#MakerMonday: Interview with M.A.DtheMaker

A few days ago, we showcased our collaboration with M.A.DtheMaker, but today, we take a bit more of a deep-dive, and ask a few questions to give you an exclusive look at the man behind the M.A.Dness.

Toy Bacon: What sparked your interest in getting into woodworking?

M.A.DtheMaker: My family used to run a construction business, so I was never far from a power tool growing up. Pops had me on the tools as soon as I was old enough to be on a job site... Haha. Now, with a day job in the data centre world, I found a hands-on creative outlet in woodworking (specifically in relief carvings). Originally, I was just looking to make unique gifts for my friends and family!

#alwaysbeknolling ... @bearcrafted how did I do !? #knolling #shopknolling #letsmakeamessnow

A post shared by M(ike).A.D (@madthemaker) on

TB: What's your preferred style of woodwork?

M.A.D: I wouldn't consider woodcarving a "traditional" style of woodworking - or at least the way I do it! I know lots of folks who make the real stuff. They use old (and new) school techniques to handcraft benches, coffee tables, and other furniture. That's definitely my preferred style but I'm not there yet. If I've learned anything working with wood, pushing your skills is an incremental process. 

My team's got grit like sandpaper 😎😎...Lol #goraptorsgo #handcrafted #madeinToronto #makersoftoronto

A post shared by M(ike).A.D (@madthemaker) on

TB: What makes your work unique?

M.A.D: Without a doubt, it's the fact that almost all my pieces are made from one solid piece of wood - No separate glued together pieces. I've been told by many that I'm crazy because one mistake with my cuts and I'm basically starting from ground zero. Haha. It's just so rewarding and fun to transform a single flat pine panel into something that people can get excited about and appreciate. I love it!

I sometimes incorporate electronics into my work (LEDs, raspberry pi, arduinos etc). On occasion, I'll make something that isn't a carving. This was part of branding myself a 'Maker' instead of a woodworker. I would love to incorporate metals into my work, and eventually take on some furniture builds (tools and materials are expensive, lol!)

TB: How did you come up with your brand/alias?

M.A.D: M.A.D = my initials

TB: What inspires you to continue creating?

M.A.D: Since sharing my work online and building a brand, I've found a vibrant instagram woodworking community with others who support my work, share theirs, and just know how to have fun! (cc: #scrapwoodfreethrowchallenge ) . In this online community, I've managed to connect with members closer to home in Ontario. We trade tips and tricks in our group chat, organize meetups - now I consider these folks my friends! It's been the most unexpected and pleasant part of what keeps me inspired. Bringing my talents online and starting a brand has been an amazing adventure into social marketing, networking, and the art of the side hustle - I never want it to stop!

Be sure to FOLLOW him on Instagram to see the master at work!

COLLABORATION: Toy Bacon x M.A.DtheMaker

One of the best feelings in the world is not only watching your friends succeed, but collaborating with them to do awesome things. A few years ago, while at my friend Larry's baby shower (just a few months after Andrew and I started Toy Bacon), I connected with his brother, Mike, who was just about to take his woodworking craft to the next level. He seemed to like the custom Zelda print I made for his brother, and brought down a few pieces including an awesome Goku woodburning! We chatted about content creation, the process, some branding ideas, and more. We connected here and there at other social gatherings and agreed that the time would come for us to work together. Fast-forward to present day, and we finally made it happen. A mashup of his knack for woodcarving, my passion for photography, and our shared fandom for The Legend of Zelda.

Mike, aka M.A.DtheMaker, reached out to collaborate after he was commissioned to create a new project. A relief carving of the iconic, Hylian Shield. For those who know how much of a Nintendo and Zelda fan I am, it's obvious I wouldn't pass on that offer. We exchanged messages, set the production date, and made it happen.

Take a look at how some of the pics turned out!

Link: HO...LY... SHIIIELD... A @madthemaker masterpiece.

A post shared by Toy Bacon (@toybacon) on

We're really proud of our work, each other, and how this all came together! If you agree, drop us a comment or share this with a friend.

Stay tuned for our exclusive interview with M.A.DtheMaker dropping this Friday!




#FeatureFriday: Tasty Talent

We have a brand spankin' new, #FeatureFriday for you today! This is where we find Tasty Talent that's hit the Toy Bacon radar. We scour the interwebz looking for notable content to share, and one way method we use is our very own Instagram hashtag... #toybacon.

Recently, Andrew (@dru_olive) chatted with our pal Dan aka @plastic_planeteer.

A photo posted by Dan (@plastic_planeteer) on

@dru_olive: We'd like to thank you for using our #toybacon hashtag! We've been inspired by your talents and absolutely love your artwork. Your super detailed outdoor photography is incredible, and we've really been enjoying the stories that come along with a lot of your toy photos (definitely an added bonus). We wanted to take a few minutes to chat with you.

How did you come up with this shot?

@plastic_planeteer: I was checking for spots in my backyard, and I found this bush with various branches that jumped out in interesting angles. They scale nicely with my 6-inch figures I thought, "Hey, why not use it for an endor scene?" 

