above Mikes painted Cyclops with glass eye inserted
Mike Maddi of Puppetoys… remember his name.. you will be seeing more from this very talented sculptor / artist … awhile back i blogged about liking Ray Harryhausen Cyclops figures and Mike emailed me to show and tell me about his new garage kit just out from Earthbound Studios. For those who don’t know what a garage kit is .. well it’s usually a model kit made of resin.. and made well in your garage ( meaning self produced in super low numbers ) .. the early kits tended to be very poor in casting and sometimes sculpting, but most if not all have the spirit of fandom in them and are always a labor of love. As I opened Mike’s email my jaw dropped … this was to me and to date the most accurate Cyclops figure or kit I’d seen. Of course, I ordered one and I just got it in the mail. So did it meet my expectations ? Better than that it exceeded them ! I was not disappointed, the level of finish and detail is at a professional level ( which is not surprise as Mike has years of SPFX film and TV experience ), but more importantly it has that movement and grace in the sculpt and the “spark” of life that only comes from one who loves the subject he’s sculpting. I’m told that Ray himself was very impressed with this version .. well you can not get any better than that ?!!
above Mike’s sculpt
The figure is VERY cleanly cast in 5 parts ( 2 arms, body, jaw, and base ) .. Mark Brokaw of Earthbound Studios has always set the bar for cleanly cast kits and this is no exception.. ( note future kits may have the head cast separately )
if there was any downside to this kit for me was the lack of a box for the kit ( although it’s not a big deal at all ) and I’m sure many don’t have the space anymore for boxes anyways ( like me ! )
The finished kit will stand ( on a great base ) about 11.25 inches tall. It’s a straight forward build with a small amount of putty work to the shoulders, but that’s about it. I’ll post pics once i finish painting mine … I highly recommend this kit, so send an email to Earth Bound Studios ( email@example.com ) and order one ( $150 plus $10 ship USA ) before their gone !
Mike also showed me some pics for his upcoming Mighty Joe Young figure .. check out the hair work on this .. really nice !
Mike might also make one of my dreams come true ( ha-ha ) .. but I won’t say any more 😉 !!! oh forgot to add the ads, so here they are !
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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