17 Jan 2019

Mighty Stories: Wish Upon Me... by Yoskay Yamamoto

It's been close to 4 years since our final release of Wish Upon Me... by Yoskay Yamamoto in 2015. This well-loved fallen star figure in a quiet, gravity-defying position had stolen the hearts of collectors around the world. Despite selling out the final release, countless fans and collectors have asked for a new release of this classic design. Perhaps they are new to collecting and missed the previous editions, or they are collectors who just can't get enough. 

So in 2018, Yoskay and our team started developing a new colorway for Wish Upon Me... We experimented with mediums, and have created countless prototypes to fully capture the effect of a sunrise for this toy. Having tried various materials – glitter in resin, colored resin, objects inserted in resin, just to name a few – we have found the best way to create it! But before revealing how this perfect gradient is created, let's have a throw back to the final Wish Upon Me... inspired by Evel Knievel.

Paying homage to the famous American stuntman, Evel Knievel, the design is inspired by his signature stars-spangled costume. Not only was he known for his insane stunts and jumps on his bike, he was just as famous for his fails and falls. The similarity between Wish Upon Me... and Evel Knievel is uncanny – two falling, or fallen, stars. 

koibito by yoskay
This toy is also a tribute to his own Japanese heritage. As a Japanese-born artist who moved to America as a teenager, the influence of foreign culture is inevitable and you'll find a melding of western and Asian styles in his earlier work. 

One example is his toy Koibito, produced by Munky King, of a humanoid with the head of a Japanese Koi fish. It's a word play on "Koibito" which means lover, while "Koi" and "Bito" mean Japanese carp and human respectively.

Says Yoskay:
"Once upon a time I had a goldfish named Tuna.
But he passed away because of my laziness and mistreatment....
So I painted him for his memory.......
But at same time Koibito symbolizes the sense of alienation that I felt growing up in Cali...
It''s kind of like the phrase " fish out of water"....
I felt and still feel like I don't completely fit in my environment......both in Japan and the US......"

(source: Munky King)

yoskay in his studio

While his work eventually moved away from more explicit references to his Japanese heritage, Yoskay Yamamoto's signature style – dreamy, soft, mysterious and quiet – is still clearly prevalent in his paintings and sculptures. His characters with serene expressions in dream-like environments, often in pastel hues of blues and beige, have an endearing quality that compels people from all walks of life. 

You can also watch our full video of Mighty Stories: Wish Upon Me... by Yoskay Yamamoto on youtube and tell us your thoughts about this classic collectible!

Now let's fast-track back to this week's release, the brilliant new Wish Upon Me... (Sunrise) by Yoskay Yamamoto, our first clear resin edition of the classic Wish Upon Me. This piece posed some production challenges as it's one of our first few pieces that used clear resin in this manner. A similar colouring technique was used for Sideways (Sunset Edition) by Yoskay, which was released in 2018.

It might look like it is made of colored resin but actually, each piece is perfectly clear and colorless to begin with. After removing the piece from its mold, it is sanded down by hand to smoothen the surface. A very thin layer of paint, in one color, is then expertly sprayed onto the toy. This layer is left to dry completely, and then a different color is then sprayed on, so as to achieve the cleanest gradient. Finally, matte varnish is sprayed on to achieve this sophisticated, beautiful frosted-glass finish. 

Sideways (Sunset Edition) was created using pretty much the same method, but the extra step for Wish Upon Me...(Sunrise) was the pad-printing of the golden details on its body. Gold on its transparent little body – trust me, we teared a little when we saw it, because it was so gorgeous.

So there you have it, the process of how WIsh Upon Me... (Sunrise) by Yoskay Yamamoto is made. If you love this toy and would like to get your own, be sure to camp for it here on on Saturday, 19 Jan, 9am (NYC) 10pm (SGT) 2pm (LDN)! Don't miss this one because only 150 of them in this limited edition, and this highly sought after toy will not wait around for long!

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