Meet Matias Kalaka, Master of Action Figure Mashups

kalaka toys Bart Danzigkalaka toys matiasOver the past few years, we’ve introduced you to various diecast customizers. We recently discovered the work of Matias Kalaka of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who makes custom action figures and vinyl art toys. His crazy mashups of completely unrelated universes somehow make sense when you see the quality of his ideas and execution.

Kalaka creates single one-off, hand crafted figures, as well as very limited molded figures under his Kalaka Toys brand. “I’ve been making custom figurines since 2001, and serialized toys since 2010,” he said.  But his passion for tinkering with figures goes much further back. His earliest custom model along these lines was “a Jesus figure in a tin space ship made in the ’60s.”

Inspiration comes from all kinds of places. His mashup of ‘80s icons Mr. T and E.T. The Extraterrestrial was a natural given their names. “Mr. E.T., it was a fun mashup, so I’d say it’s fun what drives me and inspires me.” On the other hand, His Simpsons/Masters of the Universe mashup idea came from a friend. “They are characters that were present on a friend’s t-shirt brand, we spoke and I decided they were good enough to be made into toys.”

Other mashups don’t really have a particular theme other than crossing Bart Simpson plus Ronald McDonald or musician Glenn Danzig because… well, as he said, it’s all about the  fun.

kalaka toys Mr. E. T.

Mr. E. T., of course.

The original sculpts are done with a mix of found parts and existing components from existing figures. “Whatever works best… some are from scratch, sometimes I take some bases and work up from them.” Either way, the final product is made mostly of plastic resin. He tends to work fairly fast. “From the idea to the figurine, it can be quick or take weeks, as some ideas come out clear in my mind and others require more work to end them as I like.”

kalaka toys matias matt groening

Matias with Matt Groening of Simpsons and Futurama fame.

kalaka toys shogunFor a sense of scale, most of his figures are in the range between 11 to 25 centimeters (about 4.5 to 10 inches). “I don’t have a favorite, I work on the size that inspiration leads me to,” he said. Since they are limited editions, (and really high quality) they don’t come cheap, running anywhere from about $120 to 350.

Matias says his most difficult project was a Shogun Warlord figure (left). “The Shogun Warlord had a lot of development work, as it was produced in a toy factory it needed a lot of work before the matrix was made.” Being able to make slightly less limited runs makes his work more available to the masses and gives him good exposure. In the meantime, he promotes most of his work through his Instagram account at KALAKA_TOYS. Fans can also follow him on Facebook at KALAKA TOYS.

Other big things are on the horizon as well. “I think that in this year, my most prominent figurine will be released by Medicom.” He didn’t tell us what it is just yet, but it’s sure to be a great execution of a wild idea.

kalaka toys street greyskull

Castle Grayskull comes to life.

Mario Villarroel, a developer in hobbyDB’s South American office, conducted this interview in Spanish and translated the repsonses to English. (Yes, even the devs at hobbyDB are required to be well-versed and interested in various pop culture phenomena.)

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The Most Expensive Funko Pops Go For Eye-Popping Prices!

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

For a collectible brand that has only been around a few years, Funko Pop! figures can become surprisingly valuable. In all likelihood, you wouldn’t guess that the most expensive Pop character would come from a movie from almost 50 years ago… Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange. Specifically, the very rare glow in the dark version, a copy of which sold recently online for $13,600. There are several variants of this character, so shop carefully if you want to be a high roller.

Funko Pop Alex Clockwork Orange

Other recent sales found on include a few in the $5,000 and up range. Headless Ned Stark from Game of Thrones ($5,500), Dumbo in gold ($5,050) and A giant version of Freddy Funko as Buzz Lightyear ($5,000). These are actual sales, not just someone asking pie in the sky prices. (PPG is a great place to track the values of Funko figures because the prices are rooted in reality.)

Expensive funko popsWhy are such new collectibles going for so much money? Most of the high-end figures are very limited production variants to begin with, and were sold through special channels such as exclusives at the San Diego Comic Con. So, your ability to get one first hand were super slim to begin with. As limited exclusives, the original price is generally a lot higher than the $10 or so you can find most commons ones for at a store.

Of course, with newer collectibles, it’s always possible the price may drop after the initial hype dies down. Then again, with only a dozen of the Giant Freddy ever made, supply is set and demand will likely only go up.

Here are some additional rundowns on valuable Pop figures from other sources. Keep in mind many of these may be based on asking prices and internet legend. But they’re fun to look through anyway.

