2020 has been a year of adapting and overcoming challenges in our personal and professional lives. One of those huge challenges in our industry has been the complete gutting of international conventions and forcing everyone to scramble for online equivalents and still deliver an amazing experience to e-attendees. With one of the biggest designer toy conventions of the year now in the books, it's time to reflect on our biggest online event to date!
DesignerCon 2020 has always been a popular show for PureArts Studio, and while it seemed that every day leading up the show was presenting a new roadblock, the PureArts crew, fans and collectors ended up putting together an amazing LIVE 3 day online buffet of awesome collectibles and introduced to many of you the amazing Master 9 Eyes line of statues, a character platform created and produced in collaboration with the extremely talented and amazing artist, Daytoner!
Streamed live from our Montreal office, our host and Business Development Manager, Ryan Syrie, spent the entire weekend sealed up in our studio with a phone, an internet connection, a functioning washroom and some amazing collectibles and gave our audience an intimate look at our office, our toys and of course, a steady stream of Q&A fielding hundreds of questions from our fans and customers. It was especially exciting for Ryan because he had the opportunity to unveil a brand new Master 9 Eyes Exclusive Gravity Edition, release the final 50 units of our M9E Dark Starr Exclusive, and got to show off a bunch of our secret upcoming M9E Artist Editions from some of the best artists around the world. The M9E project is Ryan's baby, so you can bet he LOVES talking about it!
With our masks on, a tired but very happy Ryan and I were able to catch up after the show and talk about his first live experience with an online convention.
Q. So how was your first online DesignerCon experience and what did you think of the Live streaming experience?
Ryan. Needless to say that to get the event going was a great challenge. New app, new way of doing these, but I take pride in working with the best and we managed to build an insane event for the community. We learned a lot and adapted to any situations thrown at us. I'm a people person and I miss being at events. Being able to be live for 3 days with our fans to share, chat, and express our love for art toys was just a blast.
Q. How was the attendance and fan feedback during your broadcast?
Ryan. People were stoked. Shout out to Laurence (our studio Prototype Designer) for the back drop I had during the events. A few times people mentioned how insane the shop looked and they really enjoyed the entertainment. The best is when people expressed their love, passion and excitement through the chat. Getting the discussion going and keeping me on my toes to provide the best content out there. FUN fact: Daytoner joined in Saturday night for about 20-30 minutes. Made sure that people knew he was there and he chatted away with some of the attendees. Was a special moment for all.
Q. What is it about M9E that you love so much and do you have a favorite one?
Ryan. The design and what it did for Daytoner and us. Back in February it was a first for all of us. First kickstarter project for PureArts, first kickstarter project for Daytoner and we made it. Then 9 months later we had enough content for a live show. I showed 12 different designs during the event, none of which would be possible without Daytoner's work. I like the platform but most of all what it did to bring a ton of people together. Purearts, Daytoner, Quiccs, Kaspr, Tokyo Jesus, Rundmbvinyl, Crack, Dragon76, Klav9 and retailer partners Martian Toys, Smeye World, Invasion Toys, Galerie F, and Eight3Five. I met a bunch of people that now have become friends through this. Thanks Daytoner x M9E
Q. How did you get involved with Daytoner?
Ryan. That is an Arnaud (Studio Manager) question but I believe they met through IG chat and then the magic went from there.
Q. What can we expect from M9E in the future?
Ryan. New retail partner exclusives, new artists, new PureArts exclusives and more platforms from the M9E universe.
Q. Any final thoughts?
Ryan. I want to say thanks to all parties involved, without you none of this would be possible. (all the artist mentioned above) Shout out to my PureArts people working on the event (Arnaud, Dan, Marie, Bryan, Emilie, Laurence) that push me to be at my best every day and makes my work as smooth as ever. Stay tuned and make sure to follow us on IG, Facebook, Twitter to get your fix for anything M9E. Lots of love, Ciao.
A huge thank you to Ryan for being such a fantastic host, it was a great show! While Ryan takes a break and we let him get his voice back, let's take a look at the entire M9E lineup as it stands now.
M9E Original Red and PHNTM P4ND4 in Resin and Vinyl
Master 9 Eyes is PureArts' very first designer toy, and was produced in collaboration with Daytoner. Daytoner is an ongoing concept artist and character designer project. As a concept artist, he worked for the game and movie industry, and has always focused on robots because they combine two worlds the expression of the character combined with surfaces and shapes to design. You can check out Daytoner's Instagram by clicking HERE.
This original character design of a futuristic, chunky samurai is the perfect blend of both a badass character with perfectly designed shapes. His overall look is completed by his puffed jacket and stylish katana backpack.
After a successful Kickstarter that ended on March 9, 2020, the Master 9 Eyes project was fully funded and became available in both a resin 1/6 scale statue and a vinyl 1/12 scale version.
M9E Dark Starr 1/12 Scale Vinyl
With the tremendous success of our initial Kickstarter campaign and pre-orders from our online store, we wanted to create an extremely limited event exclusive that would only be offered in small batches at various conventions throughout the year. Dark Starr was born and was limited to 250 units worldwide, with the last 50 being offered and selling out during our DesinerCon 2020 live stream.
Dark Starr is sold out, but you can check out the product details at: https://www.purearts.com/products/m9e-dark-starr
M9E Ouroboros Martian Toys Exclusive 1/12 Scale Vinyl by Dragon76
With the M9E platform quickly being established as a much loved designer toy collectible, PureArts started reaching out to some of our favorite and most talented artists in the the industry and sending them blank versions. We invited them to create all new custom versions of their vision of M9E and work with us and our retail partners to create limited exclusives.
