Well, it finally happened! The 8BZ summer release is here. WAY later than I wanted again this year, haha. But I’m unbelievably happy to finally have everything out there. And I’ve been totally blown away by the reaction from you guys. So excited that everyone really digs this release. I knew this stuff was awesome but when you sit on everything for so long, you almost forget just HOW rad it really is until you show it off to everyone. And it’s been a while! Feels like I’ve been working on this stuff for years now, haha. So it’s amazing to finally see it out there.
The biggest and newest thing I decided to do this year was the 8BZ Kids Club. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for ages now and it was finally time to stop putting it off and jump in. I wanted the Kids Club to be something a bit more special than the rest of the release. And while I didn’t have time to get everything done for the club that I wanted, I definitely feel it turned out really awesome. The Kids Club was meant to be a little something extra for the die-hard 8BZ fans. It’s kind of everything that 8-bit ZOMBIE embodies as a brand, boiled down into a small package. The Kids Club is all about celebrating 80′s childhood nostalgia in a fun way. If you look back fondly on those lazy summer days spent playing with action figures, watching cartoons and battling 8-bit baddies, then the 8BZ Kids Club is for you! These items will always be more limited in number and maybe a little harder to get your hands on. But let me say, I was completely surprised by just how fast the packages flew of the shelves! If you missed out, don’t worry the Kids Club isn’t going anywhere any time soon and will be an ever-evolving part of 8BZ from now on. You can expect more rad stuff to come in the near future.
Which brings me to the lunchboxes! The lunchboxes definitely turned out to be the centerpiece to this radical release. I remember years ago one of my best 8BZ artist buddies Pitchgrim did a retro lunchbox design for a band and that idea had never really left my mind. I knew that was something I wanted to do for 8BZ but making it happen proved harder than I imagined. As I began to look into things I hit a big road block pretty quickly. Turns out pretty much NO ONE makes plastic lunchboxes anymore! Not only were my plans crushed but it was sad to find out that such a classic piece of 80′s pop-culture was disappearing from the world. I was super bummed but I wasn’t gonna give up that easily. I spent weeks if not months trying to track down some plastic lunchboxes. Even if I could only find 10 of them, I just HAD to make this happen. As luck would have it, I found someone who had stumbled upon some boxes of them. Total fluke! And with that, I was in business. I went to the always radical Matt Skiff for the artwork and he DID NOT disappoint! I wanted a design that payed homage to all those He-Man, G.I. Joe and TMNT lunchboxes I remembered from my childhood. Lots of colors, lots of action and lots of characters! Turned out better than I could have ever hoped for! As I mentioned earlier, these things went FAST! If you didn’t get one, fear not, they aren’t gone for good just yet. Being that the lunchboxes themselves are no longer being produced, the supply is most definitely LIMITED. But I do have a few more tricks up my sleeve. So keep those peepers peeled! (And if anyone out there happens to have any blank plastic lunchboxes in bulk, get in touch with me! Haha.)
If the first item you saw in this release was the lunchbox, you might be wondering who that green he-man looking character is cavorting around with all the other 80′s icons. One of the ideas I pitched to Mr. Skiff was a custom MOTU character. A parody of the original toys but something completely new and unique – The best of both worlds! Matt took that idea and ran with it and THRASHOR was born. I honestly think that this parody is SO perfect that it’s almost easy to overlook. The package artwork as well as the MOTU logo parody and look of the toy itself are DEAD ON. Matt really is a genius. And I don’t think I need to say much more, as the design really speaks for itself. Let’s hope one day I can make THRASHOR a REAL toy!
Another new thing I tried out with this release is doing embroidered patches on the fronts of hats rather than screen printing. Overall, they turned out extremely rad and love the way they look. You can expect lots more hats with patches in the future!
We’ve come this far and I have yet to even talk about all the other amazing tees! I could single out each tee and point out just how rad every single one is but I’ll spare you that, haha. Needless to say this release is JAM PACKED full of the most amazing designs ever to come out of the 8BZ time machine. With this release, rather than focus on JUST games or JUST movies, I wanted to have a healthy mix of all things 80′s. The Kids Club kind of set the tone for this line – From toys, to cartoons, to movies, to video games, this one has it all! I really can’t express just how pleased I am with it all. All the artists really kicked things up a notch and delivered on a whole new level. The detail in some of these designs is just insane and I’m sure you’ll have to look them over more than once to catch all the little references and surprises.
A HUGE thanks to all my artists! Without them, none of this raddness would be possible. I couldn’t have done any of this without Matt Skiff, Pitchgrim, SKUMMIE, Chad Manzo, AtomicChild, Cutty Bage, Gaunty, Johnny Crap, Michael Shantz and Cryface. Best people in the world to work with and I consider all of them friends.
And of course thank YOU for all the support, all the kind words and all the purchases. The response to this line has been absolutely amazing and humbling and really does make all the hard work worthwhile. I’ve said this a million times but my ultimate goal with 8BZ is bring back a little bit of that childhood nostalgia. Means the world to to hear that what I’m doing makes people happy and brings back good memories. Can’t tell you how good it feels to finally get a long awaited release out and get such great feedback. Without all of your support, 8BZ wouldn’t be where it is now.
One last note, please bear with me as I get orders packed and shipped. As you may know 8BZ is a one-man-show so it’s gonna take me a little longer than normal to get everything out to you guys until I get caught up with the initial blast of release day orders. The wait will be worth it though, I promise you that!
Thanks again and stay tuned in the near future for re-prints of older designs as well as new stuff on the horizon. You may see all this and think “What could he possibly do next?! Dude’s gotta run out of ideas soon!” But trust me…I’m just barely getting started…