Max Toy UpDates Wonder Con show

Only about a week and a half until I leave for Tokyo, Japan ! Still have a few more customs to finish and a couple of small paintings .. which at this point I may or may not even bother to complete ;-P I’ll post a blog about the show in the next day or so ….
While only March, I feel like the year is so full .. well, you’ll see as the rest of the year plays out For sure exciting stuff to be revealed !

Just got back from Wonder Con in Anaheim, California … this convention is usually in San Francisco. Nicely located next to several hotels and close to Disneyland… I only went to the con Saturday, but it felt larger and more well attended than previous cons. It was cold and rainy most the day but the fans packed the place.

Here’s some random pics .. enjoy !

Drove down on Friday … Super yummy Tri Tip dip sandwich from Harris Ranch .. this is along Highway 5 driving down to LA ….

Lucky us we got stuck in LA traffic for over an hour … but we made it to Disneyland using night time tickets .. what a great idea and the price was right … I’ve been going to Disneyland my whole life .. 48 years worth ! Feels just like home 😉

We ate at the Blue Bayou which is the restaurant you see while your on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride …
Had surf and turf … 😉

Saturday was set aside for Wonder Con .. needless to say Max knew what he was looking for and dove in ;-P and no, he does not collect Kaiju … really why would he ? He’s surrounded by it !A very nice surprise was running into talented artist and toy maker Erick Scarecrow … super nice guy !

My score was this 70s original Marvel Comics page from Captain America comic book by Golden Age artist Frank Robbins … funny thing is back in the day I collected Captain America and when Robbins took over doing the art I hated his style .. but now that I’m older I actually love his style or maybe it’s that I’ve come to appreciate his draftsmanship ;-P Either way the original page is a beauty to behold in person.
Later, we had a flaming dessert … and it almost got outta hand …!
Yes the side of my head felt the heat … ! VOOSHHH !!!
Driving back to SF we stopped by Andersen’s for their split pea soup .. always yummy !

Max opted for his in a bread bowl … these new kids !
So the question is would I go back if they held it again next year in Southern California ? For me the answer would be .. Yes 😉 It was kinda like what San Diego Comic Con use to be .. before it became too big and to me, soulless … here’s hoping this con stays this size and we can enjoy it as is.

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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