Photos are great … but there is still no substitute for seeing a piece of art in person or even holding it in your hand. That said the first time I laid eyes and hands on a Todd Robertson customized Kaiju I got that excited feeling inside that of late has been missing … to back track a bit, I’m a long time collector of Japanese toys … over 20 years now .. and lets just say it takes a lot to make me stand up and notice a new toy or artist. I get this feeling from Todd’s work and his 2 newest creations .. while I don’t have them in hand just yet ( but will in a matter of days will) … I’m already getting excited about !!!
So the challenge this time was to customize two Max Toy Kaiju Dualos figures ..these were cast in clear vinyl with Mega Glitter. I’ve painted a few and the denseness of the glitter really makes it tough to paint .. plus you have to decide if you want to use opaque paint and cover the glitter … on top of that I wondered what choices Todd would make in placing his mecha parts … as you can see from the following photos Todd hit a home run on both !
This first one retains the Dualos look from the front. I like the color combinations he’s using here, if you look closely there’s a mix of opaque and transparent paints he’s using … but you can also see a hint of whats happening in the back…
.. as a tube and hose peek out …
oh wow ! The mecha parts are laid out to perfection.. look at how the coils lead your eye to the tubes and hoses …
In this example, Todd doesn’t just pile on the mecha parts .. but carefully weaves a mechanical tapestry … following the original arms and legs ….
but not so much as to totally lose the original sculpts. This is the key to Todd’s technique and his talent.
Todd uses Monster Kolor paints .. and I know your sick of me saying this, but you really have to see stuff painted with Monster Kolor paint in person .. the glitter and color change effects are amazing… and the depth to the colors just don’t come thru in photos.
Both of these one of a kind customs will be for sale via the Max Toy web store in a few days for $450.00 each. I can say without any doubt that both will be sold out very quickly. I’ll tweet a brief heads up before they go live ( @maxtoyco )
Whoever buys these will be adding true works of art to their collections ! Todd’s represented by Lot F Gallery in Boston, be sure and check out his additional work as well as his paintings too !
and last but not least .. this fantastic video showing a time lapse of Todd creating these art works !
Mecha Dualos Project – Todd Robertson from Lot F Gallery on Vimeo.
all pictures / video courtesy of Lot F Gallery / Todd Robertson
Todd Robertson web site : http://www.mechavirus.com/
Lot F Gallery : http://www.lotFgallery.com
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 Uncategorized
. Bookmark the permalink