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A community-driven blog focused on the weirder end of the art collectible spectrum. Seeking new contributors - if you collect it, and we don't cover it here, contact us!

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June 30, 2010

Tenacious Toys interviews Jon Malmstedt of Rampage Toys

I heard about this crazy toy called Kaiju Cupcake and I wanted to find out more about the warped mind that cooked this one up, so I contacted Jon Malmstedt and asked if he wanted to be interviewed! So here it is:

TENACIOUS TOYS: Hi Jon! The first thing I'd like to know is a little bit about who you are and where you're from.

JON MALMSTEDT:
Originally from: NJ! Yep, from age 8 'till 22 I hailed from the Garden State. NO art at that time - just mountain biking and BMX (man...I sucked at BMX...). I remember my high school art teacher being really mad when I told here I was opting for language classes instead of art...

Currently residing: in Seattle, Washington. I moved out here about 4 years ago - the mountains and water drew me. It also helps that people out here actually THINK about the world they live in (not knocking the East coast though - they're catching up slowly but surely).

Occupation: Paying the bills working as a data manager and GIS analyst.... I won't last much longer in from of the computer...

Education: BS in Geology. I have no 'formal' training in art. I've always kept a sketchbook, and I used to paint miniatures a lot (I was a Warhammer geek in high school). I basically honed my skills with acrylics by painting miniatures and I still paint the occasional model. Sculpting is new to me in the past couple of years, but I feel like I'm getting the hang of it!

Interest (in order of 'importance'): Rock Climbing (been doing this for 10 years now - hence the interest in mountains in the West. I also teach at a gym); Artwork (Toys, Painting, Printworks, Jewelry, Plush, etc... Mostly I like making my own resin and doing customs); Driving (and fixing) my '82 VW Westfalia; Learning Japanese with the ultimate goal of living abroad at some point (!); Cruising Flickr for inspiration!

Inspirations (also in order of 'importance'): My wife (she's kind of my muse - she bought me my first toy, which started the whole toy thing (2007). She'll drop an idea and I often turn around and make it into a material thing!); Devilrobots! - these guys are awesome, and I really appreciate the fun style they bring to their work (I'm totally not into the 'macabre' or 'gory' thing that is going on these days.... it's just depressing...); Japanese Kaiju - monsters -taking a character, cute or scary or 'inanimate' (in the case of the snack food I do) and make it into a monster! I love the 'man-in-a-monster-suit' look of a lot of the Kaiju out there.

Style: Fun and Cute - often with a 'twist.' E.g. who doesn't love cupcakes? But who doesn't love MONSTER CUPCAKES even more?!

TT: Oh cool! I love Devilrobots' toys! So when did you discover kaiju-style toys?

JM: Yeah, Devilrobots - those guys are great! While I was in Tokyo last fall I stopped by their office - they were maybe a bit confused, but welcomed us warmly and ended up giving me a whole bag of free stuff - stickers, postcards and toys!

I really got into the kaiju style after I took a trip to San Francisco at the beginning of 2009 (so, kind of more recently). We went over to Japan town and stopped in the Super7 shop, and they had such awesome stuff on display. The characters were fun, the vinyl was the most awesome colors, and the possibilities for customizing seemed boundless! Going to Tokyo also provided a lot of opportunity to 'investigate' the style. Honestly, I'm not in a position to buy a whole lot of these toys, so making them (or prints, paintings, etc. of them) is the next best thing!

TT: So at what point did you decide you wanted to do food-themed kaiju? Walk me through the creative process that led you to produce Kaiju Cupcake.

JM: Ummm... that's a tough one. I guess it all stems from a habit of mine, where I do some random doodling in my sketchbook and then look at it for a while and eventually turn it into a full sketch/drawing. I made this doodle that kind of looked like a cookie (to me), and then I started making a whole bunch of sketches of monster snack foods. The cupcake was one of the last ones I did, and my friends kept telling me it was the coolest one (cupcakes being hip and all). When I started making the resin toys, the cupcake was certainly the most successful in local shops, and so I got started thinking about producing a large number of them. The injection molding thing came up when I spoke with a friend in central NJ who manufactures injection molded parts (mostly for display cases and other industrial stuff). Long story short - 3 months into the modeling, prototyping and pricing work for the Kapukeeki Kaiju, I'm looking at resin again - a larger run that before, but still limited. Plans are not finalized, but I'm exploring local options in the Seattle area, and I'll most likely be doing most of the work myself - including the packaging. I'm entirely opposed to working with China on this project - for a number of reasons. I have to admit that a soft vinyl toy made in Japan would be the ultimate achievement for me, but that might be something for further down the road.

