Today we’ll be examining Paulkaiju’s Mini Mockbat (2015) as released by Unbox Industries. The first wave of these pieces debuted at last year’s DesignerCon and included eight color variations: black, light green, orange, purplish-pink, red, glow-in-the-dark milky white, yellow, and this super secret blue and purple eighth color. But before we examine this specific release, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane…

The History of Paulkaiju & the Mockbat

Born Paul Copeland, the artist known as Paulkaiju is a practitioner within the American kaiju scene, a movement to bring the aesthetic of vintage Japanese movie monster toys to original creations. He first used the name Mockbat in 2010 for a resin piece that looks very dissimilar from this incarnation, though in 2011 something more similar to this modern rendition — but with an articulated belly hatch — appeared in resin. Then, in 2012, the Japanese vinyl version with its notable stomach bloom appeared.

Inspired by Bullmark releases and Kewpie dolls, those original 6-inch tall vinyl Mockbats featured swappable stomach blooms and some came with Mockbat’s little evil friend, Hellmock. At current, these Mini Mockbats only feature the basic stomach bloom and include no companion figures, so… let’s get back to this specific release.

My Impressions of Mini Mockbat

As Paulkaiju is known for his very detailed sculpts, it should be no surprise that this piece is packed with every bit of detail that resides in his larger brother, though it might be a bit shocking to learn that this is because of 3D scanning being used. You see, the original sculpt for the 6” vinyl Mockbats was unfortunately lost, so Unbox’s top-notch digital facility was used to scan one of the actual toys and translate it into a 3D printed master for the Mini Mockbat.

As a quick aside, this same 3D file was used to make the base master that Paulkaiju sculpted upon to create the forthcoming 10.5” tall Dualbat, which is currently in Japan being produced in vinyl. But, back to the Mini Mockbat, Unbox did a fantastic job translating the design to this smaller scale. Every little bit of texture and detail is perfectly captured. Well, almost every little bit. While the arms, legs, tail, stomach bloom, and even tongue articulate, the head itself can only shift side to side slightly without being forced. In truth, I don’t mind this… it gives a much more realistic head movement range than the normal 360 degrees.
Paulkaiju - Mini Mockbat - Two-Headed Mockbat
As I said at the beginning of this review, this was a special color version. The blue and purple effect you see isn’t the result of painting or even marbling the vinyls, but rather from double casting. This Mini Mockbat was cast in translucent blue vinyl first and then an opaque pink vinyl was cast within it, which gives a very ethereal effect to where you can see one through the other.
Paulkaiju - Mini Mockbat - Marbling/Double Casting
While wave one is sold out, we’re told that Paulkaiju has approved a second wave to be released throughout 2016 using a variety of production processes and materials. I don’t know what the materials aspect in particular is alluding to, but I’m eager to find out. And, of course, Paulkaiju fans have seen teasers regarding a Giant Mockbat — which I’m told is “too big” — that will be coming this year, hopefully previewed at a few shows before being released at the 2016 DesignerCon in November.

First Wave Editions of Mini Mockbat [show]

For more information on Paulkaiju:
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