8.25.2016

Tread Lightly


8.23.2016

Galaxxor: Monster Hunter Robo

The Space Warlord of Chicago, Ben Spencer, has just released an awesome new trio of "standard" Galaxxor characters (Galaxxor 001 and Gorgax are shown above) that showcase the very first deluxe paint jobs on his full production figure. You can find them right now, over in the Galaxxor Online Store.

Ben has a great sense of color and design, and these special versions of Galaxxor, coupled with a fun story synopsis, serve as a great jumping off point into his Monster Hunter Robo mythos.

Love the choices for this rollout, Ben!


8.18.2016

Bit Bun

Bit Pup

8.17.2016

Bit Kit

Bit Pig

8.15.2016

Bit Duck

8.14.2016

8.10.2016

Circuits and Brains: 1982 + Other Stories

The great Glen Schricker (aka Circuits and Brains) has a new wave of songs for the cybernetic called 1982+Other Stories that fans of classic sci-fi soundtracks will definitely enjoy, now available for streaming and download here.

I grew up with Glen, and have been enjoying his work since we were in high school together. His latest album is now in full rotation here at headquarters, with his "Dungeon Traveler Skeleden" tune from last year's Glyosar wave leading the charge. I'm also really digging the ghostly song, "Pilots Are Missing".

We love the new stuff, Schrick!

Ku Jumble Suit


8.04.2016

Operation: Cold Slice

Toy Pizza will be activating a special Knights of the Slice division Friday (today), August 5th at a time TBD over in the Toy Pizza Shop!  Check out the latest Toy Pizza episode for more details here!

Grand Lord of the Knights, Jesse DeStasio, sent over some fun bios to share for the "Real Type" inspired selection of KOTS Wave 2 shown above:


NAME: Medic Knight
NICKNAME: Boyo, Male Knurse Knight 
SECRET IDENTITY: Daz Briton 
POWERS: Can create force fields around injured comrades for a limited time. The longer it's held for, the more strain it puts on Daz. 
WEAKNESSES: Is secretly afraid of guns. 
BIO: Daz is the first British Knight of the Slice, appointed due to his emergency medicine and first aid knowledge. Although part of the ancillary team, Daz has is no less important, having saved the day many times over. 
--------------

NAME: Orange Knight 
NICKNAME: Knightmare 
SECRET IDENTITY: Unknown
POWERS: Not yet discovered
WEAKNESSES: Uncertain 
BIO: The Orange Knight is an odd spectre that only appears in the dreams of Brick. The dreams seem to have started the first time Brick transformed into his Integer Mode. though it has not yet been determined if the Orange is a direct result. Most recently, the Orange Knight has appeared to Brick dressed in a formal tuxedo, in a setting not unlike a wedding. The significance and meaning of these visions are still a mystery. 
--------------

NAME: Combat Type 01 & 02 
NICKNAME: The Twins  
SECRET IDENTITY: Jer & Josh Pollen 
POWERS: Higher than average durability and the ability to quickly dash in a way that appears to the untrained eye to be teleportation. The dashes are only capable of being executed for a few seconds at a time and over distances no greater than a football field. 
WEAKNESSES: The twins are hot-headed adrenaline junkies,  so they can very easily dive into battle without taking the time to think about their actions. They have also been known to get into fistfights amongst themselves in the middle of a mission. 
BIO: Growing up idolizing ancient 80s action movies, the Pollen brothers joined the army as a way to finance the independent films they wanted to make. Finding their aversion to authority put them at constant odds with their commanding officer,  the twins were discharged and started working security for Fred Foods. During the night shifts they would continue to make their lo-fi films while no one else was around. Eventually, they were caught trying to swipe one of the Knights of the Slice uniforms (in order to film the climax to their story) and ended up in Fred's office. Rather than fire the twins, Fred took notice of their military backgrounds and made them official Knights of the Slice. They are currently assigned to humanitarian missions in foreign conflict zones, where they provide security for food convoys. 
--------------

NAME: Death Knight
NICKNAME: None known 
SECRET IDENTITY: Unknown 
POWERS: Death Knight can become intangible with a mere thought. His weightless is so great, he can travel great distances with the slightest gust of wind. He also seems to be able to conjure grey mists that can obfuscate.
WEAKNESSES: Bright lights, loud noises, highly saturated colors. 
BIO: Little is known of the one who calls himself the "Death Knight", though he appears to have an extreme hatred for the Knights of the Slice. It's rumored he may have been an ex-employee or a trainee who failed to make the cut into the order of the KOTS. Several times he has shown up to trap the Knights or make their missions more treacherous, although he never engages in a direct fight. While he is currently classified as a nuisance, the concern is with a little help, Death Knight could become a formidable threat.  


