Thursday, September 8, 2011

Guest Post: Denise Vasquez

This is our first, of hopefully many, guest posts by readers and friends of our blog. Enjoy.

“I am an artist who creates because it is a part of my being” ~Denise Vasquez

Being an artist is all I’ve ever known. I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember. My Mother always made sure that dance, music, art, and the theatre were in our lives. Being raised by a strong, independent, woman, who happened to be an artist, had a big influence on me, from a very early age. I began singing as soon as I could talk, dancing as soon as I could walk, drawing from the time I could hold a pencil, and writing songs and poetry as soon as I could form a sentence! All I’ve ever wanted to do is create, and all I ever wanted to be was who I am, an artist!

During my teens, I discovered it didn’t matter which medium I used, whether it be dancing, singing, writing, drawing, painting, playing the violin or guitar. Having a number of mediums on my palette meant more opportunities to do what I loved the most, create!

"Life is my canvas, experience is my palette, my creative heart, soul and imagination are my tools" ~Denise Vasquez

My obsession with customizing toys began back in 2009 when I was invited by Lucasfilm to participate in their “Empire Muggs Back: Art For A Mighty Good Cause” project. I was one of the many artists, comic Book creators, toy designers, and celebrities invited to transform a blank Mighty Mugg into a one of a kind Star Wars figure that was auctioned to benefit The Make A Wish Foundation. This was the first time I created a vinyl toy, I was VERY excited & up for the challenge! I LOVE thinking outside of the box, I LOVE crossing genres, and I LOVE creating what has NOT been done before! With all that being said, I created a Steve Sansweet Mighty Mugg. For those that don’t know Steve, he is an amazing person, who has inspired me beyond words, who also happens to be known around the world as the Ambassador of Star Wars. He was the perfect muse for my creation! I fell in love with creating vinyl toys as I was working on this project! Working 3 dimensionally is a different way of approaching, seeing & creating art and I LOVED it…I was HOOKED! You can read all about the making of my Steve Sansweet Mighty Mugg in my blog here

As soon as I was finished with this project, I wanted to create more vinyl toys. I got on my iMac computer, went on the internet and did a Google search to learn where I could get my hands on some blank vinyl toys. I ended up going to “Kidrobot” and purchased a few of their DIY blank “Munny” vinyl toys. I became obsessed! I LOVE how the Munny’s came with a variety of surprise accessories which only added to my obsession with customizing vinyl toys!

I continued experimenting & making custom vinyl dolls for myself until I was invited to participate in another GREAT project! DKE Toys/Adfunture invited me to participate in their “Custom Yoka Show” for DesignerCon 2009. I was sent a blank vinyl Yoka and given the opportunity to not only participate in another amazing project, with some amazing artists, but I had the freedom to create whatever I wanted! I LOVE having the opportunity to create whatever character I want, in whatever genre I want! As I’m all about Peace & Love…my signature is “PeAcE LoVe aRt & sOuL”…I wanted to incorporate who I am into my art! I made a list of ideas, and for every reason, I decided to go with the Love theme! I don’t know what propelled me to use glow in the dark paint, but I’m so glad I did! That began my obsession with incorporating Glow in the dark paint into everything I created! For the Yoka tour, I created my Glow in the dark “GLOWING LOVE” yoka. To read about my process, visit my blog here

Creating my “Stan Lee POW” custom vinyl munny for San Diego Comic Con 2010 put me on another level personally as a custom vinyl toy designer. As I was going to be in “Artists Alley” for San Diego Comic Con, I wanted to create a vinyl toy that would be a show stopper at my table. I thought about where I was going, and thought about what comic con meant to me & the first thing that popped into my mind was Stan Lee! I had to create Stan Lee…he is my favorite super hero & in my opinion Stan Lee is Comic Con! I had a few days to create my Stan Lee vinyl toy, so I didn’t have time to ponder on my idea. I trusted myself, believed in my idea went for it! The response to my Stan Lee vinyl Munny during San Diego Comic Con 2010 was BEYOND incredible! I was truly living my dreams as an artist! Morgan Spurlocks’ team LOVED it when they saw it! They took photos of it, had me sign a release & it’s now FEATURED on page 89 in Morgan Spurlocks’s Book “Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope”. Everyone kept telling me I had to show it to Stan Lee & that was my ultimate goal for the convention! I took a chance, went for it & when he saw it, he totally flipped! He asked me “Where did you get this? Where can I get one?” I laughed and said “I made it”. He freaked even more & I was totally geeking out inside, Stan Lee was freaking out over my art! “He said wait you made this? This is fantastic, this is incredible” Then he asked me “What do you want to do with it?” I said “I haven’t decided yet”…He said “Great answer! Give the girl our card & take hers” He signed my doll handed it back to me told me he’d be in touch & within a month I received an invitation to meet with Stan Lee at his office in Beverly Hills! Stan Lee is now the proud owner of that vinyl doll, but I made another one for me which he signed for me & he had me sign the one that he has! Since then, I was invited to be a guest blogger on Stan Lee’s websites and my Stan Lee doll is currently the profile for Stan Lee’s myspace page
(*0*) This is all truly BEYOND a dream come true for me!

