Is it really another year gone by ?!! Well judging by the additional grey hairs I have and the fact that my son is now taller than my wife … I guess it has been a year !
With that I make the annual trek down to San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) yet again 😉 If you detect a tiny bit of lack of enthusiasm perhaps it’s because I’ve been going to SDCC since the early 1990’s. I’ve seen the days when it was 95% comic book dealers to now, with only a few rows of comic book back issue dealers. I know nothing stays the same and that’s true for life .. and this is what makes in part for nostalgia. So, yes I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for the old days. Lucky for me i have a few friends who feel the same way, and we’ll be trolling the more sleepy parts of the con, looking thru back issues and staring at original comic art by all the masters of a long gone era.
I do have to say even though i can not afford an original Jack Kirby comic book page, just the chance to see one up close for a few minutes is well worth the admission ;-P And gives me the inspiration to keep going.
Ok for those who read this blog, you know I’m always complaining about how slow I am to paint toys, blah, blah … yes, this years no different .. but, I did get off my butt and have done a few customs which I think turned out quite nice and I will be bring them down to SDCC this year.
The kind folks at Rotofugi http://rotofugi.com/ will be selling my figures at their booth #4736. Plus, only on Thursday July 21 from 11am-Noon, I will be at the booth to talk Kaiju and doodle in your sketchbook if you like 😉 Oh I’ll have along some of my drawings and small paintings if you want to see them ;-P
Plus, we will be offering the first fully painted Kaiju Dualos !! This came out great and was cast in Flesh vinyl by Shimizu-san and painted in Japan.
And lets not forget a brand new Lady Maxx in glamorous Purple
Also mini Kaiju Dragigus and Drazorus, painted by myself on glow in dark vinyl.
Of course there will be some one offs, hand painted customs from Mark Nagata ;-P Please note these are a first come, first served … so I can not guarantee you will get the customs you may want …
And if all goes well I will be sneak peeking 2 upcoming new toy releases, including a Max Toy x Konatsu Kaiju called Negora !!! 怪獣 ネゴラ and 大魚付き !!!
Oh and stop by the DKE booth #4728 to see a upcoming Kaiju Dualos painted proto I will have on display .. done up in beautiful Monster Kolor paints 😉 I’ll be hand painting these myself …haha …I’ll have to summon up all my powers to paint them
(> <) but i think you'll like 'em 😉
See you all soon, I’m looking forward to talking to old friends and new ones !!!!!
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.”