Seeing the Knight mold run in these particular colors pushes the core aesthetic in a different direction, and gives a great "Special Missions" vibe to this new assortment. I've been carrying around the Death Knight since the first sample arrived, marveling at the clear smoke armor's effects against the pure black body. Definitely a great combination!

Jesse D and Onell have also been working behind the scenes on a secret "tangent" project which further blurs the lines between our two plastic worlds. More on that as we crawl into the fall.

Extra large congratulations to the entire Toy Pizza crew for continuing to expand the KOTS universe!


8.01.2016

Thank You for 9 Years!!!

Just like a stealthy clan of cyber ninjas, you guys struck with a powerful force last Wednesday night! Thank you so much for a truly exciting 9th anniversary release and for warmly welcoming Bit Figs into the fold. All the production numbers balanced out and the store operated without any major insanity or shurikens to the skull, so the mission continues!

The inspiration behind these seemingly random ninja themes dates back to the powerful influence that the early 80's ninja craze had on us when we here at Onell were kids. Even though Marcus and I are 10 years apart in age (and were raised in different states), we both still developed a lifelong love of those shadowy assassins imported from esoteric Eastern legends.

Ninjas were everywhere in those days, from movie screens, videotapes and magazine stands all the way down to the ubiquitous quarter muncher machines that peppered the walls of seemingly every grocery store and pizza joint. There was just something about the ninja concept that resonated across the country, especially with the latchkey generation.

Maybe it was the barrage of Kung Fu flicks that seemed to perpetually play on our local channel 56 (WLVI) every Saturday afternoon, but I personally went bonkers over anything ninja related. I remember wrapping an ACE bandage around my head and terrorizing the neighborhood not long after watching Enter the Ninja on video at my Uncle's house in Beverly, MA (and this weirdness took place years before playing The Revenge of Shinobi and Ninja Gaiden around the clock).

Eventually, my growing obsession graduated to a full on "child sized ninja uniform" that I had begged my mother to order for me from the amazing Ninja Magazine. Can you imagine the level of unintentional comedy that I spread running around at night as a pudgy little kid in an ill-fitting ninja outfit, punctuated by a massive set of scratched up Coke-bottle thick glasses? I even had my own ridiculous homemade katana that was fashioned in our family garage from a busted hockey stick. Of course it had an equally cruddy matching scabbard thrown together from old socks and scraps of duct tape to complete the look. Pitiful? Yes. Unforgettably fun? Absolutely.

Thinking back to those days of true childhood freedom, I'm made even more aware of how crazy lucky we've been over the last 9 years, especially with the constant shifts in an increasingly volatile market. I hope we can keep this extended trip going for some years to come, but no matter what happens, I couldn't be more thankful for everything leading right up to this very moment.

Thank you straight from the heart for making Glyos more than just the fever dream of a chubby little ninja kid.


7.29.2016

Bit Figs: Animal Series 1

Our initial brainstorming sessions for SSM Vending covered a lot of ground. Aside from the usual suspects from the Glyos System, Matt, Michelle and I started experimenting with our own take on classic vending toys. One of the ideas that came from SSM was to try some animals in the Bit Figs style, as they are a staple in the industry.

What seemed like a straight-forward task of creating popular critters in a 3D pixel style was trickier than originally thought. We knew the majority of these would be unpainted, and so all of the necessary detail had to be worked into the sculpt, as opposed to painting features like eyes and mouths. There was also the goal of giving these tiny guys personality. I remember collecting those ceramic figurines that came free with Red Rose Tea. They had a nice consistency throughout the line, but they weren't the most lively bunch to play with... Once we had solved the aesthetics of the eyes and sitting positions, we started to feel really good about the possibilities.

