Art Whore

#AWTR – Holiday Vomit Oltretomba soft vinyl from ‘Oltretomba Made in Hell’

  • Produced By = Oltretomba Made in Hell (Not Positive About Country – But Figure Was Shipped from an Address in the Netherlands)
  • Figure Name(s) = Oltretomba
  • Release Details = ‘Holiday Vomit’  series of mixed vinyl (Unknown Run Quantity)
  • Material = Soft Vinyl
  • Country of Production = Unknown (But not made in Japan – Going off Smell + Quality)
  • Height = 29cm
  • No of Parts = 5 (Head, 2 arms + 2 legs)
  • Released = Dec 28th 2016
  • Sculpt Debut = 6th November 2016
  • Release Price = 133 Euro (Shipping Included)
  • Genre = Art Toy / Kaiju

Read the full review and pics after the jump…

Back Info

The ‘Oltretomba’ figure is the debut release from Oltretomba Made In Hell one of those – ‘we are all mysterious n shit’ – companies. Having not gone public with any behind the scenes details about the figure: who the maker is, who designed it, the country it was made, how it was produced etc.

Wanting to find out more – both for our own curiosity and to get some facts for the review, We decided to  get in touch with ‘em. So we sent a direct message to their Instagram account + an email to the address included when you order from them.

Our Instagram investigations were met with mostly silence – we assume it is run by the company head and/or main artist. The email however was answered. And we soon found ourselves chatting with the intermediary for the artist – a Caro Marchand.

All Caro told us , aside from general chit chat was that the artist: “want(s) to stay anonymous.” Hmmmm… Secrecy.

We even reached out to artist ‘Guumon’ who is working on a collab with them, and were told that they had been swarn to secrecy by the artist, and refused to pass on more info. Hmmmm… More secrecy.

We also reached out to a fellow collector who ordered one – they felt it was not made in Japan and could have been 3D sculpted. But like us, couldn’t say 100%.

Well… here’s what we know and what we suspect:

– the figure is not made in Japan as it doesn’t smell like Japanese sofubi or have the same overall quality
– the figure was posted to us from an address in the Netherlands
– the figure’s sculpt appears to have originally been made digitally
– the figure seems to have been originally 3D printed as a one off to make the mould later used for soft vinyl production

Whilst the first two painted versions were runs of 10, and debut blanks were runs of 13, We have also not been able to get definitive run numbers for this ‘Holiday Vomit’ release. The company has not stated.

We can say, that there appeared to be only 5 in their press photos. However ours is not one of those 5. We also know at least 4 similar blanks were sent to Michael Devera aka ‘Obsesed Panda‘  for a future collab too.

(Picture below showing two promo photos used for the release + Michael’s batch)

The Sculpt

The figure is a crazy looking part bionic humanoid mutant. Boils, welts and chipped nails with a robotic right leg and cybernetic eye attachment. It’s flesh a highly detailed and textural mix of bumps, boils, blisters and abrasions. 2 eyes. 2 tongues and a whole lotta teeth.

Hell. It even has a sculpted butthole. So it’s one detailed kaiju!

Yes the ole monster meets mecha is almost a cliche – see the ‘Mecha Brain Cadaver Kid’ (2012) by Splurrt, ‘Psycho’ (1991) from the Playmates Toys Toxic Crusaders line and ‘Mutagen Man’ (1990) from the TMNT Playmates line as but a few examples – but the Oltretomba is entirely it’s own unique beast.

Principally – it’s more evil and psychotic than cute. It has 2 tongues for god’s sake!

To go along with the overall secretive theme – this figure has no official narrative behind it.

That said… one can imagine an Oltretomba appearing in a dank dark drain, licking it’s lips and on the hunt, using it’s cybernetic eye to hone in on it’s prey. Which it catches with strong fleshy fingers, and devours via gnashing teeth and slurping tongues.

It was probably made by some evil scientist using machines and the human flesh of murder victims that were discarded in the drain by the mob. Let out upon the world to reek chaotic vengeance on humanity… but that is all just us using our imagination…

Overall the sculpt is great. Highly detailed and with multiple textures – The only issue being the slightly visible lines left over from it’s likely origins as a 3D sculpt…. but we will go into more detail on alla that later…

(Pictures below of the figure)

The Vinyl

As soon as the figure was in hand and out of it’s plastic bag wrapping we just knew it wasn’t made in Japan. That it wasn’t traditional sofubi. Why? Well the vinyl itself feels quite rough, it had no real smell and it’s not the best quality wise – all of which set it apart from it’s Japanese counterpart. Japanese sofubi is soft, smells organic and beautiful, and is overall of a slightly higher quality.

