Sakura-Con 2012 Obitsu Panel
by Lynzee Loveridge,
Doll manufacturing company Obitsu presented in front of a small crowd on Friday. The panel was delayed 20 minutes due to technical difficulties. The slideshow was instead shown on the panelist's laptop.
Company president and founder Saburo Obitsu opened the panel with an apology for the technical difficulties. Obitsu said he is familiar with Seattle due to Mariner baseball player Ichiroh Suzuki. He talked about “slash molding” method that presents seams in the body. This technique is unique to Obitsu dolls. All dolls are made in Japan by hand.
A video was played on the panelist's laptop showing the manufacturing process of Obitsu ball joint and soft-plastic dolls as well as the history of the company.
President Obitsu presented dolls showing the ball point structure underneath the soft vinyl body before talking about some of his personal experiences with slash molding. He passed around a model of the monster Garumond to represent the seamless slash mold method as well as other plastic items.
One of the oddest items of the panel where realistic models of internal organs. Obitsu worked with a doctor looking to make realistic models of his own stomach. The models, made based on 3D MRI images of the doctor's stomach, were displayed at medical conventions in Japan and the United States.
Other dolls passed around included an articulated and detailed Terminator doll and green Cthulu.
The panel closed with President Obitsu thanking the audience for listening.