In conjunction with our exhibition, Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys, JANM is hosting a day-long Kaiju-Con on Saturday, June 15! We want to bring people together in one place to share their love of all things kaiju. Whether you’re into Baltan, Megaguirus, or the king himself—Godzilla—this is the convention for you! The family-friendly gathering will include a vendor hall, workshops, panel discussions, demonstrations, and culminate in a special outdoor screening of Mothra vs Godzilla from 1964. Don’t forget your cosplay! Read our rules first, but we can’t wait to see your costumes, whether they be handmade or Hollywood-ready!
Collector and toy artist Mark Nagata will do a workshop from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on how to paint kaiju vinyl toys. He’ll demonstrate the tricks of his trade, showing you how to turn vinyl toys into vinyl art! He’ll also have plenty of exclusive toys available at this convention, including a new colorway of his “Man of Many Weapons” figure fashioned in the likeness of legendary martial artist Gerald Okamura.
Eiji Kaminaga the president of the Marusan Toy Company will give an educational and fun talk about the history and future of Marusan toys and kaiju sofubi. The Marusan Toy Company created some of the first vinyl kaiju and hero toys of the 1960s! Mr. Kaminaga is also bringing some of Marusan’s most popular figures including Jirass and Gubila in exclusive colorways that you can get only at this convention.
If you need to take a break from hitting the vendor hall or taking in a workshop, we’ll also be presenting a special screening of the American version of King Kong vs Godzilla from 1962. Dubbed in English, the film follows as a pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles Godzilla, who is accidentally released from a block of ice by a submarine crew.
There will also be plenty to see and do for even the novice kaiju fan. The renowned animator and cartoonist Willie Ito is scheduled to sign autographs and sell his art. His career started in 1954 when he began working at Disney and was assigned to help on the iconic spaghetti kissing scene for Lady and the Tramp. He also went on to work at Hanna-Barbera, where he contributed to shows such as The Flintstones and Yogi Bear!
Kaiju-Con is going to be a day of fun and camaraderie. Buy your tickets before 5 p.m. PT on Friday, June 14, and you can enter an hour early plus get two free raffle tickets for your chance to win kaiju and hero prizes donated by our vendors! Raffle tickets will be sold on-site and winners drawn throughout the day. We hope to see you here!