I’m a wimp ! I complain when faced with having to paint toys. I don’t know what it is but even painting one can drive me Nuts ! … Sansei Goto-san I am not ! But this is a part of what i do as my business. I must paint figures … one offs or multiples. Actually because of my reluctance to paint multiples I rarely do them. But having a bag of 20+ plus Neon Pink Kaiju Drazoran sitting behind my chair … I summoned up all the Ultra power I could and dove in.
Using Monster Kolor paints , Breeze Blue, Vivid Yellow, Black and Gold metallic. Painting on Neon Pink vinyl makes my eyes all wonky ! In fact it’s really hard to even photograph how bright and vivid these figures are ! You’ll have to take my word for it .. they are bright !
I like to spray all over the figure and in this case even under the tail. I will eventually clear coat the entire figure which will protect it once dry. Someone asked me about spraying all over the figure and my reply is I appreciate a figure that is complete. Meaning even if you do not see it fully while it sits on your shelf, yes even under the tail or foot it is fully painted or clear coated. I’ve watched plenty of Master Kaiju painters and the one thing they all have in common is not skimping the details.
I hand brush in all the details. All the teeth and eyes … one by one … first yellow and back again for the black pupil. Yes, tedious .. but each one is hand done. No way around it … 😉 As I get into it I fall into that Zen-like trance .. paint, brush, stroke … repeat …
Because I have to separate the parts to clear coat them, I hand number them to make sure I can match up the right head to body later on.
Here I prep the pieces by placing them on sticks .. so i can hold the stick and spray the clear coat on them.
As I’m done i place them on cardboard boxes to dry in the Sun 😉
The clear coat fully cures in about 20 hours or over night.
Although I grumbled to myself during the process, I think they turned out nicely, and the colors feel right for being on a Pink vinyl base.
Finally below are the results of my effort… phew … these will be for sale on Thursday July 15th via the Max Toy webstore : http://www.maxtoyco.com/Shop_home.php
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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