Monday, March 25, 2019

Toymaker uses discarded flipflops to make Voltes V, robot toys

Toymaker uses discarded flipflops to make Voltes V, robot toys
by rick olivares

One of the unconventional hits and attractions during the Retro Con last weekend, March 22-24 at Ali Mall at the Araneta Center, were these toy robots of Voltes V, Mekanda Robo, and Mobile Suit Gundam.

Except they are all made out of discarded flip flops. 

“Wala ako mga laruan nung bata ako so natuto ako gumawa ng sarili ko,” related toymaker Elmer Padilla who hails from Imus, Cavite. 

Padilla wasn’t born yet when Voltes V was first shown on Philippine television during the summer of 1978. When he saw it the second time around he was hooked. “Grabe kasi yung mga kuwento,” described the now 41-year old of his love for this classic Japanese anime. “Yung mga struggle nila, at yung mga issues sa isa’t isa, parang totoong buhay. Siyempre, yung action ibang klase. Na-hook ako.”

Unable to afford the shiny and expensive mech toys from Japan, Padilla began to make his own.

“Nung first time ko gumawa ng sariling kong laruan na Voltes V, inabot ako ng dalawang araw at marami akong nasirang mga tsinelas,” he chuckled at the memory. 

Nowadays, making them is second nature. Although unconventional in the material used, Padilla says, his versions of these beloved robots have been steady sellers. They sell for as much as PhP1,000 for the two-foot creations. 

“Hindi lang naman para sa sariling entertainment ko yung pagawa ko ng mga ito. Gusto ko rin ipahiwatig sa mga bata na kaya rin nila gumawa ng sarili nilang laruan ko hindi nila ma-afford yung mga mamahaling laruang banyaga.”

When he doesn’t make these mall appearances, Elmer sells his homemade toys on his Facebook page (Elmer Padilla). “Nagulat din ako kasi meron din mga Voltes V collectors na bumibili ng gawa ko. Unique daw. Nakakataba ng puso.”

When asked if he hopes this will also attract the attention of foreign toymakers as well as the Voltes V creators, Elmer simply smiled that would be a dream opportunity. However, right now, he is happy making toys for poor kids with dreams of owning some cool toys such as Voltes V. Even if they are only made of slippers.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

New Marvel Comics superhero Wave is from Cebu

New Marvel Comics superhero Wave is from Cebu
by rick olivares

American film director and comic book writer Greg Pak Tweeted today, March 9, the creation of a Filipina superhero in the Marvel Universe who will make her debut in the upcoming series War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas.

We spoke with artist Leinil Francis Yu who designed the character and the superstar artist spilled the beans on the heroine.

“Wave (the name of the character) was conceived by Greg Pak and Marvel and I came in with the design with their initial notes,” said Yu who recently wrapped up a stint on Captain America. 

“The character is from Cebu,” bared the artist. “Her name is tentatively, ‘Pearl Pangan’ and her powers are water and tech based.”

Yu was ecstatic that her got to be a part of comic book history. “It was great and something I’ve always wanted but had a hard time getting in terms of good timing. It is a good thing this opportunity arose.”

War of the Realms will be released this coming May and will introduce Asian heroes to the Marvel Comics universe. The crossover event will be penned by Pak and drawn by Gang Hyuk-Lim.

In the series, Wave will play a pivotal role in defending Asia from Thor villain, Malekith.

Previously, the Filipino superheroes in American comics were “Stone” and “Grail” who were created by Fil-American writer-artist Whilce Portacio for Image Comics during the late 1990s. Stone brought Filipino folklore creatures to a Western audience while Grail was a member of a super-powered commando team in a book titled, Wetworks.