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Click to see!A Chat with Glen Liberman (Android 8)
by Jager

Glen Liberman runs Android 8 (which produces toys as well as selling them), creates music, and in his spare time attends college. Somehow he found the time to chat with me about Android 8, some Designer Toys coming from the company, and the importance of family. Let's start with your name. What's the meaning behind Android 8?
Android 8: Android comes from my producer (music) name. I went to a rave and found a flyer for Dieselboy's cd Project Human. The reviewer on the flyer referred to his style of music as "android funk." It just stuck in my head. How about the 8?
Android 8: The 8 is my lucky number. It's also the day of my birth. I think it comes off as sounding techy or science fiction, but really that wasn't my intention with the name. I just like the concept of a robot with human form.

MPb: I think it's a fine name. I'm down with science fiction though, so it appeals to me.
Android 8: Thank you. I think it sounds pretty good.

MPb: How did Android 8 get started?
Android 8: I had been collecting vinyl toys for a year or so, but was beginning to get bored with the products on the market. Originally, I just wanted to create my own vinyl figure. Android 8 was going to be like my personal portfolio.

MPb: But then you started meeting artists and wanted to expand?
Android 8: Not exactly. I had been following the artwork of Brendan Monroe and I just wanted to make his art into a vinyl figure. I guess I felt like he could create so much better than I ever could. That's kind of how things got started. It created a spark. Whether he knows it or not, he is part of the reason Android 8 came into existence.

MPb: That's very interesting. Let's talk about him for a minute.
Android 8: Sure. I'd love to.

MPb: How involved were you in the Sours creation?
Android 8: Actually, the Sour was one of Brendan's sculptures. He had created it way before we started talking, so it was already in existence.

MPb: Did you say, "That's the one," or let him pick?
Android 8: We kind of went back and forth on it for a bit. I felt that the Sour was the piece that he was known for the most. That it would definitely be the best one to start with.

MPb: Well, you made a great choice. The images of the prototypes look great and it lends itself nicely to variant colorways.
Android 8: There's something so amazingly appealing about his work and I'm not exactly sure what it is. But when I first saw the Sour, I knew I had to have it.

MPb: I think the natural/innocent nature of his work appeals to people in a very honest way.
Android 8: I tend to agree with you. I also think his work is a direct path into the way he sees the world around him.

MPb: So is Brendan considered an Android 8 exclusive artist now?
Android 8: No. I would never put any restrictions on any of the artists I work with. But I do think we will continue to work together simply because our friendship is firm.

MPb: That's a very nice attitude to have. You just hope to keep them with what you can offer, right?
Android 8: Of course, but I want the artists to make that decision based on their experience with me, not based on a signed contract.

Click to see!MPb: Let's talk about the next toy you're producing, Rustboy.
Android 8: Absolutely.

MPb: Did you see Brian's work on his site, or were you on the inside track? How did you approach him?
Android 8:Actually, my mom found him. She fell in love with him and told me to see if a toy had been made. I approached Brian out of the blue. I had no idea Rustboy existed until a few months ago.

MPb: Wow! Those prototypes really rolled out fast!
Android 8: Well, Brian had already been approached by another company, but it fell through. He was ready to go when I emailed him. Brian is a class act all the way. I must say it's been a pleasure working with him.

MPb: And when does the Rustboy vinyl drop?
Android 8: Sour and Rustboy should be coming out at around the same time. They should both be available before Christmas.

MPb: What is the mission statement of Android 8?
Android 8: Android 8 seeks to differentiate itself by working directly with artists and by getting exclusive merchandise that can only be found on the site.

MPb: Artistically speaking, you seem impressed with artists who grow and progress their styles over time. How do you see Android 8 growing in the coming years?
Android 8: Yes, I'd say you're right. Evolution keeps things interesting. It is necessary to grow and change. Honestly, it is very difficult to say. I'm starting to get more and more artists knocking on my door, so who knows?

MPb: Do you see going in the "fine" arts direction more by sponsoring gallery shows or will you stay more in the toy market?
Android 8: I think I will find a happy medium between the two. One thing is for sure. Android 8 is a family run business and will stay that way.

MPb: Family is important.
Android 8: I love them with all my heart. They have made me who I am today.

Android 8's first toy is Ocotopo designed by UNKL Brand. Check out our review.

If this spiked your interest in Android 8 and all it has to offer, check out the site.

Check out our complete coverage of Designer toys.

This article is ©2005 and may not be reprinted without permission.

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