Filed under: art, comic-con, design, music, popular media, toy, typography, video
I’ve been looking at and collecting designer / art toys for some time now. One thing I discovered pretty early is once you have checked out Kid Robot and the like that it really does take some serious foraging to find anything else interesting and unique in this toy world. I’ve been at this along time, growing up obsessed with Transformers, Gi Joes and Star Wars. I’ve always been drawn to the old-school blister pack with the cardboard graphics and as an adult haven’t really come across anything equivalent to that gesture, well good stuff anyway. So I was pretty stoked when I came across the work of The Sucklord of Suckadelic Toys.
Sucklord (aka Morgan Phillips) work seems so familiar but cool and sinister with an edgy wit. Everything has a bit this ‘fuck you’ attitude but is also knowingly referential to the toy fiction subculture. All the toys are handmade, interestingly derived from the cannibalizing of existing 3 3/4″ figure, mostly Star Wars figures, though themed as tongue and cheek new character adaptions. Although the quality of the toys is somewhat compromised by the DIY resin-cast manufacturing there is something quite delightful about this cottage approach which gets lost otherwise, and gives them well, a point of different to the limited edition aspect.
A really charming aspect of the Suck World is the emphasis on retro-graphic, with a number of aesthetic strains, everything from sci-fi to video game to blaxploitation like. Even the treatment of the Suckadelic site, The Realms of Suckadelic, carries on this same throwback gesture.
It’s all about a total Suck Hustle, as the Sucklord would say, which means that the Suck Empire extend beyond just toys to include other ventures into music production, playing card design and various video projects.
Music-wise, the Sucklord has produced a number of records including a Star Wars breakbeats record with cobbled and mixed Star Wars bites set to beats. He is also part of Band of the Lost which is described as, “New York City’s dopest DJ crew! … seamlessly fusing phat beats and dusty breaks with nerdy comic book arcana and spaced-out sounds …”. Yep.
Late last year the Sucklord produced a series of collector cards or Suckpax. They match authentically the 70’s /80’s vintage style of trading cards, in stock and aesthetic. The series includes 43 basic cards + rare chase pieces, one-of-a-kind original sketch cards, signature cards, distressed cards (burnt or shot with a gun), and mystery inserts.There is also a Golden Ticket in one pack, which is redeemable for a special custom toy. A interesting aside to the Suckpax is that they were made by Sidekick Media – a artist-service company which specializes in recreating obsolete art technologies. Pretty cool. The Suckpax packets even have the old wax packets. There is a really sweet breakdown of the production here (as well as the production for the Art Hustle cards mentioned earlier).
Sucklord’s video work includes a series of short clips with the Original Villains Network. Kinda funny and silly. They feature some of the Sucklord toy characters including Philips as Sucklord 66 workin’ his mercenary, Boba Fett-style outfit or as the purple masked cockroach Vectar the Intolerable. Another project is Microsexuals which appears to be a sitcom and ads with stop motion and / or held action figures. What more can you ask for?
Sucklord’s most recent, and substantial feature is the first episode in the Toy Lords of Chinatown series. It’s along the same lines as the other Original Villains stuff. Story in summary is about Sucklord and Vectar competing for the bootleg rackets in Chinatown. Check it out:
Most of Sucklord’s antics are documented pretty well online. This includes notably some group shows that he initiated called Suckoff and Suckoff 2. These feature artists who have remixed Sucklord’s 600 figure, including custom figures by artists like Amanda Visell, KidRobot, Triclops and even Jeremy Bulloch (the original trilogy Boba Fett). There is a good interview with Sucklord here by Toybreak about the first show at Munky King in LA. Very Cool. (Suckoff 2 was in NY). These are three of the remixes by Burt Banger, Sarah Jo and Nick the Ring.
Sucklord has also featured on the Vinyl Addiction show hosted by Jesse Hernandez. If you haven’t discovered, Vinyl Addition is a, “new show all about the Designer Toys/Urban Vinyl Movement …The show features behind the scenes interviews with artists, companies, collectors,and show coverage.”
You can catch the interview with Sucklord here:
Sucklord is really open about sharing his process which is great for anyone who want to get into this world. In addtion to his Vinyl Addiction interview above, The Super Sucklord runs through ‘How to Make Your Own Toy’, this the following clip:
Some of Sucklord’s more recent works, includes newer design forms with the space lids as well a completely new direction in the stylised ‘suckpegs’ in the GI Joe, GI Yo adaptions. They are the Greatest American Zero – featuring Pestro, Duchess and Corporal Slither (I actually have these but only because they are one the easier of the Sucklord toys to track down).
The Sucklord keeps a Fickrstream which is uplated a with some regularity, documenting production bits as things take shape, photos from various events and appearances, as well as flagging upcoming releases in the Suckadelic toy factory empire.
As you will see from the clips, Sucklord is a pretty funny guy with this cool New York propped swagger, though is actually really humble also and someone who actually responds politely to emails unlike alot of artists.
The above image seems to sum up the Sucklord perfectly, taken recently during the SDCC posted with the tagline ‘My only foto from SDCC 2010. I was kinda busy…” What a pimp!
+ checkout Sucklord’s ‘interesting’ collection of images on Tumblr
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