Toy Machine, a company that has been nothing but solid from the start (1993). It was created by Ed Templeton, one of skateboarding’s veterans who with out a doubt has one the best FS nose-blunts in the game! Initially, at the birth of the brand Templeton couldn’t decide what name to give this new comapany. It was a choice between “Toy Skateboards” or “Machine Skateboards”. It was when his good friend and fellow professional skateboarder Ethan Fowler suggested a combination of the two propositions, giving you Toy Machine Skateboards.
Templeton was born in Orange County, California, US and began skateboarding in 1985. You would have found him cruising the streets of his home town, that was Huntington Beach with his good pal Jason Lee who you may recognize from the popular comedy series ‘My Name Is Earl’, otherwise it’ll be for his mad quirky style on a board. With Templeton he saw nothing but a career in skateboarding, fully committed from an early age, ‘The first thing that I ever saw was a kid skating down the street and he ollied up a curb; that was, you know, the thing that got me started. I thought that was the coolest thing ever, like, how could this guy just keep cruising down the street and not have to stop and pick up his board.’ I’ll have to agree with that too, I thought it was magic. He most definitely didn’t see himself going back to life as a normal human being anyway. He obviously made the right choice as he went on to produce some powerful video parts that have included the best style/selection of tricks I’ve ever seen. His part in ‘Welcome To Hell’ was bonkers!
Holy shit, the One Foot FS lip at 1:30, mind blowing. Templeton has produced many more parts too that I highly recommend you watch, Toy Machine: Jump Off A Building, Emerica: This Is Skateboarding, Toy Machine: Suffer The Joy, Emerica: Stay Gold, the list goes on. As-well as having an incredible career in skateboarding Templeton is also a well respected artist which connects hugely with Toy Machine as the really familiar graphics used in conjunction with the brand have mostly been designed by himself. The well known character featured below can easily be renown as the face of Toy Machine.
Other graphics that come to mind are the Toy Machine Knuckles, The Eye and the Devil, all of them are brilliant designs. Not only are the graphics on fire but their team is also one to be proud of. You will find Diego “The Butcher” Bucchieri, Billy Marks, Josh Harmony, Leo Romero, Matt Bennett, Collin Provost, Jordan Taylor, Daniel Lutheran, Blake Carpenter and Jeremy Leabres shredding the boards. Some of the skateboarders who joined the company during its early period were Brian Anderson, Elissa Steamer, and Brad Staba. However, all three quit the company at the same time. Austin Stephens also joined the team, he actually became the longest-serving team member aside from Templeton but sadly retired from professional skateboarding in December 2013. To commemorate Stephens’s career they released a tribute skateboard deck and Templeton officially stated:
I recall Austin coming to me at the Toy Machine Halloween demo a few years back saying that he didn’t think he could do it anymore. And I said, “Do what?” and he said, “Skateboard. My ankle doesn’t work anymore.” … I respect a man who is willing to see things as they are and make an honest choice. So it was with great sadness that we retired Austin Stephens, the rider who was on Toy Machine the longest aside from me.
It’s a really shame loosing skaters that many of us have looked up too from an early age due to injury. Although let’s not dwell as I’m sure the current team will go on to produce many more eye catching videos for us all to get hyped on. Here’s Nick Trapasso’s part from one of Toy Machine’s more recent videos, ‘Brainwash’. More style than Vivienne Westwood right there.
I love working in a skate shop, none other than here but it’s amazing when you can reminisce about a brand you’ve grown up with. A new drop of Toy Machine boards have just arrived and it takes me right back to being a kid staring at the yet familiar graphics that were plastered on a wall in my local skate shop. I’m pleased to say, you can still find them now on display including here at The Black Sheep Store. All I ask is that you take time to consider this skater owned brand next time you’re thinking of replacing your old whip with a new plank. It deserves a lots of respect and I’m extremely glad my bosses are willing to support one of skateboarding’s finest by constantly stocking Toy Machine. If you’re from Manchester or just appreciate good music you’d be mad to miss out on the new Joy Division inspired graphic.
Keep up with Toy Machine on Instagram.
Purchase your Toy Machine product right here… https://www.blacksheepstore.co.uk/toy-machine.html