Hi, everyone -
Hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy! This was one hell of a crazy year and we can't thank you all enough for the continued support and love you have shown us at Mondo. We wanted to check in and share our Top 5 lists, plus a fun little preview / behind-the-scenes of Spider-Man Mecha from our upcoming Mondo Mecha line. Let's dive in...
Hector Arce's Top 5 picks of 2020
1) Man-At-Arms 1/6 Figure - The master of arms is one of the coolest characters from the Masters of the Universe line, so getting to work on this figure was truly an honor! Sculpted by the awesome Ramirez Studios and our very own Mike Bonanno, these creative wizards jam-packed it with amazing detail. I was lucky enough to design the paint application for it. In the end, I feel we really captured the spirit of the original design while updating it at the same time.
2) Adventure Time Statue - Adventure Time is one of the best cartoons ever made, we love it to no end and all of that love can be seen poured into every inch of this statue. It's truly a beauty! And I couldn't have a top five of the year without mentioning it. I'm proud of what we accomplished with this one, its truly complex, whimsical and captures the show perfectly. Sculptor Irene Mater completely nailed the characters and painter Mark Bristow brought it to life with his use of vibrant colors.
3) Godzilla '74 Tiki Mug - As some of you know, I'm a huge Godzilla fan; the big ol' monster has been a part of my life in one way or another since I was 5 years old. So, having the chance to design the first-ever Godzilla tiki mug with Mike Bonnano was a dream come true. Mondo is now a part of Godzilla history with this mug, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
4) El Ojo Fantastico "Furia Roja" Tiki Mug: Luchadors and tiki?! Yes, please! I absolutely love how this mug turned out. Designed by jack-of-all-trades Mike Bonanno, this mug is one of my favorites ever! The red glaze is one of Tiki Farm's best glazes; it truly pops and stands out on your shelf, calling you to piledrive your favorite tiki drink concoction into it.
5) Deaths Whisper "Seance By The Sea" Tiki Mug - If you haven't checked out this mug, please do... it's a sight to behold. Hands down, one of the most beautiful mugs we've ever made. The wonderfully talented Sara Deck used her design wizardry to devise one of the coolest ideas for a tiki mug. Then our friend and talented sculptor Tufan Sezer brought it to life, creating a functioning mug that has a hole right in the middle. Proud of this one and really hope more folks discover it.
Mike Bonanno's Top 5 picks of 2020 1) The Iron Giant Mondo Mecha Figure: The Iron Giant is my favorite traditional animation film of all time, so getting to work on this was a dream come true. Joe Allard, Mike Pflaumer and Bigshot Toyworks helped us make a special Iron Giant Figure that really brings the mechanical man to life!
2) Jaws Tiki Mug - Movie Poster Variant: Jaws is the best movie ever made. It's a fact. Getting to design a Jaws tiki mug was such a labor of love... I had so much fun working on it. I'm glad people dug the design and we got to do a variant glaze based on the Roger Kastel movie poster art. Tiki Farm really brought the mug to life and magically brought those colors into ceramic form. As one of my favorite comedians Howard Kremer says: "JAWS IS BETTER!!!" 3) Creature from the Black Lagoon 1/6 Scale Figure - Silver Screen Variant: This figure came out so gorgeous! The sculpt that Matt Black turned in is absolutely beautiful. It's amazing how the Silver Screen Variant looks in person. These figures were painted so perfectly by Mike and Hector that it truly looks like a frame from the movie. I also can't thank Jason Edmiston enough, who kindly let us use his artwork on the packaging. He's such a talent, and on top of that, such a sweet person.
4) Pulgasauri Blue Variant: It's no secret what a nerd I am for soft vinyl figures. So getting to dive into soft kaiju is soooo much fun. Dope Pope and Hector really captured the character, while simplifying the design perfectly for soft vinyl. This guy sold out fast, but we have some more wild fun colors coming down the pipeline if you missed out...
5) Godzilla '74 Tiki Mug: Hector's a madman for Godzilla, and his passion for the character reignited my love for the big guy too. This was such a fun mug to design with Hector. Our secret weapon sculptor Tufan Sezer just nailed this design (as always)! We were so thrilled that everyone dug this one... if you missed out, just hang tight for the next colorway!
And now for a little something extra: We're pleased to give you a special preview. Spider-Man Mecha will go on Sale February 16th, but we wanted to share a bit of the process behind the figure... mainly so you can share our excitement!
This figure took a lot of hard work to bring to life and we truly couldn't have done it without a specific group of very talented humans. Brock Otterbacher kicked this project off and Remy Paul turned in a gorgeous design. Jay Kushawara not only sculpted and added to the design, but pulled off some great engineering on the articulation that really lets Spidey come to life. The paint is so clean and crisp... Mark and Hector absolutely killed it on that end. Wait until you see the artwork Gabe Luque has done for the packaging exterior and interior. A ton of hard work went into this and we figured we'd showcase some of the magic that happens behind the scenes.
Remy Paul's initial concept design: Jay's an incredible artist and really captured the giant robot feel we were looking for. Drawing big robots is a challenge, but man, does Remy make it look easy!
Jay Kushawara's gorgeous sculpting job: Jay knocked this sculpt out of the park and also contributed to the design. Things are always so different from 2D to 3D, and Jay seamlessly translated Remy's art into the next dimension.
Hector's Spider-Man Symbiote Mecha Paints: Hector went in and created a new helmet and chest design and a paint scheme that makes this feel like a completely new figure.
Gabe Luque's packaging artwork: Gabe created this gorgeous artwork for the exterior of the packaging. He'd reached out to us on Instagram and we decided to take a shot on him. Boy, did it pay off. He has been so unbelievably easy to work with and is just blowing our minds with the artwork he's turned in. We're only sharing the exterior packaging, but are keeping his interior artwork for everyone to see down the line. He has created comic book pages based off of an amazing story by Mondo's very own Tim Weisch. Side note: if you haven't read Tim Weisch and Eric Powell's Big Man Plans comic, drop everything and get a copy in your hands right now!
Well, it's been a wild year and we wanna thank you for being there with us. We're looking forward to 2021, which we're hopeful will be much kinder to us all. Thanks again for all the support, and fingers crossed that we can all be together soon!
- Mike and Hector!