Mark Nagata has his own toy company, Max Toy Co. Ask anyone who knows Mark to describe him and the two things that will come up are toys and art.
After attending the Academy of Art College in San Francisco during the late 80's and picking up a New York artist's rep, Mark embarked on a 10-year plus journey as a freelance commercial illustrator. Over the years he's worked with a diverse client list which has included Scholastic Books, Bantam Books, Harper Collins, Becketts Publications, Schlage Locks, AMD, Genentech, IBM, Square Soft, Activision, DC Comics, Sony, Galoob Toys, Lucasfilms, Hasbro Toys and numerous Advertising and Design firms nationally and internationally. The highlight of this time included over 40 cover paintings for RL Stine's Goosbumps book series, Give Yourself Goosbumps.
Churning out hundreds of assignments over the years, coupled with deadlines from hell took a toll, both mentally and physically. "I had to reassess what was important in my life and refocus my abilities towards a new goal. " said Nagata.
"I'd been collecting Japanese toys all along, and suddenly realized it would be cool to have a magazine of some type devoted to them. So it's no surprise that Mark ended up creating and co-publishing Super7 Magazine. After successfully building the Super7 brand for nearly 4 years , it was time to move on."I wasn't able to paint as much as I wanted, and I realized that the part of Super7 I enjoyed the most was creating toys and artwork " reflects Nagata.
Thus was born Mark's new venture called Max Toy Company, named after his son Max. With a nod to the Golden Age of Japanese toys, Max Toy Co. will continue the tradition of offering classic Japanese character toys by all the best toy companies. Max Toy Co. also produces its own exclusive toys, both licensed and original. Many of the original toys offered are hand painted by Mark Nagata. A tradition that goes back to Japanese toy makers. Also most of the offerings feature unique artwork on the headercards painted by Mark.
In September 2007 the first group Kaiju show in the United States featuring artists and companies from Japan, USA and South America was held at Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago. Called Toy Karma ( www.toykarma.com ) it was a historic gathering that featured many custom painted toys and art.
Following on the heels of this event in October 2007, over 30 of Mark's original paintings, toys and a selection of his vintage toy collection were featured in Beyond Ultraman: Seven Artists Explore the Vinyl Frontier, at the Pasadena Museum of California Art , a joint exhibition with LaTda , Los Angeles Toy, Doll & Amusements Museum. This marked the first time in a musuem setting that the influence of Japanese toys on California artists was explored.
In addition, Mark has written and Max Toys have appeared in the Eiji Tsuburaya biography from Chronicle Books, Full Vinyl book from Harper Collins, Otaku USA magazine, and Japanese magazines, Hyper Hobby, KaiZine, Spectrum Fantastic Arts annual book, to name a few.
More recently Max Toy Co. has teamed up with well known Art Toy distributor, StrangeCo.,to help wholesale and distribute its product to a much wider audience.
"Max Toy Co. will allow me to produce original artwork, sculpt new toys, and work directly with a lot of my talented artist friends." Nagata says. Max Toy Co is a synthesis of toys and art ... both life long passions.
Designed Toy Releases
These are toys designed by Mark.
- Alien Xam
- Boy Karma
- Alien Argus
- Max Toy Mini Kaiju
- Lady Maxx
- Oh Nezumi
- Tiger Boss
- Office Cat
Toy Series Participation
These are toys Mark has lent his design skills to.
- Vinyl Artist Gacha - Series 4, 2015
- Sleepwalker - Green & Gold, hand-painted, 10 pieces, 2014
- Sleepwalker - Black & Yellow, hand-painted, 10 pieces, 2014
These are one-off toys by Mark.
- Piece(s) for GR2 15 Years, 2018
- Shinigami - custom for the Shinigami Custom Toy Show, 2018
- Piece(s) for The Painters Show, 2018
- Heart Skull - "Galaxy Skull" custom for I Heart Skull!, 2018
- Piece(s) for Gift Wrapped, 2017
- Chubz the Cat - custom for Chubz the Cat Custom Show, 2017
- Dunny - 5" "Galaxy" custom for the Shard Show, 2017
- Madball for the Madballs All-Star Art Jam, 2017
- Chubz the Cat - custom for Chubz the Cat Custom Show, 2016
- Piece(s) for Silent Wonderment, 2016
- Piece(s) for Kaiju Battlers, 2016
- Piece(s) for In Service of Monsters, 2015
- Alien Argus - Yellow Glow custom for SDCC, 2015
- Eyezon - Winged Kaiju custom for SDCC, 2015
- SaiKobi - Ultimate SaiKobi custom for SDCC, 2015
- Piece(s) for Brodarrfest US, 2015
- Moon Fox - custom for Reimagining Moon Fox, 2015
- Nyagira - custom for the Custom Nyagira Show, 2015
- "Pirate Abe" for 10x10, 2014
- Negora - "Love" for The Art of Love, 2014
- Toyconosaurus - custom for the Custom T-Con Show, 2013
- Fonzo - custom for Fonzo Loves California, 2013
- "Ultraman v Baltan" for Tokusatsu 2: Revenge of the Kaiju, 2013
- Piece(s) for Monsters from the Island, 2013
- Ice Scream Man - "I Scream Kaiju" custom for Día del Helado Muerto, 2013
- Customs for Toy Karma IV, 2013
- Piece for Tokusatsu, 2012
- Piece(s) for Touma and Friends, 2012
- Card for The Art Hustle 3, 2012
- Piece(s) for Garamaniacal, 2012
- Piece(s) for Rising Tide 2, 2011/2012
- Piece(s) for Heteromorphism, 2011
- Jumping Brain - Custom for the Brain Evolution Exhibit, 2011
- Customs for Toy Karma III, 2011
- Customs for Sofubi Godfathers, 2011
- Labbit - custom for Year of the Labbit Custom Show, 2011
- Piece(s) for A Tribute to Big Trouble In Little China, 2011
- Piece(s) for Monster Party, 2011
- Pieces for Beauty and The Kaiju, 2010
- Circuitous Psnail - custom for "Psnail" at DesignerCon, 2010
- Customs for Kaiju Bazaar, 2010
- Custom for Natural Resources 3, 2010
- T-Boy/Danke Schoen - custom for Love Movement, 2010
- Custom(s) for Red Carpet Kaiju, 2010
- Jouwe - custom for Jouwe Custom Show (US), 2010
- Buff Monster Series - Custom for The Monster Within show, 2010
- Custom for Natural Resources 2, 2009
- Custom for Natural Resources, 2009
- Customs for Toy Karma II, 2009
- Piece for Multiple Personalities 2, 2008
- DCTO - custom for Dreams to Dreams, 2008
- Devil Dog - custom for Osaka Popstar Devil Dog Art Show, 2008
- Piece for the Balls Out show, 2008
- Piece for the Multiple Personalities show, 2008
- Qee - 10" DIY Bart Qee for the DIY Bart Qee World Tour, 2007
- Customs for Toy Karma, 2007
- Nade - custom for Operation Fragmentation, 2006
- Circus Punks - custom for 100 Circus Punks Rule NYC, 2005