Thursday, December 16, 2010

Behind the Bots - Munny Mania

Sometimes somethings are just too good to be true. Case and point: our friends at kidrobot recently ran a Black Friday deal that left us scooping up toys at an insane 40% discount. And while we would love to claim these toys for personal use, the reality is that everything we picked up is for Jenn to customize. Needless to say, we are set for the upcoming year literally busting at the seams with Munnys and Dunnys.

One of our biggest pickups, however, was nothing short of a dream come true for Jenn: an 18 inch Mega Munny. The box itself--weighing in at 12 pounds--was intimidating enough, but the true size of this toy was hard to fathom until it was in our possession.

And while this will easily be the biggest project that has Jenn has worked on to date, we are already overflowing with ideas for what we want to do with him.

Currently though, with the holiday season in full swing, Mega Munny has found a home, as a centurion of sorts, waiting for Santa to come.

Ho Ho...Whoa!

beep! boop! bop!
Jenn and Tony Bot

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Toy Tuesday

Crouching Rock, Hidden Ninja

Toy: NinjaTown
Website: Shawnimals

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Toy Tuesday

She Shoots, She SCORES!!!

Toy: Cactus Pup
Website: tokidoki

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Behind the Bots - Photo Shoot

Sometimes shooting the pieces that Jenn makes can be a real chore. Once they are complete the pieces truly have a life of their own often dictating which side is their better angle, what lighting they look best in, and even occasionally going as far as to demand compensation for their time. What divas!!!

Case and point, here are some behind the scenes pictures of my most recent photo shoot with RAWR-o-saur and Labbit. From my experience the animals that Jenn creates are often the hardest to work with, but neither Jenn nor I expected this...

Silly Labbit, don't you know smoking can have adverse effects on your health!?

beep! boop! bop!
Tony Bot

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010


The Labbit population in our house has exponentially increased in the last couple of months and to combat this overpopulation problem Jenn has taken it upon herself to change this rascally Labbit once and for all.

Here you can see the very beginning stage of what will eventually become RAWR-o-saur. At this point, Jenn has picked the colors, sketched what the face will generally look like, and started to patch the seams of the factory mold.

To give this Labbit the perfect dinosaur shape Jenn needed to restructure his bum.

Here you can see her patching the Labbit's backside and smoothing out the clay to create a more cohesive curve. This curve will eventually be critical to creating a perfect bond with the tail that will later be added.

With all of the patches complete and all the holes filled, Jenn has begun to add the layers of clay that will become the "skin" of this dino.

Here you can see her prepping a piece of clay that she will put through a pasta maker in order to give each piece a consistent thickness. She will then patch the pieces together by smoothing out the obvious seams by hand.

The Labbit is almost completely covered with clay at this point. You can also clearly see all of Jenn's fingerprints along with minor imperfections on the clay that will later be taken care of as she begins to texture the piece.

With the piece now covered, she can truly begin the transformation process and focus on the features that will take it from a Labbit to a dinosaur.

Slowly but surely Labbit is getting the features needed to be more dino-like.

Here Jenn is working on the iconic fan that can be found on all triceratops. The second and fourth clay bumps are the original ears while the first, third, and fifth were handmade and added by Jenn. Eventually these bumps will be smoothed out to create a sturdy headpiece for this dino.

The last crucial piece to the body is now being added. The tail, which proves to be tricker than planned, goes through several design phases to get that perfect shape. It is completely handcrafted from clay with no armature on the inside.

With the tail added, Jenn smooths out the fan and starts to add the texture.

With little to go off in terms of what dino skin may actually look like, Jenn takes her own approach and makes it uniquely hers. Each dot is ultimately painstakingly added one-by-one with a miniature dowel rod.

With a fair portion of the head textured, Jenn begins to add the facial features.

The piece which is a kawaii interpretation--or rather perhaps a realistic interpretation of what a triceratops used to look like--will use bright colors to make everything pop.

At this point, the horns and eyes are adhered to the body and represent the exact position of the face found in the original sketch.

Some additional texture along with some of the smaller details are now being added to the body.

The horns, for instance, have now been given rings around the base to make them appear as if they are growing out of the head.

Likewise, we can also see Jenn preparing the next step which will be the "spikes" found on top of the fan.

The spheres are now being added and carefully positioned to be more symmetrical.

Currently, the yellow balls have not become part of the piece and are just placed on the head to give Jenn an idea of what she wants them to look like. As she continues to fiddle with there positions she will one by one lock them down and also give them some additional detail.

Cheeks and a mouth have now been added to RAWR. And while this little dino may look happy, Jenn's face probably would tell a different story as it is back to more strategic texturing. At this point, RAWR is a little more than half way done.

If you ever wondered what an underbelly of a dinosaur looked liked, here is your chance to find out.

Currently, the underside is almost complete with only the pads left to be textured and some little details to be added. If you look closely Jenn has now signed her name to the piece as she begins to put the finishing touches on it.

It's time for a pedicure!

Here RAWR receives her toenails representing the completion of the head and the bottom of the piece.

Just for good measures we check to see how RAWR looks on her feet. Consider this the first of many glamour shots to follow.

Only the back and a few minor details remain before it will be time to bake the piece.

