Nick Cave dolls and Axis of Evil: how Plasticgod broke into the toy industry

Robert Hutchins

By Robert Hutchins

July 9th 2015 at 12:30PM
UPDATED July 13th 2015 at 12:02PM
Nick Cave dolls and Axis of Evil: how Plasticgod broke into the toy industry

We talk to the pop culture satirist, artist and toy designer known only as Plasticgod about his journey into the toy industry.

A spot of nepotism gets you a long way, but when your friend of a friend just happens to be Nick Cave, who knows where your path might lead?

For the pop-culture satirist and artist known only as Plasticgod, the association with the post-punk musician has lead him to releasing the world’s first collection of Nick Cave action figures, each dressed in outfits inspired by the lyrics of his biggest singles.

From Red Right Hand to Into My Arms, the collection of six figures has been created ahead of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, where they will be available to visitors as event exclusives.

With the musician now joining the artist's portfolio of projects that has seen the likes of 2Pac become a Hello Kitty character or the cast of Zoolander feature in a 'really, really, really, really, ridiculously long poster', Plasticgod explains that his journey into the toy industry has been far from traditional.

“[The Nick Cave collection] is a classic case of a friend knows a friend who knows Nick Cave,” Plasticgod explains. “Se we set up a meeting in Los Angeles where I showed Nick some past work I did with MTV and my own figures of the Axis of Evil. We also talked about his shirts.”

In 2007, Plasticgod embarked on his venture into the toy industry with his satirical collection of figures titles Axis of Evil, featuring Saddam Hussein, Tony Blair, Kim Jong-il, George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden.

The collection, alongside a portfolio of political satire and pop-culture artwork soon earned him the title of the “21st Century Warhol” and his ‘Heroes’ collection rocketed to over 700 political and popular icons.

“2007 was a really exciting time where I learned a whole lot about the toy business, the toy making process, lead times, and the complications of the business,” continues Plasticgod.

“But the overall result coming out exactly how I wanted them to, was incredible.”

The collection bought the artist a new stardom and soon demand for the Axis of Evil collection was so high that it appeared on the US chat show, Ellen DeGenres, as well as in the Korean press.

Later, Plasticgod learned that even the late Robin Williams had bought a set for his daughter.

Eight years later, and Plasticgod has returned to the toy industry with his range of figures based on the Australian musician. And so far, the collection has been met with an equally positive response.

“The reaction has been great, lots of people have been wanting the Red Right Hand in particular,” he says.  “I got an email recently from Nick saying he loves the figures and would like to do more.

“It’s a great feeling when somebody you admire, admires your work back.”

The artist is now taking the range to Comic-Con where it will be showcased alongside Plasticgod’s collection of artwork.

“We have been planning this release for a year and we are super excited. We all benefit from this as we get to cross pollinate genres, expanding each others’ reach and awareness to over 100,000 convention attendees,” explains Plasticgod.

“That’s like having all of Wembley Stadium and more, being able to see my work and reach out to new Nick cave fans who might not have been a fan before.”

When asked about what collaborations Plasticgod has planned for the future, the artists is keeping his cards close to his chest, but does coyly hint that a Bad Seeds expansion collection could be in the making, while toys inspired by a popular British quartet is certainly on the cards.

“I am working on something at the moment, I can’t say who, but here’ a clue: there are four of them and they’re British.

“No, it’s not the Beatles, but Sir Paul McCartney does own my work.”