Goodbye October

Happy Halloween!

The girls cleaned up this year, despite it being overcast and pretty crummy out.

After getting rained on, we made it back home, watched It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and sorted the sugar piles.

Hope you guys had a fun night out there as well!


A big part of designing Toyfinity's new Robo Force Maxx Zero was making sure to include special hidden formations.

When I first saw Maxx back in the 80's, he reminded me a lot of the small Tomy wind up Rascal Robots and larger remote control Omnibots that I'd been playing with around that time, only beefed up. The simplified body construction made the entire Ideal Robo Force line stand out, particularly with how intricate rival company Takara/Hasbro's family of very famous robots looked in comparison.

It was most likely the very things I loved about Robo Force that proved the reason for the premature demise of the line.

Thinking about the reasons why the original Robo Force met an early end factored heavily into the development of the new series. The new Maxx needed to bring something more to the table than a suction cup base, a flip down chest and some crushing arms (though I loved those aspects).

As the design work progressed, our minds kept drifting back to the similarities between those old Tomy robots and Robo Force. This in turn spiraled back to the predecessors of the Robo Force, Ideal's original Zeroids line. From there the entire world of 50's and 60's Japanese tin robots then came into play, as we studied the form factors and style lines of those antique and incredible pieces.

The above build pays homage specifically to all the previously mentioned influences, wrapped up in a major tribute to Pixar's awesome WALL-E, which is also a throwback to Tomy's early 80's work as well.

As John would say, it's Toyfinity.

Later on, we'll cover the 80's Real Type mecha design influences that also helped to forge the new Robo Force line!


Maxx Works

Tonight (October 27th) marks a very special release for our friends over at Toyfinity, for when 9 PM EST rolls around,  the old series Robo Force will make its return to the world of toys nearly 30 years after its original production run!

This special  project has been running in the background over here for quite some time.

Working closely with John "Doctor" Kent, Mike Hart and Charlie Parry of Toyfinity, we developed the new toys in house, which utilize the Glyos fit functions and play mechanics. My mentor Ron Daley and I built the Maxx Zero prototype from the ground up, based on my original design scribbles. The Toyfinity team, who are like family, put a lot of trust in us, and both Ron and I gave the project everything we had so Maxx's new form would hopefully honor the Robo Force name.

I personally still have my original Maxx from when I first received it back in 1984, and it has survived multiple toy collection cutbacks over many years. I've always felt that Maxx never got a real chance to shine as the cool character that he was, so having the opportunity to create a brand new version of Maxx has been a dream come true. I want to sincerely thank the Toyfinity team for allowing me to work on their property, which holds a place very close to my heart.

Over the month of November, I'd like to share a few notes on the creation of the new Maxx, from conceptual drawings to pics of the prototyping process at Ron's shop. There are a ton of secret builds hidden within the 41 parts that comprise Maxx Zero, from old Tomy robots, ZOIDS and Zeroids to the Trapping Rigs used by our own Rechlen and Aves. My hope is that this reforged Maxx will open up a new world of building and playing possibilities across the spectrum, and that Robo Force will make you smile like you were a kid again.

Cheers to the Toyfinity Team and their new adventures with Maxx Zero and Robo Force!


Shipping Update

Only a handful of packages remain to be shipped out for Monday morning, but the majority of all the recent orders have hit the post.

Thanks for your patience as we hustled through everything!


Raster Peace

The Album Artifact project rolls on, and I wanted to spotlight today's entry.

Our friend Rich Vreeland, aka Disasterpeace, has been the official soundtrack to Glyos since we first discovered him years ago. We've used his music exclusively for the Passcode videos and games, and had the amazing opportunity to work side by side while he scored The Soul of the Traveler back in 2010. Not only a top notch composer, he is just great company to be around.

Rich was recently involved in a fantastic game released last Spring called FEZ. The game itself is a very fun and inspiring title that made a lot of buzz considering there are no enemies, no weapons, no motor vehicle theft and no upset avians. But I feel it was the original soundtrack that truly separated this game from the rest of the pack (I won't get into the controversy surrounding the game's creator Phil Fish).

The gameplay promotes exploration and discovery to the highest, challenging players to basically figure out the game themselves as they navigate a vast 2D-turned-3D world (we like that sorta thing around here...). Vreeland's OST compliments this perfectly, as he manages to capture the wonder and curiosity while blending retro sounds with modern production. Reoccurring themes of light and dark make this album stand alone even without the visual cues. I could go on and on about this release- but probably better to just listen for yourself if you haven't yet.

The soundtrack's cover art (also designed by Phil Fish) is interesting and somewhat unexpected, as it does not feature any artwork or characters from the game- just color and shapes. What seem like simple gradients are actually noisy, pixelated color splashes that reveal another layer of depth to the image. The Album Artifact version has a funny way of simultaneously degrading these effects while also making it seem more up to speed with how the game actually looks. I guess the weirdness and unintentional commentary of these pieces are part of what fuels me to keep making them.

