggests two possibilities: It will either be a surveillance nightmare or an eco-utopia. The outcome is based on what start-ups in Silicon Valley and Shenzhen will offer. Gaylor is a tech junkie much like how I am. We both hail from Victoria, British Columbia with its own unique tech scene. This city has a technology park interested in creating a future for all to enjoy.

Continue reading

Toys, Comics & More with Alter Nation!

18 Mar

curtis-anderson

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Toys from the 80’s and 90’s have a unique type of nostalgia associated with them. It was the MTV generation, and a lot more cross media occurred then than with the years prior. A few big franchises worth mentioning are Transformers, Care Bears and He-Man. The era has a uniqueness to it which I adore, and this is something Curtis Andersen, Licensing & Brand Management at Panda Mony Toys realize too. One look at this company’s website shows they make toys with attitude, and I can dig it! While this toy debuted in 2018 at toy expos and the like, to see it hit shelves in a larger scale takes time.

Andersen is also the Lore Master and writer for this company dedicated to creating new products for kids that help stimulate their imagination, Whether that’s with a tried and true brand, and also bringing a new idea to the masses, this operation is immediately taking on the cross-media approach to launch their line of Alter Nation!

But to know more about this world, I chatted with Andersen about this new product in stores now. If they haven’t arrived yet, they will soon mutate over to stores near you.

Continue reading