Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Legend of Pagoda part II

Pagoda is midnight double feature of Road Warrior and Hellraiser 2.  The blood-and-dust ruthlessness of Lord Humungus, warped through the morbid S&M Cenobite asthetic, topped off with a Raiden hat for good measure.  He is the boogeyman of the wastelands, seen by few, but known to all.  Armed with the chains that were rumored to contain him prior to his reign of terror and his tri-spiked signature shoulder pads, he is a supernatural force of nature.  A tidal wave of death and destruction that wouldn’t be out of place stalking Max Rockatanksy or the Lone Wanderer.

Here are two things I wrote when trying to flesh out Pagoda’s origin story: The first is a comic book script for a short two-page story about Pagoda’s parents fucking, hehehe.  I’d like to imagine something like this appearing in the back of on old Dr. Strange comic or something, and is essentially Jason-X fan fiction when you really boil it down.  The bastard son of tentacled swamp yokai and a masked slasher who falls from space, I think the origin goes a long way to explaining how Pagoda has evolved into an unkillable force of nature.  I’d love to see this illustrated some day if anyone with macabre art skills is interested in taking a stab…

Somewhere within the swamps of Cambodia…

-A vengeful demon, who’s appearance is a series of fangs, tentacles and eyes squirms through the muddy waters, searching for prey when a meteor is seen surging through the night sky. 

-The meteor crashes into the swamp near the demon, piquing it's interest.  It begins to get closer to the landing

-The meteor is revealed to be a crashed escape pod from some sort of space station.  The door parting revealing a large humanoid figure within.  The demon, sensing a victim on board, begins to shape shift…

-The demon’s transformation is complete as it takes the form of a beautiful, nude Asian woman, slyly covered by her long mane of black hair.  She beckons the man closer, promising to relieve him of his pain.

-She is surprised when the figure, a hulking brute wearing a ripped set of coveralls and steel goalie mask, grabs her forcibly, attempting to make a victim out of her instead. 

-Shock gives way to the reveal that she is no easy prey, as she starts to revert to demon form, wrapping tentacles around the masked monster and plunging venomous fangs into the beasts flesh.

-We see the masked face of the brute as her hallucinogenic poison takes effect, and the demon sees the undead evil behind the mask. 
-Her vengeance gives way to sympathy and admiration as she probes his mind, seeing the horror that has been inflicted against him, as well as the horror he has inflicted tenfold.

-Her tentacles pull him further into the swamps waters, a feeling that he finds intimately familiar as he allows himself to be pulled under water.

-We see another image of mental hallucination with the demon (in nude female form) wrapping her arms around his shoulders, with the masked brute allowing himself to be physically comforted for the first time in his adult life.

-We see the swamps in the morning light, as a muddy set of footprints can be seen leading towards the mainland, the brute barely visible as he stomps towards his own destiny.  The demons tentacles can be seen happily unraveled among the swamps vegetation, with pink flowers blossoming. 

The second part ties his legend to the day the atomic bombs drop, changing the earth into a violent ball of dust and gasoline that was predicted by Mad Max, Fist of the North Star, Fallout, etc.  If it weren’t for the nuclear apocalypse occurring, it’s likely Pagoda would have eventually escaped somehow and became the Michael Meyers of Cambodia, but fate had other plans and as it turns out, being an unkillable force of nature is a highly regarded skill when trying to survive the nuclear wasteland. 

The following letter was found within ruins of a Cambodian temple that is rumored to be the boyhood home of Pagoda.

