toys


In 2010, Lego will be releasing a series of blind-boxed minifigures.

Yes, that is a zombie, raygun wielding astronaut, and a robot. Holy crap. When I finally put together Fallingwater, I think that a zombie invasion of the premises is practically inevitable at this point.

These are things I like this week :

LEGO Fallingwater. Barnes & Noble had it in stock, they were offering free shipping, and I get a discount. I’ve wanted it for a long, long time now. I finally bit the bullet and bought it. One day, when I have a fancy office, this will go on a shelf of its own.

I also love the 3A WWRp robot sets. They’re insanely expensive, the customer service sucks, and they’re hard to get because the info is so sparse and inconsistent, but I still love them.


I also really dig this robot with a giant eyeball for a head, because all robots should have giant eyeball heads.

I spent the better part of this afternoon unloading boxes from a moving truck – this gargantuan beast that I found in my parking spot when I arrived home today with a giant yellow spider emblazoned across the side, peeking in through the garage windows like some amazing B-movie every time I stepped outside. The garage is a precarious labyrinth of cardboard boxes that are buckling in every direction, and I anticipate the sound of a crash at any moment as things topple under the unrelenting, indifferent fist of physics. They’re not mine. I just hope that they don’t hit anything of mine on the way down. Two hours of carefully picking out footsteps across an icy walkway while carrying an excess of televisions and more clothing than I have owned in a lifetime, and I am exhausted.

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I’ve always wanted to have a piece in The Dirty Show. I’m not sure why, because it has so many pieces that I’d never be noticed, and I don’t think there’s any criteria to prevent the unskilled masses from slapping whatever boobs they felt like onto the gallery wall, and I’m generally disgusted by the whole gallery scene anyhow – but I started messing with ideas for the show today during lunch.

Two words : erotic marquetry. Laser-cut, stained in various shades, with particular areas of the anatomy painted in intense detail in acrylic to make it stand out from the basic shapes surrounding it. Going to experiment with the techniques before I get too into anything, but I like where the idea is going.

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I bought this. The combination of skull / translucence completely won me over. I’ve usually just seen this artist’s work as a cheap misappropriation of The Misfits’ logo (unless these are being produced by the original artist – I couldn’t discern, despite my best efforts), which itself was ‘borrowed’ from an old horror movie poster.

This, limited to 66 pieces, also comes with underpants and chocolate.

I’m trying to do something important every day. Or at least something that can potentially build towards the life that I really want – contacting publications, applying for better jobs, finishing projects. Anything that I can call a landmark, in any small way. I’m keeping a record of these things in Google’s calendar function.

Today, shots from the studio-ette, which may or may not be mine for much longer.

star_wars_galaxy_5_sketch

These are the Star Wars Galaxy Series 5 trading cards that I’m being asked to destroy with my art-things. I’ve been doing sketches of the sketches I want to do, and I think that I’ll go with my first inclination – nothing too cute, but definitely something kinda geometric, and a shot of color, and a series of intricate lines… you’ll see. They’ll all see. This whole thing is surreal to me. Star Wars. Me. Official merchandise.

The other thing I’m working on is a piece for the Droplet Series 2 release show in Bristol, in the UK – another show that I was invited to participate in, rather than had to beg to be in.

droplet_series_two_WIP

I’ve got the blank Droplets, and I’ve got the sculpted face. I tore the hands off of a bunch of old wrestling figures that my estranged father sent me a few years back – his own weird way of saying ‘hello’, I guess. We didn’t maintain contact, once again, and I never thought I’d have any use for a mess of weird, dirty old wrestling toys, but my tendency to hang onto everything and extract every possible use from it has paid off. These are far sturdier than any hands that I could sculpt, which is an absolute necessity after having so many toys break in the mail this past year.

I wanted to include some tendrils and stuff, but again, I’ve had to adjust my style to suit traveling across an ocean. I plan on assembling it all (perhaps with a bunch of arrowheads sticking out of it also), painting it up all coppery and verdigris, and accentuating the human (and inhuman) details with fleshtones. I guess I have a recurring theme of sticking old man faces onto things when I send them off to toy shows. This one is markedly more cartoonish.

