Tank Head by Jesse Destasio and Eric Nilla

This year I decided that with cutting a lot of junky lines out of my collection I could finally start to dive into designer toys. Whether they be original sculpted designs or cobbled together out of several different existing figures, I want to add some of these pieces of modern art to my collection. Also, with some upcoming announcements in Raging Nerdgasm’s future, I figured it was time to really get oriented with the field. Some of these toys are made of resin which is a material very close to a hard plastic in nature. It’s easily sanded and takes paint very well. Some are made out of rubber very reminicent of the original Kinnikuman keshi (or rubber M.U.S.C.L.E. men from Mattel). Lots of these “homebrewed” figures are visually amazing and I’m really enjoying adding some totally original pieces to my collection.

Eric Nilla has an amazing store online where he specializes in not only fully original figures but also offers some really cool reproductions of older keshi from the last 30 years. Jesse Destasio has been designing toys that may very well be on your shelf right now with his tenure in the toy industry. For the last few weeks, Eric Nilla and Jesse Destasio have been “teasing” images of Tank Head. Tank Head is what you’d expect for a custom take off on the classic Kinnikuman line; a muscle-bound man wear boots and tight wrestling trunks with a tank turret for a head. I don’t usually get crazy for a toy on pictures alone but with the background of both people involved in the project, they had both my admiration and trust that this toy was going to be awesome. It didn’t disappoint in the least.

Tank Head comes in a customary baggie with stapled on header. This is a normal way for figures like this to be packaged, normally the more involved a package is the more expensive the toy is and it harkens back to the bootleg toy culture that spawned this toy style. Those of you that follow Jesse Destasio on social media will automatically notice his artwork adorns the header card (I, for one, really do enjoy his watercolor art).  Tank Head stands nearly 3 inches tall which gives him an intimidating look amongst your other 1 1/2 to 2 inch tall figurines. The value is also high on this piece, for $19 shipped you’re getting a really unique figure that other collectors will really take notice of. The tank turret is also removable, if you feel crafty you might feel obliged to create your own head for the body (and I’m sure to make way for variants in the future.) Check the website for current stock and also upcoming releases as his store stock is always revolving.

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Thrashor figure from 8-Bit Zombie

At the end of July, well known 80s nostalgia website 8-Bit Zombie debuted their Summer releases. Those not familiar with 8-Bit Zombie should really go check them out; the site is full of original artwork plastered on all kinds of merchandise from t-shirts to stickers and hats and posters. Think of it and they’ve probably made a joke on it; Nintendo, cartoons like Thundercats, GI Joe and He-Man, kitschy cult movies and TV shows. They even parodied Garbage Pail Kids, which is something like a parody within a parody inception bullshit that makes my head hurt just trying to figure out that equation. Anyways, the guys at 8-Bit Zombie have always been have always been on my watch list since they were mentioned on x-entertainment about a year ago. Since then the artwork done by the guys has had my full attention, this is the kind of thing I can get in deep with because I love all the stupid stuff from the 80s with a strange passion. It’s somewhere between love-hate and snuggle fuck if I had to verbalize my infatuation with that era.

 

 

Since following them on the social media feeds, I found out they were making a limited edition action figure. With everything else I loved about their site I knew I’d have to buy one when the first pictures showed up. Thrashor, based on their t-shirt design from the previous summer had been realised as a legit fully sculpted figure. What’s Thrashor? Thrashor is a He-Man-esque knock off designed in true 8-Bit Zombie fashion. Snapback hat, blue jeans vest, high tops with mid calf socks, Nintendo Power Glove on the right hand complete with He-Man pageboy hairstyle encompassing his zombie facial features and Masters of the Universe loincloth this toy was sure to be a big hit in my mind. I know I got up an hour before it was scheduled to drop and I hadn’t done this in years, I don’t get up early for internet exclusives but I had set my mind on getting this toy come hell or high water.

I refreshed the page till he popped up and in retrospect I feel like I should have bought a second one because it’s so rad. I must have been there at the right time, the first run is limited to 50 pieces and mine is number 4 of 50 (my buddy one county north of me got number 5) and when it arrived I felt like a kid, no joke. I hadn’t anticipated the arrival of a new toy like this in forever, the box was stamped all over with previous designs from 8-Bit Zombie, images like My Pet Monster and Madballs with the Power Glove and Ruppies from Legend of Zelda. Inside Thrashor lay inside of a poly-bag filled with stickers and a sharp looking logo card. Under Thrashor was another little baggie with a handful of more stickers, 80s trading cards, 3 8-Bit Zombie buttons and a red Buffalo Man from M.U.S.C.L.E. Thrashor wasn’t going to last long being mint in package, toys were meant to be opened and opening is exactly what was going to fucking happen.

