Japanese artist Shigeki Hayashi creates tiny figures so detailed that you'd swear they were molded plastic. They are actually made from ceramic, however, and their design is heavily influenced by manga, anime and science fiction.
Hayashi's new collection of Japanese figurines, 'New Type Ceramics,' is being shown in Chicago's upcoming Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Fair, or SOFA, which takes place November 7-9.
Implications - The Internet has created a major confluence between the anime, science-fiction and fantasy communities. This formidable niche features extremely passionate consumers desperate for accessories relating to their (relatively) underground interests. Companies or brands that can use characters from these series to create limited-edition or 'special' collectible items can benefit from these intensely devoted fan bases.