Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merch: Weird Luke's Mutopia Toys

Weird Luke is a bit of a subculture treasure. If you've been to a New York City punk show in the last few years there's no doubt you've seen him around. Topped by a bright red mohawk, Weird Luke is dressed like a warlord from Mad Max. In addition to being a mainstay of the New York punk scene, Weird Luke has made a name for himself with his handcrafted resin figurines. His collection has quietly become one of the most unique and impressive things in today's subculture. Based out of the Brooklyn neighborhood Gowanus, Luke has built a brand (and a band, GMK AKA Gowanus Mutant Kommandos) out of the area's notoriety for potentially being radioactive.

Mutopia Toys has become something that some of the best bands in hardcore punk have worked with in recent years. Bands like Crazy Spirit, Perdition, Hoax, Hank Wood and the Hammerheads, Kromosom and many more have worked with Mutopia. In essence, Luke brings forth a creature representative of that band's aesthetic or vision. The results are always something that invokes intrigue. In addition to bands, Mutopia Toys has done collaborations with Pork Magazine, Death Traitors, and even a special drop with Mishka for the New York City Comic Convention. Lastly, Mutopia has their own Mutant Kommando / NukeTruppen series which are Weird Luke's personal creations of what happens when punks become radioactive mutants.

Because these are handmade (and if you've seen one of these in person, you'd understand how much detail is put into each one), not many are made. If you're not around New York or don't keep up with some circles, it is easy to overlook what Weird Luke / Mutopia is doing with his figures and miss out. It seems like now, more than ever, toys / figures are wildly popular. It is great to see someone within the punk scene putting out these kinds of figures by punks, for punks.

Something like Mutopia doesn't come along very often, if ever. This is especially true in a community like punk where certain limitations are not only expected, they're mandatory. To see Mutopia rise up and do what its doing on a front like toys is a marvel. When we think about the manufactured output of hardcore punk, we talk about music and records, merch and clothing, printed materials like zines, and all kinds of other things. Going into 2016, everything that can be made into merchandise likely is... except for toys. Weird Luke is holding it down for punk in an arena that rest of us have not really tried to lay claim to. That fact alone merits them mention. The fact that he excels at what he does is more reason for us to talk about it and for you to check them out.

Just some of the Gowanus Mutant Kommandos

An array of Luke's work including his pieces for Perdition and Crazy Spirit

Collaboration with Death Traitors

You can purchase some of these figures directly from Weird Luke at the link below. You can also find some of his figures available online at Katorga Works, Dripper World, and other locations.


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