We had the opportunity of speaking with Mikee Riggs from BlkClvd. We talked sofubi, 80’s action figure, his passion for toys and art. We went deep and personal, we hope you cherish every word.
Mike is one of the pilars of the scene, he is Coma21, BlkClvd, an amazing artist, creator and a beautiful human being. From collaborations with super7 to a never ending list of collaborations with top artists he did it all and he’s going strong, unstoppable! With amazing projects with unique aesthetics and strong concepts, making him one of the names that is mandatory to have in every collectors shelf.
This interview is not only a in-depth look into his project BlkClvd but also has a more personal side.
Welcome to BlkClvd.
1# Thanks for taking the time to speak with The Toy Chronicle. First up, tell us all about BlkClvd, where the idea came from, where did the love for sofubi came from?
Well thank you for taking an interest and asking me to be here. BlkClvd was a process, thats for sure. I got into sofubi many years back, I started with Fight figures mainly Pushead and Secret Base. Around 9 years ago I was working at a GNC, while collecting and spent most of my time doodling waiting for people to come in and buy protein powder.
Around 9 years ago I was working at a GNC, while collecting and spent most of my time doodling waiting for people to come in and buy protein powder.
I hated that job lol I was like it can’t get worse might as well double down and make a toy. So I started designing the sewer creep which came out eight years ago this October. From there it was just a matter of refining what I made and why before I really doubled down and took the process as a serious endeavor. I mean fight figures to me are the life force of this scene they are the backbone it was built upon when it came back. I mean obviously Godzilla and Kaiju in general are the cornerstone but the Finkshit, Skull Bee, Gargamess, and Oni Kid, those laid the foundations of what was going to come. I just always wanted to make something that was a part of that.
… fight figures to me are the life force of this scene they are the backbone it was built upon when it came back.
2# I really like your obscure aesthetics, it seems that you are really into Black Metal right? can you tell us some of the inspiration behind the brand?
So with the Kvltvs line I was looking at fight figures and I was thinking after the fight what’s next? I started with the answer to that as my tagline “Not just a fight but a battle.”. From there is a big soup mixture of things. I mean I try to show a lot of love to the two types of toys that changed my life. The first is 80s action figure lines so MOTU, Battle Beasts, and Sectaurus stuff like that. The world building that those toy lines did was so fun and different and as a kid I was obsessed with all of them and even the early 90s stuff especially Toxic Crusaders and TMNT which were the main influences on the sewer creep.
With Kvltvs it was def MOTU and Battle Beasts from then and Secret Base and Gargamel from the sofubi era. The last piece of the mixture was Metal. I love metal always have since I was a kid and my Step Dad would listen to Slayer in the car with me on my way to school. I’ve always felt like the surreal extra quality in Metal is just as important as the music.
Artists like Pushead, Ed Repka and Derek Riggs added so much to the bands they worked with by creating these striking amazing images. I am a big fan of black metal I’m picky but it’s definitely a big part of Kvltvs Doom metal as well.
Think the coldness and intensity of Darkthrone’s A Blaze in the Northern Sky mixed with the brutal fantastical imagery of Conan’s Blood Eagle thats how metal plays in. Also the opportunity to work with all these incredible artists that have worked with these amazing bands just seemed to good to pass up.
Toys built the characters of Kvltvs in design Metal built the world of Kvltvs and the tone. Also metal is the Easter egg bonus in Kvltvs. Bands songs album titles placed all throughout the world. Almost like a big giant mixtape to the bands I love.
Toys built the characters of Kvltvs in design Metal built the world of Kvltvs and the tone.
3# The first release that caught our attention was kvltvs, what was the process behind the making?
So once I had my concept and world down I designed the characters. Alcest the Vengeful or the Goat was the first that really clicked. From there Cobalt came next then Fen. Once the designs were completed they were given to David Arshawsky to sculpt. Working with David was just a totally rad thing to have happen. Again I grew up on Toxic Crusaders and TMNT and this guy sculpted those toys! It’s like the best feeling, like you get to tell your five year old self that you are doing this and watch him pass out from the shock. David did the sculpts and then they went to Japan where there were some delays and other factors but eventually they were finally finished and able to be released on the world. In fact Kvltvs turned a year old on 3/21.
I like all toy makers in theory to some degree. Everyone usually has something to bring to the table and sometimes it’s hard to figure out what.
4# Do you have favourite artists / toy makers? Anyone in particular you would like to collaborate with?
I mean Pushead is what got me into this hobby and anyone that knows me knows that’s what really pushed me, but I also have to give thanks and credit to the other people I have collected and have inspired me. Splurrt as a company that does some of the most fun stuff, the Cadaver Kid is like Iconic at this point and Joe is just an amazing guy. Paul Kaiju’s imagination is near untouchable everything he does is so layered and thought out. MVH is just a power house his sculpting and painting abilities are a master class.