TT: Well, however you pull off the manufacture, Kaiju Cupcake looks rad. Personally I don't really care whether a figure is vinyl or resin or something else, as long as the whole piece looks right when it's finished. And as a retailer, I can't really hate on China, as most of my inventory is made there. Are you into that crazy, amorphous, wildly colored Japanese style of toys? That's a whole huge scene that I never dove into. Mostly I stick to collecting (and selling) toys that look like some sort of definitive character.

JM: Yeah, I hear you about the China thing. Just so happens though, that they essentially OWN the US economy (bonds and all that), so I'm just trying to do SOMETHING to keep some US cash out of their market place...

Anyway, no, I'm not a huge fan of some of the random kaiju toys. It’s sort of a style within that style that gets me. Have you seen Uamou's toys? That sort of thing (a kind of cow but not really a cow - cute but also mysterious) is the kind of stuff that I find really great! I do really dig the colors of a lot of that Japanese vinyl, and the fact that they often make a figure work with very little paint once it's cast. With the cupcake, I'm aiming for a figure that can be just a couple of colors, and that has simple lines and an attitude at the same time.

TT: Sounds delicious! Any plans beyond Kaiju Cupcake? Surely there must be some sort of expansion, variation or another character that you have in mind. Does Kaiju Cupcake have friends? Or maybe enemies?

JM: Kapukeki Kaiju certainly does have friends! They are all members of RAMPAGE series one, and you can read all of their 'profiles' (i.e. comical histories) on my blog. Here and here are a couple of direct links.

Beyond the cupcake, yes, I do have plans for lots of stuff... thing is I work full time, and that takes up a good chunk of my energy (and, umm, well, my time....). I'm trying to put the kabosh on the full time job thing, but that's not going in effect until late fall (I seem to be a vital part of my organization, and I just don't have it in me to burn any bridges...).

Here's a list of projects currently under way in the 'world' of Rampage Toys:

1) Make this cupcake toy! Be it resin (handcast by me or Seattle local) or some other material, this thing is going to materialize in a small and pretty run come Fall (late fall at the latest).

2) I am making TONS of stuff for the Indie Banditas Bazaar at the end of this month - jewelry, toys (various types - picture to come on Flickr), Print art (screen prints and monotypes), clothing and other cool stuff. Leftovers will be up on Etsy and BigCartel come the week of the 28th of June.

3) I've started working with another local artist named Justin Hillgrove. He and I are working on pulling together some 'mini-series' style resin toys, as well as a DIY figure which will be the main platform for a gallery show we'll be doing in November!!! Justin is really talented artist, and I'm excited to be working with him.

4) I'll be doing a Cupcake Monster plush exclusive for Schmancy (here in downtown Seattle), which will be released in her shop and on-line on September 1st. This is exciting, because Schmancy is THE go to place for toys and plush in Seattle.

5) I'm trying to be as involved as possible with the Toy2R 15th Anniversary events. I did a 2.5 inch Qee last month, and I'm working on an 8 incher for the upcoming show at the Spaghetti Project in Virginia. This toy is coming along great, and I can't wait to have it done and post pictures!
 So, yeah. I'm kind of busy! There are never enough hours in the day.

TT: Oh man I love the Choco-Fiend-Trio and your customs too... Sounds like you have a full plate right now!
I think getting the toys into production is a very large step towards world domination.
Thanks so much for all the info! I look forward to stocking your angry food toys in my store!

JM: For sure Benny! Thanks for the interview. It was my pleasure to share.

You can follow the progress of Jon's company Rampage Toys on Flickr, by reading his blog, or by friending him on Facebook!

SpankyStokes.com reviews SkullyBoom "SB1" portable speaker system

June 29, 2010

OsirisOrion: KAWS @ The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum 6/27/10 Ridgefield, CT

Props to my man Osiris for posting up the only video of this exhibit! Nicely done!

KAWS @ The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum 6/27/10 Ridgefield, CT from OsirisOrion on Vimeo.

OsirisOrion: KAWS @ The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum 6/27/10 Ridgefield, CT

SNEAK PEEK: Toy2R Qee Artist Series 6: Charlie Mewshaw, DOINK & DrilOne

Toy2R is packing up the Qees and preparing them for release next week and that means another quick look at some of the designs included in this relaunch of one of the series that started it all, the Designer Collection.