Since them I’ve had many commissions by fans, friends, celebrities and more to create custom vinyl dolls for special events or as personal gifts.

As an artist, I’m always looking for opportunities! One day while I was browsing the internet, I landed on Conan O’Briens’ Tumblr page and saw he was looking for Fan Art. I LOVE Conan, so I decided to create a Conan O’Brien vinyl munny. I submitted an image of my final piece and it ended up being featured on Team Coco’s website in COCO MOCA The Museum of Conan Art, as well as being featured in “Music Connection Magazine”! When I got word that they were looking for fan art for “The Flaming C” I created a GLOW IN THE DARK “Flaming C” vinyl doll which also ended up in COCO MOCA The Museum of Conan Art
I’m headed to the Conan O’brien show on Sept 7th with my Two vinyl dolls in hand, so we’ll see what happens with that!

I was invited to participate in “Art From A Galaxy Far Far Away” with my man Randy Martinez at Hold Up Art Gallery.
For this show I brought to life my latest concept GLOW IN THE DARK Star Wars Dia De Los Muertos custom vinyl figures & a Dark Vader mask.
As I mentioned earlier, I LOVE thinking outside the box when creating art & I always enjoy crossing genres and bringing them together! I created art that represented my love for latin culture & my love for Star Wars!

Over 1,000 people showed up at the gallery for our opening reception including Paparazzi, fans, friends, artists, 501st Legion, press, celebrities and we’ve been receiving press all around the world! The response to our show has been INCREDIBLE!!! By popular demand we are having a closing reception for
“Art From A Galaxy Far Far Away”
Sept 10th 7-11pm
We are VERY excited about the response & all of the press our show is receiving all around the world!
Here are SOME of the articles & videos circulating around the globe about “Art From A Galaxy Far Far Away”…

Join us on Sept 10th 7-11pm and help us close out our show with a bang!
All of the art is available to purchase by phone or at the gallery
*The Vader Mask will be available by phone or at the gallery in a silent auction.
The show runs thru September 15th
Visit for more information

To connect with artist Denise Vasquez visit:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jon-Paul Kaiser 36 Inch Maori Qee

This is three feet of plastic goodness from the minds of Jon-Paul Kaiser and Toy2r. The Maori Qee is joining an already awesome lineup of huge toys that were announced earlier this summer, but this is definitely my favorite of he bunch. I don't even know where I would put something this big, which is just as well because it costs $2800 and that's not happening any time soon. But one can dream, right?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Spider Man Mighty Mugg SDCC Exclusive

Anyone who missed out on the San Diego Comic Con exclusive Spider Man Mighty Mugg will now have a chance to get one. They will be available on tomorrow, which is Wednesday for those of you whose days blend together the way mine do. These are left overs that didn't sell at the convention, so I would imagine that there won't be many for sale. Log on first thing and keep hitting that refresh button if you want to snag one.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Star Wars Train Set from the Bradford Exchange

In the old West outlaws would rob trains as a means of supporting their crazy lifestyles. In modern times, trains now rob you to support George Lucas's crazy notion that you want him to keep making changes to the original trilogy (seriously, stop trying to ruin it for me). Star Wars has teamed up with over priced collectible company The Bradford Exchange to create this galactic themed train set. For $69.99 (plus $9.99 shipping and handling) they will send you one train car and pieces of the track. It's not until your third fleecing some months later that they actually send you the power pack so you can make the whole thing work. That's $210 before you can enjoy it in any capacity. This may be he meanest post I've ever made and most of it does stem from the recent changes that Mr. Lucas has made to the movies I hold so dear. But come on guys, you couldn't have sold this thing at Target for $100?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

All City Breakers 20 Pack from Kidrobot

Not long after I wrote about the blind bag versions of these, Kidrobot announces that they will also make available color coded 20 packs for $29.95 on September 15th. Now you can finally live out that modern West Side Story battle you've always dreamed about. Turf wars have never been so much fun!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Argonaut Resins at New York Comic Con

Argonaut Resins is previewing one of the releases they hope to have ready for this year's New York Comic Con. They're teaming up again with Robbie Busch, who designed the El Diablo figure on the left, and are planning on releasing Mini El Diablo. He will be 3 and a half inches tall and you can see a work in progress sculpt of him on the right. No word on price yet, but this is something I'm going to have to add to my "want" list when I'm at the convention this year.

Jared Deal's Vladimir will also be available at the con, but will have a slightly different look than the older release pictured above. Can't wait to see what the final product will look like.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Kidrobot Las Vegas

My wife recently went to Las Vegas for her manager's conference and was able to sneak away to the Kidrobot pop up store at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. You can check out all the pictures she took on our Facebook page at