The other struggle was choosing which species to go with! We managed to narrow down a very long list into pets that we have had personal connections with- dogs, cats, bunnies and chickens. Like most people on planet Earth, we've loved and lost canines and felines, and wanted to pay tribute to these household guardians. My wife Heidi and I have also had rabbits for years, and as a result all of my nieces and nephews are smitten by our long-eared friends. The Doughty's also have chickens. A lot of chickens. After planning out the color palette that poor Bit Chick became a Duck, but she will not be forgotten.

Finally, the pig was a top choice because of our love for the color pink, and, well, Minecraft. That game is still played weekly at Onell HQ by the kids, and it's our tip of the cap to a property that helped propel the 8-bit retro style we love so much into the mainstream. One of my neighbors growing up also had a pet pig, and I'll never forget the noises he would make while scarfing down banana chips.

I promised this entry would be short (whoops), so I'll save more development chat for another post. Let's cut right to the good stuff:

Presenting Bit Figs: Animal Series 1! Five new 1" figures to search out and collect, in both painted and unpainted versions. These will also be popping up in vending machines across North America starting this weekend!!

Thanks again to the Dumphy family at SSM and for everyone's support so far. We have even more Bit Figs related projects nearing completion, one in particular that has a much deeper connection to the Glyos System...

Cheers!


7.27.2016

Glyninja Are Go!

The new store is live!

Note: Thank you, all limits have been lifted! Please place only ONE ORDER WITHIN THE FIRST HOUR TONIGHT, and be sure your Paypal cart is empty before you begin. We will lift all limits after the first hour. Thanks for your cooperation. Have Fun!

Curse of the Earthen Spawn


Bit Figs: Ninja Series 1

Ninja Mania continues!

It's with great excitement that we can finally announce the nation-wide rollout of Bit Figs! Onell Design has partnered with SSM Vending, a family-run operation out of Mesa, Arizona and one of the leading distributors of bulk capsule toys. Since reaching out to us a little over a year ago, the Dumphy family has worked closely with Matt and I to bring not one but TWO all-new Glyos compatible series of Bit Figs to the vending markets across North America!

The first set is Bit Figs Ninja Series 1, featuring 5 unique characters: Tana, Iken, Urai, Ku and Oni. Each 1" figure comes in a variety of colors, and in the classic "Quarter Muncher" tradition, will be offered in assortments of common monochromatic and rare painted versions. All figures feature a Glyos compatible fit function on the base.

When I was a kid, long before the term "blind box" was a thing, some of my favorite collectibles came in the form of mystery prizes. My twin brother John and I would typically fight over who would get the better toy from the cereal box, or we'd inhale Cracker Jacks until that tiny paper packet fell into our sugar coated hands. But good vending machines had an extra special appeal to them. Not only could you see your potential winnings, you could keep trying until you popped open a treasure (or emptied your pockets). Our trips to the grocery store with Mom always ended in excitement, as we knew once the food was being scanned, we could run over to the wall of vending machines and scope out the selection.

During those early years, there were 2 things that dominated playtime as we approached the '90s - Nintendo and TMNT. If we weren't crashing our mutant action figures into each other, we were smashing buttons trying to survive even 10 minutes of Ninja Gaiden. Throw in a handful of Lego sets and Monster in My Pocket mini figs and you pretty much have our childhood in plastic.

These innocent memories are what fueled the concept behind Bit Figs. To see this project now reach full production with national distribution is beyond what we ever could've imagined. The vending machine element, something that Matt and I have wanted to explore over our 9+ years of production together, is the clincher for this match made in coin heaven.

The Ninja Series is just one piece of what came out of our initial meetings with SSM Vending. The second series previously mentioned will be revealed in another (much shorter) post. Stay tuned!

We would like to thank our good friend Josh Dumphy and his entire family at SSM Vending for believing in this line and taking this journey with us. None of this would be possible without their knowledge and expertise within their unique market.

Thanks to ALL of you for the continued support. Every year we are more amazed by how tight this community of friends and fans remains. Truckloads of Bits in capsules are currently en route to neighborhoods along both the East and West Coasts, and should span the US within the coming weeks. Parts of Canada and Mexico should also see some upcoming action. We'll let you know here (and on the Bit Figs networks) where to start looking.

