Ask anyone who knows Mark to describe him and the two things that will come up are toys and art.
After attending the Academy of Art College in San Francisco during the late 80's and picking up a New York artist's rep, Mark embarked on a 10-year plus journey as a freelance commercial illustrator. Over the years he's worked with a diverse client list which has included Scholastic Books, Bantam Books, Harper Collins, Becketts Publications, Schlage Locks, AMD, Genentech, IBM, Square Soft, Activision, DC Comics, Sony, Galoob Toys, Lucasfilms, Hasbro Toys and numerous Advertising and
Design firms nationally and internationally. The highlight of this time included over 40 cover paintings for RL Stine's Goosbumps book series, Give Yourself Goosbumps.
Churning out hundreds of assignments over the years, coupled with deadlines from hell took a toll, both mentally and physically. "I had to reassess what was important in my life and refocus my abilities
towards a new goal. " said Nagata.
"I'd been collecting Japanese toys all along, and suddenly realized it would be cool to have a magazine of some type devoted to them. So it's no surprise that Mark ended up creating and co-publishing Super7 Magazine. After successfully building the Super7 brand for nearly 4 years , it was time to move on."I wasn't able to paint as much as I wanted, and I realized that the part of Super7 I enjoyed the most was creating toys and artwork " reflects Nagata.
Thus was born Mark's new venture called Max Toy Company, named after his son Max. With a nod to the Golden Age of Japanese toys, Max Toy Co. will continue the tradition of offering classic Japanese character toys by all the best toy companies. Max Toy Co. produces its own exclusive toys, both licensed and original. In September 2007 the first Kaiju show in the United States featuring artists and companies from Japan, USA and South America was held at Rotofugi Gallery in Chicago. Called Toy Karma ( www.toykarma.com
) it was a historic gathering that featured many custom painted toys and art. Following on the heels of this event in October 2007, over 30 of Mark's original paintings , toys and a selection of his vintage toy collection are featured in Beyond Ultraman: Seven Artists Explore the Vinyl Frontier, at the Pasadena Museum of California Art , a joint exhibition with LaTda , Los Angeles Toy, Doll & Amusements Museum. This marks the first time in a musuem setting that the influence of Japanese toys on California artists is explored.
In addition, Mark writes about Japanese Toys and is the toy editor for the bi-monthly magazine called Otaku USA , available at all major book stores.
More recently Max Toy Co. has teamed up with well known art toy distributor, StrangeCo. to help wholesale and distribute its product to a much wider audience.
"Max Toy Co. will allow me to produce original artwork, sculpt new toys, and work directly with a lot of my talented artist friends." Nagata says. Max Toy Co is a synthesis of toys and art ... both life long passions.