BLOG DESIGN - Big Thanks to Ugly Club member Graham Schneider for the righteous pixel art! Graham is working on a retro game concept and other radness - have look at his current site where he's sharing his work!

Also check out the Tenacious Toys' webstore and One Up (toy shop in Akihabara, Tokyo) for some RAMPAGE goodies now and again.

Monday, December 26, 2011

SUPERFESTIVAL 58!

Today I depart fropm the Snowy North (Akita - Japan), and board a train for Tokyo! Ahead are plans for some hanging out, toy perusing, a visit to Studio Uamou, Shinto Gangu, Mandarake, etc. - and a nice trip to Kyoto for some 'other' culture as well.
At the end of the trip we will return to Tokyo for SUPERFESTIVAL 58! I'll be laoding my little 1 meter table with tons of Sofubi Toys - Ugly Unicorns and Collaborations galore!
Here are pics - I'll let them do the talking:
Clear X-ray Ugly Unicorns:
"Snowgon Ugly Unicorns" :


COLLABORATIONS (rampage paintwork on other designers figures):

Chima Group Bolo:

Kikkake Kuma-chan (little bears):

Velocitron Ghouls:
Chima Group Tnegallon:
Come to Tokyo! Should be AWESOME!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

RAMPAGE x Imps and Monsters MANOTAUR!

Hello Toy People!

Update time! A couple quick-fire posts coming right up!

1st off - RAMPAGE is teaming up with Justin Hillgrove (Imps and Monsters - http://www.impsandmonsters.com/) to release a very cool new Sofubi figure - the MANOTAUR! The sculpt was done by Justin himself, and it has already been recieved at the wax/mold workshop here in Japan. We're looking at a spring release - hopefully at Justin's booth at this year's Emeral City Comic Con in Seattle!

This guy will stand around 8 inches tall - he's pretty bulky too! Here's the sculpt:




This toy is being made here in Japan - with the super high quality vinyl we are all getting used to seeing - and prep for releases will be done primarily 'in house' in the RAMPAGE TOYS' studio - here in Japan as well. I will be painting the realeases, and Justin and I will both host sales of the figure on each of our websites/shops. Also expect small and unique painted runs on occaison - from both Justin and myself.

Here's a little info about this dude (written by Justin)- gives you a feel for the character and Justin's sense of humor

"The Manotaur roams the world in search of something he can’t quite remember. In fact, ever since he invited that fire spirit into his head he’s had trouble concentrating on little other than catering to his countless neuroses and consuming anything with the word “gummy” in the description. In any case, he’s pretty sure he’s forgetting something really important..."

Here's a digital doodle that Justin did for this fellah - SWEET!



I'm psyched for this release! Hope you all dig this dude :-)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Playing Catch-Up

OK... way behind on the blog! Things are moving right along with the Ugly Unicorn and life in Japan - and time is flying by so fast!

The fall shows were great - NYCC and Design Festa! Most of those toys are off in the hands of the UU faithful (Thanks People!).

Anyway, here are some pics of recent Ugly Unicorn releases. There are still a few items up in ye olde shoppe, and more to come soon as well!

Some customs that came out of the woodwork for Design Festa (in Tokyo a couple weeks back). The fleshy fellow in the foreground awaits a warm(-er) home - it's frickin' cold here in Northern Japan!
Design Festa Exclusive "Original Ugliness" Unicorns! Did a run of 5 in this colorway.
"Army of Brightness" Uglies! These guys were a bit of work indeed... But I'm psyched on them - nice bright sprays over black vinyl. As I'm writting this, you can still grab one of these fellows here.

Up next is a release that I'm SUPER excited about! I'm teaming up with KFHC (Kentucky Fried Hardcore) for a very very cool UU release! These guys will be coming up just in time for Christmas - and there's a bit of a surprise in the works ;-)

Lot's more coming for 2012 and beyond!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BOO! Halloween is Coming!

It's that time of years again - ghosts and goblins and all that sort of stuff!

So, what better time to get some paint going on some fresh sofubi?

I managed to pull together a nice little pie of goodies - all of which will go live in the shop on Halloween - sometime in the morning (around 11AM EST I'm thinking... depends on how late I'm up here in Japan!).

PICTURES!

