I Love Kaiju !


Ya you guys are sick of me complaining about how busy things are 😉 Of course, it’s great… but sometimes even I have to sit here and catch my breath … now because of my old age (46 !, how’d that happen ?) I have to freakin write it all down on a piece of paper to keep track of what is due, and when… oh man .. Yes, I am old ;-P
So while i start complaining like an old dog lets just say a few very interesting things have happened in the last few weeks … I’ll start teasing them soon, here, oh ya via Twitter , yes you can follow me there .. i actually Tweet everyday, not so much on Facebook under Mark Nagata .. for those of you have nothing else to do 😉
Anyways, I don’t know if it’s me but seems like the Kaiju thing is on a up surge of late, for sure my sales have increased (no more recession ?!), the Killer Kaiju Monsters book is being released any day now ( check your local bookstores to support this ! )


and for whatever reason suddenly I’ve gotten quite a few invites to be in or curate Kaiju shows around the world (!) One special event happens in Florida this October (to be announced soon !)and of course Kaiju Attack in Barcelona, Spain in June, San Diego Comic Con in July, Wonderfest Tokyo, Japan in July, Double Punch Kaiju Invade San Francisco 2, and much more for 2011…!
Yikes, be careful what you wish for, folks ! It’s all good, of course, and falls perfectly into my master plans (hee-hee) .. well, not to sound nefarious or evil, which I am not 😉 but really folks it’s about time Kaiju and Kaiju related artists get their due .. my main mission is to spread the word about masters such as Shimizu-san and Goto-san (yes, I know there are many others and I’m trying to get to more of them on my next trip to Japan !). Within that frame work the various Kaiju shows I curate help to showcase current artists either working in the same manner or influenced by … and finally I get much power from the past and present.. without sounding too new age like, their energies help me create my toys and artwork.
Again with the age thing, but if I (we) don’t pass this history and love of Kaiju to the next generations than it will die. Many say in Japan, it has already died .. or at least is on it’s last legs .. to this point, I hope that my efforts and those of others to help Japanese artists get more exposure in the US and beyond, is not only a good thing but has to happen.. it’s survival in my opinion. It will never be the glory days and Kaiju Booms of the 60s and 70s …even I know this. I can only do so much, I know .. and only time and history will determine if anything I’ve done or will do will even make a ripple in the Kaiju ocean.. without being too full of myself, I think it will make a difference and has… and in a positive and productive way.
But all is not gloom and doom 😉 each time I go back to Japan, I see glimpses of what Kaiju can and will be … what i do with Max Toy Company is inspired by, influenced by, and energized by these Japanese artists. Of course, i put my American spin on it … it can only be that way for me 😉
So, this is all to say that the next Kaiju Comrades 3 in Tokyo, Japan for 2011 will have a theme of Kids and Kaiju ! I’m jumping the gun on this but am really excited about what we have planned and it’s not gong to be your usual show ( don’t worry you will still be able to buy your exclusives and customs ! ha-ha ) .. anyways i’ve said too much .. good thing no one reads this, right ? ;-P

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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