Toy Karma – The Art and Toys of Mark Nagata
My memories of early childhood mostly start around the time when we lived in West Los Angeles during the early 1970s. My father was a bank manager for Bank of Tokyo in the Crenshaw area. My mother was a stay at home mom and to say she had her hands full with me is an understatement. I think a must have broke at least a half dozen of her glass vases in a years time. But, in between getting in trouble for knocking stuff over, she instilled in me a love of art and drawing.
Christmas of 1973, my toy world would change forever and unbeknownst to me, affect the rest of my life.
For reasons lost to time, my Auntie Joanne ( my father’s sister ), who was stationed in Tokyo with her family and husband on a American military base, sent a huge box of toys to me for Chirstmas. As I opened each item, I really could not make sense of what I held in my hands. Strange colorful creatures, outer spacemen, see thru robots ! My mind was blown !
I guess it’s no surprise that I became a illustrator, painting children’s horror book covers for “Give Yourself Goosebumps” and many others for 13 years. A founder and magazine publisher of Super7 Japanese toy magazine and finally owner of Max Toy Company !
Max Toy Company is really an extension of all my loves, Art, Toys, Heroes and Kaiju monsters !
In September 2018, Mark’s Japanese toy collection and Art was on display at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles as part of the “Kaiju vs Heroes – Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys exhibit. Even actor/activist George Takei gave an opening speech and talked about one of his first roles as a voice actor in the American version of the film Rodan !