Meet the Androids: Series 02 Preview (pt4)

Most of the Series 2 designs can be found online after MWC if your google-fu is up to snuff, but I thought I’d keep going with the official photo previews! Here’s another new friend!

Name: Blackbeard
Artist: Andrew Bell
Ratio: 1/16

OK this next bit might be somewhat unrelated to toy production, but it is related to a Series 2 design and I know a lot of Android fans read up on here I thought I should share…

Android on your floor! Custom made round rug available for pre-order right now!

We even mixed up a batch of PMS376 (aka Android Green) to make sure this rug was just right!

Hexcode Android approved!

Meet the Androids: Series 02 Preview (pt3)

A few lucky people managed to get their hands on some Series 02 figures at Google’s amazing Android “booth” at this years Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (check out Phandroid’s short video of the amazing display)

Only a few more weeks before Series 02 hits shops both online and off! Look for them to start popping up stateside and Asia around the second week of March, and hitting Europe shortly thereafter. I’ll put together a list of some of the shops that will be carrying them.

Name: Bernard
Artist: Scott Tolleson
Ratio: 1/16

Name: GD-927
Artist: Andrew Bell
Ratio: 1/16

Each box includes a little folding flyer checklist with figure names and artist information.

Meet the Androids: Series 02 Preview (pt2)

Three more for you, and a little tidbit: in Series 02 there are only four 2/16 ratio designs. That means that in any full case you’ll end up with 12 different designs in total, unlike Series 01 where you would end up with only 10!

Name: Bluebot
Artist: Google, Inc
Ratio: 2/16

Name: Racer
Artist: Jeff Yaksick for the Android Team
Ratio: 1/16

Name: Rupture
Artist: Doktor A
Ratio: 1/16

Meet the Androids: Series 02 Preview (pt1)

Just a little over a year after the debut of Android Mini Collecibles Series 01, we’re showing off some sneak previews of Series 02! Many thanks to the fans, collectors, shops and most of all Google for making the first series such a success.

Name: Hexcode
Artist: Andrew Bell
Ratio: 2/16

Name: Cupcake
Artist: Gary Ham
Ratio: 1/16

Name: Greeneon
Artist: Google, Inc
Ratio: 2/16

Each of these three have a little surprise of their own, but I’ll leave that up to you to find out when they arrive!

Series 02 will be hitting the dead zebra shop and dozens of stores both online and in meatspace in early March! More details and previews as we get closer to release!

While you wait, you should see what Android fan Carsten did with one of his figures!

Chinese New Year Android mini collectible!

On February 3rd, over a Billion people will be celebrating the Chinese New Year! To commemorate the event and to help usher in a year of prosperity, we got together with our Asia distributor to create a new special edition Asia exclusive Android mini figure. Meet Cai Shen, the god of wealth!

Unless you are lucky enough to work for Google, Inc in Beijing, or live in China or Taiwan, these little guys will be a bit tough to get. However, I managed to snag 200 for sale over on this side of the pond.

Because there are so few, we’re going to a lottery system. If you live in Americas (North and South) or Europe, you can enter for the chance to purchase one. Despite the extra accessories, they’ll still be $10 like the other special editions (plus shipping).

One entry per person, entries close January 4th.

If you do live in China or Taiwan, the figure will be available for sale at these and possibly other places starting January 5th!



Singapore: (coming soon)
Ozzo Collection


A-Type: Do It Yourself

Finally got some decent photos of the Do-It-Yourself edition of the A-Type figure from Dyzplastic x MPH Labs! I also uploaded a printable sketch template for everyone!

They are available at a few toy retailers already, and I’ll have a few of these figures available in the Dead Zebra shop starting tomorrow for $35.

Printable (PDF) Sketch Template

Oh.. and keep your internet-brain tuned to this station for an exciting announcement in a few hours!

Standard Green Android hitting shops

As I had mentioned a while back, future releases like the Green, DIY and Series 02 Androids will be available from a variety of shops. We got our first shipment of Standard Green Androids in, and they are showing up at retailers! The green guys have their own dedicated box this time.

Here is a quick short list of some shops that have / will have them, many of these shops have physical locations as well! I’ll have mine up in a week or so.

US Based:




Coming soon to these and many more:

Sold out for now but likely restocking soon:

Miss out on a snowman? We’ll have a few more up randomly throughout the week.

Also a good time to note that there has been a flood of the crappy knockoffs, if it sounds too cheap to be true, it probably is. Any “short box” style unopened Series 1 or Green/White toys you see for sale from questionable retailers out there are likely bad copies.

Android Snowman desktop wallpaper!

Creature Cropper Wallpaper!

Gary has gifted us with this fantastic winter theme Android snowman wallpaper! Click the image above to start cropping your own custom desktop image!