And this edition? The vinyl is quite heavy, slightly rough to touch, slightly squishy. It is a mixture of what we guess are green, red, yellow and blue. It isn’t marbled as such. More a mottled mix.

We must say the color and multi vinyl use is amazing. However the quality is ever so lacking. So the vinyl work is great. But not amazing overall.

The Custom Work

There is almost no painting or normal custom work on this run. They all have a hand-painted red eye and are made of a mix of different vinyls as noted. The use of multi vinyl colors really helping the sculpt to pop and also adding a lot of personality and real world believability to the piece.

It’s beautiful and organic in it’s simplicity.

(Photo below showing the painted eye)

Playability

* Can it Stand = Yes
* Can it Sit = Yes
* Is it Easily Breakable = No
* Accessories = None

This figure has damn great playability! It can stand and sit. It has almost no paint or custom work so is highly durable and it has hands that could hold accessories – with the use of a bit of blue-tac.

A whole lotta fun. Take it outside and even give it to kids.

Pretty much perfect playability overall.

Flaw(s)?

There are 2 areas were this figure has noticeable flaws: the finish of the vinyl, and how parts of what we can only guess are the original 3D sculpt are visible.

The vinyl finish is ever so slightly off – parts of it are hyper shiny, we can only guess from excessive rubbing during production. On top of this parts of the vinyl seem extra rough, as if extra vinyl got caught, or the moulding work was slightly off.

The likely 3D print lines are all over the figure, but only visible from certain angles, and in certain lighting. The fact they are there is not a major impact on the figure’s look. But it does make it all seem rather unprofessional and bootleg. It also highlights the fakeness of the monster – taking away from some of it’s overall vibe. Which is a shame. The lines could have been avoided entirely with more oversight, which should have been applied.

Ah well…

(Pictures below of the sculpt – with visible 3D print lines)

The non flaw issues with the piece are the secrecy and lack of information behind the figure generally, this release specifically and the company overall. And that’s a major issue not just for us, but also a lot of you out there.

Whilst having a secretive maker / artist behind a toy is nothing knew – the reluctance to share the country were the toy was made is a major concern. Not knowing were the figure is made, prevents buyers from knowing were their money is going. To a factory in China with questionable working conditions? To a family of artisans in Japan? To some half forgotten barely running factory in Germany owned by far right skinheads? We just don’t know. And we should. Hell, a whole lot of countries, Australia included, mandate through laws that products note their country of origin. Not stating so is thus not just ethically questionable, it also breaches consumer law in some territories.

Also, not knowing how the figure was produced, and the people involved is a concern for the trainspotter dwelling within most collectors. We may not need to know. But dear god do we want to! Is it a 3D sculpt as we suspect? Is it all the work of one designer? Was there a team involved? The lack of info is killing us! BUT unlike the failure to disclose were the figure was produced, these unanswered questions only add a bit of mystery. Which can be as exciting as it is annoying.

Finally, not knowing the total run size of this version is also a problem as it prevents the market from knowing how many are out there. What the scarcity is. If it will be reissued in the future. All major concerns for collectors.

In summery that’s 2 flaws with the figure itself, and 3 issues with the behind the scenes shenanigans.

It can this be said that the figure has issues and is secretive to a level that is arguably unethical.

Not good.

Not good at all…

Summery

We gotta admit, when we first saw it’s progress and eventual release on Instagram we weren’t a fan. But… Well… We couldn’t get it out of our head and kept checking their feed and lurking on their #’s for weeks. Months even. It thus became a bit of an obsession.

We finally snapped and bought one round Xmas. When it arrived in hand, we weren’t even sure we’d like it… BUT just like a lot of art that we originally hate, eventually we ended up loving it.

Yes the figure has flaws – parts of the 3D sculpt/print are visible and the vinyl is generally not up to Japanese standards.

There is also the issue of all the secrecy and shenanigans behind the figure – which whilst intriguing, is not good purely from a consumer rights standpoint (namely actually knowing what you are buying)…

…BUT even with all the flaws and ethical issues, we still love the beast!

It is evil. It takes us back to that early 1990s mutant vibe. It has great playability.

We god damn love it! We’re obsessed.

Even if it has left an odd taste in our mouth…

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