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    Hands-On: Haptic Gloves to Control a Telepresence Robot!

    We go literally hands-on with the HaptX haptic glove to test its integration with an incredibly dexterous telepresence robot by Shadow Robot Company. Using these VR hand controllers, we're able to not only manipulate intricate objects like a rubix cube, but feel the objects we're grasping in a natural and intuitive way! We chat with the makers of this tech to learn how far telepresence robotics have come and what's next.

    Hands-On with Skydio 2 Autonomous Drone

    We check out Skydio 2, the new autonomous drone that is the successor to one of our favorite products of last year. It's smaller, faster, and more powerful of a self-flying camera drone than the R1, but also somehow costs less. We head to Skydio's headquarters to take a look under hood of Skydio 2 and learn how the company designed this amazing drone!

    The Nostalgic Niche Collectibles of ISH

    From Lost Boys to Ray Harryhausen, producer Justin Ismael digs deep into the worlds from our pop culture past to create collectibles that most modern toy companies aren't interested in making. Justin shares a few of his new projects and tells us the story of how he learned that the original poster for Robocop was based on a painting and not a photo--and then turned it into a poster!

    Articulation Innovations of 1000Toys' Synthetic Human

    Toy collectors and figure photographers have long appreciated the figures from 1000Toys, specifically the groundbreaking Synthetic Human design that pushed the toy industry forward with its articulation. We catch up with the team at 1000Toys to learn about what's next for Synthetic Human and how its design is now being applied to licenced figures like Hellboy, Master Chief, and Iron Giant!

    Imagining Future Fashion with Sixth-Scale Figure Design

    We're always on the lookout for original creative designs, and the figures of Bryan Lie (aka IMCPLX) are striking not only for the character work, but the attention to detail in these sixth-scale figures' clothing. We chat with Bryan about how he uses these figures to experiment with forward-thinking fashion designs.

    BigShot Toyworks Engineers Some of Our Favorite Toys

    Toys and collectibles don't come out of nowhere. The engineering, design, and product development for some of our favorite figures comes from BigShot Toyworks, who work with companies like Sideshow and Mondo to turn sketches into prototypes. We chat with Klim of BigShot Toys to see how he's taking that production experience to develop a new line of figures to stand out on collectors' shelves.

    Directing Pixar's "Wind", a SparkShorts Film!

    We visit Pixar Animation Studios to chat with director Edwin Chang about the process of writing and directing the upcoming short film "Wind". We learn about how Pixar's SparkShorts program allows fresh directors to experiment with bold storytelling techniques and inventive workflows to make Pixar's equivalent of an indie film. Wind will be released on Disney+ on December 13th!

    How Machine Learning Enables DeepRacer's Autonomous Driving

    How does machine learning work and what are its applications? Mike Miller, General Manager of AWS AI Devices walks us through the story of DeepRacer, the autonomous RC car that utilizes Machine Learning and Reinforncement Learning to speedily navigate around a track. We're at AWS reInvent this week to watch teams compete in the DeepRacer League Championship Cup! (This video is sponsored by Amazon Web Services.)

    Reina Koyano Transforms Sneakers into Pin-Up Art

    We meet artist Reina Koyano, whose Sole Fatale pin-up art series transforms notable sneakers into characters of her own imagination. Reina explains her inspiration for Sole Fatale, how it's grown in popularity in sneaker culture, and her collaborations with toy designers to turn her art into figurines.

    The Mythical Art Figures of Manas+SUM!

    We take a close look at the incredible sculpts and figures or Manas+SUM, a studio that works with artists in Asia to bring their creatures and interpretations of mythical characters to the collectible toy world. We're struck not only by the quality of these pieces, but the range of different artist styles represented in their collection. It's figure art that stands out at an event like DesignerCon!

    Remixing Pop Culture Icons into Modern Toys

    We catch up with ToyQube's founder Keith Poon to chat about his company's approach to remixing characters like Astro Boy and Tom & Jerry into modern art toys. Here's how artists are putting their own twists on those familiar characters, from sneaker culture aesthetic to subversive sensibilities.

    Mondo's New Iron Giant at DesignerCon!

    One of the most highly sought-after pop culture collectibles is Mondo's Iron Giant figure from four years ago. This coming year, Mondo is revisiting this beloved character with a new posable figure, scaled at a slightly smaller size and with different feature set. We chat with Mondo's director of collectibles about the design of this Iron Giant and the other robots in their lineup!

    Hands-On with AWS DeepRacer Evo Autonomous Race Car!

    Tested visits the labs of AWS DeepRacer, the 1/18th scale race car that learns to speed through a track through machine learning. Senior Applied Scientist Sahika Genc takes us under the hood of DeepRacer and the newly announced DeepRacer Evo to show how upgrades to the fully autonomous car now allow for head-to-head competition! Stay tuned for more from our visit to the DeepRacer lab, and for our coverage of the DeepRacer League at this year's AWS re:Invent! (This video is sponsored by Amazon Web Services.)

    Lumecluster's Phoenix Gauntlet Lineup!

    Melissa Ng--aka Lumecluster--shares with us her full Phoenix Gaunlet lineup for the first time at this year's DesignerCon. We chat with Melissa about her journey to making these beautiful gothic-inspired gaunlets a product, and the Lumecluster identity that's also present in her pendants and resin figures.

    The Monstrous Kaiju Sculptures of James Groman!

    We catch up with artist and sculptor James Groman, who created one of our favorite designer toys of the past few years: King Korpse. At this year's DesignerCon, Jim brought some one-off painted figures and walks us through his dry brush process. These grotesque takes of kaiju creatures are awesome!

    Maschinen Krieger Scale Model Diorama!

    While most people know about Gundam in the sci-fi scale model kit world, the universe of Maschinen Krieger is one that has some of the most striking mecha designs. We chat with Ma. K. builder Heng Wang (aka Kvltworx) about his mash-up build, the origins of Maschinen Krieger, and why its kits are so unique.

    DesignerCon 2019 is This Weekend in Anaheim!

    A public service announcement for fans of designer toys and supports of independent artists: DesignerCon is this weekend! It's once again at the Anaheim Convention Center (next to Disneyland), and we'll be there on Saturday interviewing makers and checking out their new pieces. Stay tuned for videos from the show, and here's some geeking out about art toys with toy curator Benny from Tenacious Toys!

    Tesla Cybertruck Test Ride and Impressions!

    We ride in Tesla's newly announced Cybertruck prototype! Just hours after its highly-anticipated unveiling, we meet up with Ryan McCaffrey of the Ride the Lightning Tesla podcast to discuss details we noticed from our test ride and getting up close with this futuristic electric pickup. It's controversial and aggressively designed, with an aggressive price to boot.

    Vintage Gundam Kit Converted to Statue Diorama!

    We love using snap-fit model kits for dioramas, and this display at the recent Buildcon Gunpla event caught our eye: builder Benson Chou took a vintage gundam kit and repurposed it as an H0-scale diorama depicting an alternate future. He walks us through his paint process and tricks he used to make the plastic model look like an aged statue.

    3D Modeling, Printing, and Painting a Custom Gundam!

    We attend our first Gunpla and mecha modelmaking convention--NewType's Buildcon in San Francisco--and meet some incredible modelmakers who've brought a variety of builds. Artist Kaz Adams' Janus build was especially striking, since she designed, 3D modeled, 3D printed, and finished this detailed model, essentially making her own kit. We chat with Kaz about her design process and how she took an initial sketch to a fully realized figure.