  • – These Rare Funko Pops Will Cost You a Fortune
  • Collective Pop – Top Ten Most Expensive Funko P0ps
  • Games Radar – 10 of Rarest, Most Expensive Funko Pop Vinyls on the Planet
  • GEMR – 10 Most Valuable Funko Pops!
  • Money Inc. – The Most Expensive Funko Pop Figures of All-Time
  • Ranker – 10 of the Rarest Funko Pop Vinyls Money Can Buy
  • – People Are Spending Absurd Amounts Of Money On The Rarest Funko Pops Of All Time
  • The Gamer – The 30 Rarest Funko Pop Figures (And How Much They’re Worth)
  • – The Ten Rarest Funko Pops

If there are other good lists please add them in the comments! And maybe eventually somebody will combine all these lists into one Super List!

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Shop Now: Annual hobbyDB Memorial Day Sale

hobbyDB Memorial Sale

Whether you’re searching for a Disney Princess, the Infinity Gauntlet before Thanos, or chasing down any Batmobiles to fill out your Hot Wheels garage, the hobbyDB Marketplace has you covered with the annual hobbyDB Memorial Day Sale!

We’re passing along the savings from several of our most trusted sellers this holiday weekend with a sale that runs from Thursday through Monday (May 23-27). Look for special deals ranging between 20 and 60 percent off your favorite diecast brands, as well as other great products from Funko, Garbage Pail Kids and beyond.

Click here for the hobbyDB Memorial Day Sale

hobbyDB Memorial Sale1980s DC Comic Batmobile (V1)

Tytan01 hasn’t gone mad. But the size of his sale is borderline insane with 20 percent savings. Among the items Tytan01 is offering this weekend are 42 different versions of the Batmobile by Hot Wheel’s. That’s in addition to hundreds of diecast models from popular brands such as GreenLight Collectibles, Johnny Lightning and M2 Machines, to name a few. Fans of Spawn and similar dark comic books will also find a trove of items on sale.

hobbyDB Memorial SaleSurfin’ Series No. 2: Woodie VW Drag Bus

Surf’s up as you wade into The BKalland Store for giant savings this weekend. Take 15 percent off one of the biggest stores in the hobbyDB Marketplace. With close to 10,000 items for sale, filling out your collection with a Surfin’ Series No. 2: Woodie VW Drag Bus or any Hot Wheels, Matchbox or M2 Machines should be as easy as a warm Hawaiian breeze.

hobbyDB Memorial SaleGarbage Pail Kids – Ghastly Ashley

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In the world of Garbage Pail Kids, however, the trashier the better. Ghastly Ashley is among the classic Garbage Pail Kids original series characters found in the KarateKate Marketplace. Enjoy 30 percent off on the likes of Fryin’ Ryan, Sewer Sue and Double Heather.

Talking Buzz Lightyear Prototype

Looking for an item that no one else has? Cruise over to the Robert Romash store where the former Mattel designer is selling the prototype models for many of the vehicle models he worked on in the late 90s and early 2000s. The Romash collection also features artist blueprints and butter-board size studies, as well as the Talking Buzz Lightyear Prototype. All of this can be yours courtesy of 30 percent savings throughout the store.

hobbyDB Memorial SaleSavings! Savings! Savings!

Find more magnificent deals this weekend from these trusted sellers:

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GeePeeKay and hobbyDB Go Solid Gold In “Art by John Pound Collection” Finale

Adam Bomb

Congratulations for making it to the sixth and final week of the “Art by John Pound” Sticker Card Collection presented by GeePeeKay and Powered by hobbyDB.

Last week you became a contributor and earned the stylish Silver Border Adam Bomb. To complete the set, we’re asking you to reach gold level status by helping us out with our images.


This week’s task is to add five images to the GeePeeKay (perfect if you only collect GPK items) or hobbyDB database (awesome if you collect all sorts of things). You’ll have to work quickly, however. The final card comes with a rarity of just 50 produced.

Adam BombWhat images to add

The GeePeeKay and hobbyDB databases are already great resources for all-things related to Garbage Pail Kids sticker cards.

In fact, we’ve recently begun adding parallel color border sets to the database. Check out the Brand New Series 1 parallel sets here, including black, green and silver border variants.

An excellent way to contribute is by adding the back images to cards already existing in the database. In many cases, you’ll find we have the front image of a card, but can use a little hand in adding the back images. See instructions below for further details.

Does your fandom extend outside of Garbage Pail Kids? The hobbyDB catalog is home to  thousands of items from your favorite brands, franchises and characters. That means your five images don’t need to be reserved to Garbage Pail Kids.

How to add an image

Adam Bomb

Simply click “Add Photos” to add images to each item.

Now that you’ve been approved as a contributor, the fun begins.

To add an image, first locate and click on the item within the hobbyDB database.

Underneath each item image you’ll find a pair of options to view and add photos. First click “View X Photos” to see which images for that item are currently in the hobbyDB system.

When you have a unique photo to add, simply click the Add Photos button. Please do not use images with watermarks.

From here you can choose the “Upload Photo” button to add an image, or simply drag an image — or multiple images — from your desktop directly onto any part of the page.

