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Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope all of you readers have a great Thanksgiving!  Go eat some turkey or turducken or tofu-turkey or whatever you eat.

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I will be taste testing one of the Holiday Packs from Jones Soda.  Mmm...Turkey and Gravy soda!  I'll be posting the 2 taste tests over the next 2 months.

December means the end of the year...which means our 2005 Toy Awards.

The last banner was designed by Shan Michael Evans and this week's was done by Pravin Sathe of SolidHang.com.

That's it for now!

INTERVIEW: Artist/Drummer – Aaron Burtch

You've probably seen Aaron Burtch's work and not even known it.  Be it on a concert poster, an album cover, a painting or a t-shirt...Aaron's work has no boundaries.  And not only does he create amazing artwork, but he's also the drummer for one of my favorite bands - Grandaddy. To learn more about this up and coming artist...read on!

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One thing I noticed in your artwork is the theme of nature (animals or landscape).  Do you fashion yourself as an environmentalist?

Totally. What can i say? I love animals, dirt, trees, sunshine, deserts, mountains...I love the smells, the sounds, the feel of it all...Being out there is what really makes me feel content and happy. Nothing else strikes that chord with me. There's no movie or painting or music that even comes close.

The area where I live is heavily agricultural but is undergoing this unprecidented urban growth cycle. There's so much money being made by developers, contractors, real estate people and lenders that it's become really unpopular to be considered an environmentalist. Even on the agricultural side the farmers are pissed off about the regulations that are set up to protect local species and habitat. I feel some sympathy for those guys, since i know how hard it is to be a small farmer these days. Most of them are just getting by and it's really a crime for the government to not help subsidize safer, more environmentally conscious farming.  The way the government helps these people is by constantly relaxing those protective laws to allow for more pollution and development which does help the small farmer's immediate financial situation, but obviously it does far more harm than good. We are going to be paying for this irresponsibility for a long, long time I think.

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Are there any specific artists you believe have influenced your work?

Since I grew up here in the Central Valley, and art isn't much of a consideration to most folks. It wasn't emphasised in school and I didn't have much of a head start in art knowledge. Shit, I guess i never really caught up either. I didn't go to art school and whatever it is that i've learned has been by just doing stuff. But some people who have really moved me in one way or the other are Tom Freidman, Al Hanson, Souther Salazar, Saelee Oh, Alexander Cheves, Andy Goldsworthy and the Group of Seven. I really love the Royal Art Lodge too, but i think probably the biggest direct influences have been skateboard graphics and print ads. With deck graphics, there are so many good ones and I think it's really incredible how so much care is put into it. Yet, if they are used like they are supposed to be used, the graphic is gone within minutes. They are made to be destroyed and i really like that.
   
The turnaround time for skate graphics is so short. All those boards that you see in a skate shop have a shelf life of about 3 months and then a new version takes its place.  The good companies just turn out rad image after rad image, year after year and month after month. I'm really impressed by that.

You also play drums in a band called Grandaddy.  I love the new EP – Excerpts From the Diary of Todd Zilla. (Readers…go out and buy it!)  What has that experience helped bring to your artwork?

I always liked to draw, and I started painting right when the band started, in about 1992 or so.  I developed most of whatever style i have by doing flyers for local shows and other band stuff. I'm not a confident artist and I guess I'd be happy enough to just make stuff without considering what anybody else would think about it. But making art that I know lots of people will see has been a huge factor in how my stuff turns out as well. I don't know if that's for better or for worse though.

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Special Offer from Go Hero

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Plastic and Plush and Go Hero are offerring Mechabot fans the chance to save some money on  Mechabot and Tentikill vinyl figures through the Go Hero website.  Our exclusive Friend of Go Hero Special Offer can save you money on your favorite Go Hero products.

Available Items include:

Mechabot Kit, Mechabot Matte, Mechabot Metallic, Tentikill (Purple, White or Transluscent) and the Kaijuice CD

Click Here for great savings!