Happy hunting!!  -Marcus

Note: This first round will be available strictly through vending, but we have some super limited edition colors coming next month - sign up here to get on the list.


Glyninja Urai


Glyninja Iken


7.26.2016

7.25.2016

Clan of the Glyninja

During the darkest days of the Old War, many unnatural scientific experiments were performed in desperation, justified by those in power as a means to hasten the end of the violent conflict that held all of Glyos in its tightening grip.

Horrifying bio-mutations and genocidal machines of mass destruction tore into existence from the rampant abuse of long guarded secrets thought securely hidden by the passage of time.

As each planet's government pushed for total system-wide domination, many of these abominations began turning on their creators, indiscriminately spreading devastation wherever they roamed. Standard countermeasures proved ineffective, as these ultimate weapons of war were specifically designed to be nearly unstoppable by even the most lethal regulation hardware.

Sensing this growing danger from afar, an ancient order of warriors known as the Satraku Clan, who had operated in the shadows for generations safeguarding Glyos against deadly threats, moved into action.  Utilizing unorthodox tactics and skills that could only be executed by those born and raised within the practice of the Satraku Clan, small groups of Satraku "Glyninjas" began a silent mission to eliminate these vile monstrosities with extreme prejudice. 

This clandestine task lasted longer than the Satraku Clan anticipated, and many honorable Glyninjas fell across countless battles. By the time the Old War came to an end after Planet Metran's legendary treachery, the Satraku Clan had been nearly wiped out of existence...but so had almost all the cursed beasts of war they had originally set out to destroy.

With the rise of Capital Planet Metran, the Satraku Clan once again faded into the shadows, awaiting their next call to arms.

Until now.


A new wave will be ready to roll out on Wednesday night, July 27th, at 9:30PM EDT. We will have some very special announcements coming this week that focus on a Bit Figs project over a year in the making. So get on your tabi boots and sharpen your hockey stick katana, it's going to be Ninja Mania this week!

 

7.24.2016

Follow the Code


Void Union


7.21.2016

Digital Deception


Honor Bound

After regenerating for a spell, we're ready to mark our 9th year anniversary in full production with a "Bit" of new blood and an homage to a genre that we haven't really covered too much around here, but one that we've each absolutely loved since the 80's.

Marc, Michelle and I are really psyched to share this wave with you!

Pics, some specifics and the release date (currently on track for early next week) coming soon.

7.19.2016

7.15.2016

7.09.2016

Banimon Desert Dogs

Supreme Commander of the Banimon Forces, Boris Savic, has his second release of 2016 ready for action right now over in the Banimon Shop!

The new "Desert Dogs" themed sand colored sets feature some crossover combination builds that Boris has personally configured for the occasion, utilizing a special exclusive Hub Set in conjunction with his classic Banimon figure. Supporting these heavy armored soldiers is a brand new edition of the Glyos compatible vinyl Banimon Tank, decked out in colors that also match right up with our Esedeth releases from earlier this year.

We're pretty fond of anything desert related around here as far as PVC goes, so this round is a definite house favorite. Boris always puts a unique spin on things and the results are consistently surprising and exciting.

If you get the chance, spend some time reading through the story content found throughout his blog entries, lots of cool insight into the Banimon mythos awaits within!

Love this wave, B!


*Photos shown above courtesy of Boris himself.


7.06.2016

7.01.2016

Battle Tribes: Wave 2

Returning from beyond the arena of combat for another night of mayhem, Spy Monkey Creations has a fresh assortment of their new hit figure line, Battle Tribes, ready for action! Be sure to check out their store tonight, July 1st at 9PM EDT!

The mix of colors available for this second wave does not disappoint, drawing inspiration from a number of classic lines and swirling those influences into a top notch round of selections. The DX Livid Dracosaurian and DX Oozarian Warrior (shown above) particularly hit the mark for me, combining just the right balance of crazy 80's maniac color choices with a great series of subtle detailing to bring them to the next level.

Another barbarically awesome rollout!

Congratulations to the Spy Monkey Creations team for continuing to ramp things up!


