and of coz i had to have a quick chat with Mark to to be "enlightened" :)
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(Boy Karma @ SDCC'07 - image via Pixie)
TOYSREVIL: Who is Boy Karma? what was his genesis?
MARK NAGATA: The image of Boy Karma comes from the image I painted for the Toy Karma toy / art show. I thought a super deformed type of character would be cute. Boy Karma, is the deity who represents the Toy Karma credo of paying it forward in a positive light in all your toy deals and your Holy Grail toy will come to you !
TRE: would Boy Karma be considered your first ever "designer vinyl" figure? (in terms of urban vinyl, as opposed to kaiju) and how do you feel about him?
MN: My first figure was Capt Maxx, a superhero figure ... followed by Alien Xam, and Kaiju Eyezon [editor: peep here] . All of these are original designs of mine. You know i didn't even think this would be more of an Urban vinyl versus a Kaiju type of vinyl .. for me it's an extension of my painting and the other toys I've done. I suppose it's not really a kaiju or monster, but I can see it living in the same universe. I'm going to do a 4 foot tall version of Boy Karma so each hand can hold a Max Toy kaiju in it's hands !
TRE: now a 4-footer Boy Karma WOULD be a sight to behold! too true about "labels", as long as peeps enjoy them for what they are :) - is there a quantity/limit to Boy Karma?
MN: the Normal version is not limited, but there is a version for Toy karma show only that's limited to 15 pieces and comes with a giclee print. each toy and print is hand numbered. I believe they have 2 left from Rotofugi in Chicago, USA. for now this first version is limited to rotofugi after the show is over he will be available for wholesale or from my web site.
TRE: will we be seeing other colorways of Boy Karma (in the near future)? on the same token, will we be seeing more urban vinyls from yourself?
MN: yes of course, and also some hand painted limited runs, that i will hand paint. hmm, I'm not sure if what i do is "urban vinyl" , ha-ha ... well my sense of taste and design leans more towards classic japanese kaiju and superheroes ... but i do have a few more ideas which are more like Boy Karma .. so we'll see !
TOYSREVIL: cheers for the time and trouble, mark! in closing, please do share with us, Who is Mark Nagata?
Ask anyone who knows Mark to describe him and the two things that will come up are toys and art.
After attending the Academy of Art College in San Francisco during the late 80's and picking up a New York artist's rep, Mark embarked on a 10-year plus journey as a freelance commercial illustrator. Over the years he's worked with a diverse client list which has included Scholastic Books, Bantam Books, Harper Collins, Becketts Publications, Schlage Locks, AMD, Genentech, IBM, Square Soft, Activision, DC Comics,
Sony, Galoob Toys, Lucasfilms, Hasbro Toys and numerous Advertising and Design firms nationally and internationally. The highlight of this time included over 40 cover paintings for RL Stine's Goosbumps book series, Give Yourself Goosbumps.
Churning out hundreds of assignments over the years, coupled with deadlines from hell took a toll, both mentally and physically. "I had to reassess what was important in my life and refocus my abilities towards a new goal. " said Nagata.
"I'd been collecting Japanese toys all along, and suddenly realized it would be cool to have a magazine of some type devoted to them." So it's no surprise that Mark ended up creating and co-publishing Super7 Magazine. After successfully building the Super7 brand for nearly 4 years , it was time to move on. "I wasn't able to paint as much as I wanted, and I realized that the part of Super7 I enjoyed the most was creating toys and artwork" reflects Nagata.
Thus was born Mark's new venture called Max Toy Company, named after his son Max. With a nod to the Golden Age of Japanese toys, Max Toy Co. will continue the tradition of offering classic Japanese character toys by all the best toy companies.
"Max Toy Co. will allow me to produce original artwork, sculpt new toys, and work directly with a lot of my talented artist friends." Nagata says. Max Toy Co is a synthesis of toys and art ... both life long passions.
added: George managed to get the first print of Boy Karma! peep images here :)