I’m kinda happy with what I’m seeing in my mind with all of this.

I’ve sent out 20 postcards and two or three e-mails to publications who might want to hire an artist. There’s an exciting Threadless contest for $10,000 this month, as well as a New Yorker Contest to interpret Eustace Tilley, and yet another ‘self portrait’ contest that entitles with winner to 6 months of free rent in an amazing building in Williamsburgh – which is exactly what I need to get my art on for serious.

It’s 2AM, and my hands just get tired and shaky when it gets this late, so no more art for me, but the ideas are coming together, and it’s going to be an incredibly busy month for art. Wish me luck.

January 1st : I was invited to participate in an official, honest-to-god, George Lucas approved Star Wars trading card art project. My art will appear in random packs of Star Wars Galaxy V trading card packs. Details to follow, but this is the biggest gig I’ve ever scored, in terms of exposure.

January 2nd : Spent the day in the city with a lovely lady. Sushi, toy shopping, dessert.

I don’t recall the name of the place where we had dessert. I was still full from gorging on sushi, so I just ordered a ‘peach nectar’, which was pretty much one of those tiny bottles of thick, dark-colored liquid that you wouldn’t touch at a dollar store, but in a fancy glass with a lot of ice. It was delicious, anyhow. Behind us, a 20-something actor was doing his best exuberant Woody Allen impression at his laptop, ordering hot cocoas for everyone at his table, and at some point, running off and flailing as if infuriated. After this happened two or three times, we were clearly suspicious.

At first, I presumed that he was just a hipster jerkoff, because we WERE in SoHo, after all. You can’t walk two feet without tripping on one. His affectations became so pronounced that we began to assume that he had some severe form of Aspergers. We theorized that he was out with his drama club and couldn’t get out of character. We thought that maybe this was some kind of hidden camera show. We didn’t know what to think after a while. It was fascinating and surreal to watch this absurdist performance.

On the way out, I nudged a waitress and asked what the story was, if only to find out if I’d have to watch for my face on MTV’s Boiling Points in the nest few months. The Woody Allen-ite was actually a player in a guided tour of NYC, and he was playing the role of a NYU student at a hip dessert bar. He’d interact with the tour groups, talk about the area in weird and hilarious detail, and guide the group to their next destination before stumbling off in freakout mode. It was amazing.

This whole experience was a few moments after a tall, skinny white guy was hoisted by his lapels and thrown out of some weird-looking establishment near Houston by a tough looking black guy, yelling ‘I don’t care what you do! Go die in the street!’, missing me by about a foot.

I napped on the Hudson Line, and every random song that came over my headphones felt perfect, all day, even if I’d never heard it before.

January 3rd has a lot to live up to.

There is a reason I’ve always felt a sense of deep geek-shame when I’ve walked into a toy store looking for a new Batman. There’s a stereotype of toy-collecting geeks that, unfortunately, rings true in many cases. I might even fit some of the outward appearance cliches, but I assure you – I bathe, I can carry on a conversation, I’ve had girlfriends, I’ve seen them naked, and yes, they were hot as hell, and you wish.

I won’t go into the stereotypes here, or why I collect a few toys, but let me assure you – my development is not arrested. And I have a job that pays me to do these things.

skeletorOnce a month, Mattel releases web-exclusive items into their online store. These are generally things that are produced in a limited edition, as a typical retail environment couldn’t support them properly. Items are scheduled to be released, the collective nerd populace with credit cards flocks to their website, buys a few things, and disperses. Sometimes, this makes the website perform slowly or temporarily crash.

I accept these digital hurdles as a simple fact of the internet. Other toy nerds take them as cues to hurl anger, vitriol, and abjectly ridiculous threats. Yesterday had a few very intense hours – all because the website’s current allotment of a Skeletor action figure sold out before some people could get him. Personally, I bought a B’Wana Beast and Animal Man 2-pack, and a Ghostbuster. It took a few minutes, but the order went through just fine.

The internet has recently caused many friends, acquaintances and otherwise to act out of character – or perhaps more in character than I previously perceived. I feel like I need to record some of the comments left on Mattel’s Facebook page for posterity, and as a lasting example of exactly why we need to calm down over tiny plastic men. I post these without editing for clarity.