"May Buddha forgive me for what I am about to release.  But man has finally gone too far and fire now bleeds from the sky.  We have failed in our quest to bring balance to this world, but we will not lose peacefully.  Those that have ravaged this world will pay.  May this demon cleanse the earth of those who would corrupt it, so that we may be reborn anew and try again.
This is the first time I've ever referred to the boy within the chamber as a demon.  I felt that word on my lips the first night he was brought to our temple, but now, this close to death, I'm sure that is what he is.  This is his story.
He was brought to the temple as a young boy.  Even then, there was death in his cold eyes.  When our master died the night he arrived, we foolishly took it as a bad omen, but the curse he brought was so much more.  He is evil compounded.  Death personified.  A dark Godling, hatched in the age of man. 
We strongly suspected he was responsible when we found his teacher strangled.  But when his classmates were found dead... we should have taken the hard steps necessary.  But the new Master, eager to prove himself capable of great healing, insisted we channel the boys unique talents in a way that would focus him.  So we taught him our art of combat.  And in doing so, we put a weapon in hand of the devil himself. 
He seemed to enjoy killing, and all who tried to reason with him quickly died.  By his 16th birthday, he had murdered half of the temple, and it took the rest of us to subdue him.  Killing him would have been in defiance of everything we stood for, so we wrapped him in 1,000 chains and intended to keep him locked in our underground meditation chamber forever.  It was I who agreed to feed him.  When I accepted the task, I intended to poison him over time, but as I looked into his eyes, I did not see a murderer staring back, but instead a demon following the only nature it'd ever known.  I don't think we can blame him for what he is, and shudder when I try to understand how Buddha saw fit to allow him to exist at all.

Even with the meager sustenance we provided, he's grown into a hulking brute, spending every waking moment straining at chains that won't break.  Never asking for release.  Never saying a word.  Like a stone pagoda, placing a giant shadow over our temple.
I had almost found peace in this unholy arrangement.  I was beginning to think that our true purpose in life was not to strike balance within this earthly realm, but to instead contain this unholy being from the rest of the world.  But once the first bombs began to light up the night sky with fiery death, and my brothers began bleeding from their eyes, I see now that our path has been compromised.  Our fate is what we make of it.  Powerful men with powerful weapons have seen fit to destroy the world.  But they know little about true power and when they see the weapon that we have unknowingly been sharpening over years, only then will they realize the error of their arrogance.

-The last words written by an anonymous monk, moments before he was strangled to death

Finally, some of you have noticed the 2 chase variants, both featuring a resin helmet instead of his signature mask/hat.  These are parts from a collaboration with the illustrious Mark Ultra on our Lord Demonico figure (DCON 2013 exclusive), and I'd like to imagine an alternate timeline where Pagoda was transported into Demonico’s dimension and not only defeated him, but stole his time helmet, allowing him to unleash his terror throughout the annals of time. 
Again, prime comic book material that I’d love to flesh out further somewhere down the line.  These two variants will be go out on two random orders, and are some of my favorite Scraped Resin pieces of all time.

Pagoda, his variants, and the opportunity to get a free Vault Clone are available at the Scraped Resin online store.  And don't forget to hit up Cheap Pop Shop, who put together the shiny and chrome packaging artwork!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Legend of Pagoda part I

LEGION OF DOOM: Nothing makes a statement like spiked shoulder pads.

Coming back from DCON 2014, drunk on inspiration and stuck with a bunch of chunky figures that barely sold, I told myself that the market wanted 3.75” figures and I was a fool to argue.  Part of me didn’t buy in to this, seeing the move as caving in or selling out, but the truth was I always wanted to try a 3.75” piece and thought I might be able to come up with something truly spectacular.  The results were Pagoda.
Up to that point, I had focused on the 4.5” TMNT scaled figures, as not only were these my favorites growing up, but thought it would help distinguish me from the pack.  I also figured that nostalgia would eventually catch up to this scale, putting me ahead of the game.  What I hadn’t anticipated was this meant heavier figures, which were more expensive to make/ship, and didn’t fit in well with collector’s resin collections that had mainly been in the 3.75” scale. 

KNOW YOUR HISTORY: An actual title belt went into Pagoda's DNA.