Our very first Artist Edition comes from Dragon76 and his Ouroboros creation, which our friends at Martian Toys absolutely LOVED! A short couple of months later and this exclusive is now available directly at Martian Toys at: <link>
Check out Dragon76's Instagram HERE.
M9E Gravity Edition 1/12 Scale Vinyl by Daytoner
Just in time for DesignerCon 2020, Daytoner's fascination with all things space prompted a brand new space inspired custom Artist Edition aptly named Gravity. Limited to 333 units, Gravity's pre-order was officially launched on day 1 of DCon and quickly sold in huge number with only a limited number of units left at the time of writing this article.
This brand new design is also the first M9E edition to have a helmet, which is a removable gold reflective helmet and includes gold chromed weapons! (No, not ACTUAL gold.)
You know you love it, you can check it out in full glory at: https://www.purearts.com/products/master-9-eyes-gravity-1-12-vinyl
Now let's talk about what's coming up! Ryan unveiled a ton of upcoming Artist Eeditions in the DesignerCon live stream (was he even allowed to do that?!) so let's go over some of these exciting new designs! These are currently not available, but keep an eye on our social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or the newsletter for updates coming soon.
M9E63 Artist Editon 1/12 Scale Vinyl by QUICCS
Known for his gorgeous artwork and custom Adidas mods, Quiccs created this sweet Artist Edition built entirely around the iconic Adidas style blue colorway look that has been a fan favorite in his craft.
Check out QUICCS's Instagram HERE.
M9E Entropy Shift Artist Edition 1/12 Scale Vinyl by Rundmbvinyl
We had a chance to talk to with Rundmbvinyl and find out a bit more about this extremely gifted artist.
Q. In a couple of sentences, tell us a bit about yourself and your art background and what you love!
R. I got a degree in Fine Art way back in the dim and distant past of the last century and since 1998 I’ve been working as a website designer. I’ve been customizing toys for about 10 years now but I’ve been drawing and painting ever since I was a kid and the toys were a way for me to get back into making art. I love the huge variety of the different figures that are around and the Master 9 Eyes is a killer!
I think maybe because of the fine art background, my influences may be a little different to some of the other toy customizers around. I like a wide range of stuff from the obvious (i.e graffiti, hip hop generally and people like Futura 2000 in particular) to gallery artists like Ian McKeever, Sean Scully, Brice Marden (and many others). I hope my pieces bring a little something different to the table.
Q. What was your inspiration or mindset when you created your custom M9E?
R. When I start a piece I don’t really have a plan in mind of what I’m going to do. Daytoner mentioned to me that he likes it when I limit the palette of colours on a piece so I kept that in mind and just began drawing. I want to react to the shape of the piece and the M9E has a kind of menacing bulk that I really enjoyed. As I only work with paint pens (Posca paint pens, no brushes), the surfaces of the toy have a direct influence on what I do because the pens are in direct contact with the surface of the toy at all times. I just start somewhere and then work across the toy trying to get a flow and character to my marks that harmonises all around the piece from any angle. The piece is done when it feels right to me.
Check out Rundmbvinyl's Instagram HERE.
Kill Unit 1/12 Scale Vinyl KASPR
When asked for this thoughts on his own Artist Edition, KASPR told us:
"We where so stoked when Daytoner approached us about doing a KASPR version of his incredible M9E. We are huge Daytoner fans and huge fans of all the artists that participated. Our M9E, the KILL UNIT, we pulled into the post apocalyptic world of KASPR. On this war machine we stuck to black, red and white (our color palette) and tried to make him as graphic and aggressive looking as possible. We’re always riding the fine line between style and function and we sought to make the graphics great looking and also somewhat utilitarian. We wanted him to be a killer-looking killer. Such a great project. We love how all the M9E’s came out and have loved watching the response to all of the versions."
Check out KASPR's Instagram HERE.
Vandal Squad 1/12 Scale Vinyl CRACK
Crack is a graffiti artist, illustrator and freelance 3D artist based in Indonesia.
Hatred of the society he lives in and the way that society thinks is what drives Crack to make his art.
He is inspired by things in his daily life and a lot of his childhood memories. When creating animations, motion graphics and toys, Crack likes to include elements of graffiti, Hip Hop and Japanese culture in his pieces.
Crack's style is defined by crisp lines, resplendent, vibrant and urban, with a sense of flow,
"I consider my work as my way of self-discovery. I try to develop my style as much as possible by trying out different ways to get to where I want."
We asked for his inspiration and story behind his design and he gave us this awesome background story: M9E Vandal Squad is a one of the test subjects at the Alter Ego Robotics, given heightened intelligence by the human scientists, from which he gained a liking for UFC and Graffiti. Amidst a test subject uprising, Vandal Squad planned to escape from the lab and wanted to avenge his Brother ( Other M9E ) Death. Legend said he's still finding the answer, and always making Burner graffiti on the street. There’s a rumour that Vandal Squad is always making at least 19 bones in their enemy body can't work normally again!
Check out CRACK's Instagram HERE.
Possession 1/12 Scale Vinyl TokyoJesus
Now clearly TokyoJesus took the platform to a dark place so we wanted to know what inspired this dark, yet amazing, choice. Here's what he had to say:
Check out TokyoJesus's Instagram HERE.
This, of course, is just the beginning of M9E's adventures, with many designer toy customs to come and exciting new collaborations to bring to life.
On behalf of Ryan and the entire PureArts team, we want to thank all of our partners, artists, fans and customers for your tremendous support and ongoing passion for our collectibles and for coming to see us online at DesignerCon 2020. We all love what we do because of you folks, and we look forward to many years of new and exciting collectibles.
All the very best,
Dan & Team PureArts