Here RAWR has been carefully placed on a piece of paper and on top of a couple of boxes so that it will be easy to transport her to the oven. Until the piece is baked, Jenn will only touch the remainder of the dino that has not yet been textured.

With the texturing complete and more dots than we care to count, Jenn now adds the final spikes to RAWR's back.

Yet again she carefully places these pieces first eyeballing their distance before actually adding them to the dino. Much like the spikes on the head these will be flatten and given additional detail before all is said and done. At this point all the clay is still raw.

Next stop: the oven.

Here Jenn will bake RAWR for 30 minutes at a temperature of 250 degrees and hope that nothing goes wrong. If any opening or crack has not been patched from the original toy, the clay on RAWR will separate as the heat looks for a way to escape.

Good luck, RAWR.

Good news!

After what could have been a second extinction RAWR made it out of the oven 100% intact.

Here are pictures of RAWR taken at the park, not Jurassic, as we release him into the wild.

Overall, from start to finish RAWR took about two weeks to complete while he was conceptually alive for more than a month.

beep! boop! bop!
Tony Bot

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toy Tuesday

The Pumpkin Patch

Website: UNKL

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Behind the Bots - Bubble Gum Girl

Being that we have officially caught the toy customization bug, it was only a matter of time before Jenn tried her hand at a Dunny.

After multiple sketches and several great ideas Jennifer decided to create a kawaii girl scout that may or may not shortly be seen in your neighborhood selling cookies.

Unfortunately, the only Dunny we had for customization purposes came with a disease as its arms were a sticky mess. After ditching the arms Jenn went forward with the design phase saving the arms for the very last step. In the picture below you can see the beginning of the process. At this point, only the head has been covered with a base coat of polymer clay.

The head is now taking shape as Jenn smooths the clay in order to add facial features. Also the smaller details are beginning to take shape as she puts on the bow and beret.

At this point the Dunny is slowly evolving into a whole new piece. The head is completely baked and now Jenn has moved on to working on the lower half of the body. One thing that Jenn really likes about this piece is how consistent it is from top to bottom. For instance, even the parts you won't be able to see such as her underwear and soles of her shoes have details.

The body is now nearing completion as Jenn adds the sash and patches. Originally the neckerchief was not part of the original design, but Jenn felt that it complemented the blue bow that the scout is wearing. All that is left now is the arms.

Mail day!!!

After scouring the interwebs we found Dunnys at a reduced rate through our friends at Rotofugi. We picked up 5 with the intentions of using the arms from one and keeping the rest for future customs.

With new Dunnys in stock we allowed Bubble Gum Girl to pick her victim. Here you can see the sacrifice as it takes place. Those that easily become queasy may want to look away.

Finally finished.

From start to end, the project us a whole took a couple of weeks simply because of the sticky arm fiasco.

Overall, we are both very pleased with the piece as it truly reflects the original sketch and idea that Jenn had. Being that this is Jenn's third custom she is finally comfortable enough to offer Bubble Gum Girl for sale. For those interested you can find her in our new store: Lubu!

beep! boop! bop!

Tony Bot

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Toy Tuesday

Wooli Stalks Silver

Toy: Jibibut

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Behind the Bots

The one thing that I truly love about working with Jennifer is that I get to play with not only the toys she makes, but also the toys that we buy.

Here is a sneak peek at our upcoming Toy Tuesday picture. And while the set up is simple, it was all about the getting just the perfect shot that tells a story.

beep! boop! bop!
Tony Bot

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Toy Tuesday

Miki Meets the Cube Animals

Toy: Miki

Monday, September 6, 2010

lubu: a superfacepunch of love!

It was inevitable. As with any technology, especially when it is a robot, it's only a matter of time before an upgrade is needed. And while we always thought our bots would be our primary focus as artists, we have come to find that they are only a small smattering of what we are and what we can make. The bots, while they will always be our golden child, ultimately led to us being pigeonholed. And with so many characters at our dispense, and with so many new ideas constantly popping up, we knew it was only a matter of time before bolts & bots would be no more.

So without further ado, it is our great pleasure to introduce the world to our new shop: lubu!

lubu: lu-bu [loo-boo]

-expression -verb -adjective

1. A term of affection.
2. To express ones love through a superfacepunch.
3. When an object is so kawaii that it makes your eyes bleed rainbows.

lubu, while purposely edgier, is not only the representation of our artistic vision, but also encompasses the years that we have spent together. When we first started dating, we used to tell each other "lubu" meaning "love you." With this in mind, as we began to brainstorm new names, it only seemed natural that we choose something that was as unique to us as the very art that we create. lubu therefore is our story, your story, and ultimately the story of our art.

As we begin to shift into lubu mode, be prepared! You will begin to find new things, old things, and things that may shock and/or impress you. And while the bots will still be here, they will be forced to share their space with all of the creatures that are in our heads.

Ultimately, this shop will allow us to branch out, expand our horizons, and explore new art forms. We will still continue to carry all of the polymer clay characters that you know and love, but we will also now begin to offer prints, plushes, screen printed items and custom vinyl characters.

So sit back, enjoy the ride, and be prepared for the superfacepunch of love that you are all about to endure.

beep! boop! bop!

Jenn and Tony Bot