Another year in the books! And most definitely a crazy one for 8BZ. I don’t normally do year end wrap-ups but SO much stuff happened this year. So many ups and downs. I figured it’d be nice to take a look back at 2014 and a peek at what the future holds as well. Not sure where to even begin! But here we go…
First and foremost, let me say thank you, to all my customers and fans for the amazing support throughout 2014. I feel so very lucky to have the fanbase that I do. And even luckier that I am able to grow that fanbase every year. I’m so glad you guys have stuck with me on this crazy ride. For the most part I still just feel like a dorky dude making wacky stuff in his basment, haha. And that’s actually pretty close to the truth. I still do most everything on my own. So it makes me feel extra awesome that you guys appreiate and support what I do. Thanks so much for that.
2014 saw some big things for 8-bit ZOMBIE. I think you know what I’m going to be talking about here – TOYS! Thrashor came back in a BIG way this year. I had so much fun working on these new toys and it has definitely been a dream-come-true in many ways. But it was also a huge learning experience and was so very stressful, time-consuming and grueling. Were the toys a success? Hmmm, it’s hard to say. From a business stand-point, ehhh, maybe not. At least not yet. These figures cost a small fortune to produce (At least in small business terms, haha) and, as you can imagine, they aren’t the easiest sell at that price-point. (I know this type of thing simply isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.) But from a personal stand-point, absolutely! It was an amazing experience and I’d do it again in a heart beat. And don’t get me wrong, I can’t tell you how amazing the response has been to these toys. I couldn’t be more pleased with the reactions and love Thrashor has gotten. It truely is the most fun and my most favortie thing I’ve been able to accomplish with the brand. The original Thrashor figs turned out absolutely perfect. And the glow-in-the-dark variants are such a rad addition. You really can’t go wrong with glow anything!
So that leads to the big question I know a lot of you have on your minds: Will there be more 8BZ toys? I would love to just say YES to that. And I do intend to move onto new toys, including Noxious and Roadkill. But the if/when all depends on moving more of the Thrashor figures. As I mentioned, they weren’t cheap to produce. And I still have many more to sell. Part of me is ready to start on new toys NOW. But I also need to be realistic about things. And to be honest, I can’t really afford to dump more money into new toys until I get more money back out of the old ones. So if you do want to see new 8BZ toys in the near future, you can help by picking up a Thrashor or even just by spreading the word. Every figure I sell gets me closer to the next toy project, so any help there is greatly appreciated. I feel like I’m begging for help a little bit and I hate that. But… it is what it is. Custom toys are whole other BEAST compared to the stuff I usually do. And maybe my little brand wasn’t quite ready for such a giant leap into new territory. But as they say, no risk, no reward. The Thrashor toys do continue to get a little more attention as time passes. But of course, the more the better.
Aside from toys, 2014 also saw lots of great other merch. Some of my favorite tees, hats and packs to date. Super happy with the apparel that got released last year. And if you enjoy that side of 8BZ more, then good news! Now that I’m taking a bit of a “break” on the toys, I can focus more attention on apparel again. So you can expect more tees in the near future. I also have some really fun ideas for new packs and other rad goodies that I absolutely can’t wait for.
And speaking of hats, I know I’ve gotten a lot of emails about those in the past few months. Lots of requests for older designs and questions about new ones. Good news and bad news here… Good news is that I will continue to do hats. And I also want to try some new things with them. Bad news is that they will continue to be released on a more limited basis. Sadly, they just don’t sell like they used to. And I simply don’t have the time to print them like I used to either. Especially since they are EXTREMELY time consuming to make. So it’s kind of a no-brainer for me to scale back on them. I’m also going to keep it simple from here on out. The days of doing crazy, multiple color prints on the front and brim are behind me. Like I said, there’s just no time for it these days with 8BZ being a one-man-show. So, moving forward hats will mostly have one color brim prints and patches or one color prints on the front. I may even experiment with dropping the brim print all-together for some hats. I will bring back some older designs but only the easier to produce ones. Hopefully this doesn’t make the hat fans too sad. I will still be making plenty of rad hats, just not ones with insane prints that make me want to pull my hair out.
All-in-all, 2014 was an amazing year. Yeah, I struggled with some set-backs and there were many bumps in the road. (Mostly involving the toys and other projects that have yet to see the light of day) But being a fairly private person, I tend to keep that stuff behind the scenes and deal with it the best I can. And for the most part, things worked out in the end. So I can’t complain too much. 8BZ earned loads of new fans. I blazed some new trails and stepped further outside the “indie brand” box than ever before. And last year saw some of the coolest and most memorable artwork, designs and items in 8BZ history. So very pleased with how 2014 went.
And speaking of 8BZ history, the brand quietly hit a little bit of a milestone recently. 8-bit ZOMBIE turned 5! Last year was just SO crazy that I didn’t have time to do a proper celebration. But I’ve been hard at work on some very awesome stuff for a while now. Everything is close to being ready so you can expect some 5 year anniversary awesomeness in the very near future. REALLY excited to show off what I’ve been up to. It’s going to flip your wigs. I can’t wait.
Thanks again for the support. And for riding this crazy 80′s themed roller coaster with me. You guys are the reason I am still around. Thanks for making 2014 so awesome. And here’s to an amazing 2015. Last year will be hard to beat but there’s some VERY awesome stuff on the horizon. I’m so excited for this year. I don’t think any of you will be disappointed with what’s in store. Expect lots of nostalgic radness to melt your face off soon. Onwards and upwards!
Stay rad & see you soon.