Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Racks Vinyl Figure from Vandul


     By now you know I didn't win the two billion dollar Powerball lottery, because if I had I wouldn't have typed any of this. I would be busy hiring a financial team to make sure I didn't end up like those dummies who lose all their cash and go broke five years later. I'd still buy plenty of dumb stuff like a spitting cobra fountain for the drive way, but I'd like to not get evicted and that be the last thing I see as they close what used to be my electrified security gate behind me. I'd also still eat mostly chicken nuggets and Minute Rice because it's important to remember your roots and because they're the perfect food combo no matter how rich you are. 

    I'm guessing Vandul didn't win either, mainly because he didn't say anything about it on Twitter. He did however say that he's got his brand new vinyl toy dropping this Friday. Named Racks, this wad of currency is masked up and looks like he just pulled a fast one on some unsuspecting sucker. Hopefully it was a big corporation who has been robbing us blind in the name of "inflation" while reporting record profits. I digress. 

    Each figure stands six inches tall and this version is limited to 100 pieces. You can snag yours on Friday, November 11th at 1pm central time from https://vandul.co/.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Familiars and Foes Board Game Kickstarter from Horrible Adorables

 


    I haven't played a game in years before last Christmas when my niece got one that forced you to find out which person in the group was a werewolf. Everyone involved, besides her, were a little skeptical that it was gonna be corny but we reluctantly agreed to play anyway. It started off slow for a few rounds as we got a basic understanding of the rules, but by the 20th or so time we were full-on investigating people for lycanthropy like we were detectives solving a murder. Accusations were thrown about haphazardly, things from the past were brought up when weighing who had a history of stretching the truth in real life, and I got so caught up deflecting suspicion away from me that I erred by trying to cast doubt on my mother in law, who is as close to sainthood as you can get without the Pope saying so. I'm surprised I haven't been excommunicated for my error and forced to live alone in the woods. 

     Judging by the look of this new project from Horrible Adorables, the likelihood of this game erupting into a full blown family crisis seems unlikely. Familiar and Foes is a board game that takes the work of the husband and wife art duo into realms beyond your walls or shelves. Here is a rundown of the game from the creators themselves:

    Familiars and Foes is a 1 to 5 player cooperative style game. You take the role of a young spell slinging Familiar trying to rescue your witches and wizards from a horde of evil Foes. Your character begins as a base elemental Familiar (Earth, Air, Water, Fire, or Aether) and you must work to fully evolve your Familiar by completing a series of training tasks. The game is played in four waves that progressively increase in difficulty. New sets of Foes are revealed with each wave of battle that must be defeated to save your coven. The game is won when all the Foes have been defeated, all the witches and wizards have been rescued, and at least one Familiar is still standing.

   Sounds preeeetty cool, right? But, it's only cool if it becomes a reality, and that's where you come in. The project is live now on Kickstarter and is actually fairly close to being funded. That means with just an extra little push you and your friends could soon have a brand new obsession for game night. Check out this link and see all the cool rewards that are available, which include everything from the game itself, to toys, and their famous felt sculptures. 



Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Hammerhead Shnail from Ghost Fox Toys x Strange Cat Toys



       Do you think fish are freaked out about how little of the breathing world they've explored? We've only seen a limited amount of the ocean but they've seen even less of where we live. The only ones that make it far inland are either in aquariums or on dinner plates, so they never get to return and report what they've witnessed. Do they have these images in their heads of monstrous humans with razor teeth who are by far more frightening than the ones that they encounter? Do they share artists renditions of what they think lies beyond the beaches while they develop the technology to travel among us to further their research? Will one day a great octopus explorer walk right onto the sand with his newly constructed breathing apparatus as he Lewis and Clark's it all over the world? Do you think the township will have my water main repaired before I have to use one of those orange Home Depot buckets in a way god did not intend?  

