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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BBTS Sponsor News: Batman, Transformers, Star Wars, ToyWorld, GI Joe, Diamond Select, Borderlands, Bowen, Godzilla & More!

This is a sponsored post from BigBadToyStore.com. Thank you for supporting our sponsors! – Ron


NEW PRE-ORDERS


BATMAN CLASSIC 1966 TV FIGURES SERIES 01, 02, BOX SET
We have just listed the first two waves of the Batman Classic 1966 TV Figures, as well as the first box set.  The first wave includes Batman, Riddler and Penguin and is listed at $54.99 for the Set of 3;  the second wave of Batman Classic 1966 TV figures Case includes two of Joker and one each of Batman, Penguin, Riddler and Surf’s Up Batman, and is priced at $104.99.  We have them listed as a Set of 5 (one of each figure) at $94.99, and the Joker singly at $17.99.  The new Box Set includes Batman and Robin walking up the side of the building;  this two-pack is the only way to get the Robin figure, and is listed at $32.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/search.aspx?search=batman%20classic%20tv

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BBTS Sponsor News: Tetra Squadron, DC, Marvel Select, Fansproject, Transformers, Aliens, Imports, Hot Toys & More!

This is a sponsored post from BigBadToyStore.com. Thank you for supporting our sponsors! – Ron

NEW PRE-ORDERS

TETRA SQUADRON FIGURES
These seven new figures feature pre-earth tetrahedron styled vehicle modes.  You can choose from Banshee, Rebelor, Prankstor, Smashor, Boostor, Requiem and Solarblast.  These figures are currently BBTS Early Bird Exclusives, and are priced at $49.99 ($10 off the MSRP) until 3-19, so be sure to get your orders in before the price returns to $59.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/search.aspx?search=Tetra%20Squadron

NEW DC ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR MARCH
DC unleashed a plethora of announcements today.  They include New 52 Figure two-Packs of Flash & Vibe and Wonder Woman & Katana, each priced at $34.99 ($5 off the MSRP), as well as a single Martian Manhunter figure at $21.99 ($3 off the MSRP).  Aquaman & Black Adam and Superman & Nightwing get 3.75″ figure two-packs from Injustice: Gods Among Us for $26.99 each ($3 off the MSRP) as well.  Arkham City Nightwing gets a new statue at $99.99 ($25 off the MSRP), while Batman gets two new Black & White Statues – Sean Murphy Version and Rafael Grampa Version, with each priced at $69.99 ($10 off the MSRP).  Superman starts a new The Man of Steel statue line with versions by Rags Morales and Jim Lee;  each of these is listed at $69.99 as well, saving you $10 per statue off of the MSRP.  A Second Edition of the Vertigo:  The Sandman & Death Bookend Set is coming and is priced at $179.99, $20 off the MSRP.  Finally, a new 2013 release of the 1:1 Scale Yellow Lantern Power Battery & Ring Prop Replica was announced, and we have it listed at $169.99, saving you $30 off of the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/list.aspx?list=12249

MARVEL SELECT MOVIE WOLVERINE
Diamond and Gentle Giant have just announced the first figure from the upcoming movie “The Wolverine”.  This Wolverine is shirtless with claws extended and a grim facial expression, comes with alternate head and hands, and is listed at $24.99 right now, although that price may change once more information is revealed.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/product.aspx?product=DMC11956&mode=retail

STAR WARS BUSINESS CARD HOLDERS – R2-D2, HAN IN CARBONITE
Kotobukiya has two new metallic business card cases on the way.  They are designed as either R2-D2 or Han Solo in Carbonite, and each is listed at $26.99, $3 off the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/search.aspx?search=Star%20Wars%20Business%20Card%20Holder

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BBTS Sponsor News: GI Joe, Mass Effect, Diamond Select, The Walking Dead, Arkham City, Transformers & More!

This is a sponsored post from BigBadToyStore.com. Thank you for supporting our sponsors! – Ron

NEW PREORDERS

G.I. JOE 2013 Basic Series 1 SSV Normandy SR-2 Ship Replica War Lord UT-W01 - War Hawk Diamond Select Munsters Series 02 - Hot Rod Herman

GI JOE BASIC FIGURE SERIES 01 – SET, SINGLES
This new assortment includes new decoes of Cobra Commander, a Cobra Trooper and Storm Shadow, along with Snake Eyes, Duke and Shipwreck.  We have them listed as singles at $3.99 – $11.99 each, and as a Set of 6 at $31.99.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/search.aspx?search=GI%20Joe%202013%20Basic%20Series%2001

