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【Secret Production Story】Behind KING KORPSE【JAMES GROMAN × INSTINCTOY】
2016/ 11/ 15 (Tue) | 編集
We are commemorating the official release(lottery sale) of KING KORPSE, and in this entry we would like share the details of this project, starting from the beginning.

This project is a collaboration between INSTINCTOY and an American artist, Mr. JAMES GROMAN. The first time we met was at D-CON 2013 in Los Angeles.

But before D-CON, I actually already knew James because I had seen the ROTTEN REXX model which he published on the Internet. I still remember that when I first looked at the high quality design, I felt as if I were being seduced.

At the same time, I was working on my own monster figure, the Vincent, so I was very interested in every monster-type artwork during that period. I must say that I thought that ROTTEN REXX was a very amazing piece of artwork, and left me with a lasting impression of the artist, James.

And I feel that it was destiny that led me to meet James at D-CON 2013.


Something that surprised me further was that the INSTINCTOY booth was adjacent to the LULUBELL booth.

They were the producers of the ROTTEN REXX figure, and James attended the show as well, so naturally, he was at that booth.

There was a hand printed Rotten Rexx that went on sale at the LULU BELL booth. There were many fans who entered the lottery, and I was one of them. Luckily my name was the one that was drawn. I was the sole winner of this prize.

rotten-rex-original-02.jpg rotten-rex-original-01.jpg

2 years later in July 2015, we made Rotten Rexx in exclusive colors under the INSTINCTOY label.

If you are interested in the details of this designer artwork, please look up the previous blog entry by following the link below.

LINK → (

After the INSTINCTOY exclusive was released, James found that he liked the quality of figures that we made. We were also closer friends by that time, and so we came up with the idea of collaborating on a new project, which turned out to be the KING KORPSE.

First of all, James and I discussed the character and the design. What I had in my mind was to make a rival that was antagonistic to ROTTEN REXX and James shared a similar line of thought, so we came up with a giant gorilla character, which is the only possible rival for a tyrannosaurus-rex! We made the motif very quickly. Then we asked James to make the design, and we waited for the images.

KongZombie-A.jpgA few days later, we received the illustrations from James. I was excited when I saw it because they matched the ideas that I had in mind very closely. But one thing I considered for this collaborative design was that we had too many liquid parts, and they made the design unlike the usual style of James’ works.

I have to say I feel very honored to be able to work on this collaboration with James, whom I respect very much. However, the most important thing to me about this project is that it must carry James’ original style. I am also a fan of James’ work, and what I really wanted to do was to make a figure with James’ style and bring joy to all his fans.

After I got the illustrations from James, I suggested removing a rib and putting in a Liquid eroded heart, so that the collaboration could be hidden within, while the appearance of the design on the surface could fully reflect James’ style. I was so afraid to ask James to remake the illustrations to incorporate my ideas.

Then a few days later, I got the new illustrations from James. Here is the modified version.
This is exactly as I had envisioned it. James shaped the body in his original style, and made the rib an independently removable part, so as to make space for our design of its heart with the Liquid eroding it.

I was moved when I saw the design image. Of course the design is very well made, and as a sofubi maker, I have to say that I could not see any part of this collaborative design that I could improve further upon.
I only had the very determined thought thatI like to make the toys resemble its original design as closely as possible, and make the highest quality toy for all the fans 』.

Of course, we subsequently asked James to make the sculpture model. The reason for that, is that I believe it does not matter whether we have high technology or 4-side imaging. 『JAMES GROMAN’s artwork can only be brought to life by his own self』.

James made the decision very fast, and shortly afterwards he completed a 40cm tall sculpture with very intricate details displaying his own visionary concepts.

When I saw the sculpture, I felt that we could evolve it further.