GID micro-run - edition of 5! These will come bagged and carded with GID screen printed header cards (not done yet :-P ). Lots and lots of work went into these guys - setenciling, brushwork and the like:



Customs - some of the more detailed customs yet! I've been messing with paper accessories and more masking techniques - basically having fun! There will be 3 Ugly Unicorns and 1 Adult sized RxH Mutant figure up in the shop:



Last, but not least - I have not forgotten my resin roots! I'll soon be releasing some new resin minis into the wild - a new MUSCLE mash-up and a new Monster in my Pocket (MIMP) mash up. More details soon, but here's a little picture of what's done so far (being cast up by Monstrehero - Cliff - in all sorts of wild colors, like candy!):


Saturday, October 22, 2011

After NYCC and CCM! Only one UU left Standing!

Hello people out there in the internets!!!

So, NYCC was a big old success, and a very great first Stateside outting for the Little Ugly Unicorn Fellah! The figures at the Lulubell booth went like hotcakes upon releasing on Friday, and the Tenacious Toys' release trickled down to just one remaining! (NOTE- join the mailing list if you are interested in having a chance at grabbing that last TT Ugly!) Not sure who noticed, but there was a tiny little surprise at the Tenacious Toys' Booth as well - the clear blue guys were split 50/50 orange and yellow eyes - a little variant fun ;-)

The two eye variants at TT's booth looked like this:

And some pics of the little blue guys in place at the con! Thanks to Kris Dulfer (Kid Ink Industries) for posting the pictures on Facebook! Awesome to see the Uglies in the company of such greats as Bob Conge's (Plaseebo) Molezilla!



And then there were the pieces at the Cotton Candy machine in Brooklyn! I was happy to see people postin pics around of these guys - and I really dig the pastel colors. Not sure how many there were (or how many went off to new homes), but here's a shot of one of the two variants. The other is just a switcheroo - blue legs and pink-ish top. I'll be getting some of these at some point, so keep your eyes peeled for updates if you want one but were unable to attend the SUPER COOL show at the CCM.

Another exciting bit of news - Andy, of Kaiju Korner fame, put together a great review of the Ugly Unicorn! He took some great pictures (and wrote very flatteringly) of the little 'Poppy Goji' dude! Here's a picture I stole from Andy's blog - so cool! Head over to the blog to read the full review, here:


http://kaijukorner.blogspot.com/2011/10/kk-reviews-ugly-unicorn.html



Last, but not least - NEW STUFF! I'm almost done with the Halloween Ugly Uicorns! These guys are done on GLOW IN THE DARK vinyl, and will feature bundles of stenciling and brush-work! Dropping on Halloween - here's a teaser:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cotton Candy Machine!

Just a real quick note! There will be a very limited number of exclusive UGLY UNICORNS (I think 5) available at the Cotton Candy Machine's Friday evening partay! There will, of course, also be loads of other awesome things! I highly recommend checking it out if you are in NYC this weekend. All the info is here

http://www.thecottoncandymachine.com/events/show/cherry-vinyl

NYCC - Why are you so far away?...

Yeah, all whining aside, NYCC should be ROCKIN' this year! Folks like Paul Kaiju, MVH, Plaseebo, Skinner, Lulubell Toys, Tenacious Toys and many many more are all bringing in some AMAZING stuff! Really, it's good I can't go - I'll save a ton of money ^_^

Anyway, the Ugly Unicorn will be there, and he'll also make a rather stout appearance in the RAMPAGE TOYS BigCartel site! I'll be dropping, a micro-run, some customs and some paintings (and a few other choice this and thats) on Thursday (10/13) at ~8PM EST (basically - when I wake up here in Japan on 10/14)!!!!! So, set an alarm, and hit the shop tomorrow evenening for a mini "Rampage-NYCC" release! Here are some pics:






The shop is HERE

Thursday, October 6, 2011

New York Comic Con!

Greetings All!

So, things are moving right along here - still getting acclimated to the life of a 'very-little-japanese-speaking-foreigner-living-in-Japan'... :-) But it's all good! I've got my little studio all up and running, and I've been having loads of fun with my new Airbrush! I'm also trying to get in the swing of using some gouache paints - very cool stuff - very unique painting experience!

Anyway, as most who are reading this undoubtly are aware, New York Comic Con is just arround the corner! There is going to be sooo much amazing stuff in the Javitz Center this year! ...it's a shame I can't make the trip. BUT, I did mail a nice little box to my good friend Benny (Tenacious Toys), and inside of that box is a bundle of painted toys! The UGLY UNICORN will make its first stateside con debut in two locations and in two (or more ;-) ) separate forms:

1)Tenacious Toys (Benny) will host a run of 10 Ugly Unicorns in booth 876 (along with Toy2R). These guys have clear blue and metallic blue spray over top of clear vinyl! Super Fun to paint, and Great fun to photograph too! These will come with some signed and editioned screen prints for the header cards. $42 each - first come first serve - ONLY 1 PER PERSON!

