Last Bastion Studios is a California based toy company known for the production and distribution of high quality soft vinyl figures, with a focus on pop culture that features monsters and fighters. Their niche sound familiar? Well, you guessed it: Last Bastion Studios is on their way to releasing a line of official soft vinyl Ultraman Chibis! We reported on the new Kickstarter that Last Bastion had put together earlier this week, and though we had a ton to say about the concepts and designs, we decided that our words simply weren’t enough to do it all justice.
And so, we got the chance to speak with Co-Owner and director of creative services at Last Bastion Studios, Christopher Hillseth, who works alongside fellow owner Wes Allard. Hillseth defines the brand as “a space to feel comfortable bringing our wildest dreams to fruition.” He told us about his initial experience with Ultraman and how Last Bastion developed the concept of an Ultraman line.
Like many dedicated Ultra-Fans, Hillseth first encountered Ultraman in the 90s and admired the mature storytelling, the deep undertones of character and kaiju backstories, and the ways Kaiju and aliens expressed emotion in the way they walked, fought, and interacted with their environment. Hillseth’s interest started taking shape in the form of figure-concepts during a conversation with his co-owner.
“Me and Wes were hanging out one night, talking ‘toys’ and we just started talking about all the fun and awesome creatures in the Ultra series. We went over the designs of the suits and how parts of certain costumes were used for other monsters. All kinds of fun details like that. The conversation naturally shifted, and the question came up, ‘what if we were to make our own Ultraman figures’ which was soon followed by us spending the whole night trying to figure out how we would do it.”
Last Bastion lives up to their goal of making cool stuff with cool people for cool people and staying dedicated to doing the best they can. To us, their attitude perfectly aligns with that of any good Ultra host.
“I think the values of what Last Bastion was founded on is something like this: Be Authentic, Genuine, Sincere and Kind. Stand up for what you believe in. Be an advocate for yourself, your friends and your ideas and don't let anyone bully you into thinking that you can't do something you are passionate about. I think there can be a lot of parallels drawn from the characters in the show with our values. Have the grit to stand up to the big destructive Kaiju of the world, and the grace to meet complex problems with an understanding mind.”
With $5,000 raised so far, Last Bastion Studios are halfway to reaching their Kickstarter goal in order to fund this awesome collection. There are less than three weeks left to contribute but if you act now, you might be eligible to receive one of many rewards, such as the unpainted or painted versions of all three featured characters, or individual characters. depending on your donation size. We don’t know about you, but we’re putting in the bucks to get our hands on the whole set! In fact, the Kickstarter purchase prices will be cheaper than wholesale prices, so take advantage!
“It’s an honor to make and produce some of the most iconic Ultraman characters out there. We appreciate all the love, support, and excitement that we have gotten from the community so far. We eagerly look forward to seeing everyone who has currently backed the Kickstarter and our future customers with the fully produced Ultraman figures we’re making.”