Max Toy Year End UpDates 2011

I usually don’t do end of the year reviews or updates .. but after having updated this image above on my Max Toy Company web site was struck by how much really does happen in a year.

That little boy that was Max is no more … he’s now on his way towards adulthood and all the wonderful stuff that has in store for him ;-P We’re lucky that Max is a good guy and having grown up with his Peter Pan father, will always retain that childlike spark. And yes he’s only about 3 inches shy of being my height .. so it’s safe to assume he’ll be taller 😉 but seeing this picture side by side really struck home the changes this past year.

I had a conversation recently about what I’ve done career wise since art school .. and I guess I’ve done and experienced quite a bit. I actually don’t look back much and prefer to keep moving forward .. I’ll let some else sort out what if anything I may have contributed to illustration or art toys. The one common thread I could see is each of my careers would lead to another related experience, building towards my current vocation as Japanese Kaiju toy maker / artist / Ultraman toy collector / Kaiju promoter 😉

But I never started out thinking this would be my path … looking back all signs point in this direction, but that’s hindsight.

Another interesting observation I saw was my role as Kaiju promoter is very Jazz-like .. in that I like surround myself with fellow artists and we play off each others toy riffs and such … while I may guide the general rhythm or direction … I hopefully allow enough room for improvisation and play by the artist. While sales are important for both myself and the artist, I always stress that we should be having Fun .. really if we are not, well what’s the point ?

Oh and I’m not foolish enough to think this is what I’ll be doing 10 or 20 years from now either .. the reality is you really need to be flexible in Life … be willing to try new things and keep your eyes peeled for new horizons. Not to say I wouldn’t mind making toys forever ;-D

So what will Max do with his life ? Will he follow in my footsteps and become an artist or toy maker ?!?

I have no idea ;-P …while he enjoys toys and creating, my hope is that he can follow his own bliss where ever that takes him in life. If it’s art related that’s great, if not he knows his parents will always fully support and Love him 1000%.

Thanks everyone for a wonderful 2011, and here’s to 2012 !

I wish you all lots of Toy Karma !!!

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.”
This entry was posted in custom toys, Japanese toys, kaiju, mark nagata, Max Toy, Max Toy Company, soft vinyl. Bookmark the permalink.

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