As mentioned in our Ray Skull coverage last week, Nama Niku is the latest out of the blocks with his H.U.S.T.L.E Wave 1 Artist Proofs, proudly presenting the long awaited ‘Kinkeshi Flesh’ Mekamess! Undeniably one of the most popular designs from the first batch of figures, the MechaGodzilla kit-bash has been cast up in the original, lighter kinkeshi flesh colour by our very own Tru:Tek using a flexible urethane rubber (check out a comparison shot here). Limited to just 5 pieces, 4 of which have already been taken for, the remaining figure is now available through board auction over at LRG. Donated by Nama Niku to help fund a new hard drive for the popular mini figure forum, interested parties can review and post their bid right here– be sure to head over soon though, bidding finishes at 6pm Pacific time this Sunday, May 5th!
Blurble is proud to present his latest custom series, the amazing Melt Wizards! In a collaborative effort with Monsterarm (Honkeylips to his Instagram follower!), the set of 4 custom Munnys have been given Monsterarm’s signature “melt” makeover, whilst Blurble was on hand to paint the 4.5″ tall figures up with the usual Toxic Kaiju flair. Coming covered in glowing magical goo, 3 standard editions will be joined by a one-off rainbow face design (because as Blurble says, rainbow faces are awesome!). Priced at just $45 plus shipping, each piece will be sold blind-bagged, coming headed with stickers. Be sure to head over to the Toxic Kaiju store (soon to be Toxic Vinyl) this Friday (June 1st) at 10am PST to be in with a chance of securing yours…
As massive fans of Monsterarm’s work, it comes with great honour to reveal that he is set to create some custom Kaiju Melts using our very own resin skulls! A set of 3 aluminium variants are currently winging their way over to the artist at the moment, so we hope to post you guys the results in the next month or so! Stay tuned for more info soon…
MAD and Pobber Toys have revealed the latest addition to the Mork family, the Art Attack Toys exclusive ‘Dr Morkenstein’. Featuring a sleek black and white colour scheme with gloss detailing, the vinyl figure comes with the words ‘Danger’ and ‘Beware’ emblazoned on his gloves and make-shift helmet. Limited to just 50 pieces, Dr Morkenstein will be available from the Art Attack Toys site from April 1st for just $79.95 plus shipping…
Hot off the heels of the Valentines Tetsujin Turtle release, Peter Kato is gearing up for another couple of releases this February in the form of Man-Nie and Fright Bite ‘Jet Black’. Whilst information is still scarce regarding the latest Fright Bite edition, Peter has confirmed that Man-Nie will be going on sale in his shop shortly after Valentines day at $10 each. Revealed at last year’s NYCC, Man-Nie went on to sell out within a matter of moments, so we’re stoked to see him make a return…
(A batch shot of Man-Nies made for NYCC 2011)
Peter has kindly given us a little background on the figure-
As a kid watching He-Man, that episode staring Man-E-Face, I always wondered, “What the heck does he look like under that helmet?” With that inspiration I started sculpting him. I imagined he would need to be represented as a youth before getting all buffed-out( which seemed to be a Eternian requirement), and I imagined him as a country bumpkin , classic farm-boy strong & kind-hearted who had dreams of being a great actor in the ” big city.” I also thought this was a tough time for him because he seemed so strange with three faces & each face having something to say made him a bit of an indecisive youth.
(Man-Nie Side by side with some M.U.S.C.L.E.S.)
When it came to actually casting out the figures at first I imagined I would hand-paint the details for the whole figure. I started with a fleshy base color since he was mostly naked ( I chose pinky-flesh versus the tan-color skin he has as an adult because I imagined that look came when he started working out & stuff). But as I looked at the fleshy figure I realized it had that perfect M.U.S.C.L.E.S (Kinnikuman) look to it & I decided to keep them as is.
An interesting point in the sculpt : the left hand is an open hand with fingers spread wide. I didn’t think about it at the time that as i made the mold for the finger that that would make the molding process difficult, so as simple as the figure is the left hand makes it a bit of a molding/casting nightmare. But I’m glad I did it because I imagined him to be a lefty, like me.
Early sculpting shots, this must have been around September of 2011. All started with hand sculpted wax/clay mixture. This figure took me about a week & a half to build up & finish. I usually work on two things at once to break up any monotony ( early FrightBite sculpt on the left).
Last week Richard Page over at UME Toys revealed teasers of his latest collaboration with Run DMB and Jon Paul Kaiser in the form of the tentatively titled Project X. Mentioning on his twitter feed that he’d be heading down to last night’s Fatcap series 3 launch with said prototype in hand, I took the opportunity to hunt the ‘toy messiah’ down and find out a little more about the project.
