A Toy Story or How Pixelwood Studios Is Going Retro

So I’ve been busy. It all started with trying to customize toys to make another program (hey YT Saturday Morning Cartoons isn’t going to be a thing by itself) and it jumpstarted me to try and make a line of toys for Brandy & Gin.

Let me be straight I’ve wanted to make toy lines for cartoons I’ve created. Originally I wanted to start with Franco Noir, and it was something I wanted to outsource. What spurred me to move ahead of schedule and make the toys myself? Money, and YouTube.

Allow me to explain. I grew up during the 80s and 90s when cartoon- to-sell-a-toy-line was the business of the day. And to be honest, even the worst of the cartoons, had this (usually) creative synergy where at best would spew forth a flurry of weird that was awesome, or made R-rated movies with toy lines (which is a win-win in my book), because let’s be honest Robocop and Predator to 3 year old Willie was a million times cooler than f***ing Mickey Mouse. If you don’t believe that there is merit to this cocaine-filled, capitalist, cyclone look no further to the hangover of remakes, reboots, and regurgitations that Hollywood has been spilling out over the past few years.

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Robocop Fun for All Ages!
Images is from Kenner’s line of Robocop action figures found on The Robot’s Pajama’s. 

I personally, find it odd how with internet creators free from the regulations that would make the corporate big-wigs soil their pants in pushing the boundaries, would be apprehensive to try and balk at the chance to try and be this generation’s Transformers or at the very least Jace and Wheel Warriors? Before I hear commenters (or the voices in my head that I think are commenters) complain about the manufacturing costs, sculpting, and molly sorting that it would take to do this (because let’s be honest, real mavericks sort molly, and then I don’t know wash it out with a Tide Pod?) may I remind you about RWBY, is massive enough to afford to make a f***king statue of the titular character, (but not the preverbal balls to make a line of action figures?), Cyanid and Happiness  can make a board game (it is fun btw) but, no action figures, or a knock-off Funko Pop? It’s silly is all I am saying.

Imo, this is an opportunity that is sorely needing to be filled (I’m looking at you Egoraptor. Also I’m not going to lie it would be cool to have a Philip DeFranco action figure to make out with my Batman action figure (that’s for display only!) just for s**ts and giggles (insert phallic Batarang reference here. D’oh!).)

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What’s Up You Beautiful Bastard!
Batman-Gay by Un-Monochito

Truthfully, I’ve been trying to find a good way to represent my ideas of the nitty-gritty in blog form, because while I can eagerly talk about what I’m doing to someone face-to-face, it probably wouldn’t be entertaining, not mention you would wonder if I escaped from Planet of Apes.

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Behold My Fabulousness!
Image is from Specterman

YouTube has the audience and someone could come forth and develop the loyal enough fanbase who would want to buy action figures as their merch. I have nothing against the mugs and t-shirts that YouTube personalities would want to sell to their audience I really don’t, but come on, if you spend the amount of time trying to find the best vendor like pulchritudinous Philly D does or MatPat, then s**t man swing for the fences! Or else have some upstart like me come in and do it.

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Again, Behold My Fabulousness.
Image is from Specterman

This is where I see Pixelwood Studios. Having kick ass cartoons that are epic ads for toys. Who knows, if I don’t f**k this up to baldly, maybe a Philly D action figure with Bat-groping action? I can see the fat stacks now…

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Millionaire Douchebaggery Here I Come!
Image taken from Giffy, and Getty Images.

Hope you enjoyed this. I’m hoping to go more into what I’ve been doing toy wise as well as animation wise in the future. Please don’t feel neglected, the time spent not working has been productive trying to put out stuff that doesn’t suck. 

Stay hustling my friends.

How to Handle Trolls?

I am a fan of the YouTube channel Retroblasting. For those who don’t know they do reviews on toy lines from the 80’s and 90’s, do toy restorations, and reviews on cartoons from the 80’s. Micheal one of the two hosts made a video Sunday about his stance on internet trolls, and when said trolls attack his audience. Here’s the video:

While I never really had much of an audience to have to contend with trolls, honestly my take with how to deal with them is my natural instinct. With the levels of toxicity that comment sections, Twitter threads, etc. would the idea of confronting them be better than just letting trolls be?

I understand that the solution he is posing to do is to just delete them and I hope it works out. As much as I wonder if this SHOULD be the best strategy for every YouTuber going forward, I have to take pause and wonder if this is something that would be abused? People rage and get butt-hurt over constructive criticism all the time. Should not those people learn how to take constructive criticism?

