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Court of the Dead

Jul 3, 2010

Blindboxed is back: episode 10 has a review of Lemi!

Episode #10 of "Blindboxed", a toy-centric show by Brownkidd (aka Robby Weiss) of ALBOTAS.

Buy one of the LAST Lemi the Space Wanderer plushes ever here in our store.

Jul 2, 2010

Foox "Fortune" print available now

A limited edition of 100, David Foox's "Fortune" print measures 2.6" x 6.1". 
This one makes me all nostalgic since it features 2 very prominent elements of my childhood: Hot Wheels cars (my first collecting obsession) and dinosaurs, both of which I STILL love! 
Buy the "Fortune" print here for just $19.99. I just bought one.
Fun fact: I once displayed my extensive Hot Wheels/Matchbox collection in the display case at my local public library. It seemed like a big deal at the time.

New Toy2R x Dark Horse Domo figures coming October 2010

Wood Grain 7-inch Domo Qee, limited to 500 pieces. Will retail for $59.99.

Glow in the Dark 7-inch Domo Qee, limited to 500 pieces. Will retail for $59.99.

Above: 4-inch Domo Qees, retailing for $14.99 each and coming in October. 
Will be for sale in our Domo section.
Starting at the top: Black Lightning (750 pcs will be made), Green Filigree (1250 pcs), Leopard (1250 pcs), Partly Cloudy (500 pcs), Pink Star Blossom (750 pcs), Polka Dot (1250 pcs), Spider Web (750 pcs) and Super Star (1250 pcs). 
Leave a comment and let us know which ones you like! So far I love the two 7-inchers, and as far as the 4-inchers go, my faves are Spider Web and Partly Cloudy.
 What do you like?

Jul 1, 2010

Spanky Stokes Exclusive Jesse Hernandez Ozomahtli Obsidian on sale now

Spanky Stokes 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 headress, and an articulated head (yes it swivels!!!). This very limited run will retail for $90 + shipping.
Buy yours at the Spanky Stokes store now!

Joe Ledbetter Pico & Wilshire

The next full-size vinyl set from Joe Ledbetter is a sabertooth tiger & a wooly mammoth named Pico & Wilshire. Not sure if it will be available to retailers like us, or if it will be available directly from The Loyal Subjects. In either case, it's rad. Get one. Here's the press release:

The Loyal Subjects and artist Joe Ledbetter are proud to announce the release of PICO AND WILSHIRE. This terrific 2-figure set depicts Pleistocene drama at its finest! Trying to prove himself to the pride, an ambitious Sabertooth Cat (Pico) takes on more than he can chew with a peaceful Wooly Mammoth named Wilshire. 20,000 years ago they roamed what are now the streets of Los Angeles in large numbers.

Speaking of large, this figure set is HUGE! The Sabertooth Cat (PICO) is nearly 6" and the Mammoth (WILSHIRE) stands 12" tall! Pico sits firmly on the back of Wilshire, as he sinks his claws into the back of the hairy pachyderm waiting to drive those sword-like incisors into the neck of this worried furry fella. The figure set boasts precise and detailed decoration, packaged in a large double-sided window box. The set is limited to 415 units and will retail between $155.00-$165.00USD. Available Mid Fall. Pre-orders will start July 7th, 2010.

Will Pico feed his family? Will Wilshire escape to live another day? Or will they both meet their demise in the clutches of the La Brea tar pits?

Jun 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.

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!

Jun 29, 2010

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!
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