Toy Machine


I’ve had this idea for a while, but when the opportunity arose to work with PK Shop, this seemed like the perfect time to work on this project. It will be unveiled on Thursday November 14th from 6-8pm. PK shop is located at 511 W. 27th St. in NYC. 

The machine is actually a double machine featuring two machines filled with two different series. The first series is Ice Cream Resin Heads which feature 4 different designs (Original, Zombie, Devil, Skull) as well as some rare and newly constructed Double Zombies and a half Devil/half Zombie. Even though I had a cone body with arms and legs sculpted a while ago (which has never been released), the detached heads are really my favorite. The second machine features Melty Misfits Cheap Toys. These are newly envisioned versions of the Garbage Pail Kids Cheap Toys from 1985. There are three designs (two of which have never been released before) which have been newly sculpted and feature an ice cream style head instead of a Cabbage Patch Kids style head. I had a foundry here in NYC cast a few pieces from each series in Bronze. So even though you might get a simple unpainted figure (in a range of colors), you could get a unique hand-painted piece or even a rare bronze piece. With so many variations in so many colors, it’s unlikely that anyone would receive two of the same pieces. Additionally, each figure comes with a miniature Certificate of Authenticity.

I consider it a sculptural piece. It’s obviously a functional piece filled with little figures, but I think of the whole thing as a sculpture. I was inspired by Duchamp’s readymades, Koons’ Equilibrium and Banality Series and Sachs’ arcade game. Like I did with The Melty Misfits trading cards, I like to take an inexpensive common product from my childhood and do it anew. And rather than outsource the work to assistants or factories in China, I learned how to make molds and cast resin myself. So each piece in the machine is a unique piece that I made by hand.

From the beginning, the biggest part of the machine was that it would only accept a custom token. Most gumball machine tokens are made of brass, but I sourced a nicer nickel token. A collectible in itself, collectors are presented with a dilemma of keeping the token, or using it in the machine.