As my thoughts and feelings pour out like a flash flood, the thought occurs to me, it IS the best way to handle trolls. Delete them and ban them. While I am a free speech absolutist, meaning that people must be free to express their thoughts and opinions (with the obvious exception of threats to physical harm/ doxxing), especially the ones that are toxic. However with that said, we as people in a liberal society must understand the Yin to the Yang of free speech, we are not free from the consequences.

YouTubers and their mods have every right to delete a troll’s post as much as a troll has the right to speak their mind. It would be hypocritical to deny them that. I believe that the human condition is always has a Yin/Yang dichotomy. For every freedom, like speech, we must also allow for the freedom to say things that we don’t agree with.

Also let’s look at it from the YouTuber, if they refuse to heed constructive criticism, it is THEY who will suffer from it. They cannot learn from their mistakes or cash out before they get banned. So, we as commenters should rest assured that when they abuse the idea of deleting and banning viewers who post constructive criticism, they will only hurt themselves.

Now YouTubers, take a stand against those who harass you and your audience. Don’t be afraid of losing subscribers and views you will get them back by standing up for something. Stand up for yourself! Or else to quote Jean Claude Van Damme from Street Fighter:

 

Stay hustling my friends.

An Upcoming Announcement!

So, if you follow me on Twitter you may have seen this post:

ytsmc_ad

On April 27th I am going to post a press release video about an upcoming an upcoming enterprise which I hope will help animators on YouTube be able to compete with the Jake Pauls, and Jimmy Kimmel shows (really, why is that on my feed? I don’t even like Kimmel) on YouTube.

Now, because I doubt people will read this, I am going to be an information slut and give it up. Why? In trying to explain what I was planning I found it inadequate to properly tease the value of this project. So consider this an under-the-curtain peak, or a soft opening, to what I have in store.

My intention with this enterprise is to form a co-op with other animators. Now, for those who don’t know what I mean, according to Wikipedia (the leading source of information) a cooperative, or co-op is:

“…an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative)

Meaning in a business sense it’s a business that is owned by a group of people who work together, have equal say, and equally benefit all the members of the group. This initiative would be animators getting together putting their work on one channel, each of us making adverts advertising not only our merch and/or services, but, if we get sponsors those sponsored ads.

You see, the parameters for what will get you noticed by the algorithm, like consistent uploads (either once a week or daily, truthfully I forget offhand), and being 10 minutes or more, these parameters are nearly impossible for an animator to accomplish.

So you ask, why not go somewhere else? YouTube is the 2nd most visited website. Facebook and Twitch don’t have a solid compensation structure. NewGrounds, while good, doesn’t have the traffic needed to be able to make a living making videos.

The next question you may ask is what about de-monetaztion? Well, my theory is to not even bother with monetizing in the first place. My previous blog post “Animation on YouTube Has to Change” explained my issues into why AdSense is not worthwhile, so how do people get paid? Believe it or don’t I actually have a solution to that. However, that is something I want to quiet for now. However, there is a hint in my last blog post.

 

While this may sound good on paper how well would it work in practice? Truthfully, I don’t know, which is why on this project I am going to develop a web series called Brandy & Gin. My goal is by 2020 to have things ironed out so that animators could be able to showcase their work and have a community of like-minded animators to work with.

The blue-print of how I think this could work is like Channel Frederator. Despite being an animation channel they were able to get favored by the algorithm by hosting not only their work, but other animator’s work on the channel. That way there wouldn’t be added pressure to fill those requirements. However, unlike Frederator, this project won’t be a MCN, you’d own your work.

While I’m not sure if I ruined the mystique, be sure to watch the announcement on the Pixelwood Studios YouTube channel. I think I still have enough surprises to whet your appetite.

I’d like to be serious here for a second, I miss seeing animated stuff on the trending page. There has been talented animators like Cyanide and Happiness forced to leave the platform because of the algorithm that YouTube uses, or like Egoraptor, who now makes a bunch of let’s play videos in order to make a living (I don’t have any against let’s play videos per se, it just sucks not seeing new animation from him). Animation is a wonderful art form. The more we can as a community come together to combat this numbers game, and fight off obscurity. The more we can improve our craft. If the trend is true and television is becoming obsolete, then we need now more than ever to be relevant on YouTube. Like I said it’s the second most viewed website. This is where the next generation of animators are going to get their inspiration from.

Stay hustling my friends.