@dru_olive: What equipment are you working with to capture your photography?

@plastic_planeteer: I use my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone for all my shots. I don't have a photography background or a real camera. I love outdoor shots because of the way natural lighting adds to the shot. I'm not big on heavily manipulating my photos because I feel natural lighting gives it a more lifelike feel, and I definitely try to shoot for realism. 

@dru_olive: When did you start toy photography?

@plastic_planeteer: I started just a little over 3 years ago now. I used to post on my main account and as of about a 2 years ago I made this account which I only use for toy photography.

@dru_olive: What do you love most about toy photography?

@plastic_planeteer: I love giving something lifeless, life. I love taking something a fraction of the size of the average human, and making it look like it was just another photo taken by someone. It's a nice chance to let the mind wonder and explore places we can't go in our daily life. I'm certainly not an expert photographer, but I like to take pictures that bring out excitement, pictures that tell a story but leave plenty of room for someone to fill in the blanks and add their own interpretation or back story.  

@dru_olive: When did your passion for toys began?

@plastic_planeteer: I was always into cars and robots as a kid. Naturally, my interest shifted to Transformers. I grew up watching Toonami on Cartoon Network and watching the English-translated Gundam series and thinking to myself how cool giant robots were. I rediscovered my love for toys right around 2007 when the live-action Transformers movie came out. I left the theater and immediately wanted the toys. I was just about 14 and couldn't for the life of me know why I was so compelled to buy toys at that time. I was definitely embarrassed and reluctant to admit that I simply found a love for collecting toys, but over the years I embraced it and eventually went on to share my love for collecting with others on places like Instagram and the TFW2005 forums. My love for collecting didn't stop at Transformers and around 2013, I started collecting the 3-inch G.I. Joes (I vaguely remember having some as a kid but didn't really get into it until I was an adult), some Star Wars figures, and Gundam. 

@dru_olive: What's your goal or next step in toy photography?

@plastic_planeteer: From here I would eventually like to get better equipment, starting with a camera. I would like to learn some basics of photography, as I enjoy taking pictures of things. I'd love to learn how to do light manipulation and how that plays into the shot. I've always considered taking up photography as a hobby, and what better place to start honing in on those skills than toy photography.

@dru_olive: So what about @plastic_planeteer the man? Who are you aside from toy photography? 

@plastic_planeteer: Well, Currently 23, pursuing a career in law enforcement. I also have a large interest in fashion. I love clothing just as much as I do toys, and consider clothing a second hobby. I am often the fashion consultant for my friends and family. I currently work in retail for Brooks Brothers, one of America's oldest retailers (founded 1818). 

@dru_olive: OMG 😂😂😂 That's too funny, I work for Brooks Brothers as well! Based outta Toronto, Ontario, Canada. What a coincidence! 

@plastic_planeteer: No way man! That's awesome!!

Thank you very much for chatting with us, Dan. It's been a pleasure speaking with you, and thanks again for using the #toybacon hashtag. We loved seeing your photos! 

Check out our Top Picks from @plastic_planeteer below:

A photo posted by Dan (@plastic_planeteer) on

A photo posted by Dan (@plastic_planeteer) on

A photo posted by Dan (@plastic_planeteer) on

A photo posted by Dan (@plastic_planeteer) on

A photo posted by Dan (@plastic_planeteer) on

#FeatureFriday: Tasty Talent

We have a brand spankin' new, #FeatureFriday for you today! This is where we find Tasty Talent that's hit the Toy Bacon radar. We scour the interwebz looking for notable content to share, and one way method we use is our very own Instagram hashtag... #toybacon.

Recently, Andrew (@dru_olive) noticed that Jazer aka @knightwing2110 from Los Angeles, California used our hashtag, so without further adieu, let's get to it! 

Tasty Talent Chat with LA Toy Photographer and Artist @knightwing2110

@dru_olive: We'd like to thank you for using our #toybacon hashtag! We've been inspired by your talents and absolutely love your artwork. Your indoor and outdoor photography is incredible, and your attention to detail is something that all toy photographers can learn from and enjoy. We wanted take a few minutes to chat with you.

First off, how did you come up with this shot?

@knightwing2110: I came up with this shot when I was trying out this diorama by @toy.nerds, plus I recently acquired the acid rain figures, so naturally, I put them together in a shot.

@dru_olive: What equipment are you working with to capture your photography?

@knightwing2110: I use a Nikon D3300 with a 200mm Zoom Lens.

@dru_olive: When did you start toy photography?

@knightwing2110: I actually started toy photography a year ago, last August.

@dru_olive: And what do you love most about toy photography?

@knightwing2110: What I love about toy photography is that the possibilities are endless with how creative you can get with each figure, whether it's indoor or outdoor.

@dru_olive: When did your passion for toys begin?

@knightwing2110: My passion for toys began with my childhood, and got worst with adulthood, lol. Once I had a steady job, I started buying toys left and right over the years toys for more expensive ones, lol.

