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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

Little Littlebony Plush Toys

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On your next trip to Japan, turn on the NHK channel at 7:58 in the
morning and dance along with David Horvath's Littlebony, the skinless
little boy who knows anything is possible, and his pretty good pal,
Mightydog

Then do the Bony Bony dance all the way to the nearest Yujin capsule
toy machine and pick up one of 6 brand new Littlebony plush toys.

Live in the USA? Uh oh. Then you have to go to Giant Robot for your Littlebony.

Octopo Review

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Android 8 and UNKL Brand have teamed up to release one of the coolest and cutting edge vinyl figures – Octopo.  If you enjoyed UNKL’s HazMaPo figures, you will really enjoy Octopo.  It’s about double the size – 6 inches – and has a special secret…well it’s not really a “secret”.

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According to the packaging: “Octopo comes with a stowaway.  Mini-8 is Octopo’s base communications center, but he’s also Octopo’s best friend.  Held in place by a magnet, Mini-8 is never far from Octopo and his responsibilities.”  So think of Mini-8 as Gilligan and Octopo as the Skipper…except they don’t share cots.

Now, the Mini-8 figure actually detaches from Octopo’s back.  Is he a backpack, a little friend, a communications center…or all?  He attaches to the dock a pretty powerful magnet.  So you should probably keep this toy away from your computer unless you are looking to erase your hard drive for some reason.  It’s not going to pull out your fillings, but it might wipe out all of your illegally downloaded Journey tunes.

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Much like the HazMaPo figures, Octopo has 3 points of articulation (head and arms).  It’s made of several materials - more than just rotocast vinyl.  Mini-8 has a metal antenna, Octopo has a removable hand that shows some off some frayed wires and they both contain magnets.

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The box is above average.  There is no window, so you’ll need to remove the figure for display, but this is one you won’t want to throw away.  It’s colored blue and green (the same colors as Octopo) and has several drawings – as well as information about the figure you just purchased. 

Octopo is a limited edition run of 500.  Even though it was exclusively made for Android 8 by UNKL Brand, it should be hitting other online retailers.  If you want one now, I would suggest checking out the Android 8 website where they are selling for $50 apiece.  This is a fairly average price for a figure of this size.

Personally, I really enjoy this figure.  The colors, the fact that you can remove the Mini-8 and hand...it all works for me.  When you team up 2 of the up and coming designer toy companies, you should come up with a super cool figure like this.

Rating: 94%

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Take That Back!!!!

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North Carolina's top designer toy shop - Wootini - presents Andrew Bell’s “Take That Back” on Friday September 9th from
  7pm - 12am in the Carr Mill Mall, Carrboro. Original art, books, tees and
  toys from Andrew Bell served up, along with refreshments and music from
Family. Show runs through 10 October.

Yours truly should be there covering the events as the joint is basically in my backyard...ok...maybe I'm a half hour away from Wootini. Let's cross our fingers and hope Andrew's Zliks are finished by then. If not, you will most definitely want to check out his newly released book - Now You've Done It. It's a very cool collection of Mr. Bell's work.

Show Me the Munny!

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Kidrobot, has announced the release of their first ever do-it-yourself-toy: MUNNY is the root of all happiness. A fool and his MUNNY are soon parted. MUNNY changes everything!

You can draw and paint on MUNNY. Use crayons, markers, paint, ketchup, glue, glitter, or anything else you can think of.  Make clothes for MUNNY or things to put in his hands! Singe him, pierce him, drape him, cherish him. Each MUNNY includes 4 secret mystery accessories, a hello-my-name-is card, and one of several surprise MUNNY coloring books. 

MUNNY is for adults and children alike, 7” tall and made of soft vinyl. MUNNY will be available at all Kidrobot stores, on the web at www.kidrobot.com, and at select retailers. White MUNNY will retail for $24.95; Black and Glow MUNNY will be $29.95.

Hi Fructose Issue 2

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Hi Fructose Magazine
returns with its second Issue featuring even more under the counter culture Toysploitation artists
and mayhem makers of reknown. The Fall issue features: the art and toys of Tim Biskup, J.Otto Seibold interview and Gallery, Jeff Soto, Misery's helping of Melancholy Pie, the inside out etheral art of Feric (Eric Fang) Scott Musgrove, the Cult of Blythe: featuring Gina Garan, Adult Swim Goes to Vegas: a special Photo Travelogue and Furrila centerfold by Brian McCarty!

And of Course All the Designer Toys you can't handle. Plus Exposes with Joe Ledbetter, PShaw!, Thomas Han, Mars-1, Cyclecide, and D.I.Y Toy Patterns.

Recently featured in Wired, Nokia Magazine, and Cartoon Network, Hi Fructose is your ticket to the new art toy revolution. Don't miss it!