As you can see from the rather blurry photos (stupid iPhone camera…), Project X had a little trouble in transit, but Rich was still kind enough to let us in on a few details on the upcoming release. Standing at around 5″ tall, the beautifully tactile figure is set to come with 3 points of articulation (arms and neck) and a refined head sculpt (Rich hinted that the creature will come with a pointier chin).
No news yet as to colourways, edition size, or pricing, but we’ll bring you more info as soon as it hits…
Originally cutting his teeth in the art toy scene through his infamous array of custom Munnys and MadLs on the KR forums, the legendary Motorbot has since gone on to become one of the most respected artists in the underground toy movement today. The last few years have seen him develop skills as a toy designer/creator alongside his stellar custom work, resulting in several successful, completely self made resin toy lines, including the instantly recognisable Tiny Teeth mini blind bagged series, their bigger brother Treature Erectus, and the “They Live” inspired Astro Zombies.
We were lucky enough to grab some time away from the work bench with the man himself, to discuss future plans, the current state of the art toy scene, and of course, those notorious teeth…
(Various Motorbot customs, available to purchase through the Deadbear store here)
What first got you into the art toy scene and toys in general? Do you have any fond memories of a particular toy when you were growing up?
I just stumbled into the toy scene. I was a lurker on the kidrobot message boards back in ’05 and decided to try customizing a toy. After my second or third toy, people were asking to buy them and were commissioning me to customize other toys. It snowballed from there.
I was a Transformers and He-Man nerd growing up. I think my Optimus Prime was probably my favorite toy growing up.
(Motorbot/Deadbear Studios’ first release, the Maw)
You have been cited by many as their inspiration for getting into the “indie” art toy scene, but who or what influences you? Are there any artists in or outside toys that have helped inspire your work?
Inspiring people to get into toys is honestly one of the biggest compliments I could receive. It’s easy to feel like no one is interested in what you do, but to know that your art makes others want to create provides a deep level of satisfaction. As for my influences, I’ve realized lately that the people who first inspired me to start drawing are the ones that come through in my work. Sam Keith was my idol back during the days of the Maxx, and I can see a lot of his influence in the things I make.
I do have some artist friends that inspire me. Johnnycrap is so prolific I’ve been inspired to start drawing regularly again. I have no aspirations to draw on his level but seeing him constantly working on things pushes me to draw. Luke from Lulubell keeps me working too. He is a machine cranking out vinyl and I feel bad taking a night off knowing he’s pouring vinyl somewhere.
(Tiny Teeth by Motorbot/Deadbear Studios)
Your “tiny teeth” range of toys, including the treature, hunch, goober and erectus figures have become one of your most recognizable lines. How did the teeth idea come about?
About 4 years ago I came up with the concept of the Maw. It was just an idea I had that involved this creature that was all fur an teeth. I can’t really remember what sparked it, but that was the first time I messed around with making teeth. I explored the concept over several platforms and eventually it kind of morphed into the tiny teeth series. The teeth remained from the maw but the fur became weird wrinkly skin. I can already see the whole theme moving forward with some of the pieces I’m working on right now. I’m incorporating multiple mouths on each creature and it’s getting interesting.
(Various chase figures from Motorbot’s Tiny Teeth range)
Since the bottom of the industry fell out a few years ago, more designers/sculptors have been casting and releasing work independently. How do you see the future panning out? Do you think we’ll ever see the huge production houses rise again, or is the more personal nature of handmade, strictly limited art toys a healthier option for the ultimately niche industry?
I think the smaller run handmade stuff will continue to grow. It won’t surpass the factory made stuff but it will hold its own. It feels a lot like the early days of the vinyl scene. There are so many artists discovering that they can make things on their own terms. They can take risks that big companies never will. For under $100 you can sculpt and cast your own figure, and if you sell a handful you make up your costs. Every figure won’t be a success, but they don’t all have to be.
The big companies may see a rise but I don’t think it will be anytime soon. People don’t have the cash to constantly buy new releases. Even though the scene has rebounded it’s still far from where it was 5 years ago. People aren’t as willing to part with their money. In the end I think the rise of the handmade scene will benefit the larger companies because they’ll have a crop of artists with followings that they can work with.
(Treature Erectus by Motorbot/Deadbear Studios)
What plans do you have for the future? Are you working on any new lines, or will you be developing your current ones further? Any more customs in the pipeline?
I plan on continuing with the current line of figures. I like the direction it’s moving in. I do plan on doing more customs too. They are a nice break from making original stuff. They kind of cleanse the pallet and help move my ideas along. I have a solo show in early 2013 that I’ll start working on soon. I want to have somewhere between 30 and 40 pieces ready for it.
(Astro/They Live Zombies by Motorbot/Deadbear Studios)
We’d like to give a massive thanks to Motorbot for taking the time out to speak to us, please check out his store for regular updates, limited seasonal runs, and some of the best custom commissions in the industry…