Up first is the newest piece from artist Doink! One of the original designers to use the Qee platform, Doink's fun and off tilt designs make for great pieces. From his classic 8" Artist Qees that sold out and are hard to come by, to his upcoming release, the 21 inch FabriQee Plush line, Doink stays fresh and trendy! Look out for this Mon...Qee.


From one of the hottest customizers in the art toy world comes the first production Qee by DrilOne. His military style and rusty looks are praised by fans and collectors. This new 2.5" Qee is a must for everyone and best of all, you can carry it around with you all the time to show your support for DrilOne! Toy2R is thrilled to have this design by the artist, especially since it is on our iconic Toyer Qee.












And then there is the unique Boxee Qee from Charlie Mewshaw. Charlie is best known for his original toy creations and artwork under the banner, SAUCERNAUTS. When Charlie submitted his 'Pinkeye' design, we knew it had to be made. There's a little surprise waiting for you when you catch Pinkeye...but that's for you to find out.

These great Qees will be arriving soon. We'll have blind boxes and open boxes so make sure you check back for more info on their arrival. There will be some cool chase and mystery figures mixed in as well...happy hunting!

June 26, 2010

RUTHLESS PRICE CHOPPING: 90+ designer toys on sale at Tenacious Toys


Please click through to our SALE SECTION to view all items on sale.

Here are a few of the MANY items that have been ruthlessly and senselessly marked down for your purchasing pleasure:

- Carnies sealed cases of 16: $100

- Artoys 123KLAN Fellastar & Alfa: $10 off each

- All 8GB Mimobot USB drives are $15 off

- Roboluchas now $24.95 each

- Doktor A MadL now $39.95

- Gloomy Muzzle Harness edition now $17.95

- UNKL JunPo figures now $14.95 each

- tokidoki Sandy 9-inch plush now $12.95

- King Bossy Bear now $11.95

- Open-box Brandt Peters Serv-o-matics now just $8.95 each

- Hello Kitty Cosplay 6-inch plushies now just $6.95 each

And lots more marked down including tokidoki Frenzies, Domo Qee figures, Hello Kitty 2-inch vinyl figures... see? I told you! Something for everyone!

June 23, 2010

SNEEK PEAK: Tenacious Toys Tuttz chase figures

Above you will see the entire first wave of our Argonaut Resin silver Tuttz Exclusive figures, including the Robo chase and the aquamarine chase figures! I have to say that I am extremely pleased with the way these figures turned out. Many thanks to Eric of Argonaut for going the extra mile and developing such a beautiful sculpt, and for letting us in on the Tuttz action! 
These figures will be blind-boxed and will sell for $55 each. Your chances of pulling one of the chases will be very high. Will post more info on the release date soon.

June 22, 2010

All Haiti Earthquake Relief posters now $3!

Three dollars! That's like a medium coffee at Starbucks! Or one ride on the NYC Subway, with 75 cents left over. And you can't buy anything in NYC for 75 cents anymore. 
Better just pick up some posters, it's a smarter way to spend your money.
Pictured above is the beautiful print by Jon Burgerman. Just $3.

KollectibleKulture x Tenacious Toys Kontest

Jamie from KollectibleKulture has orchestrated a giveaway Kontest on the KollectibleKulture blog. We provided a 123KLAN Fellastar figure and KK provided a Matt Siren Ghost Girl figure as prizes. Entering the contest could not be easier: just click through to the post on the KollectibleKulture blog and leave a comment saying you want to win!

June 21, 2010

Dust RAS2010 figures available now

We first heard about German artist Dust during the Rollies Show when he submitted a beautiful custom rollie to us.
Now Dust has his own series of art toys for sale called RAS2010 which you can purchase via email direct from Dust himself. Price for the regular colorway is €55, and the other 3 variants are €75 each.
RAS2010 regular (above)
RAS2010 Greyguard (above)

RAS2010 Grennguard (above)

RAS2010 Goldenguard (above)

June 19, 2010

Bossy and Friends Vintage black 4-pc set

David Horvath's Bossy Bear, Roller the Reindeer, Crocadoca and Turtle figures come together again for a vintage-style all-black set which we sincerely hope makes it over to the US to our Toy2R distributor. I guess there's some question as to whether Toy2R will make a production run for the US market, based on interest. Are you interested? I certainly am. I emailed our distributor right away to place my order, but that does not necessarily mean Toy2R will make some for us. 
If you dig this set, which will retail for around $60, I suggest you start shouting at people. (Well, shouting at random people won't help, but definitely shoot an email to Toy2R and Apex. Actually, be real nice to them and save the shouting for the random people.)

