Mar 13, 2008
Up Close - Sancho Canary Edition
The recently released Canary edition is the third release of the Sancho figure from Angels and Gringos. Limited to 250 pieces, the Canary edition's subtle color scheme compliments Daniel and Johnny Monahan's Dia De Muertos interpretation of Dante's Sancho Panza character. Daniel Monhan's intricate and finely detailed sculpt brings the complex character to life as an art toy with a unique aesthetic. While Sancho offers surprise with the choice of an ostrich as a mount, the presentation is traditional rather than edgy. The result is a piece that bridges genres art toy and sculpture for a reasonable $100 price tag.
Angels and Gringos started with the strong character design and then finished it well by including several accessories -- a Hat, Sarape, and Mandolin. The inclusion of Toro - a Bull/saddle hybrid shows the companies commitment to providing value to the collector. While Sancho looks great on the ostrich, Daniel and Johnny included Toro in order to give collectors the option of displaying both figures separately -- side by side.
Sancho comes in a striking black and white box featuring Daniel's early flowing sketch of the character as well as the 'toon styled skeleton logo. Each colorway is marked by a sticker displaying the figure's edition number. The edition number is also printed underneath Daniel's signature on the back of Sancho's shirt.
Dec 03, 2007
Seen: Sancho Release @ Subtext
Angels and Gringos released Sancho, their first art toy, over the weekend at Toy Tokyo in NYC (11/29) and Subtext in SD (12/1). We made the trip down to SD for the Subtext release and brought back these pics. Both the Marigold (50 pieces - 25 for each release) and the Turquoise (250 pcs) were available at the show. Daniel Monahan, the artist and sculptor of Sancho, signed & doodled on boxes for collectors.
For those that are curious about process, Daniel brought both an original hand-made mold and clay sculpt for those curious to see where it all started (pics after the jump). The journey from the original sculpt to toy may have been long, but the results speak for themselves.
This was our first trip to Subtext. It's a cool store with a mix of art books and select designer vinyl. Plans are in the works for another custom show just in time for SDCC '08. The truly hardcore lined up before noon -- and who can blame them given how well Sancho turned out? When we left around 9:30 there were maybe 5 or six pieces left. So there's still a bit of hope to score a Marigold. Sometimes the buzz on a toy takes a while to build. At any rate, this is one of the best releases of the year.
Nov 27, 2007
Sancho Drops this Weekend
Sancho from Angels and Gringos drops this weekend with launch parties in NYC (11/29, 6 to 9 PM) @ Toy Tokyo and in SD (12/1, 6 to 10 PM) @ Subtext [ fliers] The extremely limited Marigold edition (50 pcs total, 25 @ each event) will be available for $125 as well as the Turquoise edition (
200 250pcs) for $99. Beyond the sweet design, one of the really cool aspects of Sancho is his display flexibility -- in addition to riding the ostrich he can also be removed and placed on 'Toro' (saddle creature) with the ostrich displayed individually. On the back of the figure is Daniel's signature and the edition number. Just a few more days until Daniel and Johnny Monahan's first art toy is let loose into the wild.
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Nov 13, 2007
Sancho from Angels and Gringos is right around the corner with the upcoming NYC (Toy Toyko, 11/29) and SD (Subtext, 12/1) releases of the Marigold edition (50 pieces). We've shown you several of the production colorways over the last few weeks, so today we have a look at Sancho's box. The box features the A & G skull logo + artist Daniel Monahan's original sketch of Sancho. The simple and clean sketch gives collectors a little extra insight into the art toy's concept and it's definitely cool. As you can also see, the box has an edition sticker along with the figure's number. An upscale package, for an upscale toy -- well done.
Oct 24, 2007
Sancho - RedYellow Edition + Production Update
We're back with the latest news on the Sancho figure from Angels and Gringos. So far we've shown you samples of the Turquoise and Canary editions. Today, we have pics and a video of the RedYellow edition. This edition adds a little spice with bold colors and a nice flame-like gradient fade on the ostrich's tail feathers. Plus, we're excited to learn that production has been completed and the factory has delivered the figures to the freight forwarder for the journey from China to the USA. Finally, Sancho will drop in late November with two release events -- one in NYC and one in San Diego. More info soon.