INTERVIEW: We Chat with CWC’s Junko Wong

Plastic and Plush chats with Junko Wong, the founder President of CWC, about the reemergence and rejuvenation of the Blythe Doll.  Blythe was originally created by Kenner in 1972 and was only produced for one year due to poor sales.  She made her comeback in 2000 in photos by Gina Garan and Parco's Christmas campaign produced by CWC in Japan.   The first neo-Blythe, Parco Limited, was produced by CWC and manufactured by Takara, with permission of Hasbro was released in June 2001. There are a number of new Blythe dolls available and an entire website devoted to this special little doll.

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Were you a fan of the original Blythe dolls, which were released by Kenner in 1972?

No, I was already a teenager in '72 and interested mostly in boys!

Was it the photography work of Gina Garan that really turned you on to these figures?

It was in Gina's photos that I first saw Blythe. In the picture, I saw a beautiful doll that I thought the women in Japan would fall in love with and could sense the potential of the product as a cultural icon.  I also simply saw a beautiful photograph that the talented photographer Gina Garan took.

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Site News Update

Banners

I'd like to thank Sket One for this week's header banner.  Last week saw the work of Shan Michael Evans on our Plastic and Plush banner.  If you're interested in designing a banner for our site, check out this past press release.

Contest Winner

Chimp_Ian@yahoo.com has won the Puppet Terrors prize package.  This includes the 2 Puppet Terror puppets (Bunky the Clown and Death Row Joe) and the first 2 signed comic books.  He has one week to send in his shipping address...if not...we will draw another winner.  Be on the look out for a new contest this coming week!

Artist Overview: Melita Curphy – Miss Monster

Something I like to do is look for really amazing artists, who should be household names.  Well, Melita Curphy falls into that category.  She is producing some very cool plush designs, model kits and drawings (not to mention a crazy halloween mask!).  In the next month or so, I will be reviewing some of Mel's creations in more depth...but for now...read some more about Miss Monster!

Maskmail

Since I was 8, I have been a comic/horror/creature/ geek and I
have always drawn monsters. Growing up with the wierdo toys from the
1980's influenced me first, giving me the near lifelong fantasy of having my own articulated action figure line. Articulation is pretty
difficult so...I've gone more towards the model kit/doll route until I
can get joints and perfect casting down better 😉

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We Talk With Mr. Uglydoll Himself – David Horvath

We chat it up with Uglydoll, Noupa, Little Bony, Pounda, Wonderplan 51, etc. creator David Horvath. With a number of toys and projects on the horizon, we get the inside scoop.
(My questions are in black - David's answers are in blue)

With the first Series of Little Uglys recently released, and Series 2 landing in the near future, will we be seeing more characters in the “normal size” anytime soon?

New normal size Uglys have been born and are on the way.

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We all got a glimpse of the Mini Uglys vinyl figures at Comic Con, are these going to be in production anytime soon? Will we see more than just the usual Uglydoll characters?

We created this line with Critterbox so that we would have the freedom to release the “background characters” of the Uglydoll universe with greater ease.
  While most vinyl figure publishers have production delays, we’re constantly causing our own toys months or even years of delay to get them right. If anytime soon means one year for you, then I say I hope so?

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A trip to Target…

This post has absolutely nothing to do with toys...but since it is a blog...I thought you might enjoy hearing about what YOU can pick up at your local Target store.  So, I was shopping with my wife this past weekend and came across the big Halloween display in Target - a little early, but still great for the kid in all of us.  I happened upon the Jones Soda Halloween section - Jones Soda and Target have some sort of exclusive agreement. 

 

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Banners….

A big Muchos Gracias to Shawnimal (aka Shawn Smith) for designing the current Plastic and Plush banner.  I love his artwork as well as his plush and soon to be vinylized toys.

Also, hopefully you checked out NESS's (and yes...it has to be capitalized) banner - displayed last week.  It showed all of his super-cool Circus Punk designs.

So who's banner is next?? Well it could be you!!  Click here to find out how to submit your design.