2 min read

Crafting Nostalgia and Innovation: The Journey Behind Zuckerborg and E-LON

Crafting Nostalgia and Innovation: The Journey Behind Zuckerborg and E-LON

During ShopTalk 2024, Evolv AI unveiled a unique collection of swag that bridges the gap between nostalgia and innovative design: limited edition Rock’em Sock’em sets featuring Zuckerborg and E-LON.

Evolv AI’s resident sculptor, Johnathan Andersen (known in the art toy community as “Kerf Loss”), brought the vision to life over the course of 8 weeks.

Following a traditional toy making process, each robot's head was initially sculpted in clay, molded, and then cast in hard wax for detailed finishing. Additional modifications were made to preserve the original head-popping mechanism and enable the heads to be swapped between figures. The final wax sculptures were then molded and cast in polyurethane resin and painted in acrylic to bring the characters to life.

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A Conversation with the Artist

Johnathan Andersen's journey into the world of art toys began in the summer of 2020, sparked by an instructional video on toy making. This led to a deep dive into the traditional wax sculpting and resin casting processes reminiscent of the original Star Wars toy line by Kenner. His passion for sci-fi and nostalgic toy lines, combined with a curiosity for various mediums, from clay and wax to silicone and resin, showcases his versatility and dedication to the craft.

Q: What inspired the unique design and creation of these robots for ShopTalk 2024?

A: The project was driven by the idea of reviving the nostalgia of childhood toys while incorporating a modern twist that aligns with Evolv AI's forward-thinking ethos. The playful yet sophisticated design of E-LON and Zuckerborg reflects the dual nature of our brand—innovative yet relatable.

Q: What aspect of this project did you find most rewarding?

A: The opportunity to delve into face sculpting was particularly fulfilling. Until this project, my focus had primarily been on sculpting helmets, animals, or aliens. Capturing human likenesses presented a unique challenge, requiring a delicate manipulation of the clay and wax to achieve the desired result through light and shadow. This challenge allowed me to explore new techniques and truly push the boundaries of my sculpting skills.

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Q: How do you balance toy making with your role at Evolv AI?

A: I will say it was a test of my time-management skills. Optimism bias definitely kicks in when I think I have a great idea and I imagine finishing it quickly or when planning out a year-long project. Life often gets in the way, which makes deadlines on these kinds of projects even harder to manage. But, toy making is a passion that I love to pursue in my spare time. At Evolv AI, I design product experiences with the same attention to process, detail, and learning as I do in my creative pursuits.

Connecting with the Artist

To explore more about Johnathan Andersen's creative journey and the process behind these unique toys, follow him on Instagram @kerf_loss and visit waxlabguys.com for an in-depth look at traditional wax sculpting techniques.

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