Old toys is what it’s about !

You know you never quite know where your going in life .. but one thing that I will always be is a collector. I drift in and out of collecting rayguns, comic art, and such but one constant has been vintage Japanese toys. Sometimes I buy something hoping one day to reunite it with it’s whole … this Ultraman Ace bike is a prime example. I found the loose vinyl figure part about a year ago .. I knew it was part of this toy as i saw a picture of it in a Japanese hobby magazine called Figure Oh. But I could not find the motorcycle part ..in fact I’ve never even seen a complete one for sale anywhere .. but than I spied an auction that had just the bike, and a bunch of loose misc figures..yes ! I placed my bid and hoped for the Toy Karma to work .. and sure enough, I won it ! Yes ! Still I was not 100% sure if this was indeed the correct bike for the figure I had …. but it was and even though the bike has some light rust and is missing the foot pegs, the figure looks great on it, and yes is correct. This pieces stands about 8 inches tall by 9 inches long, has a friction type wheel under it that you rev up to make it move forward. I like the Bandai logo on the tire 😉

Another recent score is this Ultraman plastic boat. It’s a water toy for small kids ( or big one in this case !) ..thats really has a super small vinyl Ultraman on the front and a small sticker on the side… thats it.

but despite the strangeness of this toy it does have that charm and well is vintage. I’d seen this many times over the years so i wouldn’t say it’s a rare toy, but a nice addition to the tin sand bucket, and plastic sand toy and plastic water can all of Ultraman I have.
I’ve been collecting Ultraman since the late 1980’s … sheesh thats over 20 years .. it’s now to the point that whats left is either way too expensive or is so rare, it just never comes up for sale … so it’s getting slow for me to actually find old stuff to add to the collection 😉 well Anna says thats bull ;-P ha-ha …
Ok a plug for the upcoming London auction Sept 6th, at Phillips de Pury, you can order catalogs which are very cool, and have stickers included , even a Boy Karma sticker 😉 here.Curated by Steve Agin … I’ll blog about this auction phenom soon .. I think it has some real interesting aspects but also some pitfalls …

About toykarma

Over the years Mark Nagata has collected thousands of toys and a fair amount of titles. The man behind San Francisco-based Max Toy Company is widely known as: Toy Collector. Illustrator. Magazine Founder/Publisher. Toy Designer. Artist. Author. Husband. Father. But the one description that might fit best is an unofficial one – Kaiju Toy and Art Ambassador. In the Japanese-inspired art and toy area, as well as throughout the larger toy collecting community, Mark is welcomed and recognized for his personal passion and commitment to supporting artists all around the world and the unique works they create. Beginning as a collector in his youth, Mark has had for years a keen eye for great art and a personal interest in collecting that he has spread through a variety of outlets. Trained at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, Mark honed his skills working for himself and for some of the most notable businesses in the country. As a freelance commercial illustrator, he completed works for such prominent companies as Lucasfilms, DC Comics, Hasbro Toys, IBM, Sony, and numerous advertising and design firms, both national and international. Mark’s colorful style graces over 40 cover paintings for R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps book series – Give Yourself Goosebumps. After hundreds of assignments, Mark made the decision to move in another direction, and that choice has led to whole new career as a successful businessman. For four years, the owner of one of the largest Ultraman toy collections in the world co-published Super 7 Magazine showcasing the finest in Japanese toy collecting. “I’d been collecting Japanese toys all along and suddenly realized it would be cool to have a magazine of some type devoted to them,” Nagata says. Mark’s devotion to presenting collectors with a selection of original figures inspired by classic Japanese toys from the 1960s and ‘70s as well as new versions of licensed Japanese characters is at the heart of Max Toy Company. Named for his son, Max Toys specializes in custom and limited editions of “kaiju” (Japanese monsters) toys and artwork. Many of the original toys produced are hand painted by Mark, a tradition that goes back to Japanese toy makers of the past. “Since our target is the soft vinyl Japanese toy collector, which is a very small niche, our runs of toys can be extremely small,” Mark says. “Runs range from 500 pieces of one toy to just one for a hand-painted, one-of-a-kind custom figure.” Through Max Toys, Mark has taken great pains to widen the reach of his two passions – toys and art. He played a significant part in the development of the first group kaiju show in the United States. Held at the Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago, Illinois in 2007, the “Toy Karma” Show featured detailed work from artists from Japan, the U.S. and South America. Participants marveled at the custom-painted toys and art on display. “Toy Karma” led to Mark being asked to be one of the artists spotlighted in the “Beyond Ultraman: Seven Artists Explore the Vinyl Frontier” exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The October 2007 show, held jointly with the Los Angeles Toy, Doll and Amusement Museum, marked the first time – in a museum setting – that the influence of Japanese toys on California artists was explored. The exhibit featured more than 30 of Mark’s original paintings, toys and a selection of his vintage toy collection. Mark continued to be at the forefront as interest in Japanese-inspired art and toys expanded in 2008. Prestigious art houses Philips De Pury and Christie’s in New York and London sold Mark’s hand-painted custom kaiju toys in its auctions, spreading this unique art and toy movement into new and uncharted areas of the art world. In 2009, Mark once again took his love of toys and art overseas this time to a receptive and welcoming audience in Tokyo, Japan. Here, Mark curated the “Kaiju Comrades” Art Show, once again bringing together artists from various aspects of the kaiju toy realm in this first-of-its-kind toy art show. The following year found Mark in Barcelona, Spain co-curating with Emilio Garcia “Kaiju Attack,” the European country’s first kaiju art show. As the growth of kaiju art and toys increases worldwide, Mark continues in his unofficial role of Kaiju Toy and Art Ambassador. He has written and had his artwork and toy designs included in several books and magazines, both domestic and international. In 2010, Mark served as guest lecturer on kaiju and the toy-making process at the Morikami Museum in Florida. The San Francisco resident and his art can also be spotted in the first volume of the “ToyPunks” DVD and the “Toys R Us” DVD, while the video for the number one song by Owl City “Fireflies” featured Mark’s popular Kaiju Eyezon character. During this same time period, Mark has spearheaded the “Toy Karma 2” and “Kaiju Comrades 2” shows and has plans for future shows both in the U.S. and overseas. “Max Toys allows me to produce original artwork, new toys and work directly with a lot of talented artists,” Mark says. “Max Toy is a synthesis of toys and art, both life-long passions.”
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