Friday, July 30, 2010

The toy Master Plan

The idea is to make toys that *I* would actually want...not toys that are "hot" or controvertial. Toys that stand on their own merits. Not things that make you cool because you possess them. I want these toys to be made entirely in the US. I know that's gonna be hard with sofubi kaiju, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Check it, I also have a day job (NOT toy-related) that's funding all these projects. On any given project, if I take a bath, I take a bath. I'll have a closet full of dope toys that I actually made--my way--and that's cool with me. In other words, there will be NO dick riding or selling-out just to pimp these things. Integrity actually means something to me.

And my goal isn't to shove my political views down anyone's throats, but it's important to me that y'all know that these things we make will be made by hand in the US...and my prices will be set just a hair over what they cost me to make them. If I have to, I'll make them one-by-one to order. As a middle-class USer with a job, I have the privilege to do that I'ma do that shit.

Okay, so the near-future plan. My first major release is on some top secret shit like Val Kilmer. Plenty of madness is going on behind the scenes as I type this. Why the secrecy? Well, I'm not trying to make all these ill announcements and generate all this bullshit hype to whip up heads into a frenzy...only to have delay after delay piss people off. As a fan, I hate that why would I make others go through that nonsense just for my shit? And besides, even if there aren't any delays at all, like Chuck D says, Don't Believe the Hype. Remember, toys that stand on their own merit. Nah, I'ma start leaking info when shit's really ready to drop. And then, when everything's boxed and ready to ship, I'll make the big announcement. That'll give me the time necessary to work the bugs out of my system at a chill pace. No deadlines to meet means I can focus on getting shit right.

But believe me...this is fucking killing me! I'm a fan first, remember, so I want to share everything with you guys. So, basically, I'ma tighten up the whole manufacturing process on this, my first run. Once the cat's outta the bag, there'll be no reason for any further secrecy, so on future projects, I'll finally be able to post every excruciating detail of the process as it happens! Now, that will be some sick-ass shit!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The brown behind the noize

Ever see that episode of South Park? The one with the worldwide recorder concert? Where the boys don't know what "queef" means. Yup. Cartman discovers the "brown noise", the legendary sound frequency that causes listeners to shit themselves uncontrollably. Fucking fantastic. Gotta love South Park!

Well, I've commandeered the term for my toy production label! In a little double-entendre magic, I'm also using it to refer to the fact that I'm brown...and noisy. Hip hop's been in me since before I was old enough to buy my first cassette tape. I really should amend my previous post: not only did Voltron and Optimus Prime teach me right from wrong, but I also had KRS-One and Chuck D to help me cope with this world we live in. And, hey, I'm a first generation's not like my parents had much experience with racism to pass on to me and my sister.

So what's in a name? On one hand, I'll be fucking damned if I (or anyone else associated with this label) end up taking this shit too seriously. Yeah, it's more "artwork" than actual toy making. But make no mistake, anything I/we produce will be no more or less noble than anything you can pick up at Toys R Us. Word is bond. This shit ain't about dick-riding the right "artists", listening to the right music, or belonging to the downest hipster clique. If you like what you see here, bet. I'm just a fucko with some CAD skills, a sense of humor, and desire to make some shit.

And on the other hand, I'm also an Indian man in an overwhelmingly white hobby. Y'all gotta know that. Putting my shit out there like this just isn't that simple for me...and it's not a struggle I often feel safe enough to talk about, y'knowmsayin? I'm blessed to be surrounded by these knuckleheads in the local Boston toy crew. They may not understand *everything* I tell them about being brown, but they damn sure give me that room to tell them. Nuff respect due.

So with that support backing me up, along with invaluable wisdom from the Godfather, the Chairman, and many more...Broinnoize is born.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Just what the internets needed...ANOTHER blog!

Okay, so...why??? I mean, I've never been one to push the envelope when it comes to interweb tech...and yet here I am--writing a fucking blog.

