Happy New Year!

Thank you from everyone here at Onell for sticking with us through 2012. It was a crazier year than usual, I think all over the world.

Here's to a great 2013!

Lost Projects: Noboto

The character called Noboto has a pretty significant role in our stories Monsters VS Robots (Michelle) and Rechlen and Aves (me).  We created each plot to crossover at certain points, but in our usual strange ways.

In MvR, Noboto is the leader of the Monster hunting Robots, chasing a renegade group of creatures across Glyos, but all told in the form of a comic that Michelle's character Sidrick loves to read. So a comic within a comic -MvR appears inside the Sidrick stories.

In Rechlen and Aves, Noboto is a prototype Sincroid that is dispatched by the Lost Sincroid Army to find a way through the Edge of Space -with the hope of locating their missing leader, Exellis.

The RA version of Noboto sets out on this mission piloting a special Sarvonic Gendrone (Gobon), which helps regulate Noboto's unstable prototype body.  Due to his ability to manifest something called the "Phanost Effect", Noboto is able to reach into the Edge of Space, but only through a tethered phantom version of himself. Believe it or not this weirdness was all laid out back in 2004!

Both Michelle and I have wanted to bring Noboto into the production mix for a pretty long time.

Maybe 2013 will be the little guy's year!

Journey to Articulation

Once Michelle decided on the basic shape and feel of Gobon, I took her core design and did a parts breakdown, pushing the construction a bit. After some minor tweaks, it was off to the shop where Ron and I built the prototype. A few aspects of Gobon were then modified once we had the first urethane version in hand.

Michelle's sketch shown above also has what would be the near final look of Gobon's partner, Noboto. We worked on that little guy together quite a bit, maybe even more so than Gobon. The Noboto prototype currently sits at about 90% completion on my desk, waiting to make it into full production. A little more on that shortly.

Robo Genesis

These are some early sketches of Gobon. The initial colors were to be gray and red (like Robocon), and then later we changed it to white (arms and legs) and yellow. The little guy standing next to Gobon is Noboto, the leader of the Robots in the MvR comic that Sidrick reads. -Michelle


Color Mechanicals: Gobon

The Gobon mechanical was a fun one to make. Because of its more geometric and symmetrical design, I worked off a photo this time around, as opposed to vectorizing Matt's line art. Included below is the hi-res template to create your own sets of Sarvonic Gendrones.

We are working on a download page that will compile all of these mechanicals and more- stay tuned!



Mini Catalog Gobon

This illustration first appeared in the small "mini catalog" that came with all our original boxed figures from way back in 2007. I really loved working on those packages with Marcus, and definitely miss that extra element being part of our current work.

Maybe someday we'll do a special edition version that revisits the old style.

A funny bit of info: Gobon's "Standard" color was supposed to be this yellow/white combo.


Mother Of Gobon

Hello Glyos Community!

Happy (almost) New Year! This is Michelle, the behind-the-scenes invoicing and processing part of the Onell team. On behalf of myself and the rest of the crew, I would like to extend warm holiday greetings and a hearty thank you to everyone who places orders and takes an interest in what we do. Since I do all of the invoicing, I know many of you by name even if I have never met or spoken with you in person. Your consistent orders and patience with our mistakes are never taken for granted, I can assure you!

As 2012 draws to a close, I find myself contemplating my role in the future of Glyos more and more. When Matt and I started working together over 15 years ago, our dream was to be a husband and wife creative team. Rechlen and Aves was his baby, and Sidrick was mine. As the years passed, our creativity took us in different directions; Pheyden was born, and not long after were the (actual) births of our kids Cady and Cirie. Needless to say, my quiet evenings spent drawing with Matt were replaced with sleepless nights and wiping butts! (Wow, that sounds like a bad country song.) Anyway, with our little one entering kindergarten in the fall, I see those dreams beginning to reemerge for me personally. It will be a slow reentry, but I will try and have more of a presence on here in 2013 and beyond.