….especially the rib area and the chest cavity.
The design was very complicated in the original image, with peeling skin and the ribs appeared more firm. However, these details were simplified when the sculpture was made. I guess in the process of making the sculpture, James thought that this would make it easier for us to produce the sofubi figure, so he made these changes. Yet, this made me more determined to prove how skillful we could be, to repay James’ kindness.

Apart from this, we also asked James whether we could make improvements to the shape of the musculature in some areas so as to shape the figure in the best way, and he agreed. After making the changes, James made a 3D scan of the sculpture and sent us the data. INSTINCTOY then began making progress on creating the model.

It took approximately two months of repeated editing, under James’ guidance and supervision
(※Left:JAMES GROMAN’s Original model / Right:INSTINCTOY’s Improved model)



The first and biggest change I made was to the chest area.

The sculpt of the cavity here was not deep enough and too close to the heart, so I edited the space to make it bigger and allow for removable parts.

We followed James’ original design and made the new design with INSTINCTOY’s style hidden in the space under the removable ribs. The rib cavity is totally different from the external appearance as a result.


We boldly crafted an independent visceral part, and we also made a 6cm-deep space for putting the heart in it.

We can tell by looking at the body structure that the space where we wanted to place the heart is the best position for it.

liquid-heart-image.jpgIn addition we combined three big aortas and a pulmonary artery to make the LIQUID eroded heart. The vessels help to secure the position of the heart in the cavity. (※The heart can be removed.)


kingkorpse-born.jpgAfter we edited the chest, we also made big changes to the rib area. We adjusted it to match the original image that James had drawn far more closely, and added a broken bone that seemed to puncture the body from within. By the way, the broken bone and rib can be fitted together neatly.


James also made bones on the flank and we made them into independent parts for a more realistic appearance.

It looks like the 肋骨rib pierces through the chest to the flank. This is one of our most elaborate ideas for this design and is a highly attractive detail!


Here, we would like to introduce more changes that we made.
(※Left:JAMES GROMAN Original model / Right:INSTINCTOY Improved model)
When we made a more imposing design for this figure, we needed to add a greater sense of heft to it, so we added more muscle on the upper back and the bottom. You can see this from the deeper concave shape between the two parts. We also added more muscle on the chest area. I think this is symbolic of a gorilla’s form. We also added more flesh to the bottom to emphasise the impression of a strong gorilla.

I researched a lot of gorilla images every day.

This is the first time I became extremely interested in gorillas and it was a great experience for me.

(※Left:JAMES GROMAN Original model / Right:INSTINCTOY Improved model)kk-body-side2.jpg

While I made changes to the balance of the body, I also made the shoulders, arms, and legs fatter.


Here is the final model in its completed form.

I feel that 3D modeling is a powerful tool, as we were able to make many changes to the proportions of the body without losing the sophisticated details of James’ original production model. Instead, the muscle details adjusted in thickness and thinness depending on the length!!

James liked the changes that we made as well. This made me feel that our vision for the project was cohesive and I really enjoyed working on it.

Finally, we had to make accessories which James had drawn on the original image. These comprised the 『handcuffs』,『belt』, and『ankle cuffs』. These items are things that already exist in the present, and they were easy to make via 3D modeling. So we did not ask James to make sculptures of these, and of course we followed the original image in making them.
We did not have time to think about additional ideas until we finished the final model

This is when we asked James about adding an extra part to the figure, based on a personal idea of mine. As soon as we got permission from him, we began making progress. This is the extra part!!

The 『opened left hand version』.

I collated the data about the base of the fist, and drew an open hand. Then, we started making it using 3D modeling. We used the fist shape and followed the details of the instep, the scratches, and the hair, then remade them into the shape of an open hand. The reason we could make such a thing happen is all because of the technology of 3D modeling, and that is the power of 3D modeling.
We also made comparisons with the right hand to get the best size for the new hand.

kk-handup1-191.jpgI was hoping that this would enable us to create a scene whereby the Vincent could be lifted up. It looks so powerful when he does that with ease. When the sofubi figure was made, I tried out the position and he is indeed capable of doing that.

kk-pers-grey.jpgSo that is how we made the KING KORPSE, combining 30 pcs of independent parts.

