I have no idea how I got into all this but somehow I managed to enter the twisted world of Suckadelic bootleg toys, ruled by Morgan Phillips aka The Sucklord, and started collecting his bootleg toys around 2005.
The super funny twists on Star Wars and pop culture in general appealed to me straight away plus the fact that The Sucklord hand crafts each toy in his secret base in Chinatown NYC really set it apart from the other Designer Toys I was used to.
This really felt underground and exciting, especially as his other references apart from Star Wars were Hip Hop, Streetwear and Graffiti.
After visiting his workshop in New York I knew I had to interview this guy! So here we are.
Enjoy this exchange which happened via email in 2007…
Hi Sucklord! I can’t believe Suckadelic is still a one man operation! How does the Sucklord find the time to do all the designing, supervising and pimping of Suckadelic?
I don’t fucking know, to be honest. I wonder about that all the time. I guess because it’s my job, my hobby, and my leisure time all at once. It’s all I do (almost). It’s lots of late hours and time saving corner cutting that keeps it going (somehow).
Plus I’m a fucking obsessive maniac and super organized…
Peeps might associate Suckadelic mostly with the small bootleg figures. Now you just released the first suckadelic rotocast with mad accessoires. Can you shed some light on the design and production process?
Ahh, it was nothing special. I just grabbed a blob of sculpey and hewed it out. then I made some molds and casted the pieces. then I did some finishing and simple tooling on the castings. I sent that to the factory in China along with the color specs. After that it was a bunch of back and forth with them fussing on details for a few months. Then one day all of a sudden they just showed up.
With Lucas milking the Star Wars franchise to the fullest, a lot of old school fans feel screwed over. What are your feelings towards the prequels and the soon to be produced live action tv series?
Well, they aren’t very good for the most part, but I still love them for what they are. I mean they look great and they feel like Star Wars movies overall. There are some really choice bits in all three that I love. But I am really sorry that the storytelling is very lackluster.
I mean the story itself is great, but the execution is really bad, shockingly so. And it didn’t have to be that way. But I’m still happy they exist. I like watching them. If you are really committed to Star Wars, you find a way to love them.
The Suckadelic geek universe expanded massivly… with mad villains popping up everywhere. Can you shed some light on the backgrounds of Suckadelic regulars like Spooky Booty, Mary Papers and Crimson Suicide?
I just grab people around me and put them in the story. I don’t have a life outside of this thing that I do. If you are my friend, you wind up in a movie as a character with a figure. That’s what my friendship is.
These people that get close to me get a mask and a new name and their existing personality traits get slightly hyperized and that’s it. You get in where you fit in. These just happen to be the main women in my life, so there they are, supervillains.
The Sucklord always rocks the mad bling and ghetto blaster… and you keep on releasing breaks CDs mashing up various TV and Movie shit too. How important is Street culture to the style of Suckadelic?
It’s pretty important. I think that’s what sets it apart from other nerd worlds. the presence of hip hop and sneaker culture and cute girls. These are things you don’t necessarily associate with geeky comic book kids. It’s that literacy with both worlds that gives this thing it’s unique flavor and frame of reference. I mean, we’re from New York, even the nerds here are dope and get laid.
That’s what sucked me into the whole Suckadelic world actually. I feel that a lot of people might even envy geeks if they wouldn’t dress so crap. Because geeks care and know what they like and don’t like. A lot of hipsters just jump from one bandwagon to the other and don’t get excited by anything.
True. The nerds have way more passion. There is no reason why you can’t get excited about toys and movies and still dress cool and get girls. Hipsters are no fun, they hate everything.
Looks like Suckadelic has the first proper MC as well… give us some lodown on Vectar!
Oh yeah, Vectar, what’s his deal? We’ll he’s just some bottom shelf villain who is trying to come up. He and the Sucklord have had kind of rocky relationship. Vectar has done a lot of uncredited dirty work for the Sucklord and he’s sick of it. He’s tired of toiling in the shadows. It’s tough to best the Sucklord but the one thing he doesn’t do is rap. So Vectar is trying to distinguish himself in that field. Jury’s still out on weather the world is gonna go for him as a rapper, but ya gotta give it to the little cockroach for trying.
You guys keep on crashing conventions, thinking about that Vectar gig at the San Diego Comic Con. How is the response from the geeks? I mean, a lot of people take Conventions and Cosplay crazy serious and might feel you guys are trying to make fun of the whole thing…
Nah, no one gives a fuck. There are so many people at those things it’s getting harder and harder to make a dent. The effects of that rap show wore off in like 30 minutes. You got to keep hitting them over and over for them to even think about weather they are insulted. We’re gonna keep trying though…
Talking about commitment… what Tattoo did you get signed by Geekfather Stan Lee on that random pic I found on the net? Plus, how was the experience? Some people say it can be pretty shattering to meet ones heros…
Ehh, it was a Green Goblin tattoo. I was kind of over him by the time I met him. He let so much crap movies go by with his brand on it that I didn’t even care anymore. Love the classic comics, the Jack Kirby era, but all the movies suck, in my opinion, Yes, even Spider-Man.
Back to Suckadelic’s bootleg mash up style. How hard is it for a proper fan and collector to pick rare figures apart to create your artworks and figure prototypes?
No problem at all. I mean I haven’t really bashed anything too rare. I just buy a loosie off Ebay if I don’t want to chop my original. I play with my toys, so it doesn’t bother me to hack em up. Been doing it forever…
Looks like the big names getting into the Star Wars bootleggin’ game
as well…any thoughts on the KAWS Vader?
The Kaws piece is cool, but to me it’s more about his style than a direct riff on Star Wars. He is all about putting his skull and bones in all kinds of settings, the mickey mouse etc… Star Wars is just one more stop on the cultural reference train. I’m not knocking it, I like it, but that piece is not really about star wars so much as Kaws…
You collaborated with other artists like Bill Mc Mullen and exhibited in places like Alife in NYC. How did you hook up with them?
I don’t know, Just hanging out. You make friends, One thing leads to another…
What does the future hold for the Sucklord… any crazy shit in the pipeline for 2008?
Well yeah, what else am I gonna do? Stop now and go straight? Can’t do it. have to make crazy shit. Not sure specifically what it is yet. but I’m gonna keep making these bootleg 3 and 3/4″ figures for at least another year. I have about 10 more characters planned. Vectar will have one as well as his pals the Crystal Pharoah and Baron Darkowl.
Not sure if I’m gonna rush to make another vinyl. It’s cool having it, but I wonder if it’s worth the financial risk unless you have a really hot idea. Right now I’m not sure if any of the dozens of ideas for the next one are gonna fly with the fickle buying public. We’ll see.
Gonna keep the videos coming tho. There is a new Original Villain series that will start in 2008. It’s called, for now, TOY LORDS of CHINATOWN. It tells the backstory of the Sucklord and Vectar’s rivalry and their struggle to control the bootleg toy racket in New York. We have been shooting a bunch of stuff with lowrider bikes and lazer shootouts in Coney Island. It seems like it’s gonna be a fun series.
Music wise, I dunno. Maybe a Vectar album? I’m sick of the Star Wars breakbeats style albums. I want to make music that I can perform.
And finally… what are your top 5 Star Wars toys?
1) the 1978 cantina creatures esp Greedo (also R5-D4 and power droid, that whole series)
2) Vintage Giant Boba Fett
3) Force Battlers Emperor Palpatine
4) Kenner AT-AT
5) Almost all of the Galactic Heroes series (the bad guys anyway)
Thanks! Check out www.suckadelic.com and get your mind blown!