- 【ZOMBO BALLS】Making Secrets
- ◆A Brief History of the Zoneball
- ◆Phase I: 「Development of Homemade Rubber Materials」
- ◆Phase II: 「Early Colored and Card Versions」
- ◆Phase III: 「Uncolored and New Card Versions」
- ◆Phase 4:「Japanese Gacha Gacha Sales and American Sales」
- ◆Extra: ZOMBO BALLS from the first to the fourth period sold in the U.S.
- ◆Issue 5: 「General Sale Edition」
- ◆Phase 6: 「Rubber Version & Colored Version」
- 【ZOMBO BALLS】story
【ZOMBO BALLS】Making Secrets
◆A Brief History of the Zoneball
Zombie + ball = “ZOMBALL”. This is a homage to Madball.
In addition to stickers and cards, there is also a figure version, but it was hard to find rubber material for it. Let’s take a look back at the history of ZOMBALL.
◆Phase I: 「Development of Homemade Rubber Materials」
In the past, the problem with making dolls has been the hardness of the resin.
Soft resin takes 48 hours to cure, and hard resin is hard like plastic, so it doesn’t have the rubbery feel of a ball.
Therefore, it became necessary to find a new material. So, I decided to order various materials and mix them by myself.
As a result… I succeeded in developing a new material called “self-made rubber clay”! This clay can be made in any combination of colors you like, and when it hardens, it turns into perfect rubber.
The zoneballs in the above image were made only with self-made rubber clay, but each one had to be made by hand, one of a kind. I had to come up with a new plan.
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◆Phase II: 「Early Colored and Card Versions」
I came up with the idea of making a plaster mold and pressing the clay against it as a way to mass produce my own rubber clay. I decided to color the resulting clay with a brush. This is the Zombole in the image above.
Gacha doll and card set.
In Europe and America, trading card culture has a longer history than stickers, but in Japan, the card boom is represented by Card Das, such as Gundam and Dragon Ball.
So, I wanted to put HP (hit points) on the card, so I made this design.
The story is written on the back side. However, it took too much time to color it, so I decided to stop selling it after making a few prototypes.
◆Phase III: 「Uncolored and New Card Versions」
I realized that it would take too much time to mass-produce them if I colored them, so I decided to mass-produce them without coloring.
I decided to use a square card instead of a rectangular card because it would be cheaper to produce. I decided to switch to square cards instead of rectangular cards because they wouldn’t fit in the capsule.
I wanted to use a secret gimmick, so I painted the doll and the card with luminescent paint so that they would glow in the dark, but I started to worry that the quality of the modeling would be too low… I made a lot of prototypes, but decided to stop selling them and start all over again.
◆Phase 4:「Japanese Gacha Gacha Sales and American Sales」
So I rebuilt all the zombie ball models from scratch.
I made four of them (a golf ball zombie, a tennis ball zombie, a softball zombie, and a bowling zombie).
By using hard resin on one side, it was easier to replicate the details, and by using rubber clay on the other side, I was able to create the texture of a ball.
Based on my past experiences, I decided to use spray coloring. The coloring of the Meiji and Cosmos versions of the Horror Ball, as well as the Yokai Ball, were all incomprehensible and crazy.
So I decided to pay homage to that, and the coloring looks like the picture. Therefore, no two colors are the same.
There were 10 types of ZOMBO BALLS until the third season, but this time there are only 4 types, so there is a high possibility that they will be doubled in the Gacha Gacha. For this reason, we adjusted the ratio so that a Kira Prism Sticker would appear about once every four times.
Either a card or a prism sticker is included, and there is also a secret “Zombie Busters” sticker hidden in the package.
Here is a picture of the actual gacha gacha for sale. You have to download the map to find out where the gacha is sold.
It’s a mix of the real world and a story, where you become a zombie buster and go to collect a capsule of classified government documents.
I was worried about whether people would bother to buy this complicated sales method, but it sold out in two days. The next re-release was also sold out in two days. The next re-release sold out in two days, and the one after that sold out in two days.
◆Extra: ZOMBO BALLS from the first to the fourth period sold in the U.S.
At the same time as the Gacha Gacha sales, we decided to sell it in the US as well.
Since it was difficult to sell the gacha-gacha in the U.S. version, we released a compilation of the first four seasons as a way of looking back on the history of the game. And it sold out in the US!
(The video shows the opening party of the event where the ZOMBOBALLS were actually sold. The photo shows the sale. The photos have been mosaicked due to portrait rights and copyrights of other works)
◆Issue 5: 「General Sale Edition」
Six months after the release of the Gacha version, the mail order version was finally released. I still wanted to keep the price the same as the Gacha version, so I decided to sell them separately.
The difference between the Gacha version and the mail order version was the increase in the number of shapes and the number of stickers and cards. The number of stickers and cards were also increased, as were the number of sports players related to the ball.
◆Phase 6: 「Rubber Version & Colored Version」
Here is the perfect rubber material that took four years to complete. You can see that mass production is very difficult after all.
This one is pre-colored, and I had to paint it one by one with a brush. The colored version is made of hard resin.
Also, since there are many different materials for stickers and other items, they have started selling sets. It’s been a long and arduous journey to release this product.
One day, a case of zombie fungus spreads throughout the town. As many of the infected people are athletes, it is discovered that the source of the infection is hidden in ball games. The zombie germs seem to attach to round spherical objects and spread to the human body. You should be careful, too.