Thursday, July 1, 2010

Meta Meta Meta

This blog used to be called Toypedia. Yes, I loved the name too. So why did I change it? For a few reasons:

Because this blog really isn't a toy encyclopedia. It's really, if anything, a mini figure toy encyclopedia. But, really, that was no reason to change the name. However, I do also like cards and we've featured some cards here and plan to feature more in the future. But cards are kinda like toys. Yeah, well.

I was also kinda just in the mood to change things up. I like to do that every now and then. That's why I have so many toy archives to begin with.

Finally, there really is a ToyPedia and it's actually pretty good. You should check it out. Unlike us, they actually are trying to be an encyclopedia for all toys.

The current name is, well, kinda wacky, I know. Allow me to explain: My true love is keshigomu figures. Keshigomu figures began in Japan as manga and anime-related toy mini figures that were non-articulated, mono-colored, and made of rubber. These days keshi (the abbreviated form of the term) can be found in many sizes, colorways, and materials.

I haven't been able to find an exact meaning of the term keshigomu explained in English. We do know that "gomu" means gum and refers to the gummy material used to make erasers; it was almost certainly used to refer to this genre of figure due to the rubbery, eraser-like material of which early Japanese keshigomu were made. However, the first part of the word, keshi, is a little more tricky. This is what I've been able to come up with:

There seem to be two kanji for "keshi:" 消し and ケシ

The first is typically translated into English as the word "off." The second is typically translated into English as "Poppy." Those two forms of keshi don't appear to be related. (Perhaps not unlike "dog bark" and "tree bark." Same word, two unrelated meanings.) If you do a search of Google Japan for both forms of keshi, the first brings up mentions of erasers and keshi toys. The second brings up references to flowers and seeds.

What I was able to gather from the first form of keshi (消し) i.e., off, is that it seems to mean "remove," "stop," "extinquish," etc. So this makes sense to me because if you combine "keshi" and "gomu" - remove and rubber - you get "rubber that removes things," i.e., eraser.

If anyone out there on the interwebs happens to know for sure the origin and meaning behind keshigomu, please drop us a line!

And if you're still not sure what keshi are, here, take a peek.

Japanese Keshi - Click to Enlarge

Western Keshi - Click to Enlarge

Aren't they fantastic?

So, I wanted to name the blog after my true collecting love: keshigomu. But no one in the West knows what the hell that word means. So I couldn't name the blog Keshigomu. The problem is, there is no equivalent Western term for keshigomu. The closest thing we've got is mini figure. And I couldn't just name the blog Minifigure, even though that's what it's kind of all about. We do love cardboard around here, too.

I toyed with the idea of naming the blog KeshiDX. And that would be ironic because keshi, being made of cheap, disposable rubber and being sold in Japanese capsule "gashapon" machines for pennies, were anything but DX (which means deluxe). So I thought flipping the DX into an XD would be a fun, tongue-in-cheek homage to the DX suffix. Not to mention that XD doubles as an emoticon of a huge, eye-closing grin often used by manga and anime otakus.

But I couldn't decide on which prefix to attach to the XD suffix: keshi, keshigomu, minifigures, cards, cardboard, Toypedia, arrrggghhh!

So I just decided to go with all of them. At least for the time being. Regardless, the site URL is still That needn't change. The content won't change; we'll still be featuring keshi, mini figures, toy lines, cards, and card sets here for the foreseeable future.

So my dear collecting friends, feel free to refer to this little blog however you'd like, just slap an XD after it. Seriously. Besides, I think MXD and KXD both have a nice ring to them, but I haven't been able to chose one of them either, haha.

The social media icons listed along the bottom left of the blog are courtesy of The gentleman behind the site is an incredibly talented graphic designer. Be sure to check it out.

The (temporary) capsule banner was designed with the help of my good buddy El Midgetron. The sweet drop down menu system was installed with the help of Jon Karis.

Unfortunately, MXD does not render correctly in Internet Explorer; the picture drop shadows don't show. Fortunately, that's not something that should really effect ones use of the site. Web designing across browser platforms is a pain.

Furthermore, I'd like to give a shout-out to Blogsy for iPad, an app that I have been using to make 95% of my entries here at MXD. If you are a blogger and an iPad owner, I highly recommend it. In fact, I prefer using Blogsy to any other method of making blog entries.


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