Posted by baykiddead March 07, 2014
Ion Men and 5 Quick Ones with AOI

Matty Boom Batty, aka Any Old Ion, aka AOI Toys, is out to prove everybody wrong. And he's having some serious fun in the process. It's also hard work, but he was down with answering a few questions I had regarding his efforts, process, and he even dropped some insight on his world view. Some pretty heady stuff from somebody who plays with toys all day long.

If you're interested in getting your hands on a set of these toys, you can find them at Lulubell Toys. They're currently available in Black and Ivory, with more colorways in the works. You can also keep up with news and updates on the AOI Toys Facebook page. 

Q1: What's the first toy you remember playing with? Not necessarily your favorite toy, just the first. When was this, how old were you?

He Man when they were first released. My parents were wack, they always got me Villain toys no matter what so I had Skeletor and MerMan and Castle WTF!? What do you do with that? Luckily, I had Darth Vader, Death Star Commando and freaking Greedo to play with them! 

Q2: How long from that moment did it take you to realize you could make your own toys?

I decided when I was 6. I was watching Voltes V with this other kid and I said, "I'm going to make robot toys anna one a them's gonna be a big drill guy and maybe have a big gun on his chest." I remember that kid's dad was a surgeon who used to come back from Japan with Diecast Popy and the kid would smash them with a rock.

Q3: You have an interesting design process, How's it work?

I come up with awesome ideas, find someone to do the turnarounds based on my ultra sh***y sketches and whammy-boom-blammy it's robot central. Basically, I made a shitty toy with no experience and got vilified by the toy community and told "if you want to fit in you need to step up your game." So I moved my shit out of America, learnt everything I needed to know about Japanese Vinyl and got the top sculptors there to do my dream toyline. A lot of people said my first toy Seismic Ace would be better in vinyl...there it is. They were right. I have to tell you though, robot horses...bloody hard.

Q4: What's the most frustrating part of that process, the most rewarding?

Most frustrating: I have an idea for a designer toy with a gimmick NO ONE has ever seen or done before. I have no art skills to draw the concept and no big companies will give me the time of day. I can't tell OTHER toy guys know. Frustrating.

Most rewarding: Knowing, regardless, of my reputation my toys are the first of their kind. No one before me was doing this. Before ION Men no one had pulled seven part, 4" mini sofubi...they said it couldn't be done. Jam It! We did it...took forever but we did it and I bloody well assemble a thousand, 7-part toys on my own, on the floor of my apartment in Australian heat to heavy metal and Gatchaman cartoons.

Q5: You have the opportunity to put a pair of shoes on every child's feet, or a toy in every hand. Which do you choose?

Shoes man. I work with terminally ill kids in a low socio-economic area and they come in with shoes held together by tape! Not cool.




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