Wednesday, December 26, 2007


On December 14th, Toypunks screened in Philadelphia at Mason Warner's shop, WTHN. The turnout was solid, the people were rad, and Mason and crew showed us a great time, Philly style.

We started out in Baltimore, having just come off of a screening there on the 7th. On the drive North, toypunks Chris Nelson snapped a shot of this fresh billboard off of rt 83 in Charm City--Baltimore mascot culture! Of course, we stopped by Shop Gentei while in B-more. This shop is always beautiful and stocks a ton of killer brands.

Following a short drive, we arrive at WTHN! The store is rad and features a nicely curated selection of sneakers, streetwear and some choice soft vinyl. Early in the night, shop owner and host Mason and Kovalsky catch up. Check out the fresh WTHN logo mural behind Mason.

The store begins to fill. Packed with old friends, toy heads, new friends, and a few music people, the vibe was fun and relaxed. We heard Chuck Treece was there early in the night, but had to bounce for a show in Jersey. Mr. Treece's legendary skaterock band, McRad, is featured on the Toypunks soundtrack.

The lights dim, and toypunks Chris announces the film...
And it plays! Mason set up some lawn chairs in the front row for the best seats in the house.

After WTHN, there was a wild afterparty at Skinners, a bar located just a couple of blocks away.

Isaac Ramos, Kerri Koch, Kyle and Will brought the holiday cheer in these new RFSO Christmas shirts.

Mason, Issac and our new pal Jon spun vinyl and the dancefloor got a little crazy. The movie played in the background. It was cool to cut loose with everyone.

Kerri Koch, Julie "The Kid" Gardner and Missy Mazaferro broke it down at the table amidst the madness.
toypunks musical collaborators, TS, drove in from NY!
toypunks family style! Andy Gardner, Chris and Justin get some holiday hang time in after the event. Thanks a lot to Mason at WTHN and Skinners for the hospitality and great times.

(Thanks to Missy Mazaferro, and Kovalsky's brother-inlaw and sister, Andy and Julia Gardner, for the awesome event picks! Missy also has a ton of great shots from the event and some hysterical captions up on her flickr account.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


On December 7th, designer vinyl shop, Atomic Pop, in Baltimore, MD, hosted one of the premiere screenings of Toypunks Volume 1 and the turnout was awesome. The film also premiered in Hamburg Germany on the same day. Benn and Rachel, Atomic Pop's owners, also run the venerable Atomic Books in Baltimore. They were great hosts. It was awesome for us to hang out for the night, watch the film, and to catch up with old friends. Early copies of the DVD were for sale as well as these wild vinyl prints that Atomic Pop had created. A massive shout out goes to everyone who attended and said hello! Also, thanks very much to talented Baltimore-based writer Raven Baker and the Baltimore City Paper for running this story the week of the event.

The opening moments of toypunks projected on the far wall.....

With a full bar located in Atomic's spacious back room, the afterparty went down in the store. It was a blast.
Below, toypunks' Kovalsky catches up with Emily Devan who recently penned a great interview with Osaka- based punk band, Balzac, for Purple Sky magazine. Balzac is featured in toypunks and we're big supporters of the band's work in music, fashion and toys. It's cool to see them getting more English-language coverage.

Here's a shot of two super solid amigos and toypunks contributors: Will Sulima (additional photography) and David Manganaro (promotional art). Dave keeps the look sincere while Wild Willy brings the mischief!

And here are a few rad toys that we put on display that night. A special thanks goes to Isaac Ramos, a star of the toypunks film and a great friend who was in attendance that evening. Isaac loaned his Kid Hunter vinyl (far left) for the display. Created by Bounty Hunter brand, who's a major focus of toypunks Volume 1, the Kid Hunter is considered the world's first designer vinyl toy.

Attendees look over the display of Japanese vinyl toys and original art created for toypunks by Mike Giant and Dave Manganaro. Also in this shot you'll see Oliver of Shop Gentei in the blue cap. It was good to see Oliver and the Gentei crew. Shop Gentei is hands down one of the most well-curated streetwear shops in the US. If you're ever in the Baltimore or Washington DC area, hit this spot!

Here's a look at the original toypunks mascot drawing that was on display in Baltimore. This was hand-drawn by Mike Giant, who we were blessed to hire as illustrator for our logo and character mascot. Mike is one of the best line artists on Earth. Until you flip this piece over to see the marker bleed, it is impossible to tell it was drawn with a sharpie by human hands. Unreal!