Smash Tokyo Toys Seismic Ace coming soon

Smash Tokyo Toys' first release, the 9-inch tall DIY figure Seismic Ace, will be arriving soon (probably late June). Limited production of 450 pieces, price will most likely be $49.95. Will update this post with a link as soon as our preorder goes up.

SNEAK PEEK 2: Tenacious Exclusive Silver Tuttz figures

Behold, a few sneak peeks at not only our exclusive silver Tuttz figures by Argonaut Resins, but also one of the chase figures: Robo Tuttz! There will be a few other chases in this series. Total number of Tenacious Exclusive Silver Tuttz figures will be 12. I believe the price will be the same as the other Tuttz figures Argonaut has released: $55. They will be blind-boxed in matching silver boxes and due to the low run number and the fact that there will be several chases, your chance of pulling a chase is pretty high! Will post up a link to the Silver Tuttz in our store as soon as we get em. Oh frabjous day!

June 18, 2010

Gas Mask Special-Ops Dunnys by DrilOne


gasmask, originally uploaded by dril one.
Click thru to preorder a custom dunny from DrilOne

Spanky Stokes Exclusive Jesse Hernandez Ozomahtli Obsidian version

Spanky Stokes proudly announces his first exclusive figure. He has teamed up with urban artist Jesse Hernandez to give you THE BEST colorway available for his Ozomahtli figure, the "Obsidian" edition.
This beauty measures 9" tall and features a beautiful gloss black/matte black finish... unlike any other colorway so far. The figure has two articulated arms, a removable headdress, and an articulated head (yes it swivels!!!). This very limited run will retail for $90 + shipping on Thursday, July 1st, 2010 via the Spanky Stokes online store HERE!

June 17, 2010

The Art Hustle art card project teaser video

aarting: Blankie's Come To Town: THE MOVIE!

Blankie Comes to Town: The Movie! from aarting on Vimeo.

SNEAK PEEK: Tenacious Exclusive Silver Tuttz packaging

END of Argonaut Resins just shot over these images of the excellent shiny silver packaging he put together for our exclusive silver Tuttz resins that he's probably pouring as I type this! We'll be going with 2 waves of 6 figures each, and there will be a few chase tints thrown into the mix. We're really excited to support Eric and Argonaut Resins, and to be able to collaborate on an exclusive figure that we REALLY love! Plus Tuttz is handcrafted in the US, so we're supporting a local artisan. Good stuff! More info on the release date, pricing and all that other good stuff as it becomes available.

June 14, 2010

CTU Assassins Blind Box Custom Dunny Series 1

Behold the checklist for the Custom Toy Union's own blind box custom Dunny Series 1, dubbed the "Assassins." 
Series scheduled to drop July 23rd. 
Find out more on their forum here.
Artist roster:
Ardabus Rubber



B.A.L.D.

Brent Nolasco

Coolvader
F+
FAS
Fuller
Fried Gold
Indescribble
Jeta
Matt “Lunartik” JOnes
Lunabee
Motorbot
Nerviswr3k
Nico Deacosta
Patrick Francisco
Pocketwookie
Rusted Halo
Trenton Matthews
Troy Stith

With a special golden ticket by Southerndrawl

June 12, 2010

MUNNY MUNTH: Two-for-one sale on Kidrobot 7" Munnys

$24.95 gets you two 7-inch Kidrobot Munnys:

To celebrate the 5-year anniversary of Kidrobot's Munny DIY figure, Kidrobot doubled retailer's orders of the 7-inch Munny so that our cost per item was cut in half. This allows us to all participate in Munny Munth by offering you, the collectors and customizers, the opportunity to buy the 7" Munny at half price (or buy one get one free, or however you wanna say it). 
Normal price for a 7-inch Munny set, which includes the figure, four blind-packed accessories, a coloring book and a sticker, is $24.95.
But for the rest of June, if you click through to our store and spend $24.95 on the Munny Munth Promotion item, we will send you TWO 7-inch Munnys for just $24.95 (+ shipping of course).
This is probably the most cost-effective way to stock up on platforms for your customs, whether you customize toys for a living or you're just starting out. Have fun getting creative with Munny!

