American soft vinyl producers?

Discussion in 'Custom Toys and Fan Art' started by 3wing, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. kichigai

    kichigai Side Dealer

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    American soft vinyl producers?
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  2. 879

    879 Fresh Meat

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    While the photo quality isn't great this reminds me of the type of vinyl gums production produces. I wish the creator put more info on the site because I'm really interested in where he's sourcing the vinyl and how he put this all together.
     
  3. Roger

    Roger Super Deformed

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    It's a business. If they share everything about how they do what they do, then someone else can do it. Why make it easy?
     
  4. Patrickg2k

    Patrickg2k Toy Prince

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    Chance may have "cracked the riddle" but Mile High already seems to be up and running. I'm pretty impressed! The molds look very well-made and the vinyl looks pretty good too. Would love to check out a sample in-hand. Really cool to see someone actually making sofubi in the U.S. - Still really interested to see what Chance is up to!
     
  5. 3wing

    3wing Addicted

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    Gums isn’t slush casting. They use a roto oven.
    All that is RnD and most of the cost of the set up, which is pricey AF.
    Dude ain’t telling.
     
  6. Roger

    Roger Super Deformed

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    Yeah, just last week Chance posted that he was "the one and only US manufacturer of soft vinyl toys in the traditional style of the Japanese masters before us," but it seems like Mile High's test shots are from two months ago!

    I'm tempering my enthusiasm with skepticism. I want to hold these things and see how they feel. Hopefully some time in the near future.
     
  7. 3wing

    3wing Addicted

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    It’s going to be hard to source a vinyl comparable to the Japanese material.

    And importing it will totally fuck w/ the over head.
     
  8. Roger

    Roger Super Deformed

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    Yeah, I wonder what they are using and how it will compare to the Japanese raw sofubi like Kobasol and the others.

    I heard a story a while back about someone that was extracting a sofubi-like material from silkscreen inks for t-shirts by applying some sort of chemical process. Sounded like a lot of work, though.
     
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  9. 3wing

    3wing Addicted

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    It's all just plastisol.
    Americans will have to hire a chemist.
     
  10. Roger

    Roger Super Deformed

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    Comment from a friend: "This reminds me of the Japanese resurrecting archaic, long-abandoned American denim-manufacturing techniques to create artificially-aged high-end jeans that were then eagerly re-adopted by Americans who mistook it for authenticity."

    It always comes back to denim!
     
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  11. Paulkaiju

    Paulkaiju Mini Boss

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    I like their obscure subject choices, and the quality looks good.
    I imagine the line is currently forming for them to produce everyone's first glob-Goblin.
     
  12. badteethcomics

    badteethcomics Post Pimp

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    American soft vinyl producers?


    A closer look at the vinyl... Initially I thought this was wax, but the instagram post doesn't mention wax and it has been posted since the red vinyl pulls were revealed. Of course there's no real way to tell the quality unless it's in hand, but this close-up photo does not look anything like sofubi.. it looks wax-y and powdery.

    I thought the big hurdle with producing vinyl in USA was being unable to import the right kinds of chemicals? Weird that there are two operations who have somehow managed to get the materials past customs at virtually the same time.
     
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  13. JoeMan

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    transmutating plastisol into raw Japanese vinyl has become the alchemy mystery of the 21st century.
     
  14. Roger

    Roger Super Deformed

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    In the late 90s, when I was having conversations with American businesses who were freshly out of the business of making vinyl toys, I was told a few times that complying with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, part of our Department of Labor here) regulations for vinyl manufacturing was expensive.

    Air filtering equipment for buildings and masks for employees, frequent testing, etc. were required. In addition to those regulations, there were sometimes additional state laws for compliance that would make manufacturing even more expensive. Most of these laws came about as a result of consumer pressure and special interest groups like Greenpeace.

    I remember having a conversation with someone who ran a factory right here in New Jersey. They were doing OEM work, making vinyl figurines of E.T., but complying with increasing regulation sucked all of the profit out of the operation. They subcontracted the work to China at a fraction of the cost.

    Are these new operations like 3P or Mile High OSHA-compliant? No idea.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  15. Patrickg2k

    Patrickg2k Toy Prince

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    Doubtful, but as hobbyists OSHA doesn't apply. They just need to be in compliance with their locals laws and town codes from what I understand.

    It seems the only "secret" to sofubi production is the raw plastic material (Kobasol) which Kobayashi is willing to export according to their website, but again is likely not legal in the U.S. for whatever reasons - the rest of sofubi production is just hard work, attention to detail, and years of experience. I'm sure there's some secret-sauce trade-secret techniques that each factory has, but it looks like Mile High has mimicked the process fairly well.

    As for the "waxy" look of that head (as @badteethcomics pointed out), it's strange because this shot of the full figures doesn't seem to have the same effect, they look more glossy and more opaque. Gotta get some samples in-hand to know for sure I guess!
     
  16. zindabad

    zindabad Comment King

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    Maybe they're offsetting costs by running a fast food chain out of the back

    https://forums.anandtech.com/thread...toluene-equipment-and-misc-questions.2191384/

    From this beautiful thread:

     
  17. Roger

    Roger Super Deformed

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    I don't understand. If they have a business based on manufacturing vinyl toys that they sell to other people, how do they count as "hobbyists?"
     
  18. JoeMan

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    Run it out of your garage, don't get incorporated, don't employ others, don't self-promote, don't draw government attention. Only way to do it.
     
  19. Anti Social Andy

    Anti Social Andy Die-Cast

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    If this is the only M.O. I'd suggest growing weed or cooking Meth would be more lucrative!
     
  20. JoeMan

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    If you're looking for a lucrative business. You are absolutely right. This guy seems motivated by nerdome. Doesn't seem to be looking to become the next Medicom and make his fortune.
     
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  21. Roger

    Roger Super Deformed

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    There are a lot of practical considerations that make setting up a company worthwhile. You want to have something between you and whoever feels like like suing you for some stupid reason. And if you want insurance for your operation, you can't get much coverage just as an individual.
     
  22. Roger

    Roger Super Deformed

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    American soft vinyl producers?
  23. zindabad

    zindabad Comment King

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    Have there been any subtle changes to US import regulations on plastics, or the curing bath chemicals, in the last year or so? It seems like too big a coincidence to have two American soft vinyl operations starting up within months of each other.
     
  24. 3wing

    3wing Addicted

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    Paul has been working on this for about 4 years.

    He’s sincere, knowledgeable and wants to find alternatives for artists making toys.
    I know that philates are banned in plastics.
    There are numerous us companies offering philate free liquid plastisol.
    I looked into doing this for years. But I could never get the funds to set up a studio.
    As long as it’s not a industrial operation Colorado laws will allow it under the hobby ish.
    The regulations come from EPA. OSHA isn’t going to drop in on a small out fit, they are just here to provide standards and practices.
    The EPA will be the org looking into safety and waste.
    The most toxic part of the process is the electro plating. Requiring an acid bath, current and around 140f of heat.

    Considering how many artists and fabricators make things like jewelry, knives and other processes involving heavy metals and smelting... slush casting seems to be pretty simple.

    Non toxic liquid plastisol dipped in a 200c salt bath.
    People run forges and kilns way hotter than that.

    I’m sure Paul did his research.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  25. 3wing

    3wing Addicted

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    American soft vinyl producers?
    In Colorado growing weed, is something people do openly in their back yards.
    We leave meth up to the cartels and hillbillies.
     

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