Last night, a variety of homegrown Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo mutations hit San Francisco’s Rocket World for the first I.W.G. custom toys show. If you’ve never been to Rocket World (aka T.A.D. Gear), you owe it to yourself to visit Patrick Ma’s haven for high end adventure gear and designer toys. Enter the garage doors to one of the most untraditional spaces for an art show, and you’ll mix it up with cops, military personnel, artists, fanboys, fangirls and families checking out customized toys, stealth jackets and (shout out to Ray from Dragatomi), titanium sporks. As Patrick says, this kind of diversity is precisely what San Francisco is all about.
Patrick, who served time in the army and art school, is the perfect proprietor of a mash-up like this. The Rocket World universe is populated by creatures inspired by 60s mod aesthetics, ska music and a nod toward conservation. “Vespas are the perfect Bay Area vehicle,” he said. There were more than a few great tiny Vespas on display for the show. Grimsheep’s Kaneda with Vespa got snatched up early on by Tony from Reinvented Inc, the game dev company across the street. Quick sales of Leecifer’s pieces and Reactor-88’s Totem Bear kept the night’s hero, DrilOne running around.
I was really stoked to see pieces by a bunch of ToyCyte custoMONDAY artists like Grimsheep, Leecifer (coming Monday!), Dustin Cantrell, MonstreHero, OsirisOrion, Cris Rose (coming this month!), Lana Crooks (whose plush is in the permanent Rocket World collection) and Nanan1 (whose work I rambled on about for Jesse Hernandez’s Vinyl Addiction show).
Speaking of Jesse Hernandez, he was on the scene doing sketches for fans and and some abwork (for real) and lamented the fact that our exclusive Alex Pardee T-shirts (popular at last night’s event) don’t come in 3XL. Shows are always good for catching up with people. Joanne and Ray from Dragatomi told me they’re opening up shop in Sacto on J Street (congrats!). Leecifer, Michelle and Bert Gatchalian (whose Ultra Bear is a steal at $100 if still available) and I talked about the differences between New York, San Francisco and Tokyo. A certain unpopular former toy company was dished upon heavily by all. October Toys‘ Ayleen and George (who both had art in the show) made it up for the event, so look for coverage coming soon on Toy Break.
There were a bunch of pieces in the glass cabinet I still need to identify. Although I told Leecifer and ToyCyte contributor Angelo that I remembered things due to an OCD-like condition I call “photographic anxiety,” it’s not a perfect science. So go see the show and then please drop me a line at jeremy [at] toycyte [dot] com and help me fill in the details below. Mad props to DrilOne, Rocketworld, Dragatomi and everyone who made art, played a part or brought beer and sushi to the truly unique and very awesome I.W.G. Humans Beware show. I’ll update after tonight’s Resin Collective in Phoenix. If you’re going to be there, say hi! Apparently, as was confirmed by everyone last night, I look just like my avatar.
[UPDATE: All the pieces that are left are available for sale now at http://blue77.bigcartel.com/products]
[The preceding story was written by me for ToyCyte. It was originally published in April of 2009.]