Money Mark = Toys'R'Us
"Keyboard Money Mark You Know He's Not Having It
Just Give Him Some Wood And He'll Build You A Cabinet"
- Finger Lickin' Good
Money Mark has had some very cool toys (if you can call them that) made with his name attached. So far we have 2 officially released figures, a customized figure and a Vinyl Killer.
What on earth is a "Vinyl Killer"?
A small Volkswagen van that drives around on your records and plays them. Yep it's true! They are one of the coolest inventions to come out of Japan.
All it needs is a 9 volt battery (the small square ones). You place the van on your record and the stylus (record needle) on the bottom picks up the sound and plays it through the speaker on the roof. The dimensions are approximately 4.5" (11cm) long, 2" (5cm) wide and 2.5" (6cm) high. They only drive at the one speed (33 RPM) so you can't use it on your 45's. As the name suggests, they're not the best for your records so don't use it to play your mint copy of Pollywog Stew - grab an old disco record instead.
One of the best features is that it is portable, put it in your pocket and you have a record player whenever the need arises.
[The 3 plain Vinyl Killers] [A customised van in action] [Sticker sheet to brighten your van]
There are a number of different Vinyl Killers in existence. The standard plain van comes in Red, Yellow and Blue (that I have seen). But there have also been special vans produced in limited numbers:
You can also get sticker sets to brighten up the plain versions.
- Money Mark
- Shonen Knife
- Parappa The Rapper (from the Playstation game)
I got my "Parappa The Rapper" vinyl killer on a holiday in Japan, and it never fails to impress friends. Get out an old record, put on Parappa and get down! (Mind you dancing too close to the record will cause Parappa's driving skills to come into question and he veers off from his destination and goes cross country!
The Money Mark Vinyl Killer was limited to 500 copies only, and it came with a Blue Vinyl copy of "Maybe I'm Dead".
[A Money Mark van still in it's box]
The Money Mark Figurines
With the MoWax record label's love of figurines, it wasn't long before they created the first Money Mark doll. With his trusty microphone in hand, shirt, tie, sunglasses and detachable amplifier - he was very cool looking.
With the popularity of the first version, a second one titled the "International Traveller Edition" was made. This time he came with gold rimmed shades, plaid travel slacks and sneakers instead of loafers.
Both versions are Limited to 1000 each.
In an article from the XOX Online magazine, Mark talked about the figures:
"It was an idea that Mo'Wax dreamed up. I'm not sure who dreamed it up but it was really only supposed to be a promotional item .... I really think that this person was desperate to make money and decided to manufacture more of them and sell them without my consent." Kurt offers, "I've actually seen the one Money Mark action figure beat the hell outta all the other Beastie Boys figures. And he just did it with eye-contact." Mark responds with, "it wasn't eye contact. It was because my action figure looks nothing like me. It's really pudgy and overweight." We're all laughing at this point. Do his kids have a Money Mark action figure? "No No No. My mom has one. She's proud of it. She has all my gold records and my platinum. My mom's cool."
[Series 1] [Series 2]
The Customized Super Money Mark Figure
On EBay in 2001, a sci-fi looking Mark figure first appeared. Decked out in a robotic torso complete with laser gun, the figures were customized by Mark himself. Taking the series 2 figure and adjusting it, these are highly collectable due to the physical connection with Mark.
Mark's brother Mike Nishita has been known to sell these occasionally online.
To read about the Beastie Boys Figures that were released, check out this article.