Hula girl is on her way

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 in New Stuff

I’ve been so busy it seems like forever since I started this project.  Well, now its underway again, and I’m gunning to have it ready for the San Diego Comic Con this year.  If you check an older Blog post, you’ll find pictures of a little sculpt that was intended to be a dashboard Hula girl – the sort that has a spring under her skirt that allows her to bobble back and forth.

The prototype

The first big hold-up was the skirt.  The old nodders from the 50′s had a cloth fringe that was probably used for drapes and chairs. The soft fringe was the perfect accompaniment to the soft features of the hula girls. But after several trips to the garment district, I could only come up with one fringe that was thick and full enough for a skirt, and it was unfortunately too short, as you can see by the picture. It wasn’t just too short aesthetically, but the fringe is also there to hide the wide gap in the girl’s legs that will be cut out for the spring. As you can see, this isn’t going to work for that.  The other problem was cost – they were going to be expensive at the numbers I was intending to make, and thus the whole thing went on the back burner till I had more time to devote to the project.

But its back on now.  I am planning on a run of only 150 to 200.  They will be cast in resin, and thus will have more detail than the vinyl girl from two years ago.  The resin will also give them the weight they will need for the spring to work.  As for the fringe, I’ll just move forward and hope something can be turned up.  The smaller run will compensate for the final cost.

But there is something else I’ve been wanting to do with this…

Prototype Mark II

This is the prototype for a huge version of the dashboard hula girl.  It will be an exact duplicate of the normal one, but at around three feet tall.  It will be fiberglass, and the four or five finished pieces will be hand painted by myself.  They will be scaled up versions of the smaller in all aspects, even down to the spring, which we’ll have to do a little research on in order to get the action just right.  The base will need to be weighted with sand to accommodate the spring action.  Who would buy such a thing?  I’m frankly not sure.  I’m hoping a gallery or two in Hawaii might sell them for me.  Or even someone here in Los Angeles.

Side view

Hula Mark II

Reverse angle

To answer a couple of questions up front, I’m not sure what the final price of one of these is going to be.  Just making the first one is likely to run to between six to eight thousand dollars.  I’m planning on making four or five, but the first one is likely to be sawed apart and used to engineer the balance weights and spring placement.  Even if I make five all total, I’ll probably be charging around three thousand dollars for each.  The skirts will be custom made, and I’ll start figuring out how to do all that in the next couple of weeks.  I’d like to have a traditional woven grass skirt, only using synthetic grasses so it retains it’s texture.

Do I think these will sell?  Hell no.  I really don’t expect to sell one, so I’ll probably end up with an expensive set of giant wobbling garden hula gnomes.  At least it will be easy for people to find my house.

New year, new website

Posted on Jan 18, 2010 in New Stuff

Through the wonder of modern technology, I’m attempting this very first post during a flight to New York.  We’re doing a bit of press for How To train Your Dragon before continuing on to London where John Powell will record the score.

The wondrous Nicolette Davenport is responsible for this beautiful upgrade to the site.  I really think she’s outdone herself – Thank you, Nicolette!  I am delighted with the way it turned out.

Now its my job to keep it current and interesting.

SD Comic Con

Posted on Jul 26, 2008 in New Stuff

Maile's of Comic Con 2008

Maile's of Comic Con 2008


So another Comic Con has come and gone, and this one seemed to go faster than ever.  Partly it’s because I decided to try and do some drawings for sale this year.  I think I managed to get like, seven done over two days.

And of course, I didn’t use my Blog for what it’s for – namely letting people know where my booth was. This is because I’m oficially an idiot, and didn’t exactly know where my booth was till I showed up and saw it myself.  Anyway, I’m back and Kiskaloo has it’s new site, thanks to Nicolette.  Oh, the vinyls you see above are the new colors that came in just before Con.  We have a lot more that are in Long Beach, waiting to be transferred to storage, and we’ll be seling them on the site.  I’ll color-correct the picture later so you can see the colors more like they really are.  The store on the site is scheduled to open in less than a month, and I’ll keep everyone up to date on that.  Until then, here is a picture of me drawing, which I’m sure you will find fascinating, and one of the sketches I did while I was there.



Oh! Be sure and see the new site if you haven’t already!  It’s easy to find -


Monday update – what’s going on?

Posted on Apr 7, 2008 in New Stuff

So here’s the deal – I’m gonna be a little late this week, and plan to post the new Kiskaloo on Wednesday – I know, I know, I’m lame and disgusting. But I’m not entirely without news. So what’s the deal with the green girl? Well, sit back and I’ll tell you a tale! Every time I’ve traveled to Hawaii, I’ve been so in love with the place and the people I’ve met, and like everyone else I want to bring home something that I could set on my desk that would remind me of the good times I had. In particular, I’ve been looking for the perfect dashboard hula girl. I have a little collection of them, but the thing is, they’re all from Ebay, because it seems like the really cute ones haven’t been made since the 50′s and 60′s. Now I could be missing something, but the ones I’ve found recently have such harsh angles, and are just lacking warmth and grace. And the skirts are made from this crinkly plastic that’s blue and green and red and such.

So I told myself that if I got the chance I’d make one of my own, that would have the softer angles and the cloth skirts that are on the old ones. So here’s my take on that. This is the prototype of my first Hula girl, which will have a spring under her skirt and a base that looks like a sandy beach. She’s green because of the matrix used in the prototyping printer. The base is missing in this picture, and we’re hunting for a skirt that’s longer, as this one is more of a mini skirt that wouldn’t hide the spring. I’ll post a tinted version later, that will give a better impression of the finished piece. Oh, and my hats are off to Johnny Fisk of  Atomic Monkey, and Bear Williams who did the sculpt!



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