Mostly Harmless Toys

April 17, 2013 at 4:53 pm

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For the Love of Toys! This underground industry is growing quick. I myself have been around the makers of these amazing lil’ plastic toys more and more and want to showcase artists I think are creating interesting characters. I approached the mind behind Mostly Harmless toys and we decided it was go time. Here we go as we fire off questions, and he fires answers back!

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Neighborhood Love:
Where did you grow up and what neighborhood do you represent?
Mostly Harmless:
I was born in raised in Fort Wayne IN, the second largest city in the state my formidable years were spent Central and after a few years living too north I now reside back Central in the 05. The neighborhood and high school I attended were a great mix of races and cultures. When you hear people talk about the “great American melting pot” analogy Fort Wayne is right up there with the best. All the flavor and diversity but on a smaller scale than larger cities like Chicago or Indy so there isn’t really a “little this culture” or “little that culture” district. You get it all almost anywhere you go.
Neighborhood Love:
How did you get into the world of vinyl toys, it seems like a pretty underground movements and niche market?
Mostly Harmless
I never really grew out of action figures, toys, and Saturday morning cartoons. The vinyl scene and art toys were just another sub genre of what is still one of my first loves, Toys! The scene is very open to new ideas and I love it. Not a lot of hate or negativity about putting together original pieces that seem off the wall. You see everything from Hello Kitty to cigarettes smoking cigarettes to big titted rabbit nurses in the same scene. Aolot of sub genres, so there is something for everyone. And, yes the hipster in me loves that it is still kinda underground.
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Neighborhood Love:
I see that you do a lot g and adding on to ,do build from the ground up or add to pre-existing toys?of painting and adding on to ,do build from the ground up or add to pre-existing toys?
Mostly Harmless:
Depending on my mood sometimes paint is enough to get the piece done while other times I wanna come up with grand sculpted pieces. I do a lot of Android collectibles and the collectors seem to like when they can stick it on their collection and your piece still resembles the character they love, so I don’t sculpt them up at this point…yet. Some formats, Like the Kidrobot ‘Bots and Mascots I always sculpt to add some more depth. Those collectors are always wanting to be wowed. You need to impress those folks. I feel I have struck a good mix depending on who the fan is.
Neighborhood Love:
It seems I can take a lot of interest zombies and the undead how did that come about?
Mostly Harmless:
I’ve always been a huge fan of horror movies and comics, especially the old school Universal stuff. Sometimes you see something that flips your shit and you never go back. For me it was “Night of the Living Dead”.  Even terrible zombie movies are watchable. I just love to contribute to their ever-growing popularity.
Neighborhood Love:
I also like that you mixed different genres together when creating your toys, What do you think the ideas for these come from?
Mostly Harmless:
I like to keep myself eclectic mentally. Music, books, movies, food, people. You need to do your best to enjoy a little bit of everything and be open to diversity. I guess it comes out in my work. No matter how cute a character I doodle, paint or sculpt looks It’s gonna have an “X” on its forehead.
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Neighborhood Love:
When mixing the different ideas together like zombie and something else for instance give her think you can go too far to where people just won’t react well to it? Thursday just no ceiling on the thing?
Mostly Harmless:
I don’t have a ceiling, no. No such thing as too much. There will always be some one that doesn’t like what you do. However, there are boundaries I don’t touch. I don’t wanna do anything that will come off as offensive because it is just mean-spirited towards something you don’t have control over. Race, Sexuality, Disabilities. Stuff like that.
Neighborhood Love:
Vinyl toys are really new to me but I know that they’ve been gaining momentum can you tell me some of the events that happened that you feel are the bigger ones are more important gatherings?
Mostly harmless:
I think the momentum stays pretty constant with vinyl and art toys. There are lots of artists like Ron English, Frank Kozik, and Gary Baseman whose work translates well to toys. The imaginative go-to artists coupled with the constant addition of newcomers to easily accessible and cost friendly series like Dunny keeps things form getting stale. In other words, the steady introduction of new and fresh and different keeps things rolling in a positive direction. When a major toy company like Hasbro or Funko makes a mass market series and puts a popular face on it i.e. Star Wars, Disney, Marvel comics, It broadens the appeal and  siphons more collectors into the underground styles and artists.
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Neighborhood Love:
I know when I was growing up nerds really didn’t get any girls in their scenes and was kind of sad affair, although these days seems like nerdy scenes including the vinyl toy scene have a lot of hot girls that dress up and attend, what do you think of this? It seems like it pulls be a little bit of a double-edged sword?
Mostly Harmless:
As you can imagine, being a toy collector in high school ad middle school before geek was chic did not lend to an easy existence.  I think it is great that all this is more acceptable now and it does not brand you as an oddball. Or maybe we all just have found ways to find our own kind and we are damn lucky some of the odd balls are hot. Chicks and dudes alike.
Neighborhood Love:
How much is a cost to you to make a lot of the toys and what are some of the numbers that the toys can sell for?
Mostly Harmless:
Talking profit can be off-putting but there is obviously some there. I do my best to swoop on deals and I do enough Android business that I have a wholesaler to get those by the case. If I get a good deal on base figures it reflects in my selling price. I want my art on every collector’s shelf so I try to make pieces that run broad price ranges. The time you put into something can really affect what someone is willing to pay for it.
Neighborhood Love:
To a lot of artist do things in limited-edition runs make the price is more valuable in the future or do you think it’s just so tedious that they like to do smaller amounts?
Mostly Harmless:
Low production equating to higher after market only works if your piece is desired. I’m sure most artists are not seeing profit from sold out pieces unless the horde their own work to sell if it peaks. A high after market can however help sell future releases and affect the selling price. Even mass market collectibles produced in the thousands per piece can see high after market value when they are harder to find after being out of circulation. I am currently piecing together my first “bootleg” figures that I would like to see produced. For them I will be seeking a low production run simply because I think it adds to appeal for the collector. Collectors, including myself, want something to show off and the ability to boast about its rarity. Valuable or not, cool is cool and low run equals cool to a lot of collectors.