I’m sounding like an old man and a broken record ! Too much going on at Max Toys right now .. Oh it’s ALL good, in fact great .. I feel my horoscope is kicking into over drive ( I’m a Pieces ) so cosmically i’m riding the wave baby ! Which brings me to the first piece of news and that’s the upcoming Toy Karma 3 show at Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago ! We have this show every other year .. which if I’m doing the math right it’s been nearly 6 years since we started doing these ? Gah ! curated by myself and my right hand man in Japan, Yo Miyamoto, I think we have one of the strongest shows to date. I do want to briefly say it was not an easy task to come up with the final list .. and for sure not everyone we wanted to join in could ;-( I’m not kidding in the fact that the full lists from Rotofugi and myself would have exceeded 200+ artists. Below is the official post card image and banners .. I hope you can help spread the word on this show. More info will also be posted on the Toy Karma web site : http://www.toykarma.rotofugi.com/
Here’s a quick step by step of one of the custom pieces i did for the Toy Karma show .. a Winged Kaiju Eyezon !
Basically this is a big sized version of the Neo Eyezon. Using that as a guide i cut out the wings from foam core and traced where they would be o the back of the Eyezon.
Once i had the pattern i heat up the back and using a sharp xacto blade cut slots into the back. I placed each foam core wing in the slots and glued them with epoxy glue.
Once dry I mixed up some Aves Apoxie Sculpt and started covering the wings. The first layer would be to cover the foam core and to add strength to where they meet the back of the figure.
Sculpted in the eye on the palms of the figure …
adding some ropey veins .. and despite using foam core the wings were too heavy for the figure to stand .. so i filled the legs with more apoxie sculpt. But in the end the figure needs to be slightly tilted forward while he stands to counter balance the weight of the wings.
after some minor sanding and drying overnight the figure was ready to be painted. Having worked off a white based figure i needed to base coat the figure with Monster Kolor black paint.
Followed by sprays of silver and c-thru colors, red, orange, yellow, pink, blue …
and finally color change and a final coating of gloss coat to seal in the paint plus bring out all the glittery effects.
and even though this is not me spray coating this particular figure ( its the Kaiju Dualos ) it is the same process of spraying down the figure.
This figure and much more from many talented artists will be for sale at Rotofugi Gallery on Sept 10th, 2011. I’ll be traveling to Chicago so hope to see you all there !
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.”