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Swollen Deathray Toys

Bearcraftster

Since there are so many very cool artists in this scene that are not household names yet...I'd like to introduce you to Ivey.  He creates all of his toys by hand using wire and clay. If you are interested in his work, he is planning on launching a website and also has one of his handmade toys up on ebay.

It took me a while to figure out why it is I like making my toys and I think the answer is in the mechanics. The form comes secondary to function in my mind. The biggest challenge in making these toys is trying to make a fully poseable action figure out of clay and wire. I didn't want to make a static object I wanted an "action" figure. I
  borrowed a lot of tricks from stop motion animation artists when it came to making the armatures. Most importantly, I wanted to make them sturdy. It's taken me 6 months of work to perfect the frame and is the most time intensive aspect of the whole process when it comes to making a single toy. Aesthetically there are so many great artists out there I cant think of one single person that influences me. The best thing about the custom toy scene right now is the vast amount of
  people involved. I think everyone has something to add, and without their support I wouldn't be writing this article.

-Ivey

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mimobots – The Cosmos Series

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Here is a toy launch that I have been looking forward to.

The first series of mimobots, the Cosmos Series, will be ready for launch on September 9. There will be a launch party at the Giant Robot store in NYC that evening. The Cosmos Series has been  designed by Yahid Rodriguez. We have been waiting a long time to see Yahid's work come to life (from his usual 3D format).

Above is an image of Fairybit (from the Cosmos Series). The first series (4 mimobot characters) will come in  3 drive sizes - 256mb, 512mb, and 1gb - all hi-speed USB(2.0) made in the USA. If you are unaware, these are not only toys...but they also are file storage devices that you're able to connect to your computer. Also, Cosmos Series is preloaded with an original music mix by DJ DB. Future mimobots will include exclusive character-related media content such as animation, games, and tunes. Can't wait!

August CD Recommendation

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I always enjoy giving a great album it’s due...that's why my music recommendation for this month is Amy Rigby’s “Little Fugitive”.  If you’ve never heard of Amy Rigby, shame on you!  You’re missing out on witty, smart songwriting and a truly unique voice.  I was first introduced to this amazing artist by chance…I went to see a concert where she was the opening act.  I actually enjoyed her performance more than the “main talent” and have been a fan ever since.

The music can be categorized as alt.country.  (And for those of you who see country and go eek! Folks like Wilco and the Old 97’s are also considered alt.country.  And her album was recorded in Brooklyn!)  Amy’s songs have a great tune to them, but you would be cheating yourself if you didn’t listen to the lyrics.  Take, for example, Are We Ever Gonna Have Sex Again from her “Til The Wheels Fall Off” album (2003).  Who else could come up with lines like: Screw making love/It’s way too ambitious/Let’s get down on the rug/After you finish the dishes?

This new release begins with the rockin’ Like Rasputin.  Album standouts are Dancing With Joey Ramone, I Don’t Wanna Talk About Love No More as well as her cover of The Things You Leave Behind.  It’s not often that an artist can continue to top his or her last album, but it appears that Ms Rigby has done just that.   From track 1 through 12, this is one of the most solid and enjoyable albums I’ve purchased in a while.

Want to Have Your Artwork Seen?

We're looking for some artistic types to add some spice to the site. As you can see, we currently have a super cool banner done by David Horvath. We will be displaying a different header banner every Friday - all created by new, amazing artists.

So if you're looking for some added exposure and you're an artist or toy designer, please read the following for submitting a banner for the site.

- create a banner that is 600 pixels wide by 200 pixels high
- the banner has to say "Plastic and Plush" in it...and these have to be the largest words
- you can draw pictures, show your artwork, have pics of your toys....whatever!
- you can put created by: so and so and include a written link to your site in the banner (it just can't be larger than "Plastic and Plush")
- I won't use any of these designs in advertising, making shirts or anything like that...it's just to give the site a cool look and to give you some free publicity.

mimobots launch at Giant Robot NY

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mimoco and Giant Robot New York invite you to celebrate the arrival of mimobot designer toy flash memory drives on Friday, Sept. 9th at GRNY. From 6 to 10 pm, super-designer Yahid Rodriguez (Mexico) will sign his Cosmos Series creations, while DJ DB (NYC, London) whose mix is loaded onto Cosmos
Series mimobots, will spin for the occasion!

Plus many chances to win a mimobot plush designed exclusively for the launch by Shawnimal Smith (Chicago). You enjoy mimobots!

New Tentikills Available

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Well if you didn't get a chance to pick up one of the SDCC Glow-in-the-Dark Tentikill figures from Go Hero....your going to get a chance to pick up one of several other versions.  Android 8 sends word that they have their 2 exclusive Tentikill figures for sale.  You will need to email Glen directly to get your hands on one of these figures.

The Android 8 exclusive versions are the Stargoyle Ghost Silver White /Pearlescent (edition of 75) and the New Born Translucent Soft Vinyl - Light Purple (edition of 25).

Android 8 Interview

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.

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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.

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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.

Such as?

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.

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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.

First Look at the Cactus Friends…Ouch!

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Take a look at STRANGEco's newest upcoming vinyl figure series - The Cactus Friends. The Cactus Friends are designed by Italian artist Simone Legno,
whose art brand tokidoki is rapidly winning fans with its cute and sexy characters, flash animation and product design. This new series features three characters - Sandy, Bastardino and Samochan, in all their spiny cuteness (each has interchangeable spines). The Cactus Friends will be available late November 2005, just in time for the holiday.

The photo above features the painted production prototype; the final version may vary. Stay tuned for more info!

Grab This Mars-1 Stuff

Mario is reporting that the Mars-1 store currently has new stock!

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Have you wanted to get your hands on the Black Mars-1 figure that premiered at SDCC? Well here is your chance! It's 9-inches tall and limited to only 56 pieces. I'm somewhat surprised it didn't sell out at Comic Con. $85 includes shipping.

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The 6-piece  Invisible Plan set is also on sale. This SDCC blue-grey colorway was limited to 350 sets. $50 includes shipping. I own this set and I must say....very cool!

There are also a number of very cool prints. If you're ar art collector, or just a fan of Mario's work, you might want to check these out.

Spider Boom in Full Bloom

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Yoya Mart NYC has just released the limited edition Yoya Mart Spider Boom tee shirts by Sun-Min. These are available at Yoya Mart for a limited time.

Also released today at Yoya Mart is David's Noupa Super 7.5 robo shirt.

  Reading this when those are all gone? No worries.

Sun-Min's first edition signature Spider Boom tee shirts (shown) are due to hit in September, and will be limited to 100 pieces mens (4 colors, 25 per color) and 100 pieces womens (2 colors, 50 per color).
  Coming soon at Giant Robot and www.sunminkim.com