So with that being said, the next couple of blog posts will focus on a character that is near and dear to my heart: Gobon. This outer space relic has appeared in many of the Glyos Passcodes as well as in Sidrick's favorite comic Monsters vs Robots. Matt and I co-created this guy while we were sitting in the lobby of a Saturn dealership buying our first car together - not sure what that says about our taste in cars, but hopefully our collaborative efforts make up for it!


Phase Arm/Gobon Blaster Concepts

These were the first Phase Arm and Gobon Blaster sketches that really started to define the look and functionality of what would become the final versions. You can see little differences in certain areas, but for the most part things remained pretty close to these designs.

However, a very important addition came later in the production process, when the two holes on the sides of the Gobon Blaster base disc were added. This decision was made after getting the initial test shots and messing around for a bit. Very quickly it became clear that having greater options was more important than preserving a smoother aesthetic.

Amazing what two simple little fit functions opened up!

Fact #1: It took from mid 2007 until mid 2009 to get the proper Phase Arm/Gobon Blaster Sets finally into full production.

Fact #2: The bottom drawing was the very first attempt at a Phase Arm, and was influenced heavily by the  Crayboth's Arm Blaster design.



Michelle and I continue our friendly competition to see who can make the more powerful sugar cookie on Christmas Eve.

I have lost for 4 years straight.

The judges apparently don't like Glyos, just lots of icing.

We hope you are all having a great night! 

The Illustrated Man

The above image first showed up on the old "one sheets" that Marc and I used to make. Some of you may still have a few of the printed versions that we would sneak into outgoing orders.

It was a tradition to create an illustration like this for each new character that we would introduce. Sometimes I would put an upcoming design in the background, as a little hint at things to come. In this case it was the Armodoc.


Buildman Concepts

As we close out 2012, Marcus and I will be posting a fairly steady stream of conceptual artwork, forgotten finished illustrations and a bit of random Glyos related imagery, along with a few more color mechanicals.

Since we just popped up the Buildman color mechanicals yesterday, we'll keep the ball rolling with a look back at where that weirdo first began to really surface. The above set of drawings represent the original designs for what would eventually become the full production Buildman Gendrone.

Originally I was thinking about making the "drone" head look just like an old character from the Microshow days that I called Microdroid Ranic. As I developed the sculpt, the drone head changed, and gained the more prominent vertical ridge that exists today. Buildman Ranic was very close to coming with an early Phase Arm attachment to go along with the backpack. These drawings were completed towards the end of 2007.

Looking at these again, I kind of want to make that first Ranic head. Though I think the new one I've been working on might be a little more fun.


Color Mechanicals: Buildman

The Buildman Gendrone design is probably one of the stranger things to have popped up in the Glyos System since we started. With its asymmetrical limbs and backpack parts, this odd duck was the first figure to really embrace the "buidling" aspect of line. Buildman was truly the first sculpt specifically created to be as interchangeable as possible at the time, with the fit function appearing in many new locations. In contrast, Pheyden was originally engineered for just the most basic of parts swapping, focusing more on looks than functionality.

Buildman's entry into the range signaled an overall shift to more customizable figures, with clearer attention being paid to the pure building potential within each specific piece. These developments kept things moving towards an increasingly modular design aesthetic.

When Marc and I were getting ready to make the color mechanical guide for this character, we ran into a small timing issue, and were subsequently saved by the razor sharp talents of Banimon's creator, Boris Savic. Boris took my original line drawing and converted it into a completely swappable, fully realized AI file.  Marcus then pushed the elements to completion and another set was ready to use.

The above Buildman Gendrone mechanical has a extra special place over here because of the contributions Boris made to the file.

Speaking of Boris, he has a brand new selection of his Banimon figures on track to be released tonight, December 22nd, at 9:30 PM EST over in his store. The new colors look awesome and really capture the vibe of his comics and heritage.

Thanks again for saving our butts all those years back, Boris! Long live Banimon!




Before we get into more of our regular posting,  I felt compelled to say that all our hearts go out to the families who were affected by the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut on the 14th.