     While I attempt to delay my lunch from becoming it's final, most powerful form, I can tell you about the first ever production figure from Ghost Fox Toys. This is a Hammerhead Shnail and it looks much like you would expect a blending of the two creatures to work out. How a Hammerhead shark and a snail fell in love and made a baby is a question for another day, though, as I've already given you plenty to think about.

 
   Strange Cat Toys wil unleash...wait...maybe "unleash" is a bit much when talking about a predator that you could just casually walk away from. OK, so they'll be debuting this vinyl toy on Saturday, September 24th at 12pm eastern time. This first colorway is know as "Sunrise Salmon" and is limited to 100 pieces. They're about 3 inches tall and will retail for $65 each from https://www.strangecattoys.com/.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Weekend Adventure Isobelle Pascha from Underverse

 


    I like to watch Project Runway because I have an unhealthy obsession with reality competition shows. I also like fashion, which not many people would guess because I only wear twenty year old heavy metal shirts and jeans. I don't necessarily like it for myself, but I like weird avant garde costume-y stuff like Alexander McQueen used to make, which is more along the lines of wearable art. Now back to Project Runway, one of my favorite parts of the show is when the designers explain who they invasion as the wearer of their garments. They often go into these elaborate explanations along the lines of "my girl is on her way to the grocery store to dispute the amount she was charged for a family sized frozen lasagna that was supposed to be on sale but rang up full price and she knows it won't taste the same until this injustice has been rectified". That's a lot of explanation for a pencil skirt, Jean Paul, but go on I guess.

    Isobelle Pascha is going on a weekend adventure and is looking mighty fierce. She's serving up looks in her skinny jeans and t-shirt that could take her from shopping for vintage finds at the flea market to brunch with her beastie. Underverse will be offering this woman on the go for preorder begining Friday, September 16th for $165, which includes world-wide shipping. She'll be available exclusively from https://underverse.com/.



Thursday, September 8, 2022

Trash Kitties Series 2 from 100% Soft

  


     It's fitting that my first actual product post from my hiatus be about cats, and even more fitting it be about finding cats hanging around garbage. Sharon and I found our cat Wednesday when we were taking the trash out. Just as we go to toss the bag in out pops this little fluffy kitten from the adjacent storm drain who made a noise like Windows 95 starting up. She was so cute and without even having to discuss it I reached down, scooped her up, and we brought her in. She was all about inside life and has never made any attempt to go back outside; and she also never got any bigger, so we have no idea whether she was an actual kitten or not when we found her. 

     The strange thing too is that she has long hair and somehow managed to come out of a storm drain not covered in ick. She was completely clean, emerging like Gandalf the White from what I would have to imagine is the third filthiest place in our entire town (moving up from fourth after they closed a sketchy gentleman's club called Volcanic Eruptions that was in the same parking lot as Chuck E. Cheeses and featured competing lunch specials). 


Respect the blep 


    There are easier ways to get your own kitties that don't even require the need for an updated tetanus shot. 100% Soft has just released series 2 of thier blind boxed Trash Kitties and these mini figures come with all the cuteness of real kitties without all the responsibility. What's that, you missed out on series 1 and feel unable to move onto series 2 without starting at the begining? No worries, cause those have been restocked too. And there are special metallic chase figures to add some excitement into the mix as if there already wasn't an abundance of excitement to begin with. 

   Get em now at https://100soft.shop/.


Tuesday, September 6, 2022

I'm Back, Baby, or Something.

     


   A lot has happened since I stopped writing about toys. The economy has collapsed, an entire war broke out, and a trove of classified documents went missing at a golf course. At best my absence can be blamed for maybe two of those, but things have certainly been bleak. 

   In all seriousness, stepping away from writing about toys was exactly what I needed to do at the time. The majority of releases really shifted away from the type of things I was interested in design wise, and I felt like I was on a never ending cycle of helping others while neglecting my own creativity. I was the guy who could boost everyone but himself. What I've found in the months since is that a big part of my creativity, especially when it comes to my writing, needs to be worked out within some type of structure. This blog was like a prompt from a creative writing class or a daily drawing challenge that forces you to think about things you may not normally and thus kicking your muse into high gear when she may rather be taking a nap. That little voice needs constant attention or she will literally snore her way through life, only getting up to use the bathroom or check her email.