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Jeno B. : by back up and running, you mean the site is a fucking mess that doesnt work, right? just like every month when you release stuff and it doesnt work,

Ted B. : IT IS NOT FIXED!!!! ENABLE PHOTO POSTS MATTY AND WE’LL SHOW YOU HOW ITS NOT FIXED!
Mike V. : every month you have an issue fuck you..i ever see you anywhere im putting my foot up your ass
Steven Z. : liar liar lair lair lair lair lair lair lair lair
Justin S. : what pisses me off the most is that i wasted my damn lunch hour to come home and order skeletor, and then they don’t have it. bastards anyways [because toys are more important than food]

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One fine chap suggested that ‘someone’ start a website called ‘I hope Mattel dies in the next 9/11 dot com’. And he was serious. We have reached a point of fevered insanity over a Skeletor action figure that provokes us to wish another horrible tragedy on our country, and the deaths of thousands of people, just so that one person at Mattel will lose their life. Or perhaps this person thinks that Mattel IS a person. At this point, it was difficult to see through the geek froth.
Either way, people, life is full of disappointment. A little evil skeleton dude that fought all sweaty ‘n’ bare-chested with another dude with a bowl cut isn’t really a great thing to start threatening people over. And tough words on the internet are just that.
Well, THAT, and hilarious.

[Part Two]

bootleg_paint

Nothing much to say here but COLOR-DELIGTH VARIED!

bootleg_soldier2

I especially love the cyborg ‘Imitator’ and ‘Captain Hook’, who they are sure to define as THE PIRATE. In case we thought we were getting Captain Hook : The Optometrist.

bootleg_wrestlers2
These are not, in fact, poseable. And they have sculpted nipples. I especially love the fan in the background with the banner that simply says ‘WIN’. He doesn’t care who comes out on top, as long as he sees someone get hit. Truly a man’s man.

bootleg_warrior3

I don’t know what this is, but I think I just peed myself out of some unnamed emotion that is a pure mix of terror and complete amusement.

[Part One]

bootleg_camera
Oceans of raccoons. A camera that can anoint you. Multiple win.

bootleg_warrior
It’s like they tried to mix kaiju with Barbie and made something that appealed to no one, ever. And that skirt leaves nothing to the imagination.

bootleg_warrior2
Another couple of warriors intent on going beyond the century. Considering that I probably purchased these somewhere around 1999, I say that they achieved their goals. These are actually very cool kaiju pieces.

bootleg_wrestlers
BABY RUTH!

bootlegninja
Figure TRULY, SURELY GLOWS! WE PROMISE! WE FUCKING SWEAR, OKAY? GOD DAMMIT HE’S GONNA GLOW THIS TIME I SWEAR ON MY MOTHER’S GRAVE!

Just what every warrior who depends on stealth and the dark of night needs – glowing powers.

More to come.

I found a large box in my closet. Well, I’ve found many – but this particular box is completely full of a few years worth of dollar store toys.

Things that can cut you. Things that can blind you. Things that have no grasp of copyright or spelling. Things that are potentially hilarious. If Toygiants taught me anything, its an appreciation of every toy in its rawest, sloppiest form – smeared with paint and harboring visible seams.

bootleg_adventure_king
He’s the king of adventure, defending the stars. How awesome is that? You know, if it didn’t suck so intensely and come with torso-sized Liefeld guns? It’s worth noting that the illustrations are madcore awesome.

bootleg_pokemon
With real, live Zone Power Of Spinning. This was probably from that bygone era when Pokemon were still an infectious disease that was slowly devouring America and ruining Saturday morning cartoons forever.

bootleg_lover_mermaid

An unfortunate mistranslation that steals from both Lisa Frank and Disney : My Lover Mermaid, because ‘My Mermaid That Has Sex With Me’ was already taken.

bootleg_bart_pencilcase
A snowstorm can be exciting! Water skiing is of the newest in the family of sports! Move over, sonw on skis! It’s like a collage was brutally sodomized, and this is the evidence.

bootleg_superchange
Transformers : Robots in Denial. It actually changes into an even less attractive pile of junk.

More to come.