In general I like to keep posting things in the "real" world to a minimum here, but this is an incident we're all having a hard time shaking. Raising kids is such a combination of love, hard work and sacrifice that to even think about losing a child is painful enough, for it to actually happen is utterly incomprehensible -under any circumstance.

When things like this occur, the question is always "why". There is no acceptable answer that will ever make any sense, but we'll try to love our little ones even more than ever before, in dedication to the 26 people that lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday morning.


Thank You!

Thank you for a great final release of 2012!!!

Everything seemed to go pretty well, with only the Syclodoc zipping through a little too fast for comfort (production numbers have been increased for the next version) and some reports of a slow store interface. In general, most of the stuff hung around a bit longer than usual, but still moved at a solid pace. As of this writing we still have the Stealth Armorvor in the store, even with a 4 per limit, which I hope means we are getting closer to meeting the demand for that little beast. All shipping will start at the beginning of next week.

The 2013 schedule has been deep in the planning stages for a while, and I'm personally hoping that we can explore a number of fun new projects together throughout the coming year. One of the planned waves will pay a more direct homage to the old F P Adventure People space toy line, with some solid colors being released without detail lines but with added tampos and spray masks, to hopefully keep things interesting. This will also allow for everything to completely match up when building with the Armorvor. Runs with the detail lines will absolutely be turning up, but I'm very curious about your collective opinion on the matter. Do you guys prefer the detail lines or do you like the figures more without them? I'm right in the middle with my own preferences, as certain colors shot in PVC seem to look better without the added lines, yet others really look more realized with the extra definition. This topic will be touched on more and more as 2013 gets rolling and also as we move ahead in the years to come (if we're still around!).

The Delphi is still in the prototype phase, and on track to hit steel once completed. There are a couple of smaller things that are also in line for full production, which are pretty simple, but add some different aspects to the figures that we currently make. I've been trying to get as much sculpting in as possible, but wrapping up the year is always more of a challenge than anticipated around here! That being said, I did manage to "remaster" a few older items which might make a few of you smile.

One last bit, which is connected to the recent Lost Projects posting spree. Which project would you guys want to see, if any, come to fruition from those posts? I'm kind of leaning towards the Villser, as there is some content set up to explore those strange creatures. Also, after looking through the old designs I'm feeling pretty compelled to finish the sculpt. Let us know what you would like to see, and if there is something older that you might want to finally see in full production. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

To wrap up, I just want to say thank you once again, for making this the best year for Glyos yet. We talk about you guys a lot around here, and getting to know more of you throughout 2012 has made doing this even more satisfying. The connection between all of us feels stronger than ever, and our intention is to really fortify that bond in 2013.

Thank you for spending some time here, and for continuing to be part of this very small operation. You guys remain the absolute best.


Travel Channel

Without further ado, here's the first installment of The Council of Travelers. Huge, HUGE thanks to Ralph Niese for coming through with some brand new artwork and illustrating our little story in time for tonight's launch. We have some cool things planned for 2013 that may land a book in your hands.

The Council is in Session!

The store is LIVE! Make sure to REFRESH to see what's new!

Stick around after the mayhem to check out some brand new content, which will be popping up shortly after everything gets rolling. The German Illustration Guru returns with  all new artwork that follows some dark actions taken against the Council of Travelers.


Jesse brings us yet another incredible work of art, created especially for tonight's release!

Acting on information supplied by an Armorvor spy, the Syclodoc Neutralizer stages a surprise attack on an Aurustell Elite Warship, nearly wiping out its entire crew to gain information regarding the secret meeting place of the elusive Council of Travelers.

Thank you Jesse!!! 

On Track

We are on track for the 9:30 PM EST launch tonight, December 12, 2012! I guess it was meant to be that the new release would fall on this day. The behind the scenes production of this wave has been one of the more interesting rides yet (and it's still going).

We'll pop a few more pics up in a bit!


Color Mechanicals: Crayboth

Here's a peek from the first round of Crayboths we did back in 2007. These guys have always been a personal favorite. Bonus DIY Crayboth 2-pack below!



