Upcoming Gallery Shows Mark Nagata / Max Toy

Somehow I’ve managed to break my New Years resolution of pulling back on work and saying “No” … haha ! In my defense I do say “No” .. but i guess not enough to make me feel like I’m taking it easy .. as i am not. Oh well, it’s all good and besides the challenge that each show or collab brings to the table .. i’m still having “Fun” and the Kaiju Train keeps moving along.

While most of the info in this blog has been posted via my Twitter feed ( @maxtoyco ) or on the Max Toy web site ( http://www.maxtoyco.com ) I thought I’d include two recent projects and some in process shots to go along with them.

First up we have Gara-Eyezon !!! This is for the upcoming show at FOE Gallery & store called Garamaniacal. A show as a homage to the classic Japanese monster character, Garamon.

I’m fond of taking my character Kaiju Eyezon and turning him into something else … so this was a no brainer if you will. Once I got an invite to be in the show.. the image of Gara-Eyezon was in my mind and I knew what to do ;-P

I hallmark of Garamon are his many spikes .. while I could have gone crazy and made tons of them I decided for my sanity that less is more. I knew just sculpting them and gluing them onto the soft vinyl was not a good long term solution .. much too fragile ..
so i cut slots into the figure and inserted the cardboard spikes …and epoxy glued them into place. Meanwhile, using Aves Apoxie Sculpt I begin roughing in the spikes over the cardboard.below, comparing my spikes to a far more masterful version .. ah well.. i try my best …
To break up the sameness of the surface textures I dabbed on some acrylic sand texture onto the spikes.
I had sculpted a tail but after inserting it .. somehow was too small … so i decided to re-sculpt it.below the newer version ..haha, bigger in this case is better, I think. Also longer toenails were sculpted too.
The biggest challange for me was to come up with a color scheme that did not over power my figure but still would move the eye around it and of course keep the Garamon red colors.
Using Monster Kolor paint I base coated the figure with red, gold and yellow.more spraying of black, white for eyes, and gold for the horns … and a coating of Color Change coating …
Finally, a nice coating of Glossy Clear Coat .. this is where the magic happens ! ;-P
I had to hold myself back from adding too many colors and such .. but over all i think a good color spray to compliment the added spikes and such .. while keeping the Garamon feeling.Next up, is this custom Kaiju Drazoran with kit bashed vinyl wings. The show is the Year of the Dragon show at Giant Robot 2 in Los Angeles. The theme is Dragons ( really ? ) .. and much like the Gara-Eyezon I instantly knew what I was going to do. Now to paint the Drazoran was easy but I thought he’d look more Dragon like with wings ..and after having sculpted wings from scratch for any Eyezon for Toy Karma 3, I decided best to look for wings somewhere .. and right by my foot was a beat up CCP Ghidorah figure .. with wings perfect for the job ;-P
Starting with black cast vinyl Drazoran ….

I carved out round holes in the vinyl to fit the wings .. a small amount of gap was left but not too bad …I epoxied the wings and used Apoxie Sculpt once again to blend the areas around the wing base plus added some fins to the back.
above, base coated the figure with Monster Kolor black and carbon for a slight subtle change in darks..you can’t see it in the pics .. but gives it a bit more depth …

I laid in sliver over the whole figure and glazed in various c-thru colors, red, pink, orange, yellow, light blue …
next few shots you can see how the piece is beginning to “Pop” .. as the various c-thru colors are layered in …
Once the colors are done, i take the critter inside and hand paint the eyes, teeth and sign the foot. A coating of color change and …It’s subtle but if you look at the head I’ve added extra horns. Just a small touch to bring your eyes upward and plus adding to the custom nature of the piece.

The final step the Clear Coat .. and the figure is done ! My Dragon.. kinda a merge of Japanese monster Dragon and Western style …!
So there you have my most recent gallery pieces … you can contact the galleries for more info. I’m also in the middle of customizing many Kaiju Negora for my two person show with artist Konatsu in Tokyo March 31-April 1st, 2012. I’ll report more as we get closer to that fun event and others in the works ;-P

Yes… i mean “NO” haha… I’m still working like a Kaiju madman !

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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