2)Lulubell Toys (Luke) will host a run of 5 Ugly Unicorns in booth 589. These guys have bright blue hair and some sleepy eyes over top of bright yellow vinyl, and they alse come bagged with editioned screen printed header cards! $42 each - first come first serve - ONLY 1 PER PERSON!

In additon to the 2 mini-runs of UGLY, you might just find a custom one-off Ugly and one of the elusive crystal clear Ugly Unicorns (...I suggest looking at the Tenacious Toys Booth ;-). Benny will also have some other RAMPAGE TOYS goodies mixed in with his stuff, so have a look-see!

There is also something in the works for an on-line release - maybe DURRING NYCC? If you are on the Ugly Unicorn mailing list, you'll be the first to hear the details, so feel free to shoot me an e-mail (rampage.toys@yahoo.com) to be added!

Next up - customs and Fall/Halloween! And then, in November, is Design Festa at the Tokyo Big Site (Odaiba)! I'll be there with Datadub - and a bundle of Ugly Unicorns, paintings, and the like!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Quick Post SF Hit!

Hey Folks!

Superfestival has come and gone, and I'll do a full-on write up about it (and the Bwana show at gargamel) soon. But here's a quick note to let you know that SF Exclusives that are still remaining are now available in the Rampage Toys BigCartel shop! Go ahead and check them out here:

http://rampagetoysandart.bigcartel.com/





Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ugly Hath Arrived on the Scene!

Hey Folks! Time for a quick update before I jump on the night bus - headed for Tokyo!
The UGLY UNICORN is in full swing! I got the first box of blank vinyl 2 days ago, and yesterday was a day of nothing by painting! I'm excited beyond belief that this project is happening, and I'm also psyched on the first painted runs.
So, without further delay, here are pictures:
Bag of candy! The whole house smelled like vinyl for hours :-D
The airbrush studio - ready to go!
Two painted runs for SUPERFESTIVAL on the 25th in Tokyo! "Allsorts Liquorice Ugly" and "Poppy Goji Ugly"!!! I had a blast painting these and can't wait to paint more - for NYCC ;-)
Did some simple painted and screen printed headers for these two releases. I love header cards - it makes a toy into a 'whole package' for me!
If you're in Tokyo on the 25th come by and say 'hi' at Superfestival - and get a chance to grab these figures first! Leftovers will go up in the shop on the 27th in the morning - also known as the 26th in the evening/night in America ;-) E-mail reminders will go out to the mailing list.
One last note - pre-ordered blanks will go out in the mail on Friday!
Thanks for stopping by the blog and reading up on UGLY's progress!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Making a Sofubi - How it all works!

OK, so, perhaps some of you have checked out the blog, and you get the resin thing, but aren't into the vinyl - or maybe you ARE into vinyl - regardless, for anyone on either side (or both sides) of the coin, perhaps you haven't gotten the full story on how the whole vinyl production process works. There are many steps to making a vinyl figure (no matter where you do it), and this summer I finally got the full story laid out in front of me - almost entirely all first hand; as a result of the UGLY UNICORN project. I can finally say I have seen just about every step in the process of making a Japanese soft vinyl (sofubi) toy, and I've taken pictures and videos along the way - So, I figure it's time to share! The process is VERY hands-on - at every step there is a craftmans/artist/artisan working with raw material and creating an item. There is next to no machinery involved, and that which is used is operated by one person. The figures produced are, in my mind, as hand-made as any resin figure - though the processes and materials are slightly different. The experience of making a figure has been SUPER eye-opening, and makes me appreciate my own collection just that much more!

...but I digress...

Without further adieu, here it is, an intensive multimedia overview: "Making a Sofubi Start to Finish"

1)You need an idea! Let's say a painting/drawing - a character essentially. For example the Ugly Unicorn --->


2)A sculpt needs to be done. Normally this is done in clay (sometimes in wax - depending on the preferences of the artist doing the sculpting). This is generally refered to as the "Clay Proto" (Clay Prototype) - it's your master copy of your figure and should basically be the final form of your figure once completed. Here's part of the Ugly Unicorn - sculpted in clay - and visible behind him, a clay proto by Paul Kaiju - his Seagool --->


3)A wax casting is needed of your figure in order for a metal mold to be made. For the Ugly Unicorn, this piece looked like this... --->

....and it was made by the following process:

3a)The clay proto is molded (usually with silicone - the same material used for resin figures' molds). This is the mold for the UGLY UNICORN --->


3b)Wax is poured into the mold - giving you the 'Rough Wax Proto' (Wax Prototype).