     So with that being said, this blog wasn't holding me back from living my own dreams at all, but it was actually getting my brain working in ways that was supporting my other endeavors in ways I didn't see at the time. Wow, this almost sounds like personal growth, or one of those other mentally healthy things people talk about. Yuck. Anyway, I'm back in the game, and ready for your emails about new releases. 

Monday, May 30, 2022

Exclusive Aurora Nordic Lucky Cat for Stranger Factory


     Ya'll still collect toys? I've been a little out of the mix recently working in the digital realm, so I figured it was time to make something again that you can actually hold in your hand or throw at your annoying neighbor when they keep parking in the spot you pay for. Hope that crack in your windshield is worth not having to walk ten extra feet to your house, Carl.

    This is known as the Aurora edition. It is an exclusive to Stranger Factory's group show "Toymakers of Planet Earth" V that opens next Saturday, June 4th, in New Mexico. Now if you don't happen to live in that part of the world fear not, because the remainder of the figures will show up on www.strangerfactory.com  June 6th. They are made with UV reactive resin so they glow like crazy under a black light. These are limited to 20 pieces, come in a hand stamped muslin bag, and have been expertly produced by resin warlock Dubose Art.


Monday, April 11, 2022

A Time for Change

  


The Death of Baldur


.  I announced it on my Facebook page but it's probably good to put here as well. I am no longer writing about designer toy releases. Lots of reasons have led to this decision, but the main reason is I want to focus on different things. I've spent years elevating the ideas and dreams of other people with not enough emphasis on my own work. 

    So with that being said this website will now center around the various projects I have while continuing the tradition in being as ridiculous as possible. I hope you'll stick around and see what's next.... which leads me right into NFTs.

    NFTs are the most polarizing thing in the art world right now. Digital artists love them because it gives us an ability to monetize our work in a way that was previously unavailable, including collecting royalties on resales. Collector's like them because you can own an image without physical space requirements, an expensive bill from a framer, and they don't have to hide their questionable taste when their parents come to visit. Other people hate them be abuse they don't see the point, or have concerns about the environmental impact (while posting videos of themselves lip synching to bad pop music that consume just as a much energy, but whatever) or thinking they're some sort of pyramid scheme. New things are often scary, like that mobile colonoscopy van that just opened up behind the Wal-Mart, but that's no reason to not investigate them thoroughly and see how they fit into your life. The NFTs, not the van, as Creepy Dave is obviously not a doctor. 

   I myself have decided to jump into the world of NFTs with my own collection that I've slowly been releasing on the Tezos blockchain. I didnt want to become involved unless I had something to add to what is already a crowded and confusing space and I feel like I have that.  Utilizing my Nordic Lucky Cat and combining it with computer generated art, I have created a series based on stories from the Poetic Edda. I feed lines or sometimes just names into an artificial intelligence program and it interprets what these mean. Then I use magic, and Procreate, to combine the images and create something new. I've kept everything very affordable to just a couple of bucks per image so that anyone who wants one can easily obtain them.  It's an entirely new way to envision the stories of Norse Mythology and I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do making them.  This is just the beginning and there will be a lot of real world art to come as well.  Here's where you can get the NFTs:

https://objkt.com/profile/thetoyviking/created

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

“A Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes” from Cat Atomic

    


   We've all been there: whacked out of our gourds on the Devil's lettuce, missing the majority of our clothing, and desperately trying to find the parents of a random stink bug that wandered into our hotel room. Unless you've never been a grown man in his underwear that just wanted to reunite worried insect parents with their son. Cause me neither; not every story is about me, weirdos.  


