Quasimoto 8″ Vinyl: kidrobot Releases Lord Quas Figure

kidrobot_quasimoto

Release Date: Feb. 19th, 2009

When I found out that kidrobot was slated to release a vinyl Quasimoto figure later this month, I had 2 thoughts run through my head.  The first was that it was a great idea and the second was, “Wait!  Why didn’t this exist already?”  A collaboration involving “planet Earth’s premier creator & retailer of limited edition toys” manufacturing a vinyl collectors figurine of DJ/Producer Madlib‘s nasally, rapping alter-ego seemed inevitable.

Much of the success of kidrobot came with their creation of the blank, fully-poseable Munny dolls, which have provided a whole new customizable medium for artists of every level.  Beyond the clothing line, books, and art that they sell, the company also specializes in taking 2-dimensional characters, from low-brow artwork to Adult Swim programs, and transforming them into 3-dimensional vinyl collectibles.  In the huge industry that toy collecting has become, kidrobot’s name is as big as they come and they are a consistent innovator in the genre.  They’ve actually ventured into molding figures from music before.  The animated figure heads from the band Gorillaz and even Daniel Johnston‘s iconic drawing of his frog “Jeremiah the Innocent” have been casted into vinyl by the company in the past.

quasimoto-yellow

The reason that the release of the Quasimoto figure seems so perfect stems from more than the connection between the toy company and the music industry.  kidrobot has worked with the Stones Throw record label to produce a figure before and, even more specifically, with Madlib himself.  In early 2007 a toy was released based on Madvillain, Madlib‘s collaborative work with rapper MF DoomThe collectible resembled the gumshoe-esque version of MF Doom featured in the comicbook-style “All Caps” video from the enhanced Madvillainy CD (2004).  It only makes sense that Stones Throw‘s number one illustrated character would be next to be immortalized in vinyl.  kidrobot‘s Quasimoto is 8 inches tall and will sell for $49.95.  Like the Madvillain figure, the doll should sell out quickly and comes with 2 color options.  An equal number of versions in BLUE and Yellow were produced for the run and the pre-order on the Stones Throw site (posted on Jan. 26th) has already sold out.

The unorthodox connections between counter-culture, animation, and toys with sub-mainstream music has been surprising, yet oddly fitting.  I first started noticing electronic music from Amon Tobin and, later, Squarepusher playing over short Adult Swim segments.  Madvillain was featured on the first of 2Chrome Children” albums, which were compilations of Stones Throw artists and co-produced by Adult Swim.  Before that, characters from the Cartoon Network‘s late night block were also heavily featured on Doom and Danger Mouse‘s “DANGERDOOM” album (Epitaph 2005).  Seeing as how kidrobot has already produced figures for both MF Doom and Adult Swim, my theory is that a Danger Doom toy will be coming eventually, as well.  Although kidrobot and Adult Swim deal with more mature subject matter than the majority in the cartoon and toy industries, there are still very mild attempts to tone down some of the content for a more massive audience.  The original “Chrome Children” album is available for free download on the Adult Swim website but it is only the censored version.  The box for the Quasimoto figurine states that the high-pitched chronic fiend comes with a removable brick and “cigarette” (with quotations), while the StonesThrow.com labels it as follows: spliff “cigarette.” When I see slight edits like these, it is the only time that I remember that the collaborations may be unconventional.  Somehow they all naturally seem like really logical moves.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBTcTzl1jz8

MORE ON LORD QUAS

Many of you may have heard about how Stones Throw label head, Peanut Butter Wolf, was the one that actually convinced Mad Lib to release the Quasimoto (aka: Lord Quas) material after discovering his recordings.  More information shows that the aardvark like image we all associate with the Madlib‘s excellerated vocal tracks was never intended to represent him at all.  Anyone that’s seen the cover to the first Quasimoto full length, The Unseen (2000), knows that the cover features a pseudo-transparent humanoid figure holding a boombox in the back of a Caddy that’s being tailed by the police.  Apparently, Lord Quas was supposed to be exactly that: “unseen“.  The formula was set up to be more like his “Yesterday’s New Quintet” work that is comprised of only Madlib, under quasimoto-basic-instincthis own name (Otis Jackson Jr.) and 4 other aliases.  The large snouted Lord Quas image first appeared on the “Microphone Mathematics” single and was drawn by DJ Design.  The cover actually featured 3 of the Q-Bert-like creatures (red, green, and blue) sitting behind desks in a classroom.  The artist best known for drawing Quas, Jeff Jank, claims that he simply “adapted this character for the artwork inside The Unseen CD and subsequent singles“.  He also states that “This little character was just meant to represent the lyrics for the song “Bad Character” This explanation is understandable considering the lyrics, “I smack a nigga with a brick talking outta place…“.  I had wondered myself about when the logo came to be.  Last year I noticed that 1999′s “Whenimondamic” video from Madlib‘s first group, Lootpack, was available on-demand.  The video, which consisted of the group in hazmat suits in a desert trading an alien for a kidnapped DJ Romes, featured a Quasimoto verse.  The vocals were at the beginning of the track and were lip-synched by the rapper Wildchild in blue face-paint.  Apparently, he was intented to mirror the image of a Draag from the film “La Planète Sauvage” (aka: The Fantastic Planet).  Madlib‘s facsination with the 1973 animated French/Czech classic is further evidenced by the inclusion of a Draag holding the current Quas image on the cover for the “Basic Instinct” single.  However it came about, Jeff Jank, Design, and Madlib stumbled across one of the most iconic images underground hip-hop may ever see.  As Jank puts it, when the public began referring to the image, after Quas was placed on a T-Shirt and the album took off, the artists behind it “just went along with it“.

Dead C

To read Jeff Janks full testimonial about the images origin CLICK HERE

To view “Fantastic Planet” in full on Youtube CLICK HERE

Here are the locations where you can pick up a Lord Quas figure of your own

US Online
:
Turntablelab.com
Fatbeats.com
Undergroundhiphop.com
Giantpeach.com
Revolveclothing.com
Digitalgravel.com

Europe Online:
Novoidplus.com (France)
HHV.de (Germany)
Kingunderground.com (UK)
Warpmart.com (UK)

US/Canada:
Kicks (Hawaii)
Amoeba (SF)
Turntable Lab (NYC/LA)
Fat Beats (NYC/LA)
360 (Portland)
Ear X Tacy (Louisville)
5th Element (Minneapolis)
Waterloo (Austin)
Proper (Long Beach)
Beat Street (Vancouver)
Norml Clothing (Ottawa)
Play De Record (Toronto)

International:
Lazy Dog (Paris)
All City (Dublin)
Wax Museum (Melbourne)
Highs & Lows (Beaufort)
Hum (Zurich)
Vinylz Store (Bern)
DMR (Osaka/Tokyo)
Jazzy Sport (Tokyo)
Novoid Plus (Paris)
Fat City (Manchester)
Streetkit Gallery (Moscow)

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it's hard to recall all of the details. "I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn't actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room... but it wasn't actually here... it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle."

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