Kaiju Comrades – Day 2 , part 2

What follows is my semi rambling blog about my trip to Japan and the Kaiju Comrades 2 art toy show in Tokyo, March 9th-16th, 2010 ….

More thoughts on Saturday…

After the initial crush of exclusive toy buyers on Friday, Saturday was mush more relaxed .. but still a steady stream of curious and fellow artists came thru. I was pleased to see that the Design Festa gallery gets quite a few art loving folks and kids, so we even got random viewers who I could hear mutter “Oh, Kaiju ! ” 😉

Always an honor and pleasure for famous Manga artist Nawoki Karasawa and his lovely wife Yoshiko to stop by the show. USA guys may be more familiar with Karasawa-san is he puts on the Patchi_Summit show. They’ve been so supportive of me and of the show and this year was no exception as Karasawa-san once again hand carved and printed these fantastic wood block prints ! Based on characters from his manga novel about Live action suit actors.. if you look closely you may see a Kikaida look-a-like 😛

It’s no surprise they sold out quickly !

Karasawa-san was also kind enough to have the head of Kaiju suit making at Tsuburaya, Mr. Shinada-san ( pictured above to the left ) come along to look at the show. Wow (!), what an honor, as those Otaku out there may know he is a world class sculptor of Godzilla and Ultraman suits in both the Film and Television world but also in the toy realm. I was interested to get his read on our show, and all the various takes on Kaiju. He was impressed and could see the Japanese influences on the various US artists. I really wish I had more time to spend talking to them about Kaiju .. but alas they had to leave.
As the day progressed was shocked to see long time Godzilla dealers from the USA, Tom & Diane from Clawmark toys walk in ! Billikens President Mihara-san stopped by and we also spotted top Medicom guy come in, too 😉
Gumliens stopped by, they had these amazing custom resin figures..at first I thought these were ceramic (!) one of the few pieces I bought at the show .. very nice 😉

Oh we also had an 6.6 earthquake 😉 when the shaking stopped everyone said, KAIJU !!!

I decided to try to show as many of the art as I could in this blog …in no particular order, if you have any interest in any thing you see here feel free to email me at mark@maxtoyco.com , most of the stuff sold, but doesn’t hurt to ask 😉
also many artists are open to commission work and I encourage you to support them in this way.


ZoneEye by Matt Daughty ( and he gave it to me ! awesome! )

Soon to be released figures by Yutari

Dead Presidents Designs – Matt Walker , using his new Monster Kolor paints !

Dead Presidents Designs, more by the master …

TTToys cool figures ! I had trouble figuring out which way was up .. but it works from any direction !

Tony Ciavarro colorful and bright artwork were popular with the girls here !

Shin Tanaka – Amazing figure made of paper ! How I have no idea !

SunGuts awesome hand paint, he’s an old pro when it comes to shows.

T9G – The middle size is a fully scratch made Ranges figure.. the details are perfect !

Mike Slobot – Mike’s unique bots were a hit and the Star Wars Wampa got lots of interest !

Shuji – This is a fully scratch built Space Trooper diorama.. very cool !!!

Sebastian Curadeau – last year we had to explain what a Cone was ..this year no need his stuff sold out no problem ! ;-P

Chris Ryniak – Lake monster with hand made glass eyes, sold very quickly !

Rumble Monsters – with a rabid following these customs went quickly … !

Paul Kaiju – Pauls one of those guys who can do it all, toys, resin, painting.. amazing selection of original Kaiju work !


Shigeki Okuda – Those in the toy world know of the amazingly detailed work by this master sculptor .. and his talents were on display as you can see.


NerdOne – I didn’t even get one of these figures ( sniff ) the popular Steregon !


Lamour Supreme – what only one figure for sale ? sold within the first 6 folks in the door ;-P

Kill! – once again more cute and monster-like figures in elaborate details !

Kaijin – another one of those customs that did not last more than a few minutes .. very cool paint on this one !

Juki – this guy always throws me for a loop, he always comes up with something you’ve never seen and again he does the same this year ! as a lot of the ones above sold quickly ..

Yuki Ishiyama – Once again how can any one sculpt like this ? Pictures can not do his work justice… stunning !


Imiri Sakabashira – while not for sale his work is amazing and currently has large cult following !

Horvath knows cute and of course these are cute !

Hariken – Mad Panda hand painted figure and canvas ! Fun and monstrous at the same 😉

Gumliens – amazing next level Kaiju designs .. !

Grumble Toys- cute a colorful ;- )

Some guy named Nagata and his Eyezons !

Emilio Garcia – Jumping Brains , jumping away and sell outs …

Bob Eggleton, most impressive oil painting master !

Junichi Yajima – aka Dream Rockets while not for sale these proto sculpts of birds sitting on a very cool tree .. yes the tree will be made in limited numbers so stay tuned.

Bob Conge – Bob has a unique take on Kaiju he calls American Kaiju .. and now he has a following in Japan, both custom sold quickly including one guy who traveled far just to score his toy !

Clap Monsters – Hand painted custom Zaran , very cool !

Claudia Arcia – Hailing from Venezuela, Claudia brings her unique take to the show and many fans are impressed !

Buff Monsters – Making cute monsters is what Buff does best as you can see !The painting was a personal fav of mine.

BlopPus – Wow, this thing was beautiful and of course sold instantly !

PiCo Pico – this figure will soon be a soft vinyl figure.. I can not wait , will be so cool !!!

Throwing down old school Marusan paint style on these Kewpie dolls !

These next photos show the art on the walls …

A great surprise to me was meeting and seeing the work of Pico Pico .. their Bekos suit was an awesome addition to the show and as you can see from the video there’s something magical for kids and adults when someone in a cute Kaiju suit is walking around 😉

Now for any of you wanting to get into this suit, let me just say, us “fat” Americans could never fit into one .. well maybe Toy Punks Justin ( maybe .. he might be too fat as well ! ha-ha ) the suit was made with the zipper in front so one guy could put it on himself.. but even so Dream Rockets Yajima-san had to help out … once the suit is on, the guy could wear it for about a half hour if he was fully active ( ie running around and doing crazy stuff ! ) but if he took it easy he said maybe about 2 hours or so …

after Pico Pico was done, he took off the suit .. ok, now here’s a case where i wish I could have smell-o-vision on this blog .. you could almost see the heat and sweat waves coming off the suit, and than it hit us.. a stink worthy of a Kaiju, or dead rotting corpse (!!) I mean really, this smell was so intense someone walking in later asked what was cooking !!! ;-P

Ok so I don’t even want to think about this anymore.. I’m gagging here !

The next day ( Sunday ) , Bekos got some air freshener .. thank goodness.

To Be Continued …

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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