A baneful cry rolls over a stand of rotting, moss-covered trees. Punctuated by sounds of snapping undergrowth, a bent form emerges from the shadows, moving slowly through the rank mist while poking gingerly at the mud in hopes of scaring prey into the open. Its bare, moist skull glistens in the shafts of sunlight that penetrate thick overhanging branches while on its back chubby faces suck at the air like fish pulled from water.
Babyface Heartskull came into being when Charles Laveau, a 19th-century voodoo priest, attempted to resurrect his beloved wife. The result was a failure, for he not only brought back his wife but also the souls of nine babies and an ox all melded into one. He cast this creature, Babyface Heartskull, into the Louisiana bayou where she still lives to this day, subsisting on alligators, vermin and unguarded children.
I’ve been fascinated by Japanese kaiju (monsters) for as long as I can remember. There’s something about a 150-foot-tall, three-headed, city-smashing beast that hits my soul with cathartic glee—the weirder the monster the better! A seemingly endless stream of toys based on these often shoddy man-in-suit entities have been made since the 1960s. I see them as totems and as a way to capture and hold in ones hands that spirit of strangeness. They are a chance to possess a simple yet potent idea in physical form.
As a tribute to Japanese monsters of yesteryear, I have been creating original kaiju on a very small scale, primarily out of rotocast resin. Babyface Heartskull is designed to be produced as a sofubi (soft vinyl) figure. Standing 5” tall with a 12” horn span, the figure has five points of articulation at the head, arms, and horns. Babyface Heartskull will be released in limited editions.
The goal of this Kickstarter project is to fund the production of the Babyface Heartskull figure. The initial setup costs include a wax jointed prototype and metal mold. First-run production costs include the casting, finishing, assembly, and painting of the figures. The Japanese branch of Lulubell Toys will be manufacturing Babyface Heartskull and Grody Shogun's Luke Rook will be doing the custom painting!
The full-scale prototype is at its final finishing stage and nearly ready to be shipped off for production. Pricing and final production details have been solidified. Packaging and identity designs are underway.
During the earliest stages I had discussions with toy creators such as Mark Nagata and Wayne Ho to work out the feasibility of vinyl toy creation. I've shared the prototypes with collector fan base throughout the process, incorporating their feedback into the design.
Two premiere stores for genre toys, Lulubell Toy Bogeda and Tofufu Toys, currently carry my resin figures, so I have outlets ready to sell Babyface Heartskull.
This prototype of Babyface Heartskull is made from Super Sculpey (a polymer clay) and jointed with dowels. At this point I just have some cleanup and sanding of a few rough patches. Then she's headed to Japan!