@dru_olive: Hahaha! We can all relate, lol. What's your goal or next step in toy photography?

@knightwing2110: My goals are just to keep trying new forms of photography, with practical effects or whatever new challenge there is out there to try out...

@dru_olive: Awesome buddy! Thank you for taking some time to chat with us!

@knightwing2110: No, thank you! 👍👊


Check out our Top Picks from @knightwing2110 below:

Toy Bacon is a #SM4SH hit!

Last month, our co-founder Francisco (@kuyakix) attended Get On My Level 2016 as both a competitor in #SM4SH (Super Smash Bros for Wii U) and a vendor in Artist Alley. Between matches, he had the pleasure of meeting Kelsy Medeiros (@SuperGirlKels), one of the Top Sonic players in #SM4SH from Montreal, Quebec. She loved our work so much, she picked up one of our "Retro Rivals" prints below.

Kelsy actually got it laminated and mounted for her studio, but we never imagined she'd sign it and also have it signed by Elliot "Ally" Bastien Carroza-Oyarce (@AllyOrNotAlly), arguably the best Mario #SM4SH player. Ally actually went on to win #SM4SH Get On My Level, 3-2 over long-time rival Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios (@TSMZeRo), a Diddy/Sheik main from from Chile, now based in Los Angeles, California.

How cool is that?! Keitaro (@KeitaroTime), Video Production Specialist for @clgaming, Co-creator of Rush Hour Smash, also chimed in with interest.

Thanks again to Kelsy for sharing this! We love hearing stories about our customers and how our art relates to them and where it ends up.

Do you have a cool story to share? Let us know in the comments below.

Toy Bacon scores some new Marvel and Nintendo preorders!

A photo posted by Toy Bacon (@toybacon) on

ICYMI: We locked some solid preorders last week!

Andrew, our 'Marvelous' Toy Bacon co-founder, scored the 6" Revoltech Deadpool complete with dual pistols, swords, interchangeable hands, and animated eyes! This is a great addition to his rich Marvel universe toy collection, and arguably the most articulate Deadpool figure to date.

Francisco, co-founder and former experiential marketer for Nintendo of Canada, preordered both Charizard and Zero Suit Samus. Charizard has been on his wishlist since the D-Arts version was discontinued causing a huge scalper mark-up (sometimes upwards of $300). Zero Suit Samus is the un-armoured variant of Samus, the main protagonist of the Metroid series and Francisco's main in the Super Smash Bros series. Both toys will bring his collection to a milestone 20 figures in the Smash Bros roster.

Love is love is love is love...

A photo posted by Toy Bacon (@toybacon) on

Honoured that Andrew (@dru_olive) and I (@kuyakix) made ‪#‎toypopsbest‬ last night for our tribute photos to Orlando's tragic incident. I thank Andrew for coming up with this theme and our LGBTQ friends for being themselves, out and proud as they should be. It's sad that lives are lost as acceptance of minority communities and rights progress, when in fact they are well defined in their own right with distinct culture. We encourage those groups to continue through these hard times with the patience to educate those who are willing to learn about your culture, and for those who don't understand, to have the compassion to look past differences in sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnicity and so on to inspire hope and not fear for the next generation. 🌈☮️❤️💙💚💛💜 ‪#‎LoveIsLove‬ ‪#‎Pride‬ ‪#‎PrideMonth‬ ‪#‎toystory4kix‬ ‪#‎toybacon‬ ‪#‎acceptance‬ ‪#‎compassion‬ ‪#‎LGBTQ‬

A photo posted by Toy Bacon (@toybacon) on

April Events: New and Improved Taste!

A video posted by Francis Co. (@kuyakix) on


Daaaaamn, Toy Bacon! Daaammn, Toy Bacon! Back at it again with a tasty take on toys!

April looks to be our busiest month yet with 3 events on the way! We have some new pieces inspired by Captain America: Civil War, Sailor Moon, and other superhero and anime for you to snack on. Get a full serving of Toy Bacon by attending our events in Niagara, Toronto, and Oakville!

Civil War Geekery Con

The Super Duper Show

GTA Comicon

Toy Con: Print Preview

Happy Hump Day!

Earlier this week, we announced that we'll be attending the Canadian Toy Con in Burlington, Ontario. We're so excited to be a part of this event, we decided to upload a taste of things to come. If you're heading to the Toy Con, you're in luck because we'll have Con Exclusive pricing on our first wave of prints. The images in the gallery below will be available in 11"x17" prints for just $10. Interested in picking up more than one? You can get 3 for $25, or 5 for $40.

If you simply can't wait or can't attend this event, check out our Prints Page and place an order with Free Shipping. Hope to see you there!

Toy Bacon @ Canadian Toy Con Burlington

Come out and support your friendly neighbourhood Toy Photographers, Andrew Oliveira and Francisco Tejada, at the Canadian Toy Con in Burlington this Saturday, March 12. Join us as we showcase our first set of 11"x17" prints and shop around for comics, action figures, and collectibles. See ya there!