Including the time James took to make the sculpture, we have been working on this project for almost half a year. I feel it is very worth the effort and time put in, and I am proud of it because this is the best work I have ever done in my life.

I had been sitting in front of my computer and editing the KING KORPSE model for a few months. I can still recall how moved I was at the moment that I got the real 3D model.

This is something that happens all the time to kids who get new toys. They will feel an intense attraction to the toy. The feeling is very similar to how I felt then.

Achieving this feeling is definitely the best part of this job.

kk-t1.jpgAfter the mold was made, I got the sofubi KING KORPSE from the factory as soon as it ready.
It was a test model with a very soft body and some parts were not ready yet. Yet the 32cm-tall model had very impressive muscles, so I left my work behind and I could not stop playing with it for few hours.

【Information of KING KORPSE 1st color release】


Finally the 1st edition of 2 color ways are ready and the lottery sale has started today!!

I think many customers noticed that we debuted this figure with a small number of units at STGCC in Singapore in September, and TTF in Taiwan in October. As we mentioned before, the first edition has two color waves and there are only 50 units of each.

We have talked about the reason why we decided to have two color waves for the 1st edition in our previous blog post in September. Please look up the entry for more information by following the link below:

We had a total of 50 units for each color wave and had already sold 5 each at STGCC and TTF, and another 5 units via our Hong Kong distributor, the "Angel Abby" store. We did this because we attended SVF (Soft Vinyl Festival) in Hong Kong in August but were unable to make King Korpse in time for the show. Another of our dealers, the My Plastic Heart store, will have a booth over 19th and 20th November at D-CON2016 in Los Angeles. They will have 5 units of each of the King Korpse colorways for sale there. Therefore, we are left with30 units for each color for the world lottery sale.

We have got a lot of mail from customers during this journey. We are hoping to make it fair to the participants from every country, so we will be following a percentage method to assign the chances of winning evenly. I think the probability of winning this time is very low. Before you enter the draw, please understand the rules and requirements for participating in our lottery sales.

I am quoting from the previous blog post that I wrote on 6th September, regarding the 1st edition with two color waves. (※A part of the content has been updated.)

new-kingkorpse-Fearful-Fantasy.jpgOne of the colorways is called 『Fearful Fantasy』. This is a reference to James' style of painted color illustrations and design. The design brings out a terrible view of what the world is like, but also applies James' American comic style with a wide range of rich colors. Instinct-Kingkorpse-postcard-B-1.jpg

This colorway for King Korpse arguably has the most original design concept.


The other colorway is called 『True Terror』. This colorway resulted from INSTINCTOY's efforts to replicate the most realistic color effects for torn skin, innards, exposed muscles and bare bones. It was a challenge for us to push the limits of our production capacities with these colors.

Other than the figure, we have also concentrated on creating an excellent package design. We decided to use gunny bags, with a character illustration printed on the bags. We also used the illustration that James drew to produce alloy emblems through 3D modeling, and will use them on the drawstrings of the bags. In addition, we have made leather tags for the figures, with laser-cut serial numbers printed on them.
kingkorpse-no-tagu.jpg ig-kingkorpse-3d-image-pin.jpg kingkorpse-metal-emblem-sample.jpg

kingkorpse-heart-00.jpgThis is a common design element for this figure! The LIQUID eroded heart which is hidden under the rib is well made.
As we have described above, this is a removable independent part of the figure. We might think a way to light up the heart cavity, it should be quite interesting if we do this!! We will try it out to see how it will look…
kingkorpse-heart-01.jpg kingkorpse-heart-02.jpg

We made a special head mold for putting the doll eyes on the King Korpse full colored edition.
We mounted a moveable doll eye on the right side only. In the following paragraphs, we will introduce you to how it works.

