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Gearz4Gutz's Profile

About

As far back as I can remember I have loved robots. So much so that I have been inspired to write fiction about them, draw them, compose songs about them and sculpt them. I welcome etsy conversations so please don't be shy!

Below is a copy of an interview I did for
Custom Toy World
(which you can read here http://customtoyworld.com/interviews/interviewg4g)

Tell us a little about yourself

I was born and live in New York. I’m married with a 4 year old daughter and 1 year old son. Toys are my life.

How and when did you get into designer toys?

I’m not sure how long I’ve been into designer toys, but I discovered them for the first time (like most things) on the internet. Designer toys appeal…

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  • Male
  • Born on April 15
  • Joined May 1, 2010

Favorite materials

Plastic Resin Wood Metal Vinyl Clay Glass Rubber

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About

As far back as I can remember I have loved robots. So much so that I have been inspired to write fiction about them, draw them, compose songs about them and sculpt them. I welcome etsy conversations so please don't be shy!

Below is a copy of an interview I did for
Custom Toy World
(which you can read here http://customtoyworld.com/interviews/interviewg4g)

Tell us a little about yourself

I was born and live in New York. I’m married with a 4 year old daughter and 1 year old son. Toys are my life.

How and when did you get into designer toys?

I’m not sure how long I’ve been into designer toys, but I discovered them for the first time (like most things) on the internet. Designer toys appeal to me on several levels. I like that these are toys that from inception are meant to be enjoyed by adults and art lovers. I’m also a huge fan of independent expression that is free of corporate influence. The more homegrown the toy is the more I tend to like it. It reminds me a lot of the indie music scene. You know that the final product is the result of the individual’s efforts and desires. What you get is because the artist wanted it that way or because of budget limitations had to be that way. That speaks to me at the most primal level as an artist. These toys are like a direct communication with the artist without the filter of marketing trends and cost analysis style decisions. It’s pure and that is something you don’t get to consume very often in a world of bottom lines and demand driven profit margins.

Can you tell us a little about your collection?

If it’s robots I pretty much have to have it. I’ve been collecting robot toys all of my life and my collection of robots is very extensive.

What are your favorite toys and/or artists?

Well, my favorite toys are of course the robot ones. As for artists I love so many. I’m guessing that you are specifically referring to those in the toy world and not all artists like M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali and Hieronymus Bosch. The names that immediately come to mind are Tim Biskup, Pete Fowler, Dave Pressler, you know the usual suspects.. I tend to like the western designers a bit more than the Japanese ones. I don’t know why that’s purely a subjective thing. I’m also a huge fan of the resin kitchen counter hand-casters. Das Mo, Jester, Tesselate, Porl” and Mathew Beers.. I’m sure that I’ll regret not mentioning someone or other but again that’s from the top of my head.

When did you get the idea to make your own toy?

If I had to guess I’d say back when I was four years old. I’ve always wanted to make toys for my own enjoyment. I made so many things out of wood scraps, clay and construction paper that I couldn’t possibly remember it all. Like I said earlier, toys are my life. As for actually making something like Fyoog, that was about a year or so ago. I was searching on eBay for robots (of course) when I came across an aluminum robot injection mold for a vending machine called a Mold-A-Rama. These machines were set up at zoos, museums, theme parks and the like. You’d put your money in and it would cast a toy right before your eyes. I bid $250 on the mold and got sniped out at the last minute. Since I lost the auction I started to research these molds in hopes of finding another one. I didn’t. What I did find however, were tutorials on how to make molds from scratch using room temperature vulcanizing silicone rubber and resin. I ordered a kit, became addicted to resin casting and the rest is recent history. The idea for Fyoog comes from an unfinished science fiction novel that I’ve been kicking around for years. The book is about a trans dimensional, time traveling, pan-galactic rock and roll band. Fyoog is the road crew slash audio engineer for that band. He was built from scavenged parts of musical gear from all over the universe.

Can you tell us a little about the design process?

My original masters were made from wood. Wood is a good material to make molds from but it’s a pain to create your ideas in if you don’t have a full blown workshop. I used all hand tools and a dremel to make my first attempts. Then I discovered that I could achieve even better results in less time using density foam. I would have turned to clay or Sculpey if my project wasn’t a robot. I’m not bad at creating organic shapes in clay, but when it comes to a machined like final result, as in the case of Fyoog, I needed something rigid. You can read a detailed account of the evolution of Fyoog from start to finish on my website at www.spasticploon.com . (note: since this interview that website is all but scrapped. I might revive it at a future date)

How did you work out how to produce your design?

The production methods were in place before I even had a design. If it weren’t for RTV silicone and casting resin, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. .

What are your plans for the future concerning toys?

I fully intend to make more toys. There will of course be alternate colorways for Fyoog, but I’m also planning on creating the band that Fyoog roadies for. I’ve been sketching the details for them already. I also have some other robots that I would like to do and of course plenty of off the wall characters too.

What other interests do you have (besides designer toys)?

Mostly I’m a musician. I went to conservatory and played professionally for years. I also design board games (the kinds that you find on www.Boardgamegeek.com) and write science fiction. My family is of course most important to me overall. Both of my kids love Fyoog. It’s the only toy my son will not throw across the room if he has a tantrum while holding it.

Where can people learn more about or buy your toys?

My homepage is www.spasticploon.com, but I’m still working on putting together a shopping cart. I’m mostly talking about Fyoog on Kidrobot’s discussion board, but I’ll mention him on all the usual vinyl toy websites as well. Fyoog is going to be ready for purchase October 23, 2007.

Carl Kramer, AKA Gearz4Gutz

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