Oct 16, 2007
Angels and Gringos - Canary Sancho
Our exclusive look at the upcoming Sancho art toy from Angels and Gringos continues with the first shots of the Canary edition. Compared to the previously shown Turquoise edition, the Canary Sancho has a much more subtle, almost natural look. This piece will fit comfortably into both an art toy collection as well as many contemporary art collections -- no small feat. Enjoy the pics and a new video putting Canary Sancho through his paces.
Sancho is right around the corner, the first colorways are slated to drop in Mid-Late November. With a distinct aesthetic and exquisite sculpt work on Sancho, Ostrich, and Toro, plus several removable accessories this will be one one of the standout releases of the year. Keep watching Vinyl Pulse for more on Sancho including as-of-yet unannounced colorways.
Canary Video: Watch QT (480 x 270)
Oct 02, 2007
A few weeks ago we brought you the first look at a production vinyl proto of Sancho, the first vinyl art toy from Daniel and Johnny Monahan of Angels and Gringos. Today we have a close look at one of the first production editions -- Sancho Turquoise. Angels and Gringos have also prepped a video trailer for the Turquoise edition. This colorway mixes traditional colors on Sancho with the wild turquoise hues on the ostrich and the red on Toro. Sancho Turquoise drops in mid-November '07. More on the release event details soon.
Sancho Turquoise Trailer: Watch 480 x 270
Sep 24, 2007
Sancho - Production Proto Video
Production on the Sancho art toy from Angels and Gringos is going extremely well. The new factory has delivered a complete unpainted production vinyl proto. The quality and detail is astounding. To give you a good feel for the upcoming vinyl, Daniel and Johnny Monahan have created a sweet Sancho trailer showing off the figure's versatility and posability. Sancho comes with the Ostrich figure and can also be displayed separately on the included Toro acessory. Additionally, Sancho's hat and poncho are removable. Props to Daniel and Johnny for perservering through an initial round of plagued production while insisting on an uncompromising level of quality. The results are stunning and speak for themselves. With a strong aesthetic and excellent production values, Sancho is set to be one of the top releases of '07. So go ahead and watch the Sancho Production Proto Trailer.
Aug 07, 2007
Sancho Update - The End is in Sight
Here's a quick update on the Sancho figure produced by Daniel and Johnny Monahan of Angels and Gringos. More than a year has passed since the two brothers began their journey to transform Daniel's Sancho sketches into a vinyl figure. The wait is about to pay off -- Sancho is expected to be released towards the end of the year.
After numerous delays and rounds of revisions with the initial factory, Sancho's production samples were of unacceptable quality. At this point, Daniel and Johnny made the difficult and costly decision to switch factories. Since the switch things have gone quickly and smoothly as you can see from these pics of production samples from the new factory. The brothers are extremely pleased with current progress and relieved that "all the nuance and balance designed into the original piece have been preserved". Look for regular updates on the home stretch of Sancho's journey to your shelf.
Jan 29, 2007
Angels and Gringos - Sancho Proto Spotted
Having been MIA for almost 3 months now, Daniel and Johnny Monahan have been ratcheting up their search for Sancho’s prototype. Their search ultimately led them to a remote desert oasis, wherein they found Sancho whacked out on fumes from the factory and stripped of his sarape. Seizing the opportunity, they snapped some pics of the illusive piece. Placing the upmost priority on high-quality, Daniel and Johnny are working with the factory to ensure that the final product maintains all the character and detail of the original resin casting. Unfortunately no firm release date can be set at this point, but information will be made available as it is revealed to the producers. Here are a few pictures of the first batch of vinyl castings. Hope you enjoy.