Tony Pence of Celebrated Summer kept the fun going by playing some choice cuts. Celebrated Summer is a fresh record store and Tony is a good dude. Tony's band, Deep Sleep, contributed a song to the toypunks soundtrack. They rock. Also pictured here is Chris, an avid Balzac collector and massive Go Nagai enthusiast. Awesome.
Meanwhile, in Hamburg, Germany, toypunks Volume 1 gets its European debut. Armin Stroemmer of Shocker Europe hosted this event at the 3001 theater. While we would have loved to attend that night but could not, Armin says that it was a tremendous success and that everyone had a great time.

This is the poster created for the event which was hung around the city. Looking good.
The theater before the show......

Toypunks takes the big screen. Kozik in Deutchland! So rad.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


We've been mad busy packing pre-orders and shipping from Toypunks HQ! As of today, all individual domestic and international orders have shipped. Wholesale international orders are on the way this weekend. The response so far has been staggering and inspiring!

We're still accepting pre-orders via paypal at The rate is 17.99 plus 4.00 domestic shipping per DVD. International shipping rates are 10.00 per DVD. Please inquire for wholesale and multiple DVD shipping prices at Thanks again to everyone for the support. You know who you are. You rule.

Then, if you're in Hamburg, Germany, this weekend don't miss Shocker Europe's ( screening of Toypunks Volume 1 on Friday, December 7th at 3001 Theater! Stateside East Coasters can check some early screenings in Baltimore at Atomic Pop on Dec. 7th (, and a screening + afterparty at Within Luxury on Dec 14th at 8pm. ( These will all be a blast. Please come out and support these killer local shops!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


After one wild ride, the Toypunks Vol 1 DVD is now available for pre-order! 17.99 plus 4.00 domestic shipping. The DVD will ship DECEMBER 1st!

Toypunks Volume 1 is an odyssey into the world of Japanese toys, fashion and punk rock. Exploring the birth of the designer vinyl explosion from its roots in character culture and punk music, Toypunks Volume 1 takes you in-depth with Japanese fashion icon, Hikaru Iwanaga, creator of the world's first designer toy. Hiddy Kinoshita of Secret Base, Frank Kozik, Balzac, Three Tides Tattoo and more are interviewed highlighting profound cross-cultural connections between today's top creative talents in toys and fashion.

Extras include:

-Uncut Bounty Hunter Interview Excerpts!

-Hiddy Kinoshita on Sneaker Collecting!

-Frank Kozik on the Death of the Undergound!

-Live Sculpting Session with Kiyoka Ikeda of Gargamel!

-And more!

Toypunks on DVD: Retail 17.99

Shipping: 4.00

Please send payment and shipping information via paypal to
Advance press copies are AVAILABLE NOW. Please request at

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Shocker Europe's Armin Strommer is hosting this showing of Toypunks at 3001 theater in Hamburg, Germany on December 7, 2007. It will be one of the first public viewings of toypunks: Volume 1 and it promises to be an aweseome event! In addtion to the film, there will be a micro-exhibition of Japanese vinyl toys, great music, beer and cool people celebrating their love of toys, punk, fashion and Japan. Additional live-footage of ripping Japanese band Balzac may be shown as time will allow, and of course, Balzac is also featured in the toypunks film. Complete radness. Shocker EU made this cool promotional poster for the event. Thanks, Armin! For additional information please check out and

Saturday, October 6, 2007


We've been rocking the edit of Toypunks volume 1 down in Houston TX pretty hard. The film is looking killer and we can't wait to share it with everyone. Meanwhile, here are a few shots from inside the toypunks edit suite where we've been toiling away. First up: a close up of our view from the window of the control room. We made these Mike Giant Logo stickers for promotion this past summer... Pretty beautiful.

Here's another placed on toypunks' Chris Nelson's Fender Jag baritone. We're fairly certain this is the same model that Ian McKaye plays with the Evens, whose recordings have been providing fuel during the edit. Either way, Chris rules this damn thing. In addition to making the film, we've been cutting the soundtrack in a makeshift music studio located at HQ. It's been a blast.

With 30 hours of footage from five cities, and interviews in two languages, it doesn't take long for the edit room to turn to chaos!

And here's a picture of some stunning artwork that East Coast-based artist and awesome friend, David Manganaro, drew for us earlier in the year. Dave has done some excellent work for punk and hardcore bands and he's one of the best dudes out there. (He also drew up Mark Nagata's logo for Maxtoy Co.) Thanks a million, Dave.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


After filming and traveling since March and interviewing a killer cast of toy makers, fashion designers and artists, we've posted the trailer for the first toypunks DVD on Youtube!

Toypunks Volume 1 will take you in-depth with Hikaru Iwanaga of Bounty Hunter, who mixed punk and toys over a decade ago to create the top fashion and toy brand in Japan. In turn, he unwittingly gave birth to the designer vinyl movement. Frank Kozik, Hiddy Kinoshita of Secret Base, Balzac, Isaac Ramos of RFSO, Carl Kent-Smith and many more make guest appearances while offering insight on the culture.

