Toy Design with ZBrush - Fine Art Collectibles, Vinyl, and Random Candy

You could say I’m an old school game developer, although I haven’t produced game art in quite some time. The skills that were honed from years of game dev, however, came in handy when I made the transition to toy design. Sculpting, 3d modeling, UV mapping, projection mapping, everything has a place somewhere, somehow, when designing toys.

ZBrush has become an indispensable and powerful tool around these parts. Here are a few projects that benefited tremendously from a bouncy, flexible digital process.

Mad Battle Man - designed by Mike Sutfin, produced by Reckless Toys.


Wicked model, I would buy one of those! Really nice work, more please! Cheers, David :smiley:

Looks Sick. You should post more art toy stuff!

Soulty666, Chalkman, thank you.

“Bubbie” is a small tentacled alien. Personal design done for fun.

“Misfortunate Travellers” is an older gallery multiple, a collectible based on the work of two designers. Chris Ryniak creates and illustrates little monsters and Jonathan Bergeron paints fun skulls. This piece was produced in limited numbers for an exhibition at the Yves Laroche Galerie d’Art in Montreal. It’s resin.

A project in the pipe called “Triplecrown”. Also designed by Chris Ryniak and being produced by Rotofugi. This one, like the Mad Battle Man up there, will be rotocast in vinyl.

cool sculpts!..scoolpts?

Awesome character design on the Mad Battle Man. Really love this guy!
Can’t wait seeing more Toy Designs from you and who knows, maybe someday I’ll buy my little nephew a little figure which you’ve designed :slight_smile:
Cheers mate,

Kenny, Moga, thank you.

While I’ve worked on dozens of projects, sculpting figures, engineering articulation and prepping models for rapid-prototyping, I haven’t really produced anything that I would call my own design. There are too many great artists out there that I’d like to work with, making toys based on their terrific work.

Here’s an example of my personal design work, like with “Bubbie” up there. This is “Thoza” a rather massive yellow beast. Or, “Thoza, the Yellow Beast” as I like to call him. Sculpted, as usual, using ZBrush, and rendered, if anyone is interested, using Vray and 3ds Max.

love toon

ooh I like me some Thoza!

Kilik, SonOfWitz, thanks!

Here’s another personal toy design, although the rendering is intended to be less pre-visualization purposed and more fun than usual. I’ve built a massive collection of simple buildings to dip into when setting up toy monster renders, since it’s that’s a genre I find myself coming back to over and over again.

Chug epitomizes the kaiju in my world. They are massive stressed creatures that find themselves locked in and restricted by buildings that they don’t really want to damage. They can’t move easily through the fragile labyrinth. They are out of place, out of scale, and want to find their place in a community that can’t accept them.


Most of my time is spent sculpting and engineering collectibles and toys, it’s hard to scrape together a few minutes every now and then to mess around and have some crazy fun doodling up non-project related sculpts.

Here’s a quick exercise in ZBrush.


Your toys are very funny! I love them.
Making this last model I think you had a lot of fun: I think you did a great job on the polypaint of the skin… it’s quite impressive

Guti, thank you.

I have a lot of loose sketches in the dusty corners of my hard drives. Here’s Bafs, just another dismayed little creature who doesn’t get the love that he deserves.


These are some figures I could definitely see decorating my desk, great job.

SammehSAMURAI, thanks.

I’ve got so many sketches to toss up here, I’ll just keep going until someone begs me to stop.


Nobody will stop you on posting your art! It’s great seeing you spending a lot of time with zbrush and want to push your skills to the next level! Great stuff you got going on!
Looking forward seeing more from you,

Thanks Kenny.

Here’s a sculpt that I did for the One Laptop Per Child Program. A live action commercial was produced starring a physical model rapid-prototyped and painted to match the digital renders. The little hero was shown at an airport, on a train, traveling through African communities, in order to deliver laptops to the schools.

Sculpted in ZBrush, retopoed in Max, rendered with Vray.


An older piece and I’ve posted it here and there before. The intention, in case it’s not obvious, was to produce an illustration that doesn’t look “computer rendered”. ZBrush sculpted, Vray rendered.


Raw render before all the “love” got layered on.


The final turned out great, really like the overall treatment and feel:+1:

I love this! Has kinda’ a Mark Ryden feel to it. Keep em’ coming!