San Diego Comic Con 2011 Max Toy / Mark Nagata Wrap Up !

Comic Con 2011 is now fini … and as i look back at this years con, I have to say it was way too much packed into one crazy day !

You’ll notice a lack of toy and actual convention pics this time around. Mostly cause I was having meetings with artists and/or simply trying to enjoy myself rather than pulling out my camera or phone every two seconds to take a picture. One day is not enough time, and I never made it to several booths on my list… oh well, next year.
This was the 3rd time this year I’ve made the trip down south .. the other two times were for Disneyland and the Alien Argus show at Toy Art Gallery. Going farther down south to San Diego adds another 1.5-2 hours depending on traffic to a 6 hour car ride. Highway 5 is the chosen route and the most direct .. but as you can see is mostly dry farmland for the bulk of the drive… yawn …

After meeting up with family, we made our way to Chick-Fil-A for tasty chicken burgers and soup .. today we were greeted by their mascot Cow … Moo …get it they don’t serve beef, so the Cow sez eat more chicken ..haha …

The view from our hotel was very nice and if I told you it was Hawaii, you might believe me ;-P

With box full of Max Toy goodies, we make our way to the convention center to meet up with Kirby of Rotofugi fame …

Kirby and crew are kind enough to not only sell this stuff but host me the next day at their booth. As you can see, i should be lifting with my legs and NOT my back .. oops !
We gave each other a man hug, which was photographed but I decided not to post it (!) Haha … !

Jump to Thursday morning and my family and myself made our way to check in, get our badges for Comic Con. This process was very fast and easy .. getting tickets for next year was not and needless to say we did not get any. I’m thankful for all the long time Max Toy collectors who came out to support me as well as many new faces. Actually I’m rather surprised at all the new faces that did show up … I was amazed that practically all my customs had sold on preview night, so there wasn’t much to show in the display case.

I brought along some new minis, this Cat Kaiju called Negora is by Japanese women artist Konatsu .. I’ll blog more about this project later in the week, but needless to say it’s going to be awesome !! Meow !!

and of course this micro Kaiju Eyezon .. we are making whats called a mashi-gata mold, basically many figures on one mold for production. Plus paint masks 😉 Should be ready end of August, and at a nice retail price.

Ok my main rant for this con was the awful line Max and I waited in to pick up a toy we pre bought online from Matty Collector ( Mattel ) web store. Thinking this would save us time and trouble .. Oh boy we were soooo wrong. In fact, it sucked up almost an hour of our time. Just finding the darn place which was in the hotel next door was a challenge … at one point we waited in the wrong line only to have the guy at the door look at my email confirmation and say, “..whats this ? ” Idiot … we found the right line and it appeared that everyone around us must have been dealers as they picked up cart loads of stuff… us… we had one figure to pick up.. and the woman took one look at us and said, “thats it ?” ;-P
I won’t be doing this again .. my time is more valuable, and I’ll gladly pay a dealer for the figure next time to gain my hour plus back.

I briefly caught a glimpse of the DKE both, where some Max Toys were on view along with this soon to be offered Kaiju Dualos.

The main purpose of the trip though, was a family reunion and vacation.. so off to the beaches we went … nice weather…

I looked down and found this Kaiju in the sand next to me ,haha … must be destiny …

at the hotel by the pool, some much needed relaxing times … my pale legs .. soon to be burnt to a crisp …

We made our way to a big shopping area right on the border with San Diego and Mexico.. in fact was the last USA exit (!) With my nephews ( and Max ) now teenagers, the shopping has now turned to clothes ! Mostly skater types of styles … I did manage to buy a new watch ;-P
From this location you can actually see Russia … I mean Mexico ;-P


I had the most amazing Napoleon dessert in Little Italy ….


and near my sisters, I had to pick up some Choco bars 😉

I love Palm Trees …

with that the trip was over and we headed back … the temp topped 101 degrees on the way back home !!!

my burnt forehead made me look like Sinestro …

Seeing the windmill, meant it was time for Anderson’s Pea Soup !

After traveling this route between Northern and Southern California for 47 years, it was good to see some things have not changed… slurp….!

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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