MASS EFFECT SSV NORMANDY SR-2 18″ SHIP REPLICA
This new 18″ version of the SSV Normandy SR-2 rests atop a specially-designed base.  It is limited to 1500 pieces worldwide and is priced at $239.99, saving you $60 off of the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/product.aspx?product=DH11060&mode=retail

WAR LORD UT-W02, UT-W03 – WAR RHINO, WAR BISON
The second figure in Unique Toys’ War Lord release line is War Rhino.  He includes a pack with two independently movable cannons that becomes the foot of War Lord, and is priced at $84.99.  Like War Rhino, War Bison will include a cannon backpack that becomes a foot for War Lord, and he is priced at $84.99 as well, saving you $15 off of the MSRP.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/menu.aspx?menu=2810&company=1524

MASS EFFECT ALLIANCE NORMANDY SR-1 SHIP REPLICA – REGULAR, SILVER
Dark Horse is also releasing 6″ versions of the Alliance Normandy SR-1.  We have the regular version priced at $29.99, and the Antique Silver version (limited to 1500 pieces) at $49.99.  Each version comes with a display base.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/search.aspx?search=Normandy%20SR-1

DIAMOND SELECT MUNSTERS SERIES 02 FIGURES
The second wave of Munsters figures includes three family members dressed up for a ride – Hot Rod Herman, Hot Rod Lily and Hot Rod Grandpa – as well as visiting family member Uncle Gilbert (the Creature from the Black Lagoon).  Each figure is listed at $21.99, $3 off the MSRP;  each also comes with a part of the build-a-diorama of the Munsters’ staircase, complete with openable trapdoor and Spot.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/search.aspx?search=Diamond%20Select%20Munsters%20Series%2002

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BBTS News: Toy Fair 2013, Transformers, DC Collectibles, NFL/NHL Sportspicks, Iron Man 3, GI Joe Retaliation, Barbie, Kotobukiya & More!

This is a sponsored post from BigBadToyStore.com. Thank you for supporting our sponsors! – Ron

NEW PREORDERS

NECA TOY FAIR 2013 NEW ITEMS
NECA had a variety of new items to show at Toy Fair this past weekend.  These include a 1/4 Scale Superman from the upcoming “Man of Steel” movie, which was priced at $84.99.  They also announced two 1/4 Scale Batman figures at $84.99 each, one in the Adam West look from 1964 and the other in the Michael Keaton look from 1989’s “Batman”.  “Pacific Rim” will be getting a line of 7″ figures, with the first assortment containing Gipsy Danger, Crimson Typhoon, and Knifehead; we have them available at $53.99 for the Set of three, or $229.99 for the Case of 14 ($69 off the MSRP, breakdown currently unknown).  The Predators 7″ figure series is getting a ninth assortment, which includes Jungle Encounter Dutch, Jungle Disguise Dutch and Water Emergence Predator, like the “Pacific Rim” assortment, this one is available both as a Set of three for $53.99 and as a Case of 14 at $229.99, saving you $69 off of the MSRP.  The upcoming “Lone Ranger” film has a number of figures on the way;  1/4 Scale figures of the Lone Ranger and Tonto at $84.99 each, 7″ Head Knockers of the Lone Ranger and Tonto at $19.99 each, and 7″ Figures, with a Set of the Lone Ranger and Tonto at $36.99 or the Case of 8 figures (breakdown unknown) at $134.99, $35 off the MSRP.  Kitai from “After Earth” will soon be available as a 7″ Scale action figure, priced at $18.99.  The second line of 6″ figures from the KickAss series come from “KickAss 2″, and the assortment includes KickAss, Hit Girl and MF-er.  They are available as a Set of three for $53.99 or a Case of 14 at $229.99 (once again, $69 off the MSRP, with the breakdown currently unknown).  Finally, a second series of Gears of War 3.75″ figures is coming, and they are listed at $34.99 for the Set of three, or $139.99 for the Case of 14, saving you $42 off of the MSRP.  Please note – we have added a number of singles to the various menus, priced at $18.99 each for the 6″-7″ figures, and $11.99 each for the Gears of War 3.75” figures, so be sure to grab your favorites if you choose not to get the whole case or set.
http://www.bigbadtoystore.com/bbts/list.aspx?list=11955

Continue reading “BBTS News: Toy Fair 2013, Transformers, DC Collectibles, NFL/NHL Sportspicks, Iron Man 3, GI Joe Retaliation, Barbie, Kotobukiya & More!”