Happy New Year ! I thought about doing a recap for 2010, but in all honesty there was so much I did and I did not really keep track of everything or all releases ! Ha-ha .. lets just say it was an awesome year for myself and Max Toy Company ! So, without losing any steam, I came off of the very successful Double Punch Kaiju Bazaar show and started working on this next show called Monster Party ! Details are below … but as i write this I’m still spraying and painting ! ;-P
2011 as it stands is just about filled up for me .. looking forward we have Wonderfest in Japan, February 6th, Beauty & the Kaiju mni show at Rotofugi in Chicago, the Alien Argus show at Toy Art Gallery on February 26th, end of March back to Japan for April 2nd & 3rd, Max Toy 5th Anniversary show in Tokyo, April 23rd, Max Toy 5th Anniversary show at Double Punch + In Living Kolor SF tour … lots more and a one big “thing” that if I can pull it off will be so VERY awesome 😉 Oh, and lets not forget many more Sofubi toys coming in the next few months ! 🙂
As I look back at this past year and forward I have to say amidst all the doom and gloom in the Kaiju toy world I have noticed a slight up tick in orders and interest so lets hope this trend continues for 2011. The economy here and in Japan continues to be sluggish, and as i have heard the toy world in Japan is in an Ice Age … but, for those who do this full time, 24/7, such as myself, never say Die ! 😉 I continue to push forward, spreading Toy Karma and educating as much as I can about the Masters of Sofubi in Japan. I sometimes do not realize that folks out there may not know, but I do this Toy thing full time… it is my job but also my passion. I don’t blog much about it, but being a company of one, I do it all, from blogging, tweeting, packing orders, billing, painting toys, designing new toys, etc … so when you order you do support a small business and artist directly… so, thank you for your support !
Ok on to the party, the Monster Party !!!
Opening this Saturday, January 8th, 2011 at Dragatomi store / gallery in Sacramento, California !
4 man show Kaiju show with Mark Nagata, Gatchbert, Lil Japan and DLUX !
Some of my customs for sale in this show are shown below… Email Dragatomi to be put on their show previews list !
I’ll see you there this Saturday !!!
5×7 inches, acrylic on canvas board
5×7 inches, acrylic on canvas board
5×7 inches, acrylic on canvas board
added 1/6/11 –
Preview List Link : http://www.dragatomi.com/servlet/the-template/monsterparty/Page
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.”