The Mechanicals of Color

Since a good amount of backlog has been unleashed this week, I (Marcus) feel compelled to join in on the fun. Here's an inside look at the making of Glyos from a different perspective- the production color mechanicals.

When Matt and I started working together, one of the first things we created was a blind box series of toys for a company we both used to work for called Beantown Toys. In addition to developing characters and designing packaging, a critical part of our duties was constructing color mechanicals for overseas production. These are basically PDF blueprints for the factory workers to follow. Matt would draw the line art, I'd convert them to vectors, and then we would digitally paint the figures. This became not only the launching pad for many of our current methodologies, but it was also the start of our late-night insanity trying to make deadlines for China. Fact: a mechanical is not ready to be submitted until it has been tweaked one last time between the hours of 2:00 and 5:00 AM. Hence, Formanchies and other horrid midnight snacks were created and consumed all too often.

We've developed a fairly steady system of generating Glyos mechanicals over the years. Matt will put together the initial palette of colors (usually connected to a specific story arc), then we'll play around with the PMS codes (Pantone Matching System... not the most regal acronym for the rainbow) and see what color families work well together. I'll make a master page displaying the full wave of figures and we'll proceed to tweak it all until everything comes together as a unit. We're normally together for the leg work of this, but often we'll spend days or weeks editing the line up, leading to 50+ strings in our email conversations about the outer eye color of a Pheyden. It can become all consuming- since we assemble these batches so far in advance, we constantly need to switch gears and refocus on what we started months ago to get ready for the next release. It's a cyclical, challenging process for sure, but in the end very rewarding. As satisfying as the colors look on our monitors, nothing compares to holding a production figure in natural lighting.

I love making cards and stuff for my nieces to color, and recently put together a mini coloring book featuring "those 'lil guys I make". This process got us thinking over here. In the spirit of celebrating 5 years of Glyos, we'd like to share with everyone our actual production mechanical files, to maybe have some fun playing around with. Included below is a hi-res/printable PDF featuring our first production characters, waiting to be vandalized via computer, marker or crayon. I plan on posting a few more of these type of entries (with MUCH less banter), and if you guys really get into it, we'll release all the mechanicals we've done to date. What would you like to see next?



Lost Projects: Alter Pheyden Test Types

Sorry for the tiny pic, but I wanted to get this up as promised. I'll take a better round for a later post.

What an odd trio. Kind of big as well. The colors were based on the first run of Pheyden, with a Gear's Edge finish on the beige test type. The finals would have been fully painted, with color applications far exceeding our PVC stuff in complexity.

When I look at these figures I initially really like them, then I start to pick them apart. They are sort of interesting in their own little way. It's especially cool to hold a Pheyden that is at a larger size., because it feels so counter to everything we've done.

I sometimes think about taking a complete detour and making an old school super poseable Toy Biz style Traveler, maybe with tons of strange joints and piles of layered plastic armor. Then it passes and I realize that it would be insane to go down that road.

But it's also kind of tempting.


Lost Projects: Alter Pheyden

Remember I mentioned that the tale of Mister Christmas had a little more to it? It actually started with this project, which was truly a strange one. I was going to keep this story eternally in the vaults, but what the hell, 'tis the season after all.

See, the polystone subject had come up one time before we went to China in September of 2010. In fact, I worked with one of the sculptors that Mister Christmas employed (I didn't know the connection at the time) to make what was eventually dubbed "Alter Pheyden" (Pheyden Alternate at first, which is kind of an end game Hades). The catch was that to speed up the process, the figure had to be put together over there. It was also a test to see how our counterparts could handle sculpting my designs, since my bad eye was worsening, which made sculpting slower and kind of rough (I've since figured out how to work with it more efficiently over the years).

The initial attempts were a combination of cool and frustrating, due to certain interpretations of my weirdo style not coming into focus, especially around the head. After multiple communications, I finally just said take a shot, and the figure was approved for a polystone test run. I actually received 3 of them, and only three, as review samples. They are true "close but no cigar" executions that are among the rarest things to have ever been produced during our time making Glyos stuff. The figure never went into full production.

I'll post some pics of them tomorrow if you guys want to check them out.