Oct 25, 2006
Sancho Production Update
[Here's the latest news on the production of the first Angels and Gringos figure, Sancho, directly from Daniel and Johnny Monahan]
As we have been eagerly awaiting the Sancho prototype to ship to the US we apologize for the delay. Unfortunately, manufacturing setbacks have caused us to push back the release date from November 2nd to a future date. We are, however, excited to announce a bi-costal release of a limited edition colorway, Marigold, when the figure hits the US. Daniel will be signing 25 limited Marigold editions at the Munky King release party in LA while Johnny will be holding down the NYC front at Toy Tokyo with another 25 pieces (limited to 50!). We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Sep 25, 2006
Angels and Gringos - Chpater 7
This week the boys from Angels and Gringos are ready to unveil the design of the Sancho packaging. Each box will be constructed out of extremely thick stock with a matte finish dyed to match the color and theme of the edition of Sancho contained therein and white silkscreened text on the box. Another cool feature of the box is the window in the back corner of the box that will allow
the viewer to see the edition number (yes, each sancho will be a numbered edition) that will be printed on the underside of Sancho's hat. Up Next (10.09.6) - With the gods willing (or UPS men) we should have shots of the first Sancho prototype!!
Sep 11, 2006
Angels and Gringos - Interview with Daniel Monahan
For the past month or so we've brought you the behind-the-scenes development of Sancho, the first figure in the exciting and promising Angel and Gringos series from the Monahan brothers. We recently sat down (well, virtually through the magic of IM) with Daniel Monahan, the creator and sculptor of Sancho to get better acquainted with the artist, his artistic perspective, and the origins of Angels and Gringos.
Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I'm a classically trained sculptor. I started a mentorship with a professional sculptor (Chris Pardell) when I was still in HS. From there I went to UCLA to major in business. On the side, I continued to sculpt and even worked a few jobs in the entertainment industry including editing motion-capture data for film and video games, and working as a reader for a producer on the Sony lot. Now, I work freelance for the animation and fine art industries.
When you went to UCLA were you planning on working as a professional sculptor?
Yes. I never really considered going into banking unless I ended up on the street. I still haven't picked up my diploma.
Fun. Interactive. Varied. I've always been really inspired by the work of Alexander Calder. He made art that moved.
I just Googled him. He’s credited with the mobile?
Yes. most people don't know this but much of his work was actually toys.
Any plans to make a vinyl mobile?
None currently. But now that you mention it... Much of what he focused on with the mobile - form and balance, I try to include in every piece I create.
Balance in an artistic sense or a physical one?
Both but mainly physical. It was really important to both Johnny and I that the Sancho piece balance correctly - without a base.
Why is that so important?
Because we like toys that stand on their own. I believe that balance gives sculpture a real sense of life. As an artist it's a fight to make a piece that doesn't just look like a lump of bronze or plastic
Driven to make it work?
Pretty much. I really labored to make Sancho. I wanted something that people would still enjoy 20, 50, 100+ years from now.
That's an ambitious goal -- to make something timeless. Which leads in to a new question -- tell us about your concept for Angel and Gringos and specifically Sancho.
Angels and Gringos is a project I've been working on for about 3 years now. It's a retelling of Don Quixote set amongst the backdrop of Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos). The tale is told through Sancho's perspective. That's why we decided to make him first.
How did you come up with the concept?
Growing up in
Aug 28, 2006
Angels and Gringos - Chapter 5
The Monahan brothers are particularly excited to unveil Sancho's colorways this week. Not wanting anything too bleak they have juxtaposed the vibrant Day of the Dead colors with the skeletal Sancho to give a fresh take on the undead theme. Now that you've seen all three, what's your favorite?
Aug 14, 2006
Angels and Gringos - Chapter 4
The Angels and Gringos crew (Daniel and Johnny Monahan) have been as giddy as schoolgirls with the opportunity to unveil the first photos of Sancho's prototype and with the great response from folks. Finally, Sancho is out of the bag and other people can see and share in the excitement Daniel and Johnny have had to keep to themselves.
While designing the figure, they wanted to make the toy as interactive as possible while still maintaining the continuity of form and richness of lines found in pieces with limited points of articulation. As a result, they decided that Sancho should be able to be removed from the Ostrich, but where to put Sancho when off the Ostrich became a fundamental concern. The consensus was that a third piece needed to be included but shouldn't be an ordinary stand, and thus toro was born. Toro is a saddle with horns a la a mechanical bull on which Sancho can be displayed while removed from his companion. Sancho will also include a hat and sarape to preserve his guapo when desired and can be outfitted with a mandolin. As you can see from the photos, the balanced design allows for sturdy toy placement with no secondary support systems needed.
