anibee Features: Mark Nagata!
The Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention is around the corner, with its plethora of events, merchant booths, and of course, awesome guest, eagerly awaiting their chance to show themselves to you!
One such guest is the founder of Max Toy Company, talented artist for various works such as various Marvel comics and the "Goosebumps" - series of books, and big kaiju fan - Mark Nagata! anibee managed to get him in an email interview to talk to him about his first trip to Singapore!
anibee: Welcome to Singapore, Mark! How are you finding our hot little island?
Mark Nagata: Thank you so much for the warm welcome. I've never been to Singapore and am quite excited to be here! I'm looking forward to experiencing your culture and food as well as meeting the fans of Japanese toys and Kaiju at STGCC.
anibee: You are known as a big kaiju fan; what about kaiju draws you to them, and which kaiju is your favourite?
Mark Nagata: For those who do not know the word, "kaiju" in Japanese means strange beast or creature. Kaiju are mostly based on Japanese TV or movie shows. However, in the United States, kaiju has come to mean not only monsters but even superheroes and other assorted Japanese characters. For me, simply based on the look of the character, my favorite is a kaiju called Kittyfire from the Mirrorman series from the 70s. Kittyfire is not well known, but I love the outrageous design, and the toys they made of it are awesome.
anibee: You also run Max Toy Company - tell us a bit more about the company and your role in it!
Mark Nagata: I started Max Toy Company, which is named after my son Max, about 6 years ago. We specialise in adult toy collectibles based on Japanese characters and kaiju. Most of the toys I make are based on the superhero I created called Captain Maxx. Captain Maxx is my homage to the TV series in Japan of the 60s and 70s. Basically, he's like Ultraman but also mixed with American superheroes.
I'm third generation Japanese-American, so apart from being born here; I also do not speak or understand Japanese. I know some find this shocking and at times I wish I could understand Japanese, but I don't let it stop me from pursuing my hobby, business and love for kaiju!
I also spend quite a bit of time hand painting some of these Max Toy Kaiju figures individually. They call them customs or one-offs, and each one is unique. I charge more money for these, as each is a special work of art and no two are the same. Max Toy also works with various artists around the world to make their characters into collectible toys. I really enjoy working with fellow artists with their various styles.
In addition to the toys, we also do special projects, like the Lady Maxx comic book that we've just released. So I like to do various projects via Max Toys to keep my interests going, and hopefully the fans enjoy what we are doing as well.
anibee: Being both a toy collector and running your own toy company can't be easy and it's something most people find to be extremely difficult to do. How do you manage it and what challenges have you faced?
Mark Nagata: Once someone told me you cannot be both a collector and a maker of toys, and I think they are correct. Unless you are super wealthy - which I am not - you must be careful not to spend all your business profits on your hobby! So now I mostly make the toys I would have wanted to collect, if that makes sense, and only buy the toys that really interest me for my collection.
anibee: The Avengers vs Godzilla - who will win?!
Mark Nagata: Oh this is a tough question! I love both of these characters but I'd have to side with Godzilla only because he's been around since 1954 and has survived many more battles.
Mark Nagata will be bringing tons of convention-exclusive figures, as well as custom one-of-a-kind hand painted figures to STGCC!
STGCC is happening on the 1st & 2nd September 2012 at the Marina Bay Sands, Sands Expo & Convention Center!
Pictures & Information courtesy of STGCC
Special thanks to Mark Nagata!