Toypunks Volume 1 goes on sale on November 15th 2007 at and select retailers worldwide. Each subsequent volume of toypunks will focus on a different creator while exploring the cultural connections between toys, punk and street fashion on a global scale. Expect loads of extra features, interviews and outtakes on each release. Please contact for ordering information and inquiries.

Finally, a shout out! Last week we premiered the toypunks trailer at Isaac Ramos' party during San Diego Comic Con and it was a blast. Isaac knows how to throw a party! Thanks to Carl Kent Smith, Chris Kohler, Paul Kaiju, Pete, Mike Le Merde, Jeremy of Mutant Massacre, Glenn and Lisa Pogue, Gargamel (skate to live), Paul, Skylar, Missy and the whole RFSO crew for being cool and to Isaac for being the glue! Check out Isaac's new site at

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


While editing toypunks footage early this morning, we received an email from our friend Hiddy of Secret Base Toys containing this stunning pic of an upcoming release. Designed by Usugrow, the Japanese artist who's garnering international accolades for his meticulous skull-and-letter laden work, this toy represents the freshest take on the genre since Pushead's Skullpirate. In the SB tradition, prototype figures are released first in all black vinyl. Check Secret Base's site for details and updates. This piece looks amazing and we are officially clamoring!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Before any US companies or designer vinyl collectors preached the merits of new Japanese vinyl, Isaac Ramos was on it. A crazy collector (toys + music) and co-owner of Dog and Pony Record company, Ramos first began a fan site to help educate people about the first wave of Japanese designer vinyl and its modern offshoots. Kids and old school collectors alike got full-blown addicted to Japanese vinyl thanks in large part to his infectious enthusiasm for this under appreciated scene in the US. Recently, he's been dropping rad toys and fashion items made in extremely limited runs that boast his mantra, "Real Fan Shit Only". When toypunks sat down with Isaac for an interview in San Francisco, he dropped the knowledge like only he can while proving his penchant for comedy. After toiling for various companies over the past few years in the skateboarding, music, design and toy industries (most recently for S7), Isaac just announced his new solo toy site which is currently being crafted. Expect it to rule!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Though our blog is set up to chronicle and tease the upcoming toypunks film, we have to shout out this slick shirt made by a gang of our favorite creators, all of whom have played some part in the toypunks' world. This shirt is a collaborative effort between Bounty Hunter, Three Tides Tatttoo, and amazing cross-disciplinary artist, Mike Giant, who fully killed it for us on the toypunks logo. Featuring Giant's bold b&w illustration with a BXH logo on the front and an intense cholo logo treatment on the flipside, this shirt rules. On June 23rd, it will be available online at Masa and Ussun from Three Tides mentioned that they're taking paypal for their online sales. The shirt will also be available at Bounty Hunter stores in Japan.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


When we sat down with Frank Kozik for an interview a few weeks ago, we knew we were in for some serious stories from the veteran artist. Most popular in the toy world for his Smoking Rabbit character, Kozik turns out more toys than any other designer in the business, so it's no surprise that vinyl fans with down-from-day-one attitude get a bit frazzled over his release style. However, for Kozik it's an old story; he's no stranger to creating for subcultures. Before vinyl hit, he ran the independent record label, Man's Ruin, and he was a successful poster artist who cut his teeth in Austin's punk scene in the early '80s. In our interview, he explains how he's created for and sold to the underground for over 25 years and that, though the players and products have changed, the same dynamics exist in the toy, music and art worlds. It was a compelling interview that really shows the cultural connections between underground toys, art and punk from someone who's been hugely successful in all three worlds.

Perched high in the studio, Kozik's Mao Tse Tung with Mickey ears (aka The Bird is the Word) sits next to Bounty Hunter's life-size Skull Kun. Kozik's first figure release, the initial Smoking Rabbit, was produced by Bounty Hunter in the late '90s. Kozik cites Bounty Hunter's Kid Hunter as an early inspiration on his vinyl career!

Next, we're taken through the creative process on camera.

From pencils and graph paper, all the way to computer turnarounds and package design, it's equal parts art and science.

Lifestyle! These fiberglass smoking rabbit chairs are rad.

Whether designing his own toys or hand painting recolors for Japanese micro-brands, Kozik keeps rolling. Here, an army of Real Head figures designed by Mori await the finishing paints.
Near the far wall of his studio, Kozik goes big on canvas! Belzor is the sickness.

Finally, check this small sampling of the man's massive toy collection. Whether you're an artist working in the industry or you're new to vinyl, it's about creativity and excitement for these cool objects!