A base was also made, which is still kind of neat.

PS -Click on View Image when looking at the Alter Pheyden drawing, Blogger gives it a slightly blurry look until you expand it.


Lost Projects: King Crayboth

This was a Lost Project that came really close to going all the way, but was knocked off track by the emergence of a totally different thing. I won't go into a massive text wall here (I've been bombing you guys too much already this week), but here's a little bit about what transpired.

King Crayboth was supposed to follow up the Armodoc, and I even started the sculpt, but as I was at the shop working on it the Rig literally just appeared in my head. Everything I was doing with the King Crayboth was put on hold and I immediately switched gears. I'm not sure why these turns happen, but when the hyper inspiration comes on, sometimes you have to oblige.

The remnants of the original sculpt are scattered between the shop and here at the house. Maybe the time will finally arrive when it all comes back together to wreak some havoc on the Glyos System.

Oh yeah, and get revenge on that line cutting Rig.

Also, make sure to click "View Image" on the orange drawing, as the image is fairly big and you can check out more of the details by zooming in.


Delphi Concepts

The Delphi were developed in a slightly different way than most of the characters in Glyos, in that their definitive look was first captured when I sculpted, not sketched one. It was also the very first time I ever tried Aves Epoxy (you know I like that name).

One night I was hanging out at Jesse's house after a day at the shop and I saw that he had some new material to mess around with. Before I could ask about what it was, he just reached over and put a lump (2 lumps actually) in front of me. A few hours later the first sculpted Delphi head came into being. I had done a few sketches of an ancient Traveler predecessor before, but when I started using the Aves Epoxy everything came into focus. It's funny to note that in general I'm a reductive sculptor, but every so often things go in reverse. The birth of the Delphi was one of those times.

The sketches above are from later in the growth of the design, playing around with a "female" version as well as some different armored head concepts.

I could post conceptual work until the cows come home, but I don't want to bore you guys too much longer. There are a couple more things that might be of interest though, King Crayboth possibly being one of them.

Maybe tomorrow?


Lost Projects: Villser Prototype

Keeping with the Lost Project theme, this shelved Villser sculpt has a pretty strange origin.

Back in September 2010, Jesse and I were preparing for our usual trip to China when we were told that an opportunity to make polystone statues had come up. This was due to a particular customer deciding at the last minute not to move forward on a certain project at the time. This left our factory with a lot of raw material and labor that was set to be used for said project. In general I'm personally not really big into statues, as it's just about as far removed from Glyos as possible, but after talking about it, Jesse and I decided to give it a try.

The idea was to travel to the factory, add some extra days to our stay and sculpt stuff while we were there. When we arrived we got settled and then went to meet the "Polystone Master", as each arm of the operation had a designated boss. This guy was a little different though, in that he had a kind of Tony Soprano feel to him, with a "you WILL complete the polystone project before you leave OR ELSE" type tone. Jesse referred to him as "Mister Christmas" because his showroom was absolutely filled with cutesy Christmas themed polystone products. How ironic.

When we returned to the hotel room we looked at each other and then immediately broke out the sculpting gear. We both worked like panicked, sweat drenched prisoners for three full days, only leaving the room to grab food and stop by our factory a few times. I had initially thought about sculpting a crazy version of Scar Pheyden or even Blue Eye from Gear's Edge, but the Villser reared its bulbous head instead. Jesse sculpted away on an alien steed for Callgrim.

In the end, we both realized that doing the polystone thing was ill conceived from the beginning, and finally came clean that it was not for us, even at the risk of facing the wrath of the nefarious Mister Christmas. After some raw fear and absolutely exquisite agita, Jesse and I were relieved to get back to our regular operations.

During the construction of what was to be the polystone Villser, I was secretly hoping for it to eventually become a vinyl piece, hence the very neutral pose. Originally it had one arm sculpted, but that was lost somewhere along the way to its final destination, which is a spot right under my desk.

There is more story to the Polystone Saga, which may pop up before the launch next week.

Thank you, Mister Christmas, wherever you may be.