Dave Bondi Possessed OOAK custom up on eBay

Dave Bondi has put one of his coveted pieces up for sale on eBay. Dave created the moulds for and poured one of my all-time favorite toys: the Luke Chueh Possessed figure. Because of this, Dave can pour himself a Possessed figure any time he wants and customize it as he sees fit. 
This one-of-a-kind piece is entitled "Old Glory Fades" and is holding big black globs meant to represent crude oil. Timely, no? 
If this piece fetches a fair price for him, word is Dave might consider doing more custom Possessed pieces, which in my opinion would be a great thing. Hence this post.

June 10, 2010

SNEAK PEEK: Tenacious Toys blind box custom series teaser

BEHOLD! An aggravatingly tiny close-up teaser image of a custom mini figure by Ian Ziobrowski! What is this, you say? Well, it's one of the figures that will be a part of our little blind-box custom series that we've been cooking up for several months now.

Artist roster for this series is:
Ian Ziobrowski  -  ZAM  -  NEMO  -  OsirisOrion  -  Brent Nolasco  -  Rolo  -  Den Ramos  -  Phetus  -  Spanky Stokes  - Bryan Collins  -  Leecifer
More info to be announced soon!

50% off any Poster Cause order with coupon code



 Above: "Viva Mexico: Fight Discrimination" 11 x 17 inch print by the Beast Brothers


Above: "Screamin Bird" 18 x 24 inch poster by Andrew Bell
Use coupon code FIDDY during checkout to get 50% off your order at Poster Cause.

Good Cloud & Bad Cloud vinyl toys from Brainbow

Good Cloud vinyl toy:
Bad Cloud vinyl toy:

Buy them both here for 10 pounds each and follow Brainbow Toys on Facebook!

June 9, 2010

TXT PROJECT T9G RANGEAS MOVIE VER

I honestly do not know what this thing is. 
I mean, it's a toy. I know that.
 It's made in Japan by intheyellow. It's 20cm (8 inches) tall. It'll come bagged with a header card like most intheyellow toys. Retail price will be around $80 and it'll be released in June. So I guess I know a bit about this toy. 
But really, I have no idea what it is. I just think it's cool lookin.
Here's a video:


TxT from MOGraphixx. on Vimeo.

June 8, 2010

SNEAK PEEK: Skelanimals 2.5-inch Qee Series 1 by Toy2R

Series 1 will feature the Skelanimals characters Chungkee and Marcy as the platforms for design. Series 2, planned for the winter, will feature Dax, Kit and Jack, all in Qee form. And just like regular Qees, each figure will include a keychain attachment!

Series 1 will include designs by Jon-Paul Kaiser, Reactor 88, Julie West, Lunabee, Frank Mysterio, Jim Koch, Chauskoskis and Voltaire. There will also be variant chase versions inserted randomly in the 25pc counter displays, as well as original classic styles of each Skelanimal character.

Toy2R expects to drop Series 1 of the Skelanimals Artist Qee Collection in late July to early August. Early word has it that there will be some exclusive pre-launch figures available during this year’s SDCC event to wake the dead! And of course we'll have some for sale in our Toy2R Qee section. Expect the blind boxed assortment to retail for about $9.99 each.

June 6, 2010

Toy-Teaser: PLAYGE DOCTOR [retailer] Edition Revealed!

Found this on TRE, care of Collect & Destroy: first images of the Playge Doctor figure in the retailer colorway! How awesome is this thing? Will get a case if we can!

June 5, 2010

Jamungo x Threezero Squadt NKD Jack + qpmnt pacs in stock

Just arrived: Jamungo's newest retailer Squadt: NKD Jack
6 inches tall, made of vinyl. Jack comes with 3 different sets of eye lenses (black, white and clear) and 2 sets of arms, plus the terrycloth bathrobe and tanto-style knife shown below:
Each NKD Jack comes with your choice of accessory packs (called "qpmnt pacs").
Qpmnt Pac 1 (aka the "-" pack) shown below comes with:
- long-sleeve shirt with Threezero logo
- tactical vest
- sUMP gun
- sMK23 gun
- fabric holster for the pistol

Qpmnt Pac 2 (aka the "=" pack) shown below comes with:
- long-sleeve shirt with Ferg logo
- tactical backpack
- sM4 rifle
- knife with tanto-style blade
- fabric sheath for the knife


You can order your own NKD Jack Squadt, either with Qpmnt Pac 1 or Qpmnt Pac 2, for $103 total. Since it's over $100, we'll ship free within the US. 

And finally I thought I'd show you the box art from the NKD Jack boxes, which is simple but cool: