STGCC 2014: Frank Kozik Interview by Jedd Jong

On the eve of New York Comic Con, I’m doing a bit of catch-up on a piece that our good friend Jedd sent in several weeks back, during the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention. It’s a great interview with designer toy icon Frank Kozik. Be sure to check out Jedd’s own site, The Movie and Me, for his full coverage of STGCC and much more.

Frank Kozik with Marvel Labbit Rocket Raccoon - Image Credit: Vinyl Pulse

Frank Kozik with Marvel Labbit Rocket Raccoon – Image Credit: Vinyl Pulse

Artist and designer Frank Kozik is known in collectible art circles as the creator of the Labbit, but it also famous as a poster designer who created artwork for bands such as The White Stripes, Pearl Jam, The Beastie Boys and Nirvana. The commercial artwork he has done includes work for Nike, Swatch and MTV. Kozik was in Singapore as a guest of the Singapore Toys, Games and Comics Convention (STGCC) and I got to sit down with him to discuss his work. He was somewhat intimidating and frank and off-the-cuff, giving a detailed description of how Labbit came to be (it involves booty calls) and offering a surprising, piece of advice to aspiring artists.

Jedd Jong: What was the genesis of Labbit; how did you conceptualise that?

Frank Kozik: That’s an interesting story. In the mid-90s, I was going to Japan quite a bit, I was working with the people there. When I went over there for the first time, I was really in Sanrio products, was really into like Hello Kitty and Keroppi and stuff, I thought it was very interesting, the stuff they were doing. I liked how they did the characters, it was like super-perfect. What’s interesting is in Japan then, it was just something for low-class people. These were are sort of like snotty Shinjuku fashion dudes, right? And they’re like “what do you want to do, do you want to do cocaine on top of a mountain?” and I’m like “no, I want to go to Kitty Land!” And they all just thought I was crazy, they were like “what?!” They couldn’t understand, it was such a low thing for them. And I tried to explain it, I said “look, there’s something really interesting here. It’s like super-perfect way to develop a character,” like you got to get beyond who buys it. In the US, it became a really big cult thing.

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Hot Toys Reveals Avengers Bruce Banner – Hulk Smash Puny Banner!

Hot Toys The Avengers Bruce Banner 01

While I’ve got Hulk on my mind, I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight the recent reveals by Hot Toys for their Avengers Bruce Banner figure. We first saw puny Banner in a shawarma diorama at SGTCC. At the time I thought Hot Toys was cruel for making a custom we could never get ourselves. Now I find myself in a quandary – I don’t have a Tony Stark figure. And Hot Toys hasn’t made a Steve Rogers figure. So do I get Banner? In fact, there’s two options. One is Banner by himself, while the other includes the really awesome Hulk figure, I think with some additional “set pieces” to liven up your display.

Both the Hot Toys Avengers Bruce Banner and the Hot Toys Avengers Bruce Banner and Hulk are up for pre-order at Sideshow Collectibles.

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Play Imaginative Super Alloy Iron Man 1/12 Hammer Drones Pic

Play Imaginative Super Alloy One Twelfth Scale Hammer Drones

Here’s another look at the Super Alloy 1/12 scale Hammer Drones from Iron Man 2. Play Imaginative first revealed these at the Singapore Toy, Game, and Comic Convention. If their specs match up with the other 1/12 scale Iron Man figures, they should be around 80% diecast, and come in around $100 and change.

via Play Imaginative.

STGCC 2013: Interview with Nathan Hamill by Jedd

Nathan Hamill with Jedd

Here’s a wrap-up of Jedd’s STGCC coverage with an interview with Nathan Hamill, artist and toy designer, who coincidentally is one of Mark Hamill’s kids. He talks with Jedd about toys, art, comics, and, yes, a little bit about Star Wars.

Jedd: Welcome to Singapore!

Nathan: Thank you!

Are you having a good time so far?

Excellent. First time here and it’s stunning, it’s incredible. The weather was perfect yesterday; it’s great so far.

I had a look at your Twitter feed, really cool stuff. Beneath your handle, it says “I makes what I likes.” What do you think has been the most rewarding thing of living by that maxim?

Yeah, “I makes what I likes” is just… first of all, I think it’s funny because it’s using improper English, which makes me laugh. Like “I makes what I likes,” yeah… I try to keep it as simple as that. So yeah, my motto, “I makes what I likes,” at the end of the day it should come down to whether or not it’s something that you enjoy, not to be too convoluted about what your themes and what your concepts are. Yeah, that stuff is good and fine but I guess I’m trying to… you know, take things less seriously.

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STGCC 2013: Hot Toys Booth Pics

Here’s photos from Hot Toys of their booth with Action City at STGCC. And would you look at that – that Bruce Banner is actually a prototype of an upcoming Hot Toys release, so your very own shawarma scene could be in your future.

Hot Toys & Action City at STGCC 2013

STGCC has officially begun today and visitors were thrilled to take pictures with the life-size Midas and Hall of Armor Statues powered by Hot Toys!Fans were queuing up for the highly anticipated Hot Toys 1/6th scale Midas (Mark XXI), Silver Centurion (Mark XXXIII), Tony Stark (The Mechanic), and Eric Draven Collectible Figures.

New owners of the Midas Collectible Figure are excited when they received the special Mark XXI gift pack!

In addition to getting their hands on new Hot Toys products, Hot Toys’ booth is attracting lots of visitors too! One of the most popular showcases is the “Avengers Assembled at Shawarma” where the latest Hot Toys prototype – Bruce Banner is fully revealed and shown for the first time ever at an exhibition by joining the rest of The Avenger’s team in the diorama. Stay tuned on our Facebook Page for information on this highly-anticipated character!

via Hot Toys & Action City at STGCC 2013.

