The intertubes is a funny thing. In various forums on various websites, I’ve been aware of Marty Hansen, aka The Godbeast, for years. His work has always been amazing to me from his custom cast Battle Beasts, M.U.S.C.L.E., and MOTU to his prototype sculpting/design work, to his totally original creations. When I heard that The Godbeast was going to be at C2E2 with some amazing exclusives in tow, I just had to do a quick pre-convention interview with him.
The Godbeast was cool enough to take tome time out of his C2E2 preparation in order to answer a few of Nerd City’s questions:
I’ve enjoyed your work for years, from your custom cast Battle Beasts to MOTU pieces. How did you get started on the whole process of sculpting/ casting your own stuff?
In 1998 or so I was sculpting and attempting to mold/cast these sculpts and toys. Without the proper equipment my casts were demolding filled w/ air bubbles. In 2001 I was at the Brookside Art Show in Kansas City, MO. While strolling, looking at the different artists’ works, I stopped at a booth that had incredible large caricature sculpts and multiple copies of each. It just so happened I stumbled upon who would eventually be NECA Toys’ master mold maker/prototyper Adam Smith. While I was asking him about his incredible works of art, he offered to have me come work w/ him in his studio. I waited about 3-4 months (didn’t want to come off as a fan-boy/stalker) and ended up training w/ Adam for a few hours a few time a month for 1-2 months.
Over the years, you’ve done some amazing prototyping work for other people, as well. How did that come about?
Lee’s Toy Review did an article about me in March 2006 issue #161. That I do believe was the first door that opened for me enabling me to reach toy designers and collectors that were in need of my skills. Other than that, I do believe it is also a lot of “word of mouth.”
What classic toylines inspire you and what current stuff do you think is cool?
Battle Beasts obviously inspired me for years. Now I would have to say my sons’ sketches & sculpts, along w/ other resin artists’ works inspire me way more than the big toy cartels’ mass produced plastic. I think my interests and inspirations have definitely evolved as I have aged.
I think it’s really cool that you’re producing some pieces based upon designs by your sons. Can you tell us a bit about those lines and how that idea came about?
I was a visual arts educator for 7 years in North Kansas City, MO. During that time I taught summer sculpting art lessons to several of students. During my final year of teaching (became a stay-at-home-father) I had just trained w/ Adam and the thought of reproducing multiple copies in endless colorways of my students work would be incredible!!! Even though I never attempted this, after years and years of my sons asking me, “Dad when can we make toys?” and “Dad when I grow up I wanna do what you do and be an artist.” a light bulb went on in my skull…I thought to myself, if they can sculpt their own characters from their sketchbooks, I could mold and cast their sculpts/characters into toys of their own. It was never a $-making idea, it was more pure than that and I thought of it as more of a kid “bragging rights” thang for my sons w/ their friends. Like, “Hey, I have my very own toys/figures!”
What is your workspace like?
I have 2 studios…a indoor sculpting/painting studio and a detached molding/casting studio. I am fairly organized and tidy, however, when I have been working like a sweatshop, things pile up at times. I always clean up and organize my studios/workplaces every couple of months.
What can we expect from The Godbeast at C2E2?
I will have a limited # of Larvoids (like 20-21 tops), 8 different Infection figures (possibly as many as 12 sets) which I will sell individually for the first time, and several other goodies.
What future projects can we look forward to from you?
For starters, Mr. Simeon Lipman has put together an incredible wax packs card series of Artists for release in June. http://www.thearthustle.com/ When he asked me to participate, I didn’t even have to consider it for more than 1 second. This “Art Hustle” card series 1 looks to be pretty snazzy and Simeon is quite the visionary.
Simeon also asked if I would like to have a piece of my work included in a Pop Art & Culture auction through Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia, Sept. 2010. They will be auctioning off my Albino Abominable. (Photo on my site under prototyping)
I have a pretty earth shattering project I have been negotiating w/ a lead sculptor (now freelance) for a major toy company. If this project comes to fruition, there will be PLENTY of super stoked fans out there in toyland.
The Godbeast will be at C2E2 at the Jay’s CD & Hobby booth (#1219) on 04.16 from 1pm-6pm and on 04.17 from 11am-3pm.
For more info on The Godbeast and his work, please check out his official site here.