Monthly Archives: July 2008

Collector’s Corner Grendizer Part Two!


Yesterday was the first part of our Collector Corner’s interview with Italian musician and Grendizer collector, Jurij.
Today is the conclusion, enjoy and thank you for reading!

As an acclaimed musician, guitarist, and producer in Italy how do you integrate your art with your toy collecting?

My music is central to me, collecting is a hobby. I love the search, the hunt for rare Grendizer items, like being a hunter in a jungle, but it is not important, like composing my music is to me. I have made contacts and new friends through both, however. Music contacts in other countries have helped with my collecting. My life, nonetheless, revolves around my music. I have found other musicians who collect toys . Kirk Hammet from Metallica collects Japanese robots.

Is there a Japanese influence in your music?

Yes of course, the Asian music system is based on Pentatonic Scales, a music scale with only 5 notes, these scales are the root for the Blues. I love this kind of intervals and I use it on my improvising and composition too. Other famous Italian composers used these influences on their operas like Puccini, I love his music.


What is your current music project and/or tour dates, and how can Rinkya members find your works?

I’m touring with Rondò Veneziano band right now (editor’s note: A huge success in Italy in the 1980’s, they dressed like an ancient orchestra circa 1700 during concerts. The music is classic, but with elements of pop music. Jurij plays guitar), and Glenn Branca Electric Orchestra.

I’ve written and composed a lot of music in several different styles, from Rock, Metal, Pop, Dance, to Jazz, and I have worked with some important record labels, such as Sony, Warner, Universal and others. I have also worked with famous artists notably Britney Spears, Queen, Beyonce, and Pink, along with some well-known Italian artists.

Right now I’m very focused on my first Classical Opera Composition called Trazom (Mozart), www.trazomopera.com You can listen to some of it on the website.

Trazom is a natural evolution of my experience. I have two great authors and friends collaborating with me, to help me make my dream of a classical opera come true. Massimiliano Alto, a very famous Italian movie dubber (Lord of the Rings, Aladdin and many others), and Francesco Sardelli ,a very talented musical genius. This is the best team I have ever encountered in my life and I’m very happy to work with them.

Trazom Opera originated with Max and Francesco many years ago, they called me initially to arrange the orchestral parts and a second time to get involved on the composition and main arrangements.

It’s a large and difficult work and a great challenge for me. After all orchestral parts are complete the next step should be the real production. Because Trazom is an opera it’s a very expensive project to put on either in a theater setting or as a movie, as it will require a big orchestra with a Director, ballet directions, lights, audio equipment. We will probably look for sponsorship in England or France. If some Rinkya readers are interested in helping us with this project or to help with sponsorship don’t hesitate to contact me directly at the Trazom website or my music website www.jurij.net

Rinkya thanks you for your time and sharing your insights about Grendizer and music. We wish you the best of luck with your Opera!

For More Collector Corner’s, please read:
Flywheel’s Transformers
April, Blythe Doll Collector
Ryan, Anime Cel Collector

Want to be featured? Leave me a comment!



A Super Sized Collector’s Corner!


Meet Jurij, A Grendizer collector from Italy and also a world famous composer and musician. (pictured here with the creator of Grendizer, Go Nagai)

Thank you for the wonderful two part interview, the rest will be posted tomorrow!

Why do Italians seem to have a love affair with Japanese toys?

I think everyone does, it depends on your childhood memories. Those of us who were born in the seventies grew up with Japanese cartoons such as: Grendizer, Mazinger Z, and other GoNagai productions like Jeeg, or Devilman. Grendizer, who was called Goldrake in Italy was a major success on Rai, the Government network. The independent stations followed by showing other Japanese cartoons, sometimes without licenses. The explosion of Japanese cartoons in the seventies followed in the eighties with many other Japanese anime shows such as Lupin III, Candy, Oscar, Ulysse 31, Jeeg, Daitarn III, and many many others. Some of these might be recognizable in the US under Shogun Warriors and Force Five logos. Grendizer was exported to all European countries as well as Lebanon and Egypt, some episodes were even shown in Russia.

What makes Grendizer so special?

Grendizer, Goldrake in Italian, and Goldorak in French, was the first major Japanese anime to arrive in Europe in 1978. It was initially broadcast in France, but shortly thereafter in Italy, and it transformed the Italian ideas of Japanese cartoons forever.

The Goldrake phenomenon was immediate and fairly massive. Without proper copyrights or licensing, thousands of factories produced large varieties of merchandise for collectors. I spoke with Go Nagai, the creator of Grendizer some months ago and he told me the incredible success of Grendizer in Europe came as a shock. He was just as famous for the Mazinger’s Saga in Japan, but in Italy it was Goldrake.

How did you start and how long have you been collecting Grendizer?

I started about fifteen years ago. Then it was very hard to find a lot of things. After 1995, with the Internet and online stores and auctions it became a lot easier.


How large is your collection and how do you showcase and/or store it?

I believe I have the largest collection in Europe. There are over 2000 pieces including comics, books, tapes, cd’s, lp’s and so forth. I have a big room for the collection and for my guitars. While I don’t think it’s the best choice, I have them in IKEA showcases.

Is there a “dream” item for you?

