558 - The Collection with Huck Gee - Part 16: Roy Miles

The Collection continues to expand with Roy Miles and his whole Hoodfoot Family. With a childhood rooted in broken Millennium Falcons, Hanna Barbera colorways, and the birth of hip hop happening right outside his front door, Miles had a completely unique viewpoint within the designer toy community. However, being ahead of your time has its drawbacks and after difficulty upon difficulty, Roy pivoted over to animation and film to get his ideas out. There is no stopping a passionate creative once they set their mind to it and this part of The Collection truly highlights that fact. Huck has been busy as well with Dapper Little Scoundrels and every other project coming through his Fun Factory which expands his skill set tenfold. 

Talking Points

  • Being around when it all become a genre and finishing before it even caught on. 
  • Analyzing the market to make what doesn't exist but still feels familiar. 
  • Darby The Fixer comes together perfectly. 
  • The evolution from Gold Life to Dapper Little Scoundrels and working from your roots. 
  • A completely different visual aesthetic. 
  • Building three mini-verses, developing multiple styles, and continually learning.  
  • Tapping into the color palette of the Seventies. 
  • Characters that appear out of nowhere, Tumbleweaves, and abandoned baby strollers. 
  • Bringing your characters to life even if you don't know how to do it. 
  • The best bits of a few people you know. 
  • Hallmarks of storytelling and running down new scenarios in your backyard. 
  • But... what cartoon is that from?
  • Designing for kids instead of designers. 
  • Goals. Characters. Turmoil. High stakes. 
  • Making an experience and not a cool guy trophy. 
  • Extreme Ghostbusters and how aggressive clown culture ruined pop culture. 
  • When music was music for life off the radar. 
  • Hiding music from your parents. 
  • Urban vinyl toys and wrapping your head around an all new aesthetic. 
  • Hitting up various 7-11s for Sprite Figures and getting Type 2 Diabetes for the love of collecting. 
  • Forensic research over in China back in the day. 
  • Making the Biddies and who they are modeled after in real life. 
  • Sexy details only you know about. 
  • Making videos for Green Day, Talib Kweli, and getting fired for calling Bobby Brown out on his cocaine usage. 
  • Will anyone sell hip hop toys?
  • The genesis of the toy industry and already being an outsider because of your background and having the scene walk away from you. 
  • From Toy Story to Biddies. 
  • Opportunities, blowing smoke up your ass, and trying to balance your home life. 
  • Working on animation in documentaries with some old guys from Berkeley. 
  • A Hoodfoot adult-sequel Chuck E. Cheese and being for the kids all while keeping it real. 
  • Being lost and finding yourself in the process. 
  •  Getting better at being hands on one added detail at a time. 
  • New tools, new possibilities, with all new perfectly branded ideas. 
  • The tipping point on social media in the designer toy world. 
  • Not a mid life crisis... a life crisis!
  • Huck's DIY Fun Factory that needs a documentary done about it. 
  • Selling directly to the people and cutting out the middle man. 
  • Huck is out of the frying pan, but is he in the fire too?

Listening to Roy's many creative outlets the through line is his ability to tell a story. Mike Bonifer founded bigSTORY and shares with us the concept of quantum storytelling.

Hoodfoot is for the kids and that affects Roy's design decisions about the character. In AID 549 Lincoln Design Co. breaks down working with Nerf and taking over all of Aisle 10 in Target.

Want to hear more about the beginning of the designer toy world? In Huck's very first appearance on AID we get his unique insight into Kid Robot and how it all started.