The Toy Chronicle Spotlight- Jan Calleja

Customizer from the Philippines, Jan Calleja has already made his mark in the world of art sculptures/toys. It’s true we see many customizers/ kitbash artist but Jan is a tad different. Jan’s signature style is what sets him apart from others. Weather if its pop culture references to his love of retro mechanics, Jan has it all.

Graduated with a Degree in Visual Communication at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts. 1994-2001 Practiced multi-discipline production techniques such as merchandising design, and set production that include scenography and miniature model – making. Jan went into digital graphic design from 2002 until landing a position in 2007 as an art director for Ogilvy & Mather’s Redworks Philippines. Resigned, and now a full-time Toy Customizer, Jan not only have over a hundred commissioned work under his name but also participated in various exhibits both locally and abroad. For those who are not familiar with Jan’s art, welcome to Jan’s world.

One 2013 Squadt custom using old camera and various modeling kits to build this beauty.

scarab 1A1 custom squadT by Jan Calleja 88

scarab 1A1 custom squadT by Jan Calleja
scarab 1A1 custom squadT by Jan Calleja front
scarab 1A1 custom squadT by Jan Calleja head
scarab 1A1 custom squadT by Jan Calleja side
scarab 1A1 custom squadT by Jan Calleja 4
scarab 1A1 custom squadT by Jan Calleja side 2
scarab 1A1 custom squadT by Jan Calleja 3

His favorite subject is the mechanical. Robots, airplanes, cars and other technical-looking designs that can be juxtaposed with a blank vinyl toy, an existing kit or scratch built materials.

Jan has customised many platforms as well as build robots from the ground up. Pop Culture is not far away and many of his collectors want this amazing customs. Look at this custom Kidrobot Munny!

7 inch BUMBLEBEE MUNNY by Jan Calleja 2009 side 7 inch BUMBLEBEE MUNNY by Jan Calleja 2009

More notable of which is his participation in group exhibits at the TOY ART GALLERY in LOS ANGELES, USA.

Jan “Mustang Baby” was part of the TAG Dogfighter

Extra Dogfighter pieces for Toy Art Gallery. This is MUSTANG BABY, 8 inch Celsius custom . Designed after World War II’s P51 Mustang. Customized with one Tamiya 1/48 P51, two 1/72 Italeri F-16s, Dragon 50cal? chain rounds set and lots of found objects.

Mustang baby by Jan Calleja

His love for F1 has inspired him to make incredible works like these F1 robots. Inspired by Renault’s 2008 F1 racer!

Jan Calleja

MAD HELLCAT - This DOGFIGHTER is the nemesis for ZEROMAN. During WWII The Mitsubishi Zero was the warplane to beat in the Pacific until the American F6 Hellcat came. More heavily armored and faster, the zero met its match. MAD HELLCAT is a 7 inch Celsius custom that takes its design cue from the F6 Hellcat. (Photo by Ang Litratista Studios)
MAD HELLCAT – This DOGFIGHTER is the nemesis for ZEROMAN. During WWII The Mitsubishi Zero was the warplane to beat in the Pacific until the American F6 Hellcat came. More heavily armored and faster, the zero met its match.
MAD HELLCAT is a 7 inch Celsius custom that takes its design cue from the F6 Hellcat.
(Photo by Ang Litratista Studios)

His works are described as ART TOYS or toy-themed sculptures that heavily use appropriations both in theme and materials used. As you can see with his latest art showcasing which is one our favouries to day. Having that vintage robot/mech look to them. It does help with being a Star Wars fan to appreciate the designs based on iconic Star Wars mechanics like Jan’s AT-AT, X-Wing, TIE Fighter , AT-ST Walker and many many more. That vintage classic cars/ Star Wars mashup was the icing on the cake for us heres what we are banging on about 2015 “Jan Solo 2” Exhibit.

Jan Solo II from Potchie Lazaro on Vimeo.

AT-ST by Jan Calleja star wars VW Jan Calleja Star wars x wing

At-AT by Jan Calleja

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Aside from exhibits, his works have garnered local and international attention with wins and nominations in different toy design competitions such as New York’s CLUTTER Magazine’s DESIGNER TOY AWARD of which Jan was nominated for BEST TOY CUSTOMIZER OF THE YEAR AWARD in 2011 and a finalist for the same category in 2013.

P1270989P1270984 P1270998

Jan Calleja VW custom Star Wars
Jan Calleja

Check our more customs from Jan via Flickr. Jan has opened up his commission list right now so you can finally own one of his masterpieces. Simply email Jan via [email protected] or message via Facebook.

Jan Calleja expo

(Special thank you to Wetworks for hooking us up with the contact and enlightening us)

Category: TTC Spotlight

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Article by: Andy

A Yellow guy with bad English who's a chef by trade but addicted to toys and art. Instagram nutter rambling food addict who likes to take photos of everything I eat (most Asians do right?) Please don't class me as a journalist or blogger, more on the lines of talent scout and always backs the little guy. Instagram ( BigToyPoo) (SushiKingUK) I am that one dickhead too.