The collection isn’t really a dream it’s a hobby. I’m a musician and composer, so naturally my dreams are all in that direction. I know some collectors live and breathe for their collection, but with me it’s my music. I have most of the rare Grendizer pieces in my collection now though there are still some elusive pieces like the Grendizer’s Jumbo Saucer mint in box, hard to find and difficult to ship because of its size.

What is your favorite item you found thru Rinkya and why?

I use Rinkya for Japanese Grendizer merchandise like books and smaller pieces. I have found Rinkya works well for me.

Do you have any advice for new toy collectors?

Of course, toy collections are fun. Some people make them a business and it is sometimes difficult to find honest sellers. When you find them stay in touch and use them for future contacts. Japan is a long way away and they are not an expansive culture. They don’t sell outside of Japan easily and this is why I use Rinkya to buy and research items.


Are there fakes out there and how do you spot them?

As I said, some people make a business of it and some of those people are not above selling fakes, reproductions or repainted toys as new. There is always some risk and you can only use your experience and that of your friends. Collector’s catalogues are helpful, especially in showing versions and rarities with pictures of them, but the toys themselves are the only real way to identify a lot of things. Toys that are cheap because of bad condition are a good way to educate yourself in some characteristics of a collectible toy. Buy a few and study them before spending a lot of money.

Read the rest of Jurij’s interview tomorrow!



Pig Lids Help You Make Original Japanese Dishes!

When Japanese make nimono (simmer vegetables and other foods (fish, seaweed, etc) in a broth) they use an “Otoshibuta” to help cook the item, by placing a lid on top of the food to help with steaming.

“Otoshi”- means drop, “buta”- means lid and it also means pig!

Therefore, this creative kitchen store has created a literal Ostoshibuta- a pig lid for cooking!

The pig nostrils can be lifted with chopsticks- no burning your hands!

The silicone rubber lid can also be used to open jars- typical of a Japanese gadget, it is kawaii (cute) and multi-functional.




OLIVIA Guitar Charity Auction Winner Interview!

Rinkya would like to congratulate you, Makino, on your winning bid for the autographed Olivia Guitar on the PMX YJ Charity Auction. Read about the auction here

Q: What prompted you to bid on Olivia’s Guitar?

A: I found & noticed a posting on an internet Olivia fan community.

Q: Are you a guitar collector, musician, or an Olivia fan?
A: I’m a pure OLIVIA fan. I am a fan from the time when she debuted with D & D.

Q: Do you have a favorite Olivia Album or CD?
A: It is hard to choose one because everything is my favorite.

Q: What does it feel like owning her guitar?
A: I am so glad to to own the guitar that actually she touched!! And the fact that there is only one in the world makes it even more special.

Q:Are you going to learn to play it or put it on display in your home?
A: I have no interest to practice or play.
I will display it in my room because it is so precious to me.

Q: If you could meet Olivia what would you like to say to her?
A: I would like to keep sending my support and thank her for the times her songs helped me through the hard times, when I was depressed and down.

Thank you for your time Makino and we hope you enjoy your prize. Your generosity may turn out to be a gift for a future unknown young Asian-American Star.

I really appreciate that you gave me the best guitar that exists and is the only one in the world.


Visit Rinkya At Anime Expo This Weekend!

Rinkya Inc., in partnership with Anime Link is proud to feature the work of master character designer Hiromi Kato at Anime Expo 2008, July 3-6 in the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“The Anime Link/Rinkya booth, booth #’s 222 and 224, will be selling Hiromi Kato’s very rare one of a kind Clamp In Wonderland 2 hanken sketches that were used as pull outs in popular anime Magazines such as NewType and Animage!!!! Come see these over-sized, rare pieces drawn by Kato-san himself and immortalized in the magazine! He may be also displaying some of his shikishi/sketch artwork. You might be lucky enough to catch him at the booth and be able to say konnichi wa!” says Heather Russell, Rinkya CEO.

A student of renowned animator Yasuji Mori, Hiromi Kato began his anime career at age 16 with Nippon Animation Co., LTD.

His first major work was as a key animator for “Peter Pan no Bouken” (The Adventures of Peter Pan.) He followed that up as an animation director producing “Trapp Ikka Monogatari” (The Trapp Family Story.) He found his niche as a superstar character designer with “Daisogen No Chiisana Tenshi Bush Baby” (The Bush Baby,) and followed that up with innovative character designs for “Ai to Yuuki no Big Girl Tonde Buurin” (The Super Pig of Love and Courage,) “Hamelin no Violin Hiki” (The Violinist of Hamelin) and other titles at Nippon Animation Co., Ltd. where he was involved in the planning of “Tenshi ni Narumon!” (I’m Going to be an Angel!) and “Shoujo Kakumei Utena” (Revolutionary Girl Utena.)

Currently a member of Madhouse Studios he is doing double duty as an animation director for “Beck” and “Paradise Kiss” while designing characters for “Clamp in Wonderland 2.”

Rick Alonso of Anime Link: http://www.anime-link.com, has just returned from Japan with a huge selection of the latest and best from Japan. New exciting cels, posters and toys, seen for the first time on this shore of the Pacific will be featured along with the work of Kato- san in the Anime Link/Rinkya booth.

“You can’t go to Japan without finding new and exciting things,” says Rick. “Sometimes it’s hard to let them go. But then you console yourself with the fact that next year you can do it all again. Every year Anime Expo is bigger and better, and every year Anime Link strives to be better and more exciting. Our partnership with Rinkya typifies this commitment.”