I sat down and chatted with Glen Liberman - the owner and operator of internet store and toy producer Android 8. They have already released their Octopo figure (produced in conjunction with UNKL Brand) and have plenty more art toys on the way.
My questions are in black...and Glen's answers are in green:
There has been a lot of talk on the boards (following SDCC) about Android 8 and your upcoming toys. What is your schedule like for releasing all of these projects?
Brendan Monroe's "Sour" and Brian Taylor's "Rustboy" are the two projects that are in production currently. I have a ton of other projects in the works that have not been announced yet. Unfortunately, I move faster than the factory can crank the product out.
I know a lot of collectors are anticipating the release of both the Sours and Rustboy. Are these going to be limited edition, any color variations, etc?
The Sour will be available in four variations. There will be green, brown, orange, and red. There will be 1000 units to start.
Rustboy will be available in two variations: metallic silver and glow in the dark. There will be 1000 units of that one as well.
Now it appears that within the Designer Toy Universe there is the forming of two segments - art toys and the regular vinyl - usually inspired by animals. It appears that Android 8 is going the art toy route. Are you looking to revolutionize the way we think of designer toys and urban vinyl?
Android 8 is more concerned with the art side of things. I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm trying to revolutionize the movement. I'm simply trying to carve my own niche in the market. But yes, I'm more interested in art pieces than in toys, if you'll allow me to make that distinction.
Are there any artists out there, who you think...man, I'd like to work on something with that person.
In a very short period of time, I've been able to get a handful of the artists I've wished to work with. However, I'm constantly on the search for new projects. There are artists who have deceased that I would have loved to work with.
Well, I think Jacob Epstein would have made an amazing sculptural piece. Pablo Picasso. Bosch maybe.
I was actually just thinking that Picasso would have done well in this market.
He certainly would have. Well, what really turns me on to an artist is his/her ability to allow for the evolution process. There are few artists in this market who are constantly evolving and allowing for new ideas.
Now putting the toy maker and seller aside, are there any pieces on the market today that you just said to yourself "I have to have one of these!"
Actually, since I started Android 8 I've become much less of a collector. But as far as unique and innovative design, I think that Mars 1 will continue to do amazing things. I also really enjoy the Doma plush as well as Neth Creatures. And of course, I love the UNKL products as well. Derek and the crew are always up to something new.
Something a lot of people probably don't know about you is your success in music (currently having a song in a Toyota commercial). How is your music career going and when should we expect a CD to drop?
Thank you for asking. Originally, I was going to put my music career on the shelf due to my involvement with my new business (which really began to take up a lot of time). However, the Toyota commercial gave me incentive to continue with one of my passions. I have received so much positive feedback on it that I've decided to continue working on the music (actually more so now than ever). The music itself is almost done and I asked Brendan Monroe to handle the artwork. It should be available in a month or so.
Just to let readers know...it's the commercial where the camera is in the back seat of the car. You can watch the commercial here.
I often have to explain to people which one it is, but they know once I email the spot over. Most people can't believe that I wrote the music for it. It doesn't seem like such a big deal to me now.
Music, Designer Toys...what's next?
I have my own vinyl figure in the works. I also have another business concept that has a ton of potential, but the details have not been settled yet.
Any hints on what kind of vinyl figures you are going to be producing?
Well, a lot of my inspiration comes from the concept of minimalism. Minimalism and Japanese art. That's all I can say right now.
Well thank you very much for your time, Glen.
You’re very welcome, Brian.