The upside of this was I had a whole list of cool looking 3.75” scale figure parts in my head that I never had the chance to use, and when approaching my new idea, I literally used all of them.  Robocop gang member arms?  Sure, why not.  Prince of Thieves Sherriff of Nottingham’s crazy legs?  Kinda big but let’s make them work.  Road Pig’s shoulder pads?  Throw some actual screws on them and mold those fuckers up! 
The original version had a completely different head, which would have been a ski mask with night vision goggles, and full on devil horns which I really loved, but the kit-bashed head was too small and forced me into another direction. 
Enter Mirage: The Corps are off-brand GI Joes that have a fully fleshed out world of their own at this point, and features some really bugged out characters.  They recently released a new wave of figures, including the strange Raiden-meets-Vega fusion soldier Mirage.  Seeing his figure on eBay for the first time was like seeing a $20 bill on the ground.  I couldn’t believe my luck, quickly looked around to see if anyone else had noticed it yet, and then snatched it up to spend before anyone could say boo.  It’s a unique look that surely would have been a favorite as a kid, and I figured if I hadn’t used it, some other enterprising bootlegger would lay claim to it eventually.  It also cemented Pagoda’s Asian tone and origin story, with everything quickly falling into place one this key piece was locked in.

OUT WITH THE OLD: Original packaging design

Around the same time, I started talking with a very established designer toy store that I had frequented for additions to my own collection.  They were very complimentary of my work, and after a few meetings, they offered me a chance to release something through them.  Not only would this bolster my fledgling reputation, but it would be a dream come true to have my work sold in a place I held in such high esteem. 
Cut to months later as I put the finishing touches on the last Pagoda, the store owner finds themselves in the unfortunate situation of having to permanently close their doors, leaving me heartbroken, and Pagoda without a home.  Bitter and dejected, I wanted to put the entire ordeal behind me and boxed the completed Pagodas, where they remained until the glorious day that Cheap Pop Shop broke them out of their prison.

TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: New packaging designed by the magnificent Cheap Pop Shop.

Featuring new packaging, removable shoulder pads and magnetic articulation, PAGODA is here to welcome the designer toy apocalypse, where he will reign supreme, crushing all inferior bootlegs into resin dust.

IN WITH THE NEW: Fully packaged and ready to wreck havoc.

Who is this walking nightmare and how did he come to rule the post-apocalyptic wastelands after the bombs dropped?  Check back next week, when we'll dig into the second and final part of the Legend of Pagoda.  This figure will go on sale for the first time on Friday, November 6th in the Scraped Resin online store.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mariachi Sauce All Over Your Face

This is the story of a mariachi who specialized in singing cover songs. He’d put his own unique spin on every ballad he sang, both making it his own while paying honor to the original. The crowd showed their appreciation by tossing him a few coins after each performance, which was just enough for new guitar strings and the occasional torta.

One day, the mariachi received an email through the contact form submission on his website, and he was shocked to see it was from a record company! Had they heard about his ability and wanted to offer him a gig? No, it was instead a cease-and-desist letter, demanding that he immediately stop diluting their brand by singing his covers. “How dare you apply your creativity to our intellectual property!” they scolded, threatening the mariachi with a team of corporate lawyers. “Aye-yi-yi!” whispered the mariachi as he realized the error of his ways. “Better play it safe from now on,” he thought, tossing his guitar out the window. His creativity stifled, he did what any mariachi in his position would do: He became a door-to-door salsa salesman!

And you can bet your ass he has a quota to meet, so why don’t you help him out and buy some salsa from him? Mariachi Sauce stands at 3.75” (not including his magnetic sombrero) and comes packaged with a packet of random hot sauce and a mini cease-and-desist letter.

Available this Friday, 10/2 at noon PST for $40. ¡Viva el Mariachi!

Friday, July 31, 2015

It's the mayor that comes packaged as a vintage sports star!

