Max Toy UpDate March 2012

I’m only about 2 weeks away from my Japan trip and have so much to do before I leave. A couple of updates while i have a few minutes to post this …

First up, fellow long time Japanese Toy collector and Youth Programs Coordinator, Science Instructor, Archaeologist and Flint-Knapper for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Mark Kollecker, just sent me these pics of his collection, which is part of a larger traveling show called Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, and Mermaids (http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/mythiccreatures/).

Mark had this to say about the exhibit: ” This is a very cool exhibit created by the American Museum of Natural History which focuses on the natural history origins of many mythic creatures and their place in history and importance to many cultures around the world. I was asked to curate a display of some of my toys as part of our installation. Our exhibit design team created a wonderful new entrance way to our traveling exhibit hall and installed a display case which will also be used for future exhibits. I, however, am the first to use it.

I was asked to select “biological” creatures as opposed to “mechanical” ones; to make it look like a crowded Japanese toy store; and was limited to 8 inches in depth for the shelves. I decided to feature Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman, and modern makers. My last shelf was going to be miscellaneous but when I started pulling SpectreMan kaiju, I could not stop.

I am so pleased with the final outcome. The exhibit runs through 1 July. If you find yourself in Clevo, please stop by and have a look. “

Yay ! Max Toys ;-D !!!


Now if only the whole exhibit was filled with toys like this ( haha ) !



Drool .. 😉 Top shelf has some really nice Spectreman vinyls, while the bottom one has classic Ultraman and Ultra Q figures 😉( pictures courtesy of Mark Kollecker )

Many thanks to Mark for including Max Toys in his display and if you are in the Cleveland area for sure make a trip to the museum and check out the exhibit !

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Ok a few quick reminders that the Mandarake Kaiju Dualos goes on sale March 17th, via this link – http://www.mandarake.co.jp/information/newopen/sapporo/sofvi2.html
They will take USA orders as long as stock holds out, so give it a try !

My art show with artist and designer of Kaiju Negora, Konatsu is March 31st – April 1st, 2012, at Design Festa Gallery, Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan. I’ll make a blog about it before I go .. but hope to see friends and fans in Japan very soon !

And April 14th, at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, I’ll be appearing as part of their Target Free Family Saturday. The theme is Monsters .. I’ll be making an informal show and tell about Kaiju and the process used to make Kaiju toys.

I’ve been asked if I will sell any toys and I think I can .. we are working it out now .. so i will update as we get closer to this event.

OK well I was going to take 2012 easier … but somehow it seems to be busier … hmmm.. how’d that happen ? Wait till you hear about what is planned for later this year ;-P !!!

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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