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Don Kratzer

Guerrilla Semiotician, Fig-lab || 国際フィギュア研究所 in Tokyo Japan

A creative director based in Tokyo, he also produces vinyl toys and collaborates with artists through his Fig-lab brand. His latest project is the "Finger Five" series, made up of short vinyl figures that you can place on your fingers. He also helps run the PechaKucha Night series in Tokyo, which is held on the last Wednesday of every month.

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What is Kaiju?

BY DON KRATZER
@ VOL 82 ON MAY 25, 2011

Don Kratzer teaches us the meaning of "Kaiju," and takes us on a tour of the world of vinyl figures inspired by these strange beasts.

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Go! Figure!

BY DON KRATZER
@ VOL 92 ON MAY 30, 2012

Don Kratzer updates us on his five year mission that kicked off while attending the San Diego Comic Con back in 2007, and then lead to some terrific toy/figure collaborations with a host of creators.

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20 Years in Japan

BY DON KRATZER
@ VOL 95 ON SEP 26, 2012

Don Kratzer has lived in Japan for 20 years, and following the PK 20x20 format, shares what he's been up to all this time using one image for each year.

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Micro Sofubi

BY DON KRATZER
@ VOL 99 ON JAN 23, 2013

What is Micro Sofubi? Let our resident vinyl toy expert Don Kratzer guide you through the ins and outs of this category of figures he has so much love for -- and he hopes you'll love them too.

"Presentation of the Day" on January 26, 2013.

PechaKucha Night公式ウェブサイトで26日に「今日のプレゼンテーション」に選ばれたDonさんのミクロソフビプレゼンテーションをご紹介します。

フィギュア好きな方に特におすすめです。

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What Color is Godzilla?

BY DON KRATZER
@ HEINEKEN STAR LOUNGE ON MAY 15, 2013

Don Kratzer attempts to answer the controversial question, "What Color is Godzilla?" Plus, other über-toy-nerd trivia concerning the color green.

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The Japan Superhero Boom and the Pachimon Phenomenon 1971-1975

BY DON KRATZER
@ VOL 103 ON MAY 29, 2013

Don Kratzer adds to his collection of PechaKucha presentations dealing with the Japanese toy and figure scene with a new installment, this time looking at the explosion of Superheros on Japanese TV and popular culture In the early 1970s. Check out the cast of characters, the amazing vinyl toys, and the charming "pachimon" (bootleg) phenomenon of this bygone era.

"Presentation of the Day" on June 7, 2013.

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What Are Kinkeshi?

BY DON KRATZER
@ VOL 106 ON SEP 20, 2013

Don Kratzer takes an inside look at the birth of a toy movement from the mid-1980s, and discusses the ripples this particular line of figures has had on present-day artists. 

This presentation was part of the PechaKucha Global Night 2013, and follows the theme of "hidden heroes."

"Presentation of the Day" on October 11, 2013.

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What is Sofubi?

BY DON KRATZER
@ VOL 110 ON JAN 22, 2014

The prolific international figure researcher Don "Datadub" Kratzer does it once again -- an in-depth discussion on the history and creation of sofubi or soft-vinyl toys. Perk up your ears as he offers sweet, colorful nuggets of information on the fascinating mid-20th century products. 

"Presentation of the Day" on February 7, 2014.

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Custom Character Culture for Causes

BY DON KRATZER
@ VOL 117 ON SEP 24, 2014

Don Kratzer is mad about indie toys. He not only admires and collects them, but also puts together art shows for artist all over the world to get together to cusomize their own toy ideas, and share art. 

"Presentation of the Day" on October 24, 2014.

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What is Kamishibai?

BY DON KRATZER
@ VOL 122 ON FEB 20, 2015

Don Kratzer tells the history of Kamishibai, an art of telling story before the invention of television and manga. The lost art of Kamishibai was a legacy of story telling filled with great art and characters.

"Presentation of the Day" on March 13, 2015.

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Sofubi: Soft Vinyl

BY DON KRATZER
@ PECHAKUCHA NIGHT SPECIAL @ AUTODESK POP-UP ON NOV 08, 2015

"When I say factory, it's often a 60 or 70-year old guy who has a shed out by the side of his house. He's pouring the the plastisol, and running it through the process, pulling out the pieces by hand, one by one."

In Sofubi: Soft Vinyl from PechaKucha Night Special @ Autodesk Pop-Up in TokyoDon Kratzer discusses soft vinyl as a medium, and particularly soft vinyl toys made in Japan. Versatile and vibrant, it has been used for generations as a medium for making toys and figurines that is proven to last. With advancements in digital technology, new opportunities are presented to those who design sofubi figures and collectibles.

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Friday, January 23rd, 2016. 

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What is Gacha-Gacha?

BY DON KRATZER
@ VOL 133 ON FEB 24, 2016

"We are now in the throes of a Gacha-Gacha Renaissance ... I mean this is fried sharks and heavy machinery."

Modular vending machines filled with wild and wacky character goods have been an integral part of the Tokyo landscape for as long as most of us can remember. But what’s the story behind these silent purveyors of goodies and their enduring popularity? At Pechakucha Night Tokyo Vol. 133, the legendary Don Kratzer expounds on the history, novelty, and hilarity of the world of Gacha-Gacha!

This was "PechaKucha of the Day" on Friday, February, 26th, 2016. 

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#conlife: Toy Conventions around the World

BY DON KRATZER
@ VOL 143 ON JAN 25, 2017

"The toys are amazing but the best part is meeting all the people."

Don Kratzer has been involved in the Indie Toy Scene for over a decade and has spent the past year traveling to Toy Conventions all over the world. In #conlife: Toy Conventions around the World, from PechaKucha Night Tokyo Vol. 142, he shares his insights into the idiosyncrasies of each local scene and how they relate to the global Art Toy movement.

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PAST VOL 143

Tokyo @ SuperDeluxe
Jan 25, 2017

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PAST VOL 133

Tokyo @ SuperDeluxe
Feb 24, 2016

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PAST PechaKucha Night Special @ Autodesk Pop-Up

Tokyo @ Ba-Tsu Art Gallery
Nov 08, 2015