 

Freed from his baggie, Thrashor stands 5 inches tall and from what I can tell is made in two parts and joined at the waist. He’s a very pleasing color, a sickly putrid slime green that you would see on an early Nickelodeon game show before they started to suck. There’s no articulation but if you’re a crafty motherfucker you can find places to separate the figure and make him move with a little ingenuity. He comes with a scaled skateboard in the same awesome green color with a really bad ass looking 8-bit Skeletor skull and crossbones motif. The sculpt is just this side of totally amazing and the price was 100% right. Thrashor retails for around $50 which is a steal for an art toy like this, most art toys start at $90 and get progressively more expensive. I always been at those crossroads when getting into designer toys, I love some of these great designs from artist I admire but I can’t possibly afford to toy hunt for vintage toys and buy their stuff too. I think it’s just great because we have aspirations of creating our own toy and it proves they can be made affordable enough that everyone has a chance at them.

 

 

 more pictures here from your friends at Raging Nerdgasm   <—-click that!

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Prepare for the coming of 8-Ball, a Raging Nerdgasm inside look

Those of you that have followed me for any length of time know I’m particularly partial to Kickstarter campaigns. It’s a great way to not only get something funded but also get something in return for donating towards someone’s cause. I’ve done a bunch of them in the last 12 months, everything from Renny’s Oki Doki food truck and the many OMFG minifigure series to the Uncle Rukus movie and tons more media projects. Some have gone through, some have not but all have gotten not only my monetary support but also my personal vote of confidence and usually some kind of write up on www.ragingnerdgasm.com . As luck would have it, when the project is about a toy it gets a little more attention from me. I’ve gotten very active when it comes time to support the OMFG minifigure series, so much so we entered a design and won a spot in the upcoming series 4. While cruising Facebook posts a couple of months ago I saw a post for a 4 inch tall creature strongly resembling a Madball figure. I read the tag line;

(I can’t tell you how much I like this mini poster.)

“Coming to Kickstarter in July comes your chance to own the first of Radioactive Uppercut’s newest line up; Radioactive Rumblers.”

What is Radioactive Uppercut? What is a Radioactive Rumbler? Good questions one and all, they will be answered shortly.

(Background card art not final.)

Radioactive Uppercut is the working name of Johnny Santagada, a man who’s professionally been a part of the toy industry working for the greats such as DC Direct, Mezco and Gemmy (known for making everything from animatronic Santa Claus to Freddy Krueger and beyond). Designed by Johnny Santagada and sculpted by ERA Sculptures, 8-Ball is a detail packed 4 inches tall vinyl figure with 3 points of monster mashing articulation. The project encompassing 8-Ball and the Radioactive Rumblers have been an ongoing project for Johnny for the last 6 years, a labor of love waiting for the right opportunity to spring it on the collecting world. If you ask me the time is certainly right. Art toys, vinyl toys and independent toys are three of the hottest commodities in the market, especially when you consider the ever rising cost of figures at retail and the value you get for your money is laughable.

(Dat ass @_@)

The inspiration for 8-Ball comes from 50’s and 60’s sci-fi / horror movies and comics along with 80’s gross out toys like Madballs, Monster in my Pocket and Garbage Pail Kids. All of those 80’s toy lines are hot commodities on the secondary market right now with even figures in poor condition commanding big money. The verison you see in the photos will be the exclusive Kickstarter color scheme, anything sold outside of the Kickstarter campaign will have a different decoration. $55 gets you 8-Ball in all his classic sofubi glory packaged in a poly bag with header card and a trading card featuring original art on one side and character statistics on the other. Of course there will be other donation tiers featuring everything from custom painted 8-Balls (by the likes of George Gaspar, Spanky Stokes, Ed Long, Damien Glonek, Monsterforge, Tom Connors, Butcher Brand, Motorbot, D-Lux and Topheroy), “Radioactive” green and blank white 8-Balls for you to test your painting skills with. Also putting your money where your mouth is will get you exclusive rights to vote on upcoming Radioactive Rumblers (provided that funding is acquired through the first campaign) and color variants of existing figures in the line. Keeping with the time honored tradition, 8-Ball with be manufactured in Japan in true sofubi fashion.

(join them on facebook at www.facebook.com/radioactiveuppercut)

Stay tuned to both Raging Nerdgasm and Radioactive Uppercut for more news regarding the Kickstarter campaign and hopefully more Radioactive Rumblers coming soon!

(A sign of what may be in the future….)

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