Well, there's a funny thing in the air right now. Western civilization crumbling? Well, yeah, but that's not what I'm getting at. I'm talking toys. I grew up in the Boston area in the early 80's...and gods bless the little Hindu boy's latchkey upbringing. See, marketing toys directly to children via cartoons was just coming into vogue...

Oh yes. In lieu of parental supervision, I had Starblazers, Force Five, Tranzor Z, Battle of the Planets, and of course, Voltron to teach me right from wrong. Sure, we couldn't really afford most of those toys, but hell...I woulda killed just to have the chance to go to Mr. Big's Toyland.

And apparently, I wasn't alone.

My friends' own personal histories notwithstanding, there is a pretty tight crew of Japanese robot and monster toy nerds that has formed in the past decade or so...right here in the Boston area. I blame WLVI (channel 56) and the Saturday morning Creature Double Feature [Ernie Boch, Jr., one love!], as well as the aforementioned English-dubbed Japanese cartoons and mom & pop toy stores.

Well, I should really say that those cartoons were the seeds planted in our fertile young greymatter. But who watered them and cultivated the land since our adulthood? Enter The Godfather...Alen Yen. If Alen hadn't created ToyboxDX, who knows where we'd be? Well, most likely, many of us wouldn't be friends at all, and our participation in this hobby wouldn't even remotely be where it is today (if anywhere at all).

There was Tom's CJT and Bonner's Jumboland...and obviously sister-sites like JoshB's CollectionDX, Flynn's skullbrain, and Sanford's robot-japan. But when it comes to contemporary talk of vintage Japanese robot and monster toys, TBDX remains king. It's where we all met over the last several years (as much as it pains an old-fashioned curmudgeon like myself to admit to "meeting people online"), and it's where some REAL solid relationships have formed...on- and offline.

Okay, beyond the history lesson, why this blog? Why now?

Well, there's that funk in the air I mentioned. Been sensing it over the last few years. Over time, our hobby has matured quite a bit. A lot of the great toy mysteries have been unraveled. A lot of the staples of our wildly varying collections have been filled. Grails have been fought for and won. What's next? I mean, there are only SO many *vintage* toys out there, right?

After a while, consumption gets kinda dull. Hey, don't get me wrong: it's never been a blind "gotta catch 'em all" mentality. I sorta look at my toys as collecting artwork, of a sort: studying what these toy-makers did, and why the aesthetic has transcended generations, continents, and language. But still...not a lot of new discoveries are made these days. And a lot of the big WANTS have long since been acquired. But here's the thing: the passion is still there. The love for these crazy Japanese toys still burns. We spend long hours sitting back and appreciating what we have (I can't help picturing Duban in a crimson velvet robe, sitting before a fire in a gigantic easy chair...a tumbler of brandy in one hand and a Bullmark Zaboga vinyl in the other). We wax poetic online about various "pieces". We chat online about the latest drama in teh MARKET.

So, clearly, what's left after acquiring is creativity and sharing. Some of us have taken to creating new websites or expanding existing ones. Some of us are producing podcasts and internet talk-shows about toys. And some of us have decided to take the leap of actually making toys. Doughty showed us it could be done. Walker showed us the very cutting edge of color. We have reached critical mass...and only amazing can come of it.

Not surprisingly, Alen is leading the way with his own production label, Incubot. He's produced a rubber USB stick action figure made in the US and a soft vinyl figure cast in Japan and painted here. These toys feature "Nekosaur", an original humanoid cat-dinosaur-robot character of his own design...and they're glorious! The man's bringing back the funk you've been missing.

And now Brownnoize Productions is here to show and prove. In collaboration with Incubot, we will be designing and producing toys of our own. DIY. Made in the USA. And of course, keeping it in the family.

We may just have something cooking right now...and trust me: it's been tough keeping a lid on it. Our first release is going to be big, but I ain't saying shit until ALL the bugs get worked out of our system. I want this shit tight and on schedule. No hype machine. Just raw skills.

Stay tuned.