3c)The rough wax proto is smoothed and made nice and shiny - like the one shown above. The finish on this piece will be the finish on your final vinyl casts, so this step is SUPER important! Artists like Ricky Wilson (Velocitron - http://www.velocitron.org/), and Luke (Lulubell Toys/ Grody Shogun - http://www.lulubelltoys.com/) work in small studios in Japan (many being in Tokyo - it is the epicenter of this process), to help artists take their designs from concept to toy. These guys do A LOT of work on the wax for figures designed by artists in many countries (Japan and the US being a couple of the larger contributors), and they also make their own awesome creations! On top of it all, these are the guys doing all of the brokering with the factories (building relationships, ordering liquid vinyl, and getting in orders so artists get figures for events like SDCC and NYCC). Ricky and Luke in particular are working hard to keeep the torch burning in the Japanese Soft vinyl scene - putting new stuff out and promoting and assisting others who wish to do the same - HUGE thanks to these guys for what they are doing! Here they are; hard at work in their studio ("The Fort") - smoothing wax during a hot day in Tokyo this past August --->




4)The wax proto is very gingerly handed over to the mold maker, who makes the final (and damn near immortal) metal mold for the figure. This process involves: a)electro-coating the wax proto with copper, b)melting the wax out from inside the mold (yep - hours and hours of work... melted and swept away in seconds...), c)welding the copper mold to a steel frame for use in the factory/workshop where the vinyl will be cast (note - the balance of the mold is SUPER important, so this is no slap-dash welding job!). This is the one stage where I was not able to see things as they were done... However, here are some molds that were used to make some really popular figures for this year's Sandiego Comic Con (the Cannibal F**kface), and for one of my favorites - UAMOU! --->





5)The mold is given to the factory that will casts the figures, and they get started! First they have to do some testing of the mold, which results in 'Vinyl Test Pulls" - which are usually done in stock colors (flesh, white, black for example). Once these guys sort out things like the cure time for the mold and the best way to pour and cure the vinyl, they can start pulling figures like mad! And that's where we hit the "Multimedia" portion of our 'lesson' :-P Here is a video that I pulled together with footage from a recent trip I took to Takahashi-san's vinyl factory - near Kamaeri in Tokyo. It's up on YouTube, and it seems to be working just fine, so please enjoy!




What an amazing experience - going and actually watching some really AWESOME toys being made (some of Luke's figures)!!!! And again - thank you Ricky (Velocitron) for making it happen! Here's a little snapshot-sample of what they were making that day --->





6)The figure is in production! I haven't gotten any shots of the production runs of the Ugly Unicorn (red and yellow casts - coming right up!), but the test shots are in the post bellow! Also, James - over on the Grass Hut Message Bored (spelling is correct!) - put together some cool photoshoped images to get a feel for the colored casts of the Ugly Unicorn, and one thing that isn't doin the previous post is the following picture - which shows the foot-stamps (company name, where it's made and the figure name are all common on foot-stamps. They are either carved into the wax proto or actually 'stamped' on using metal stamps - similar to what are used on a paper printing press) --->




7)Of course then there are all of the other things that follow the actual 'manufacturing' of the solid colored casts. Painting (or hiring out someone to paint for you), finding shops to stock your stuff, going to shows, networking and internetting about your art/toys/figures (however you wish to call them ;-) )... Suffice it to say - it doesn't end here. But this post is ending!


I hope you enjoyed reading about this process! Like I said above - it's been an INCREDIBLE and eye-opening experience to produce my first Japanese sofubi figure! I look forward to painting the coming casts and to making more in the near future!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

UGLY LIVES!!!

I just got the pictures of the Vinyl Test Shot for the UGLY UNICORN! Very Exciting :-D This flesh cast looks so nice and shiny, and it makes me psyched for the red and yellow that should be up late next week from Tokyo!

Pre-orders are staying up in the shop for another week (until 9/9 in America), or until they sell out (whichever comes first). Following that I will be starting on the painted runs for Superfestival in Tokyo on September 25th, and also the pieces for New York Comic Con in October! More info on releases and all that very soon! Here's the figure!




Grab your blank yellow or red figures here: http://rampagetoysandart.bigcartel.com/