6.26.2016

Spaced Out Design: Rule of the Raptinok

The great Pj Bartlett of Spaced Out Design has conjured up some all new 3D printed creations that are set to invade his rapidly growing figure line tonight, June 26th, at 9PM EDT.

It's hard not to love the bio-mechanical, bipedal "Raptinok" shown above, especially when it's been printed in GITD material! Pj continues to push his own boundaries with the execution of this original character, which sports over 18 interchangeable parts in its 100% 3D printed construction. There's more in store than just the Raptinok tonight, with a selection of surprise figures also waiting in the shadows of the Velgeris, yet to be revealed.

I've been lucky to have watched the development of Pj's latest characters while at the shop, and have seen some serious time and effort go into refining all of his new designs. The variety of his personal influences and interests continue to inspire extremely unpredictable and exciting work.

Adding a double dose of excitement to this new limited release is a special set of Spaced Out Design themed comic pages rendered by none other than the creator of Banimon, Boris Savic! By illustrating the beginning of Pj's ongoing story, Boris shares yet another of his many talents by drafting the art completely old school style, with straight ink and markers. I hope we see more from this collaboration very soon. 

Yet another inspiring exhibition of skills by Pj and Boris!

What a month!


6.24.2016

Beyond the Black Nebula Part 3


As I produced various sketches of the Knight of Darkness and his proposed "troopers" for Project X in late 2012 and into 2013, I started to realize that the core design principles of the original vintage figure had a lot in common with our very own Space Traveler Pheyden. That sneaky domed would-be conqueror from the 70's had actually left an indelible subconscious impression on my tiny brain! It seemed that I had inadvertently discovered Pheyden's long lost cosmic grandpa through the act of drawing oddball pictures.

Strange skull-like swept angled helmet? Check.  Simplified segmented chest? Check. Skinny arms and legs? Check. Asymmetrical weirdo belt? Check. That last one really jumped out at me. All that time playing with the original Knight of Darkness had definitely affected my creative choices when I was developing old Pheyden, I had just never really put it all together until I seriously analyzed the basic aesthetics of both designs next to each other. 

In many ways, the concept of Toyfinity is truly best proven by the very projects that it undertakes. The Knight of Darkness/Pheyden connection may never have been made if we hadn't collectively decided to bring the original S.T.A.R. Team back from deep space. Being able to collaborate, design and develop with John and the Toyfinity team has allowed us to open up all new dimensions, even without Traveler powers.

Or weirdo asymmetrical belts.


Beyond the Black Nebula Part 2

When I first received the Knight of Darkness "doll" from my folks back in the late 70's, I was really taken by the strange and blunted "Vader-like" look of the helmet, as well as the silver and black color combination. Because I was also obsessed with Stormtroopers at the time, I thought the Knight also looked like some kind of elite version of the Empire's prime military force. Naturally, I expected to see other S.T.A.R. Team antagonists like the Knight show up at the toy store, filling out the "bad guy" ranks like Star Wars was starting to do. Each time my family traveled to The Maine Mall I was on the lookout for new S.T.A.R. Team recruits, but nothing ever materialized beyond the Knight and a few Zem 21 figures. This actually bugged me more than it ever should have, especially since legitimate Star Wars figures were starting to invade the shelves. The Knight of Darkness needed his own troopers to command!

I kept my original Knight of Darkness for many years, losing various pieces of its body as time rolled on. Eventually all that remained was the poor guy's head, battered and scraped from years of service. The Knight's noggin one day ended up on my work desk, while I had some cruddy enamel model paint opened up (80's kids know the kind). I thought back to my desire of seeing a trooper versions of the Knight and I applied some of that nasty enamel paint (a red color) to its worn out dome. Needless to say, the paint refused to dry, but for a small window I was able to sneak a glimpse of what might have been.

Fast forward to nearly 4 years ago, around the time I started to develop new S.T.A.R. Team (Project X) concepts with Toyfinity's John Kent (who now held the licenses for some of my most beloved Ideal toy lines including S.T.A.R. Team) and our long time collaborator Ralph Niese. During those extensive work sessions, we discussed how we could bring back the Knight of Darkness and give him an army of armored soldiers. The old "trooper" concept then resurfaced from my youth, and things began to fall into focus for the Knight's resurrection.

More to explore in Part 3!