I had been scheming on a way to get my work highlighted in Sacramento, as I’m a huge fan of the all-over-the-place local art scene and figured that if anybody was going to introduce resin figures to the area, it might as well be Scraped Resin. I knew that Kevin Johnson was a somewhat polarizing figure within local government, and liked the idea of creating something that would slyly appeal to both fans and detractors. In researching the mayor, he doesn’t come across as a very sympathetic character: his raging political ambition, his multiple legal settlements, and questionable use of city funds. A few of my friends are fans of his, but when pressed, their only praise seems to be how he orchestrated the arena deal to keep the Kings, or how they saw him eating sushi at Zen few times. Now I love Zen’s salmon sashimi as much as the next guy, but as a non-basketball fan who actually works a couple blocks away from the construction, fuck that arena. Traffic’s gonna be fucked. Parking’s gonna be fucked. Rent is already getting fucked. People talk about how important Downtown renovation is, which I definitely get, but as a person that’s already lives here, I’m not personally invested in a campaign to bring more people to the area. But I get it, I get it. If we don’t have a national sports team, all of the other better cities will laugh at us and unfollow our shitball Instagram account.

Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe this arena deal will give way to a golden era for Sacramento. I’d be okay with that. My point is that there is more to a leader than ensuring your Kings fandom doesn’t suddenly become obsolete, and if we’re going to elect sports celebrity from the 90’s to be our mayor, we should at the very least make sure he has our best interests in mind. We should keep score, if you will. And if the end result is something that gets Scraped Resin a little more recognition on a local scale, well then: mission accomplished! These 5.5” resin figures come with 3 points of magnetic articulation. They are packaged on a cardback featuring a trading card embedded in resin and resealable plastic bubble with magnetic properties that locks the figure in place. Pick up a Keeping Score action figure in the Scraped Resin online store today!

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Saga Continues...

Happy to report that we set the worlds butthole on fire with our entry into Clutter Magazine’s Inaction Figure 3 exhibition. The Inaction Figure shows are a virtual who’s-who of the current crop of resin bootleggers, and having a piece on display has been a Scraped Resin dream since the first show happened. The bottle of Tapatio on my grandma's table is one of my earliest memories, and it’s fair to say that sombrero-clad gentleman on the label has been stuck in the wallpaper of my brain ever since. Packed with an actual packet of Tapatio hot sauce, all 6 of these 3.75” little charmers sold out instantly. Huge thanks to Josh Kimberg over at Clutter, who is a man who knows how to take care of a problem, hehehe. I’m going to get those AP editions out to you soon, man!

The hits just kept coming, as I had the great fortune to get to collaborate with America’s favorite lucha ambassadors, Masked Republic, on our first fully sanctioned action figure based off the lucha libre legend Solar. These were really fun to put together, and allowed me to bust out a few tricks I’d been wanting to try out, including magnetic leg articulation, and a head shrunk down using Hydroshrink. I also got a chance to collaborate with my favorite pro-wrestling illustrator Adam Ratliff on the packaging, who did an amazing job of rendering Solar in the style of a vintage Kinnikuman packaging. Kevin Klienrock of Masked Republic invited us to the lucha libre art extravaganza La Bulla in Los Angeles, where we got to rub shoulders with some of LA’s most hardcore artists and show off the resin goods. This definitely won’t be the last time you see a SCRAPED RESIN x MASKED REPUBLIC collaboration, so stay tuned!

We’ve seen two more entries into the HOODSLAM Gram Slammer series: Bat Manuel and Drugz Bunny, including the addition of magnetic articulation and Golden Gig variants. The live HOODSLAM shows are a whiskey-soaked combination of high-octane metal, Sega-inspired psychopaths, and death-defying violence, and if you haven’t made the trip to Oakland yet, you are missing out on a truly inspired spectacle (not to mention the exclusive resin)!

This style of 6” lucha busts were all the rage in the 90’s, being sold at wrestling shows in Mexico. I’d been trying to track down a clean one for a while and finally scored the guy in the center last year. Bootlegging ensued. We’ve since dropped a series of painted busts with pop culture makeovers, as well as a few blank bust options for you paintbrush-wielding geniuses out there.

I can assure you that the lack of updates here just means I’m having trouble tearing myself away from the pressure pot, as there are definitely a few ambitious projects on the horizon. My honest attempt to infiltrate the Sacramento art scene is on deck, and I have a couple 90’s tributes already kitbashed that I’m stoked to get molded up soon. Buy something! And until next time, keep on scraping!