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Court of the Dead

Apr 30, 2011

"Monsters, Cupcakes and Monster Cupcakes!" Rampage Toys Solo show in Seattle

Jon Malmstedt's very first SOLO SHOW will take place in SEATTLE, WA on May 12th, during the Capitol Hill Artwalk!  The show is at the most excellent CAKESPY SHOP, owned and run by the very mostest excellentest Jessie Oleson - CAKESPY herself! The opening is from 5-8pm on Thursday May 12th.  Check it out and invite any friends you might think would come! Here is the Facebook event.

'Monsters, Cupcakes and Monster Cupcakes' will showcase paintings and toys from Seattle-based character designer Jon Malmstedt - RAMPAGE TOYS! Jon's work focuses on fun and colorful creatures that just so happen to be monsters. Expect scenes of urban destruction a' la the classic films 'Godzilla' and 'Mothra', but with a bent in the direction of silly - instead of Godzilla think 'giant cupcake that has no arms.' The show will include paintings, custom vinyl toys, handcast resin figures and a couple collaborative pieces done with the Cakespy herself - something for anyone who loves monsters, cupcakes, monster cupcakes or all of the above! Oh, and need we mention that actual, real, edible and delicious CUPCAKES will be in attendance? YUMMY!!!'

Apr 25, 2011

Ian Ziobrowski custom Green Lantern Dunny

Here's where I'd normally go on and on about how amazing Ian Ziobrowski's customs are. Do you really need me to tell you that now? Probably not. 

If this is the first time you're reading my blog, Ian is an artist from Long Island, NY. He wields his paint brush like a samurai wields a katana. He is booked up with commissions and never gets a break because he is so good. Observe:
Please bear in mind that this Green Lantern custom is three inches tall. See what I'm sayin'? Ian will have a fully loaded website soon. Till then, friend him on Facebook here.

Apr 24, 2011

Proof of Faith, a book by Bryan A. Collins

Bryan A. Collins, artist extrordinaire, is releasing his first book, entitled "Proof of Faith". You can purchase his book at either Etsy or Bigcartel
When you purchase, please specify if you would like your copy signed or not. 
 I'm excited for Bryan's book for many reasons. One small reason is that he talks about me and Tenacious Toys in there somewhere! I am so honored to be a part of Bryan's journey. Bryan and I have executed several successful projects together in the art toy world, with another one in the works right now. Bryan's banging out some custom toys, to be sold exclusively at Tenacious Toys.

The bigger reason I'm excited, though, is to get a better glimpse into what makes Bryan tick. An interesting guy, his work has depth and endless possibilities. It's more ephemeral than the character-based illustation which is so common these days. I get the feeling Bryan has purpose and real "meat" behind his artwork and I hope this book shows us whence that inspiration flows.

130 paintings, illustrations, and custom figures to accompany the candid story of my failures and successes on the road to becoming a full-time artist.

In this book I share some personal struggles and secrets. I discuss what happened to me during the times I had no creative outlet, and why I now have no choice but to make art. You will read about the first time I fell in love with art and the first time I decided I hated it. You will also hear about why I'd rather be poor and happy than rich and unhappy, and what that sentiment really means. 

Enjoy the book and please post your comments and reviews when you get your copy.

God bless,
Bryan A. Collins

Little Brass Bird: Handmade Plushies and TV Show- Review and Giveaway

LITTLE BRASS BIRD™ is a Chicago based animated show which was inspired by an original plush toy line created in 2008 by Robin Poppert. The toy line was showcased at several Chicago events including Depart-Ment and Pitchfork Music Festival. However, over time, the stories crafted for these plush characters became more elaborate and eventually grew much larger than their 2 inch name tags. With years of film experience and a hefty list of artistic acquaintances; creating a show for these designs seemed like an opportunity too obvious to pass up.

In November of 2009, the plush series aired it’s first two teaser episodes. They quickly gained in popularity within the community and within two months the show was funded with enough money to officially launch the series in time for the new year! Best of all, the series is open to creative outsiders, keeping the episodes organic and diverse with each episode including music from local bands & artwork from amazing Chicago artists.  LITTLE BRASS BIRD™ is working to be the center of a web of talents, encouraging collaboration and friendship between creative minds!

Little Brass Bird sent us a sweet promo package with some of their plushies, a DVD and some buttons (pictured above). The DVD features 2 pilot episodes, 2 music videos and a handful of "gag" shorts. There are also 4 buttons, the "Flying Windmill" mini plush and the full-size 11-inch-tall "Half Cat" plush.  Half Cat is the official mascot of Little Brass Bird- yes, that's right, the back half of the cat is their mascot!

I gotta say, these are some really interesting plushies! If you know Tenacious Toys, you know that we love to support artists who craft their own weird plushies. We've have Steff Bomb's crazy food plushies in stock for quite some time, and we've also been working with Thunderpanda, selling their plushes from Indonesia. These Little Brass Bird plushies fit right in- the workmanship is tight but the pieces have just enough of that esoteric feel left that they are just a pleasure to hold and look at. (By esoteric I mean that those of us who are into crazy plushes will appreciate the level of finish on these pieces- this ain't no factory-made Beanie Baby, that's for sure.)

I really dig this company. It seems that they use the music of many different local artists in their episodes, and they are just off-kilter enough to keep me wondering what they'll do next.

I am keeping the Flying Windmill mini plush myself (sorry, too f*n cool. Buy your own for $10 here). We are giving away the rest of the items pictured above as a Little Brass Bird Price Pack! One lucky winner will get all of it! No restrictions on geographical location. All ya gotta do is go to the Little Brass Bird shop here and check out all their plushes.
Then, leave a comment below this post on our blog telling us which of the plush characters is your favorite: Barnaby, Pikka, Pika, Tug Boat, Tux-Ton, Basset Hound Bass, Flying Windmill, Half Cat or Other Half!
(TO ENTER, please leave your comment on this blog post with your full name and your favorite LBB character, and email us after with the same info so we have your contact info. If you win, we can't get in touch with you unless we have your email.)

Please, spread the word around amongst your friends! We'll let this contest run all week and we'll pick a winner randomly on Saturday April 30th. In the mean time, go "Like" LBB on Facebook! You can also visit the Little Brass Bird website here to watch episodes of their show, buy their plushes and learn more about them.
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