STGCC 2013: Play Imaginative Booth Pics

Because we can’t get enough of the Iron Babes, here’s another pic of them from Play Imaginative’s own booth pics. We’ve also swiped a few pics of toys, too. :)

Play Imaginative blasts into STGCC 2013!

STGCC fans were treated to a full preview of Play Imaginative’s upcoming Super Alloy Iron Man Collectible Figures!

STGCC 2013 Play Imaginative Iron babes

Over 100 display prototypes (in 1/4 and 1/12 scale) from Marvel’s Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 and The Avengers movies, unveiled at the Super Alloy by Play Imaginative booth H3.

Fans also got autographs from acclaimed comic artist Adi Granov, who has worked on illustrations in the Iron Man comics and movies. Flying in all the way from UK, this visit is a treat!

A highlight was the life-sized Iron Man Mark 42 figure sitting on a couch, and fans queued non-stop to chill with him!

Prototypes of 5 upcoming Super Alloy 1/6 Scale Collectible Figures from DC Comics’ The New 52 Justice League were also revealed. Fans got an up-close look at prototypes of The New 52 Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, The Flash and Cyborg, each standing at 12 inches (approx. 30 cm) tall.

Over at the Play Imaginative booth, a crazy wide range of newly arrived vinyl collectible figures released, from licenses such as Disney, DC Comics, SpongeBob SquarePants, Paul Frank, Happy Tree Friends, and TO-FU Oyako.
And The Devilrobots flew in from Japan to meet with fans!

via Play Imaginative blasts into STGCC 2013!

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STGCC 2013: Check Out Jedd’s Mega Picture Posts at The Movie and Me

I want to thank Jedd again for the pics and info he sent us from the Singapore Toy, Game, and Comic Convention this past weekend. We’ve still got one more post from him coming up later this week – his conversation with toy designer Nathan Hamill, who coincidentally is one of Mark Hamill’s kids.

In the meantime, check out Jedd’s Mega Picture Posts on his own site, The Movie and Me, for a great view of STGCC.

STGCC 2013 Day 1: Mega Picture Post

STGCC 2013 - Jedd and the Iron Babes

Hey everyone, here’s part 1 of my requisite mega picture post for the Singapore Toy Games and Comics Convention. This year, the event was sponsored by Marvel and they pulled out all the stops, including a life-sized Hall of Armour. I’m very much a DC person myself, but what can you do? And hey, Iron Man’s cool no matter how you slice it.

via The Movie and Me – Movie Reviews and more: STGCC 2013 Day 1: Mega Picture Post.

STGCC 2013: Hot Toys Marvel, DC, Terminator, and G.I. JOE

STGCC 2013 Hot Toys 01

Our good friend Jedd is at the Singapore Toy, Game, and Comic Convention, and has sent us in this update from the Hot Toys booth. He writes:

Here are some photos of this year’s Marvel-heavy Hot Toys display, including three dioramas: one of the Avengers eating their shawarma, one of Odin banishing Thor to Earth as Loki looks on, and Tony Stark in his workshop, putting together the latest “mark” of his suit of armour. There was also a display employing the use of holographic projection technology.

With that one of a kind Bruce Banner, it’ll be tough to recreate that shawarma scene – unless Hot Toys has plans for the puny human. Jedd also sent in pics of the Hot Toys DC, Terminator, and G.I. JOE figures.

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STGCC 2013: Play Imaginative Super Alloy DC New 52 Justice League

STGCC 2013 Play Imaginative DC New 52 Justice League 1 STGCC 2013 Play Imaginative DC New 52 Justice League 2 STGCC 2013 Play Imaginative DC New 52 Justice League 3 STGCC 2013 Play Imaginative DC New 52 Justice League 4 STGCC 2013 Play Imaginative DC New 52 Justice League 5

While Jedd was at the Play Imaginative booth at STGCC, he also sent us pics of their Super Alloy DC New 52 Justice League 1/6 scale figures. I am pretty excited for this line, because there really hasn’t been much in the 1/6 scale for comic book figures on the DC side of things. Back when DC Direct (now DC Collectibles) had their 13-inch line going, I wasn’t that interested in the scale – but even in hindsight those were probably on the large side and not as exciting as these super-poseable figures.

The new addition for this show is the New 52 Batman – you could argue that the Jim Lee version is also New 52, but I guess Play Imaginative is taking a page out of the Hot Toys playbook in terms of re-releasing characters with updates. The new body is probably an improvement over the original in terms of articulation scheme, but I’m thinking the head is a little on the dull side. Batman joins Superman, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and Flash (not pictured) in the current Justice League line-up.

STGCC 2013: Play Imaginative Super Alloy Iron Man

STGCC 2013 Play Imaginative Iron Man 4

Jedd has sent in an update from the Singapore Toy, Game, and Comic Convention – he’s visited the Play Imaginative booth and shared this report on the Super Alloy Iron Man diecast line. I’m really amazed that PI is so aggressively targeting the Marvel brand that’s been Hot Toys’ bread and butter for the past few years. Jedd writes:

Play Imaginative trucked out an incredible display of practically every Iron Man armour that has been in the movies, in six inch scale (just prototypes at this point, there are no plans to release every last one). There were also figures in 12 inch scale and 18 inch scale, with a central display of an 18 inch scale Hall of Armour. The Mark VII figure comes with several heads, and what is interesting is that one of them is Pepper in the helmet; Gwyneth Paltrow’s likeness.

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