Thanks again for checking this out. Next week I'll be posting even more weird/freaky albums in honor of Halloween!


Thank You!!!

Thank you for all the great support of Sunday night's new release! It was a small round, but the activity was solid and the numbers seemed to line up with the flow of interest for this particular assortment.

Extra special thanks for giving the new mini card set a chance. The idea of doing a Passcode themed project like this little card set has been discussed here for a number of years, so seeing it finally come to fruition was super satisfying, and thanks to Tom at Sidekick Labs the vintage quality is spot on.

This small launch also allowed us to try some packaging again, in the form of the NYCC 2013 Combo Pack. The Combo Pack was another project that Marcus and I had been talking with Tom about for quite some time. The graphics chosen were designed to match up with the Passcode theme, focusing on Marc's pixel art. For those of you that have been hanging around here for the last few years, you may also recognize some of those sprites from the old Warp Zone days (when new characters would debut in a secret store called the Warp Zone). There is also a little Easter Egg on the back of the packaging as well, referencing something from way back in the early days of our operation.

For future packaging projects, our idea is to try different themes every once in a while, focusing on the various styles that we each employ to realize all these oddball characters and strange story arcs. In general though, the figures will continue to be offered as per usual, in the simple polybags with no fancy fixings.

 Speaking of basic operations, we are almost done processing everything from Sunday, and will begin the shipping on Thursday morning, hopefully wrapping up sometime on Saturday afternoon.

Our next release will appear at the very end of November/beginning of December, and will close 2013 out for us. If you enjoyed the looks of Ecroyex Armorvor and like the color blue, then the next round may make you smile.

Thank you so much from all of us over here, for keeping the engine running! We owe everything to each one of you, and never take for granted how fortunate we are to be allowed to do this.


Revenge of the Armorvors!

Edit: You may place additional orders and all limits have been lifted. Thanks for being patient with the system!

Passcode Wax Packs

Tonight we will be rolling out something brand new for us- Passcode wax pack trading cards!

I (Marc) am especially excited about this as it's been a dream of mine to design a set of cards. My brother and I started collecting baseball cards at a young age, and quickly got into Garbage Pail Kids, Marvel Universe, TMNT and the like. I still horde all our old albums, and bust them out once in a while for inspiration.

Matt and I enjoyed making the one-off Glyos cards that would coincide with Passcode releases, and have discussed a full set for years. It wasn't until we met Tom Lichtman through the Art Hustle project that we seriously considered releasing something. Tom and his operation Sidekick Lab are doing amazing things, recreating a vintage card collecting experience with the chipboard style approach sealed in old school wax packs.

This special Passcode card set debuted last weekend at NYCC in a blister carded combo set. Tonight we'll be offering a few of the two-packs that were left over, as well as just the card sets by themselves for the first time. There are 9 designs in this Alpha wave- 6 cards and 3 stickers (a complete set in every pack!). This is a bit of an experiment, and if you guys dig these, a more expansive set will be put into motion.

On Track

We're all ready for the mini release tonight at 9:30PM EST!

My apologies for the little quiet spell around here, but things have been cooking behind the scenes.

Also, I broke two toes and burned my hand.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that the inspiration behind the colors on the Armorvor shown above is the old Microman/Micronauts Giant Acroyear figure. A little Stealth Iron Man also may have gotten in there as well.

The strange neon pearlescent pale orange Armorvor shown in earlier posts pays homage to the great sofubi producer, Cord Viper, and his excellent color choices. Cord Viper put out a particularly killer Machine Sider figure that sported a very similar neon  pale orange.

Neon pale looks like an oxymoron now that I'm reading it. Ha!


Back Home

Our tiny team has finally returned back to the home front after a month of traveling to various locations, and the adventures have been a blast.

NYCC was a great experience, and getting to be with our friends, old and new, absolutely made the trip worth every minute. The awesome amount of quality conversations with so many imaginative and unique individuals at NYCC was inspiring, filling the days with a constant spark of excitement -not to mention many good laughs! From PM Food Crawls to crazy AM hotel lobby discussions, the stage was constantly set for pure fun.

Now that we're back, we have lined up the date for this month's launch, which will fall on Sunday, October 20th, at 9:30PM EST.  We'll have 3 Armorvors in all new colors (which were available at NYCC in a very small preview assortment), as well as a new Gray Galaxy Dark Traveler (seen above). The new Dark Traveler has two different Clear Smoke tints (lighter limbs and darker body) fused with a pearlescent finish and a dash of sparkles, giving the final form the "Gray Galaxy" look. There may also be a small surprise in the mix as well.

Wrapping up, everybody here at Onell sincerely thanks all of you who made it out for another excellent NYCC. Spending some time together was the best, and we can't wait to do it again next year.


Destination Point

A few pics of the upcoming October wave, from a recent trip up to Gloucester with TGB and his son, Kobe.