The first release today was a success, with the server holding up perfectly! We’ll be making the second drop available on 12/8 at 11PM Eastern Standard Time. Any snowmen remaining the day after that will be up for grabs in case you wanted to pick up a second one for a gift!

Android Snowman mini collectible release info

Gary Ham‘s Snowman Android design will sell for $10 and see two separate releases in the Dead Zebra Shop (to help accommodate the vampires and Australians). The first batch will be available starting Monday, December 6th at 11AM Eastern Standard Time. The second batch will go online Wednesday, December 8th at 11PM Eastern Standard Time.

In order to give the most people a chance, we’re limiting it to ONE per person/address (not per release, just one overall). In the spirit of the holidays, please don’t try to buy one for yourself and one for your cat who lives suspiciously close to you. We reserve the right to cancel any orders for any reason. If there is remaining stock after the 8th, then you can order another one!

As usual you might want to brush up on the Limited Edition release FAQ , and take a peek at the Holiday Shipping Deadlines while you’re at it!

After the unfortunate spontaneous combustion of the Power Vampire release server gerbils, our replacement server wombats have been injected with steroids and given daily protein shakes. There will still be a mad dash, and I expect some slowness and a few errors, but hopefully things will be a bit smoother.

Boo! Halloween Vampire Surprise!

Don’t look now, special Halloween Day release!

“Power Vampire” special window box edition very limited Halloween release will be available for sale on for $10 on Halloween day, October 31st, at 2pm EST / 11am PST (18 GMT) and shipping out shortly thereafter!

We’re letting you know ahead of time, and putting most of them up at once. Limit 2 per household. You might want to read this handy little Limited Edition release guide and FAQ before the big day!

In the meantime please enjoy this little desktop/phone wallpaper! 1920×1200 edition is right here, or you can select your own size and layout by using the wallpaper cropper tool!

I’m also sharing some of the graphical elements for you to spruce up your own sites! The images below are available in the scalable .SVG format and are free to use under the CC Attribution License!

Creative Commons License
Android Halloween Imagery by Andrew Bell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License..

Did you hear something?

Did you hear something? I thought I heard something.. it was probably just the wind.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged

Field guide to spotting fake Android mini collectibles!

* Update 10/18/10: Looks like they finally got around to bootlegging some of the other designs in the first series. I’ve seen some photos and the paint jobs are pretty lousy. These bootlegs are untested, badly painted and of dubious quality. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. *

Flattering as it may be, some suppliers in China have taken to counterfeiting the Android mini collectibles and passing them off as the real thing to unwitting collectors, a few shops have even picked up the fakes and are redistributing them. But isn’t the Android creative commons you may ask? The original 2D character design is, but the toy designs and packaging that I spent months and thousands of dollars developing, not so much. Also the actual ANDROID logo text that appears on the box and back of the figure is trademarked property of Google, Inc and is not supposed to be used without permission.

Here is a quick guide to spotting some of the fakes that may pop up on eBay or other sites ( also know as a guide to making better fake Androids, but let’s hope that it does more good than harm! ).

First up, almost all the fakes are either “Standard Green” or “Albino”, simply because these are the two simplest versions to copy. It takes some time/money/effort/skill to replicate the complex paint applications found in Series 1 designs, so the fake factories don’t bother.

The packaging on the fakes varies from simple to pretty close to the original. All of the fakes I’ve seen are based off of the smaller boxes from the first run of Series 1, so if yours came inone of the newer, taller boxes you’re probably good!

The fake box above is mostly accurate, except that the colors are all too dark and there is this glaring error, the real Hi-Voltage edition has no green in it.

Ironically some of the fake Androids come with “authenticity seals”, this one even has my URL on it and a unique number! There are no such seals on the authentic boxes.

Another obvious tell is that the fakes are usually packed with the “Android” logo facing front. On the real figures, the Android logo is on the back. Here we also see white foam used to protect the antennae on the fake edition.The real first editions of the figures are in plain foil bags with no foam, while the updated second shipment are in printed foil bags with a black foam square on top.

The real Android minis are painted green, it has a nice solid rich matte finish. Most of the fakes I’ve seen are molded directly in green plastic. The logo on the back is also much less pronounced.

While the real Android figures also have a seam along the arm, it is much more obvious on the fake ones. The arms on the fake ones are also often glossy, not matching the rest of the body. The fake antenna are also longer and more fragile than the real ones.

Here is a product shot from a US company that is re-selling fake editions. You can see the fake box, forward facing logo, shiny arms and overly-long antenna. I’ve gotten a few e-mails from customers who were quite annoyed with the shoddy fakes and unable to secure refunds.

You can see in the above photo of more recent fakes. The hi-voltage is right but the “Worker” is yellowed on one and missing dots next to the word “Worker” on another, there should be four rows of each like the others. Also, the shadows under the icons are black, where they should be grey.