First of all, you need to apply heat on the head for 20 ~ 30 seconds, and then take the head off.


You can see the structure from the back of the head.

On the right hand side, there is a protruding structure where a doll eye is mounted (this is the right eye).

kingkorpse-dalleye-03.jpgThere is a red hole with a diameter of 2mm. You can use a needle or finely designed props to control the doll eye. (Please do not use too much strength or you might damage the coating of the eye.)

When you are ready, you can start turning the doll eye. Here is a video of how the doll eye is turned. ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

You can tell from the video that you can change the direction in which the figure is looking as you like. The design and the colored details are well done. In addition, combined with a movable doll eye, the details make the figure seem lifelike, and look real.

It has been 9 months since we got the 3D data and sculpture from James in February. Finally the time for the official release of the 1st edition has come. As a toy maker, I have been in this industry for 8 years, but this figure is the most costly I have ever made, and also the one on which I have spent the most time. It is made with everything I have to give.

This figure stands at 325mm high, and has a solid heft to it. I believe that when customers receive this toy they will feel its imposing presence!! This is an expensive product and the price is 45,000yen for each, but I believe that customers will find that this product is very well made and of a high quality when they receive it. Please look forward to it.

【‪ Terms‬ & Conditions of Lottery Draw】‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

・This product is available in limited numbers, so only one lottery entry will be accepted for each individual postal address.
・Please note that bids cannot be cancelled after the entry period is closed.
・After you receive the invoice from us, the payment has to be completed within 2 weeks.

The lottery sale of 『Fearful Fantasy』 and 『True Terror』 are conducted separately. If customers enter the lotteries for either colors, the winners can only win one unit of either color. (Of course there is a possibility of winning both or losing both as well.)

In the previous lottery sale, some customers misunderstood our lottery rules. They entered the lottery for , and they were not able to accept that they only won one piece of either color. It happened only rarely but please understand as there are many participants, so it gets more difficult to win all colors, so please enter the lottery of the colors as you like after careful consideration.

Entry Period: Nov 15, 2016 (Tuesday) till Nov 27 (Sunday) 2359h.

Prize announcement: Emails will be posted on Nov 28, 2016 (Monday) until 1900h.
We will contact the lottery winners on Nov 28 (Monday) by 1900h. (※ Only winners will receive an announcement mail. After Nov 28, if you have any questions regarding the lottery result, please contact us.)
We will start shipping on Nov 29th.

Please understand the Terms‬ & Conditions before you enter the lottery.

For the 『Fearful Fantasy』lottery page.

For the『True Terror』lottery page.

We look forward to receiving the applications from everyone

【Information for pricing the next new color wave】

This is an expensive product but we were trying to make the price cheaper when we were making it. Actually, we needed to decide the price before STGCC in September, before the mass production. We got an estimation from factory so we set the price at 45,000yen. But we found that it has to be set at about 5,000yen higher the next time, because the production of the full coating needed too much work and it was harder to produce than we expected. So we could not avoid the increase in the price by 5,000yen for the next new edition.

However, we have made new breakthroughs with even higher quality, and we will show it off to everyone when the time comes.

This color wave is well made too. The body is made more realistically. You can even see the blood vessels positioned just under the skin.

We are planning to release this colorway in May next year.

【More information 】

There is a 2nd collaboration project between James and INSTINCTOY. I cannot show the design we are working on right now, but it is definitely in progress and we are hoping to show it to you in 2017!! James is already starting on the sculpture, and I think he will publish it when the time comes (^^)

【Follow here!! 】James’s Instagram address→

We are not stopping at the 2nd project either! We have already discussed the 3rd and 4th projects... INSTINCTOY will make the figures that James designs with the best quality in the world!! Please look forward to following the developments in the projects of JAMES × INSTINCTOY.


Designed by JAMES GROMAN

Produced by INSTINCTOY
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