Debuting this Friday, August 2, 2012 via the Max Toy web site is Lady Vengeance by artist / sculptor Jay222 ! It’s been a long road to finally get this figure done in soft vinyl in Japan.
Once I announced this project I’ve gotten a few reactions to this project and mostly folks are .. “but you do Kaiju .. this isn’t a Kaiju !” Well they are correct but for anyone who knows me I grew up loving Universal Monsters and like lots of kids wanted to grow up to do special effects make up .. case in point this picture of me at age 10 … as a skeleton zombie thing …
I’m not sure why I’m wearing my PJs .. but any ways you get the point …
So as i looked at Jay’s work i thought he’d be able to pull off something different for Max Toys that we have not done to this point. Jay’s idea was a creepy, zombie like girl and I was fully behind this. He started with these two head sculpts below … I liked both directions so he decided to proceed with both, so we could pick one when he was done.
In the meantime, I drew up a quick rough image of what this girl might look like in a more realistic form .. apologies to anime Revy here ;-P
Jay finished up both figures and cast them in resin below. Between the two I was really liking the taller version with the skin mask on. And true to Jay’s talent, there are lots of great details all over the figure .. textures and surfaces … my only concern at this point was could his sculpt translate to soft vinyl ? Not every sculpture can be made directly into soft vinyl … there’s the part break downs and the iron molds are sometimes an issue with under cuts and areas where air bubbles can crop up.
But despite my concerns I felt we should move forward and try to keep as much of Jay’s sculpture in as pure a form as possible.
More views of the final sculpture … you can sense the different textures of cloth, leather, metal , hair … !
Jay had to make a cut at the neck, making two pieces for the wax to be made. This part was a bit tough, but he did it and I took these with me to Japan to hand over to sculptor Makino-san.
Below, the final wax figure ( head and body ) by Makino-san of TTToys in Japan. This is what is given the iron molds factory. The factory will place the flange on the neck was well.
The mold process can take any where from 4 days to a week depending on the over all size of the figure. Once the mold was done it’s sent to Master vinyl caster, Shimizu-san , who will test the mold by generating test shots of the figure. At this stage he can see if there’s any issues with how he pulls it out of the mold or air bubbles being trapped into parts of the figure. We had some minor issues with the feet, but for the time being it seems to be something he can work around ;-P
Above, Jay created this cool art and logo of Lady V .. you know your too old when you simply can not read this text .. haha .. but I liked it !
Using Jay’s direction to make the header look old and worn with some blood on it .. I proceed to make the header card.
Finally, the finished soft vinyl figure of Lady Vengeance !!!! Standing 4.5 inches tall !!!
Check out the details Jay puts into his sculpts … they still hold up in the vinyl form …
Seeing a figure in vinyl form never gets old for me .. and as you hold it you realize that all the hard work, emails, shipping and meetings has resulted in this collectible figure in your hands !
Above: the figure bagged with header card .. not too bad 😉 So after months of hard work all around the figure will go on sale tomorrow. As with all of our figures the supplies are limited and sold on a first come, first served basis. Thanks for the support and I think you’ll like Lady Vengeance !!!
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.”