Some advanced releases of the above Armorvors will be available in limited quantities at our booth (#102) over the next few days and Jesse has even printed a batch of special shirts to sync up with these particular colors for the show.

Hope to see you guys at NYCC!


NYCC 2013

We are gearing up for another trip down to New York City for NYCC 2013! This year we will be located at Booth #102, sharing space once again with the masters of retro styled trading cards, Sidekick Trading Card Publishing (Booth #203).

The range of guests on track to exhibit this year is one of the best yet, so without further ado, here is the NYCC 2013 show schedule:

3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Table 1- RXH / Uamou / Skull Toys
Table 2- Nistuff
Table 3- Rawshark / Onell

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Table 1- RXH / Uamou / Skull Toys
Table 2- Godbeast / Spaced Out Design
Table 3- Toyfinity

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Table 1- RXH / Uamou / Skull Toys
Table 2- Nistuff
Table 3- Rawshark / Onell

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Table 1- RXH / Uamou / Skull Toys
Table 2- Godbeast / Spaced Out Design
Table 3- Toyfinity

4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Table 1- RXH / Uamou/ Skull Toys
Table 2- Monster Worship
Table 3- Bah'glenn / Nemo's Factory / Kranix Dyeworks

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Table 1- RXH / Uamou / Skull Toys
Table 2- Nistuff
Table 3- Rawshark / Onell

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Table 1- RXH / Uamou / Skull Toys
Table 2- Four Horsemen
Table 3- Toyfinity / Godbeast

4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Table 1- RXH / Uamou / Skull Toys
Table 2- Rocket North (Banimon) / Spaced Out Design
Table 3- Peter Kato

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Table 1- RXH / Uamou / Skull Toys
Table 2- Nistuff
Table 3- Rawshark / Onell

1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Table 1- RXH / Uamou / Skull Toys
Table 2- Peter Kato / Spaced Out Design
Table 3- Bah'glenn / Nemo's Factory / Kranix Dyeworks

We will have some preview figures from our upcoming smaller October release (a new Armorvor Trio and a a couple other items) available, as well as something very special that we have been working on with Sidekick that you may find interesting, especially if you dig trading cards.

Jesse will be armed with some fresh Callgrim action, and is set to showcase something... big.

The list of Glyos related exclusives and figure debuts is strong across the boards, with planned new figure reveals by the Four Horsemen, Toyfinity, and the Godbeast.

Ni will have all kinds of great stuff, from full production exclusives to a fresh assortment of custom creations.

Banimon mastermind, Boris Savic, has an awesome new Keshi inspired Red Army Man that matches the recent Spy Monkey releases and really captures the flesh colored greatness of Kinnikuman.

The hand cast attack is really packed to the maximum this year, as Pj from Spaced Out Design, Chris from Bah'glenn Creations, Dominic of Nemo's Factory and Peter Kato will each be showing off completely new projects that are all fantastic and totally unique! Complimenting the urethane madness will be our old friend Roy of Kranix Dyeworks, with his innovative constructions and beautiful hand dyed finishes.

Rounding out the PVC avalanche are the Masters of Japanese Sofubi: RealXHead, Uamou and Skull Toys!

The assortment of magic that these guys (and incredible lady) have in store is out of this world. We may even have a special crossover or two on tap as well. We are honored to once again have our family from Japan join the craziness of NYCC 2013!

We can't wait to see everybody again!


Album Artifact

Before we get deep in NYCC mode, I wanted to quickly share something new I've been playing around with lately.

Album Artifact is the newest cure for my Music ADD, where I redesign classic album covers in pixel format. Specifically, the challenge is to remake 12" records in a 12x12 pixel grid. I ended up making so many of them from the get go that I'll be posting at least one a day until the end of the year!

I hope that this weird blog becomes a fun trip for music nerds and Nintendo Nostalgics like myself. The albums are chosen randomly from my collection, but I'll try to keep a steady balance of pop culture classics to underground/unknown icons.

Thanks for checking this out! Requests?

Regular Hours

After a great trip overseas, Jesse and I have returned to the daily business activities of our respective projects. We both want to take a moment to thank our various partners in crime on the other side of the world. Visiting China and Japan will always be a tremendously powerful experience, and that's 100% thanks to the extended family we have in those incredible locations.

Now that we're back, the preparations for NYCC 2013 have begun, and a list of our friends that we'll be exhibiting with will be popping up early tomorrow morning. We'll be set up at Booth #102, sharing connected space once again with Vermont's Retro Super Genius, Tom Lichtman of Sidekick Media (booth #203).

A wide selection of surprises are in store from multiple Glyos makers, ranging from all new production figures to debut hand cast creations. Regarding the subject of Japan, we're SUPER excited that RXH, Uamou and Skull Toys are returning for another showcase of all their collective sofubi mastery!

More details will be up soon. It's good to be back!


More Clouds


Japan Image Dump 3

Japan Image Dump 2

Japan Image Dump 1