Made a mistake and added an image you decided you didn’t want? Click the red X in the upper right corner of the image to delete.

Click “Finish & View Item.”


When you’ve added five images, (and completed all other five tasks) you’ll be eligible to purchase the sixth and final card.

The Card

Adam BombAdam BombThis week’s card is a regal Adam Bomb Gold Border Sticker Card that arrives with a rarity of just 50 produced.

This is the sixth and final color variant in the set, following the Classic White, Bruised (Dark Blue) and Bloody Nose Red, as well as Phlegm and Silver border cards.

To earn the unique piece of Garbage Pail Kids nostalgia, we’re asking for your help in building a bigger and better database – in the form of fun weekly tasks to unlock the chance to purchase the officially-licensed version of Adam Bomb for $14.99.

The collection is part of a collaboration between GeePeeKay and hobbyDB to celebrate the creation of our Garbage Pail Kids archive and marketplace.

How everything works

The six-card set will be available by unlocking levels pertaining to the Garbage Pail Kids database. The officially licensed collection comes in six variants, ranging in rarity from 1,000 to 50 produced.

The back of the cards, with the exception of the white bordered cards, are individually numbered. Each Wednesday we’ll offer an opportunity to buy the next card in the series, along with another task to obtain it. As the challenges rise, so, too, does the rarity of the cards.

Cards are limited to one per user and sold via the GeePeeKay and hobbyDB marketplaces. Please note, to be fair to all collectors we will refund purchases of multiple cards. Cards will ship upon completion of each task.

Adam BombLate to the game? Do not fear. You can make up weekly tasks provided cards remain. Find out how to here.

About the Archive

Our official Garbage Pail Kids archive is growing by the day. In addition to all base sets, we’re cataloging every variation of Garbage Pail Kids sticker cards, including different colored borders and languages. We believe this will allow all levels of GPK enthusiasts to accurately sync their collections.

Those variations will include all legitimate card changes — such as the controversial “Schizo Fran – Fran Fran” Original Series 2 card — and all error cards, think Original Series 9 #355b Semi Colin (no number), for example.

But the catalog goes further than just the sticker cards. Among the many items you’ll find in the archive are Final Artwork renderings of Adam Bomb and an assortment of other Garbage Pail Kids characters before they were immortalized in card form. The prints stand 5 x 7 feet and were created by original artists such as John Pound and David Gross using acrylic and airbrushed paint.

Adam Bomb Art by John Pound Collection – Gold

Adam BombWeek 6 – May 22

Gold (50 produced)

Level 6: Help showcase your collection with hobbyDB

Price: $14.99

Task: Add five images to the database

The Skinny: Your journey has brought you to the end. Help us expand our Garbage Pail Kids universe by adding five images to the hobbyDB database. Accomplish that and you’ll be one of 50 people in the world to own the regal gold border version.

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Live Long and Prosper, Pop! The Big Bang Theory

Pop! The Big Bang Theory

Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitates lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock, and as it always has, rock crushes scissors.

Pop! The Big Bang TheoryAnd Pop! The Big Bang Theory trumps them all.

The iconic program airs its series finale tonight after a dozen seasons on CBS. For that, we’d like to offer a hearty Vulcan salute. Sheldon, Leonard and their cohorts have carved out quite the niche in the pop culture “nerd” zeitgeist, particularly in the collectibles industry.

More specifically, with Funko who offers 29 Pop! Television vinyl figures dedicated to the Chuck Lorre program – led by Sheldon Cooper with eight variations.

The cantankerous Cooper was a natural fit for multiple variants based on his superhero T-shirts alone. Throughout the years, Sheldon slipped the likes of Batman and Superman, as well as Hawkman and The Flash, over a long-sleeve shirt to form an instantly recognizable fashion style. Lest we forget his classic Green Lantern look.

The crew were natural fits for a line of The Big Bang Theory-themed Star Trek Pop! figures as Leonard, Howard and Raj also transported themselves as 2013 San Diego Comic-Con exclusives.

The ladies — Amy Farrah Fowler (four Pop!s) and Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz (two) — are represented, although we must lament that we’d like to see more than two Penny Pop! figures.

Live long and prosper, The Big Bang Theory.

Check out a few of The Big Bang Theory items on the hobbydb Marketplace.

Pop! The Big Bang Theory

Leonard Hofstadter can be found on the hobbyDB Marketplace!

Pop! The Big Bang Theory

Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz can be found on the hobbyDB Marketplace!

Pop! The Big Bang Theory

Raj Koothrappali can be found on the hobbyDB Marketplace!

Pop! The Big Bang Theory

Howard Wolowitz can be found on the hobbyDB Marketplace!
















This article originally ran on hobbyDB’s sister blog Pop Price Guide.


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