I realize some of you may not care because you just have to have your Android fix, this article obviously isn’t for you. However I know there are a lot of great people out there would rather support a small business and independent artist; people who don’t want to throw money away on an inferior knock-off product. Thanks for your support and hopefully this will help you avoid getting scammed. Remember that more Androids are coming to more stores near you!

Thanks again for your support,

– Andrew

Good news everyone! Androids will be in shops!

I‘ve had a talk with the Gmen, and we are clear to open up Android minis to wholesale customers once again! What does this mean? More Androids, more places, making them easier to get in the future. You’ll be able to find future releases in toy, tech and specialty shops, both online and in meatspace!

While there will be a few editions that remain exclusive to the Dead Zebra shop and Google, Inc, you’ll be able to find Standard Androids, Do It Yourself Androids (a new and improved version) and Series 02 at shops across the world!

Series 02 is in the works and is due out Q1 2011 along with an easier to disassemble version of the Do It Yourself Androids! Look for some Standard Androids in a new standalone box (not marked series 01) at select shops this fall.

If you are a merchant and you have been in touch about wholesale distribution, we’ll add you to the list when reservation information goes out. If you have a shop and haven’t been in touch, you can e-mail our distributor DKE Toys with your business information at with the subject “Android Wholesale” to get on their offering list!

Android mini back in stock!

I‘ll have part 6 of the Production blog up eventually, but for now I thought you might be interested to know that the mini collectibles will be back in stock in our new shop!

Starting tomorrow, August 11th 2010, we’ll be adding stock of random, cases, 4-packs, standard green and new blank do-it-yourself Androids to the shop every couple of hours ALL WEEK! Thanks to our new system, they won’t all be gone in 5 minutes (we hope!).

Note that orders are being limited to 20 total pieces and one order per household for the first week, this is to ensure that more people have a fair chance of picking up a little robot love.

A few insider tips. They will still move pretty quickly, Credit Card is the fastest way to pay and ensure that no one ‘cart-jacks’ you before you finish payment (although that can still happen, it’s not “yours” until payment is processed). Make sure your billing and shipping addresses are on file with your bank/credit card company, and have that CCV code handy!

Good luck!

Do-It-Yourself Androids coming soon / SDCC update!

We take a break from our regularly scheduled production party to bring word that pure white blank Do-It-Yourself Androids will be coming soon! We’ll be bringing a small number of them to the International Comic-Con this week, along with several cases of Series 1. Blanks will be available for $6 each, with Series 1 at $7 and cases at $110, we will be limiting the number of sales each day to give more attendees a chance!

Can’t make it to Comic-Con? D-I-Y and Series 1 will be available again online shortly after our return from sunny California! We will be doing some shop beta testing sales the last week of July, and hope to be open for business the first week of August. Want to help beta test the shop and guarantee yourself some sweet vinyl love? Leave a comment with your e-mail address and country (it will not be published to the public) and we will randomly select participants from those comments!

One more thing…

Copperbot Android t-shirts! With metallic copper ink! Available at the booth for $20 (or $17 in a 3 pack with other shirts), and available online along with the toys once the shop relaunches!

Android mini production – Part 5: A fresh coat of paint

Long time no update! Sorry about that, things have been very busy over here. For those looking to buy some more figures, you’ll be happy to know that they have arrived and will be available for sale soon! The first few cases will be accompanying me to San Diego for the International Comic-Con (Booth 1335/1337), with the rest going on sale online upon my return. We’re setting up a new shop and doing smaller timed ‘drops’ to ensure that more people than last time have a chance to get some figures!

Back to the progress! This is what a finished, cooled off, assembled and completely naked Android looks like. Please try not to stare.

That is much better. The standard green Android is a pretty straight-forward matter of spray-painting the correct colors in the correct areas. The more interesting part here is that little strip of color swatches on the right.

All you non-designers out there may not be familiar with how hard it is to match ‘on-screen’ colors to ‘real world’ colors. Those color swatches are part of an industry-wide color reference system from PANTONE. Basically the factory has a copy of that book, I have a copy of the same book, and we can all agree on what the final color should look like without having to worry about anyone properly color-calibrating monitors or printers between offices (and countries). In every design file for each Android variation I make note of which specific color codes to reference (by the way, Android green is PANTONE code 376!).

For designs that go beyond basic painting we turn to the mighty machine for assistance. This one is called a “pad printer”, because it uses rubber pads to transfer paint onto curved and irregular surfaces. The artwork is etched onto the pad much like a traditional rubber stamp, but this pad is much softer. When the pad is pulled down onto the Android it deforms over the shape, depositing the paint in all the right places (hopefully).

Despite all the metal, this is still a mostly manual operation. The operator has to be quite skilled in order to line up all of the tiny details on the more complex designs. Some of the Androids use dozens of different pads in conjunction with complicated spray paint masks.

Next Time: Shape up, ship out and party down!