As cool as Sancho looks in matte gray, we will be excited to bring you the planned color schemes in the next posting two weeks from today (08.28.06)
Aug 01, 2006
Angels and Gringos - Chapter 3
Updated: Added in Chinese translations
Over the past two weeks we have seen artistic iterations of Sancho’s progress from concept to reality. This week we are in for a technical treat as Daniel shows us what it takes to transform last week’s clay sculpt into a realized resin master to send to China for manufacturing. To illustrate the process we have several in-process pictures as well as a very cool time-lapse video.
To make the resin casting, Daniel first had to make a silicone mold on the clay. The first step of the mold making process was to mount each piece separately. Sancho consists of several pieces and the ostrich even more; the tail required three pieces for the tail alone. Each individual piece was sprayed with a crystal coat acrylic then vents and gates were added to allow the resin to flow in and the air out.
The second step is to create a well around each piece that is to be filled with silicone rubber. For the small pieces, plastic and paper grocery store cups were used, but the larger pieces required custom wells that were individually built out of clay and coated in plaster to prevent leaks.
After the silicone was poured it required an overnight curing time before the wells and plaster castings, “mother molds”, around the cured rubber could be removed one half at a time. The smaller molds don’t need plaster castings as they fit snuggly in the cup from whence they were poured.
The overall process requires a large degree of skill, precision, and practice, but Daniel has almost ten years of experience working in this field and makes it seem effortless. One great benefit to this process is the option of possible bronze editions to be cast.
While we've briefly mentioned resin casting before on Vinyl Pulse, this week's article + video is definitely the best introduction to the process we've seen. Sancho is well on his way to vinyl glory. Join us in two weeks for a look at the tooled “master” as well as Sancho’s accessories! Btw, the Chinese translation will be posted later today.
Jul 17, 2006
Angels and Gringos - Chapter Two
After dancing around last week's post and firing a few jabs at us with his sketches, sculptor Daniel Monahan's gloves are off as he brings us images of the realized figure of Sancho and the Ostrich. The Sancho figure has one point of articulation in each of his arms and neck and will be removable from his trusty steed. The ostrich stands 11 inches tall and Sancho hunkers in at 7 inches. Close attention has been paid to the detail thanks to the use of HBX-2 clay, a non-hardening industrial clay that requires a subsequent silicone mold and resin casting. The process of using HBX-2 will be revealed at a later date.
One design challenge for this complex figure has been the balancing act the ostrich has to play in orderto be free-standing with or without Sancho. In order to do this without implementing a secondary support structure to the bird, Daniel meticulously counterweighted the piece as well as engineered a unique design of the feet of the ostrich as to allow for an impressive free standing structure.
The sculpts of both Sancho and the Ostrich are impressive. In particular, the details on the Ostrich are skillfully rendered -- especially the fullness in the tail feathers. Sancho, the first figure in the Angels and Gringos series, brings something new to designer vinyl with its artistic refinement, aesthetic and overall subtlety.
Jul 03, 2006
Angels and Gringos - Chapter One
“I was dead and could not wake up. I knew that I was in hell for I had sold my soul and would spend an eternity in debt. As I opened my eyes to accept this face, I came face to face with the devil… and he was gringo.”
Johnny Gringo R.I.P.
Vinyl Pulse is proud to present a revealing look at "Sancho" the first figure in the forthcoming Angels and Gringos series from the Monahan brothers, Daniel and Johnny “Gringo” Monahan. The series, Angels and Gringos, places the literary characters Don Quixote and Sancho Panza two hundred years after the death of chivalry in a world mirrored after the holiday Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Join us every other Monday until the release date of November 2nd as we reveal the entire process of bringing this figure from concept to reality. Daniel Monahan, artist and mold-maker, will demystify some of the traditional techniques involved in the mold making process with the inclusion of photographs and video of the process. The posts will be offered in English as well as traditional and simplified Chinese.
Angels and Gringos brings a refreshing aesethic and approach to designer toys which will hopefully broaden the growing market. We hope you enjoy the upcoming journey through Daniel Monahan's imaginative reconceptualization of Cervantes's classic novel from 2D illustration to 3D vinyl.
Next Week: Pictures of the initial sculpt of Sancho and the Ostrich. Will it be one single piece, or will you be able to remove Sancho from his steed? Join us in two weeks to find out!