   Cat Atomic is channeling some Bill Graham Presents vibes with his groovy new resin figure entitled “A Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes”.  Something tells me she's having one of those spiritual awakenings that all the kids are talking about where they take psychedelics in the jungle and then vomit everywhere until God shows up in is like "seriously dude." She seems like she's at least at the good part right now though, where you can hear colors and your brain climbs down from your ear and asks to borrow the car for a quick trip to the store.  


    This resin beauty may be blue but she sure ain't sad and she can trip the light fantastic straight into your collection when she goes on sale this Friday, March 4th at 3pm eastern time.  Limited to 15 pieces, each one will retail for $350 and be available exclusively from http://www.catatomic.bigcartel.com/.  



Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Death Gnasher from Miscreation Toys

  


   I'm not sure if all couples do this, but I like to play a game with my wife I call "Would You Still Love Me If..." where I come up with the most outlandish things that could happen to me and then ask if she could live with it. It's nothing bad like voting republican, or listening to an entire U2 album, just harmless stuff like if for some crazy reason I woke up and had a golden retriever as an arm. You know, the basic things you worry about. My favorite though is what if I all of a sudden had no lips. Just a big, toothy forever grin that I can't explain. Then I pull my lips back as far as I can and try to get her to kiss me so she can work through any anxiety it may give her, which is usually the point she stops speaking to me. Not really sure why I'm the bad guy, but that's how it goes.

    Miscreation Toys has a brand new figure called Death Gnasher, who just so happens to be faced with the very lack of lips scenario I just described. Admittedly he has a few other issues that may prevent him from a happy marriage, like the exposed organs thing.  This ten inch tall horror show is going to be available begining this Saturday, January 29 at 3pm est and will come in two different versions.  There will be an unpainted flesh colored vinyl (limited to 25 pieces) for $155, and a Miscreated painted version (limited to 15 pieces) for $249.  They can be purchased by visiting https://www.miscreationtoys.net/.



Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Epic Review Time: Shin Eyezon from Max Toy Co

 


    Oh, it has been a minute since I've posted and even longer since I did one of my regionally famous toy reviews.  There's no better way I can think of to kick of 2022 then by telling you all about the brand new Shin Eyezon from Max Toy Co.  

   What exactly is Eyezon?  Is he a giant, mutated potato, not content to merely fade into oblivion beneath the cupboard of life?  Is he the product of our hubris in trying to push the limits of science beyond their ethical limits?  While that answer alludes me, what I can tell you is that his latest incarnation is by far my favorite ever.

    I have a long history with this figure, we'll not this particular one, but one of his much smaller versions, as it was the first ever official Japanese sofubi figure I ever bought.  It was from a small basement shop in Baltimore and he had an entire box full of Max Toy figures still bagged with their header cards.  I ended up with quite a few of them, but the first one I fell absolutely in love with was this yellow tuber that would be an optometrist's nightmare.  

    Fast forward to this past year when a box shows up at my door containing this beauty:


    Designed by artist Sophie Campbell, this newest mutation is the direct cousin of Shin Godzilla; a gnarlier, more horror-based version of everyone's favorite kaiju.  Shin Eyezon follows suit with an insane amount of detail courtesy of sculptor Beth Graves, who has packed in enough nuance to this figure that it looks like it may keep evolving on your shelf.  This is certainly not an adorable, misunderstood monster whose mere size causes his intentions to be cloudy.  No, this one is going to destroy everything and everyone in its path because all it knows is evil.


  

    You might be looking at the pictures I've taken and been thoroughly impressed by the composition, or my eye for the perfect artistic shot, but you may also be asking yourself just what color this figure happens to be.  That's an interesting question because this particular version is cast with a crazy technique that makes the vinyl change color.  There isn't any paint on it at all, it's all the plastic itself.  Depending on how you look at it you'll notice it shift between metallica copper and purple, which could keep you busy for quite awhile if you're in one of those states where certain recreational plants were just made legal. Or so I hear (my mom might read this). 


     Surprisingly there are still a couple of these available at https://www.maxtoyco.com/ , which blows my mind because this is definitely one of my toy highlights of 2021.