While we’ve discussed the amazing creativity that Hiroto Ohkubo bring to his InstincToy releases, as well as the phenomenal production values, we’ve never had a chance to talk about something else he excels at: allowing each edition to be its own fresh, unique interpretation of the forms. And to illuminate this aspect, we’ll be looking at several versions of Hiroto-san’s Snowy vinyl sculpture.

Comparing the First Snow & Ice World Editions

Now we have discussed 2015’s First Snow debut edition on its own (see review), but comparing it directly to 2016’s Ice World version reveals some truly thoughtful alterations that were made. And I’m not talking about simple changes in colorations, but actual evolutions of the form.

While the original has a nice sheen to its 10-and-a-half inch tall frame, the matte finish on this feels completely different than the smooth, glossy, pearlescent coating on the Ice World rendition. Accented with just the subtlest hints of blue, this version really shimmers in the light. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.
The Ice World edition also adds flocking, or soft fiber coating, like that found on the feet and tail tops, to the hands, their blue hue and texturing giving the impression of mittens. And the buttons adorning its chest are encased in translucent bubbles, their rough-hewn shape really emphasizing a frozen feeling.
But my favorite difference, the Ice World Snowy‘s bucket hat is also translucent, allowing the mini Ice Liquid to tease its presence when underneath.
With the First Snow version having glow-in-the-dark Ice Liquid companions and the Ice World rendition emanating a soft blue glow overall, the third and most recent edition, the Zombie Snowy, abstains completely from the aspect.

My Impressions of Zombie Snowy

Part of a zombie-based coloration that Hiroto-san employed on several of his designs, beginning in 2016, Zombie Snowy was available from the artist at several of events he attended throughout 2017. Based on the concept that the snowman did not melt after Winter but rather decayed, this version stands apart first and foremost for its distinct coloration: a cadaverous turquoise with darkened, bruised highlighting, putrid purples, and blood-soaked reds.
Foregoing the beautiful hand knit scarf element from the previous versions, Zombie Snowy has a burlap sack like material tied around his neck, its wonderfully frayed edges adding to the sense of decay. Like the Ice World rendition, Zombie Snowy has flocked hands, though a light darkening spray not only really defines the sculptural lines on the hands but also provides the feel of blood having soaked through the material rather than them being red naturally.
As for the buttons upon its chest, they have a worn and weathered texturing sculpted onto them, their gray hue reminding one of something that has been long lost and not seen the light of day for a while. But the best part is the bucket.
Instead of being strictly solid or transparent, the aged look of this aspect culminates with a rusted hole created in it, allowing the Mini Ice Liquid’s red, gem-like eyes to peer out startlingly.

The Future of Snowy

Standing as a true testament to Hiroto-san’s attention to detail and thoughtful use of his forms, it is possible that these evolutions of the Snowy sculpture will be soon joined by a chocolate rendition that I spotted in his studio back in 2016.

Editions of Snowy [show]

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