I mean Shirahama toy is a workhorse too the guy constantly manages to pull for others and still creates amazing toys of his own.
I could list people I love and respect all day old and new. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with some amazing people already. Doing the Scum doctors with Paul is just a face melt everytime we do them.
Having done the Sata fighter and the Kvlt Korpses with Joe was amazing and I can wait to do more things with him. Dennis pulls all the Kvltvs Vinyl and the dude is just amazing to work with as well as Amy from Lulubell who I honestly I can’t say enough how much I adore her and Devils Kaiju David. I mean, I have to thank Quang and Brandon (Blitzkrieg toys) for there support, as well as inviting me to be a part of the Creature Bazaar team at Designer Con, it really was just the best experience.
Basically I’ve been a part of this for to long! I mean all these people have been in my life for a decade or close to it. I don’t know how to not talk about how great they all are.
Are there more people I want to collaborate with of course I love collaboration it’s a big part of what makes this scene so damn amazing.
I just released a Ghost Fighter with Super 7 and Brian Flynn, being able to work with Brian was great. Brian is a machine and an idea man on a totally different level then most, but also just getting to work on an OG fight figure was the best feeling.
I do also want to take a minute and thank Griz of GrizBizNiz for just being a constant sounding board. We share a studio space, we share ideas, he’s always been like a partner in crime for me. I can’t thank the dude enough for being a part of this and lending a hand or opinion when needed. He’s just a wealth of good ideas and a hell of a painter just a crazy amazing resource wrapped in a grumpy man in a vest.
There will be more collabs, some sooner then you think.
5# We loved the idea for battle sets like you did with the Alcest and Cobalt release. Any plans for more along those lines for the future?
There will always be battle sets because there will always be a battle.
But seriously yeah I loved doing that set and the intention for the brand is to do many battle sets and to do crossover battle sets even.
There just so many fun possibilities! To me it’s all about world building, not just the world these characters live in but the other worlds they can crossover to. If it makes sense and it can add to the story it’s worth doing.
6# Have you ever thought of releasing an art book with BlkClvd universe?
Well we just dropped a mini book with art by Dave Jordan that also has some pin up art in the back by Hymn Reaper the Guitarist of Wolf King. We’ve done art with Defame as well as Mark Rudolph which both were super great to work with. I think a Kvltvs art book is for sure a possibility it’s just a matter of when and collecting the content. Maybe it will happen down the road to mark an anniversary.
There will be more mini books soon though. The concept is to much fun to me as someone who grew up obsessing about comic books. So the stories will continue and the art will for sure add up.
7# Any obscure secret plans in the making?
Well that’s a loaded question. There is a lot in the making. Some things have been seen like the Sewer Creep 2.0 and the teaser of the sculpt David is working on for me.
Somethings are getting finished in the turn around stage. Some things are on there way to Japan as we speak. I will say there are sculpts being prepared in all different forms and stages right now and that 2020 and 2021 are gonna have some interesting things.
I want to be the evil High Priest that’s fuckin Rad.
8# If there was a sofubi black mass who would be the high priest? Who would be attending?
Hahaha, so I want to say me right like I want to be the evil High Priest that’s fuckin Rad but i’m probably like a side dude in the line up with a cloak on holding the bucket of Lambs Blood. High priest is probably Skinner. The dude is a madman and he would call on some elder god shit and wreck everything. Skinner is not only shakey bones levels of evil but also the best dude! He was the first guy to paint a run of Sewer Creeps for me back in that day and I will never forget that the dude is just the best.
Plus again the dude is gnarly so yeah he’s ready to get wicked. As far as attendance a bunch of dudes would be there. Either for the evil or the spectacle people would be down for sure. I’m not making a list I’m not gonna out anybody but I can say that it’s a list for sure.
9# Any final words to our readers?
I would say basically Thank you. I don’t do this for any other reason then trying to make cool shit that people like. I try to make sure every release is packed with stuff that makes the experience worth it.
I appreciate every person that even takes the time to check my IG or look at the shop. For me it’s all about making the most affordable and fan forward stuff I can. In fact I hate using the word fan like we all are just cool people that like toys and making toys that are different and fun and easy to get, not to expensive is my goal. My goal is to make every box you get from me worth it. So thank you for enjoying this stuff like I do.
Quick fire questions:
Favourite sofubi cast?
We want to thank BlkClvd for taking the time, for all the valuable knowledge shared and for opening up to us. We are so grateful of having the opportunity to spread the word. Hope you enjoyed this trip as much as we did.
Follow BlkClvd on INSTAGRAM and www.blkclvd.com.
Follow Mikee on Instagram.