Hey guys! So I got a chance to interview the creator of Squid Kids Ink, and I wanted it to show you guys the quick Q&A of what this is all about. This is what went down...
Me: What is your name?
Nate: Nate Mitchell Owner/Operator of Squid Kids Ink
Me: What is Squid Kids Ink all about?
Nate: My company motto is "For Geeks By Geeks", and that pretty much says it all. I'm into comics, video games, movies, toys, and a lot of pop culture in general. I make stuff that I like and want to own, hopefully other people like it enough to buy it.
Me: How did you start the company?
Nate: I started SKI while I was working at Playmates Toys around 2006. It was mostly a creative outlet, because corporate jobs can be stifling. In the beginning, I was mainly sculpting my versions of popular characters. It wasn't until 2008 that I really started developing my own brands like Squibs and So Analog. I quit my day job at Spinmaster Toys in January of 2012 to do SKI full-time.
Me: What inspired you to start this?
Nate: It was mostly about creative freedom. I was tired of translating someone else's movie or cartoon designs into toys. I wanted to create stuff of my own from scratch. Making the product is the easy part for me. The real challenge is developing the characters and the worlds they live in.
Me: How would you describe your style of art?
Nate: I'm not really sure how to describe what I do. A lot of "art" has some kind of message behind it. I hate being preached to or being preachy. So, I would consider myself more of a designer than an artist. I like to create new things, but with So Analog I've been creating new things from old things.
Me: Were you always about art?
Nate: I can remember being slightly better at creating things as early as 3rd grade, if not earlier. I think I've had a least 2 major artistic milestones when I was younger. In 5th grade I shifted from collecting Baseball cards to Comics and Comicbook cards. That's when my drawings became more than stick figures. I was mostly emulating the comics I loved like Spawn, Predator, Ghost Rider, and Silver Surfer. In my small town in Wyoming, I was know as one of the few kids that could draw really well. The second milestone was when I was 19 and started sculpting some of my favorite movie and comic book characters. At age 22, I went to Otis and graduated in 2004. While I was there, I was known as one of the few people that could sculpt really well.
[Don't mind the photos.]
Wacko. Just the name is enough to give you an idea of what they have here. They really do have a bunch of random stuff, but everything there is so cool. It has a bunch of different toys, niknaks, etc. all over. Other than that, they do have an art gallery with a bunch of different artists and once in a while, they change the gallery up too.
If you are feeling something random and spontaneous to do, I would definitely come here. I can easily just kill an hour looking around the store and definitely leaving with something. I bought a toy there, which will probably be posted up soon. If you are a toy enthusiast, this is a must check in LA.
They also have some of their products online, but that won't show everything. So might as well, GO! :)
If interested, here's the info:
Wacko Soap Plant
4633 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
So over the weekend, I had a lovely trip in LA and guess what I got? OH YEAH! TOYS!
So sexy... hahaha.
I got the first toy from SURU out in Los Angeles, CA. It's one of the older collections of Super7. It was designed by Brian Flynn under the series called, "GHOSTLAND." It features 5 different creatures of the robot world, and the one below is SIX-GUN. They range from 2.5" - 3". They normally are in blind boxes, so they are random, but I was able to choose which one I wanted. What a sweet deal! Haha.
The second today below was collected from the Toy Art Gallery aka TAG in Los Angeles, CA. Literally, down the street. Hahaha. It was designed by Buff Monster, but manufactured by Mindstyle. This is part of the series 2 and come in different designs and colors. This one is also a blind box, but I didn't get much of a choice due to a low quantity. Haha, but it's all good because I thought mine is dope. It is around 4" tall and I dropped $30 on it. It might be pricey, but I thought it was well worth it. Dem boobies dough. :)
SURU is one of those cool, hip stores out on Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles, CA that sells a bunch of different things, ranging from clothes to toys. They have a pretty dope selection of urban street wear, that you can easily end up picking something up. As for me, I prefer buying the toys and the art. They have some art prints hung on the left side of the store and a glass wall full of toys on shelves and shirts hung on on the ceiling that travel from one side of the store to the other. Pretty cool. If you don't know what I mean, look at the pictures below. Personally, I think their price range is kind of pricey, but it could just be me being cheap. Haha. Other than the price, I think this store is pretty cool because it gives off a chill vibe.
Once you see this in the window, you know you are at the right place. This, toy collectors, is GUNNZO, my favorite toy store in SD. It's quite a hard place to find because it's in a house. You will have to drive up the hill and realize that it's not in a regular store, but once you get there, you will realize why it's cool. Just look out for the Red house numbers.
Once you enter in, you will see a bunch of toys everywhere. The whole front section has cabinets and shelves of different sized toys from all different makers, from Mindstyle to Kidrobot. I love how there are a bunch of different toys, paintings, plushies, etc., especially the ones that are exclusive. Chica (still not sure if I spelled her name right, sorry!) is one of the nicest people I've ever met and she happens to own this wonderful store. She gave such a happy vibe that it made being there a lot more appreciable. Other than that, the pricing for their toys was quite fantastic. She even has her own private selection in the back that is in a separate shelf which was quite a sight. Check out the blind boxes that I picked up from there.
I'm most definitely coming back to this place next time I go back to San Diego. Thanks CHICA!
Here is a new addition to my toy collection recently purchased today by my lovely girlfriend. This is part of Ron English's Popaganda called MC Supersized. If I'm correct, which can be or not, but who cares...this mini series was made after he started creating the 10" toys. There are 14 different colorways in the series, with 1 out of 2000 actually being hand painted by the great artist himself. I've never saw it yet, but once I do, I will post it up for you guys. These are 3" tall toys that are full of joy. The toy I got from the blind box is the one below:
This one is a grey mono colorway. We found this gem at SURU LA with a couple more left available for purchase. In conclusion, time to buy more toys!
Ever since I first saw this toy, I admired his art. The wonderful creator is Ron English. I just had to get it. They were first created in 2012 with the collaboration team of The Simpsons x Made By Monsters x Ron English. Standing at 8.5" tall, it displays what Bart Simpson would look like, with an skull grin. This new take on Bart Simpson, just made it more special, and a desire to get. Unfortunately, I had a hard time searching for it, but finally got one once my girlfriend bought it for me. The dope toy is below:
This toy was the SDCC 2013 version of the Bart Grin that was released the previous year. Personally, I prefer this version because I like purple and plus, it was more of an exclusive. This is one of my first toys that just jump started my collection. For you readers, there is more to come.