Fossilla Figure Review with Josh Herbolsheimer of Super7
by Edward L. Holland
MAT kicks off our first product review with Josh Herbolsheimer of San Franciso based toy store Super 7. Josh designed the now sold out Fossilla original figure created in the states and produced at a secret volcanic mountain lab near a burning garbage dump somewhere in Japan. The 9″ figure articulated at the head, arms, and legs has been available in various color schemes including: unpainted grey goop, 4 color melted, gray/brown, purple/blue/green, and the latest 2014 San Diego ComiCon 2014 Radioactive Puke exclusive edition which is a yellow vomit-inducing vinyl with blue, green, brown and orange dripping over red, purple and bone colored paint sprays. The figure definitely has a classic 1971 Bullmark Smog Monster, Return of Ultraman kaiju, and Rick Baker’s 1978 Incredible Melting Man feel going for it and we are happy to get a few words from Josh on this limited figure.
MAT: What was your inspiration for the design of the figure?
JH: My initial thought for the design was to create a figure for what eventually would become the Destroy All Kaiju series of toys. In our early discussions around this line, we were really excited about creating something that fit in with the classic 1960s and 70s Japanese vinyl toys that we love, but had our own point of view as well. My favorite toys from that era are the standard dinosaurs, as well as the more surreal figures that have a creepy element to them, or otherwise defy description. So Fossilla was born out of playing with ideas inspired by these types of old toys, and combining them into a melting, oozing, dinosaur.
Is there a possible future line of products in this series?
Yes, there are definitely more characters in this series, we’ve drawn up probably more characters than anyone could keep up with! It has been a really fun concept to play with, and we’ve gotten pretty carried away with it, and had a great time in the process. We’re hoping to have the next figure in the series out soon.
Who did you personally work with on creating the model for the figure and the other stages of its production?
In creating Fossilla, I did a series of turn-around drawings that were translated into clay by a sculptor here in the US, who also created the Crystal Mecha sculpture.
Super 7 has done many collaborations with Japan artists. Which Japanese designers did you work with on Fossilla?
While we have done a lot of work with friends and other artists in Japan, on this particular project we did everything in-house. There were a couple points with the original sculptor however that had to be re-worked at the factory level in Japan, and I worked with their master wax maker who helped resolve the issues.
What is your background and how did you get into toy design?
My background was originally engineering, which I left to study animation and illustration. I’ve always had a great love of toys, and collected a variety of things I grew up with, mostly American action figures, He-Man, Star Wars, Thundercats and so on, but through collecting Transformers found my way to the world of Japanese toys. I learned about Super7 in the early days of the Super7 Magazine, and eventually got a part time job at the S7 retail store. From there I did everything I could to get more involved in creating toys.
What can collectors expect coming up from you and your team in the future?
We have a lot of exciting projects in the pipeline, many of them I can’t quite spill the beans on just yet! We are working on a lot of cool ReAction items with Funko, as well as our own vinyl figures. There are many more characters in the Destroy All Kaiju line, as well as some other top secret surprises…
Super 7 recently receiving a lot of coverage in toy magazines in Japan. Any plans for appearances or shows in Japan in the future?
We don’t have any trips or events in Japan scheduled at the moment, but hopefully we will be back there soon!
Josh, thank you for providing us with details on this disgustingly cool figure.
You are welcome!
Figure Design: 4 *
Sculpt: 3.5 *
Paint: 4 *
Collectibility: 4 *
Cool Factor: 3.5 *
Availability: Sold Out
Fossilla like the fossils he was modeled after is long gone, but we heard there is potential for the figure to rear its ugly head again in some form or fashion. Super 7 has been in business since 2001 and has been a long time advertiser in the pages of MAT. For officially licensed ReAction figures, new school, old school toys, designer apparel and more check out their website at: www.super7store.com