Mindzai – DIY Toys, Art and Good Times!

Mindzai Logo Banner

For years Chris Tsang wondered what his contribution to the art community was going to be. He spent years working retail, then in a print ad agency.

Mindzai Store FrontAnd then came the Mindzai.com blog – his appreciation for street art and graffiti and more traditional mediums had him taking pictures and visiting shows and galleries. He posted early and often, finding an audience that, like him, wanted to see more awesome art.

But then, as it does, things got a little stale and Chris held back on the blog. Until late 2012 when he found the spark again and decided that Mindzai (say it slow… mind’s eye) needed a reboot. He did the design and coding himself and in January 2013 the site relaunched… with a new wrinkle, E-Commerce.

Chris started selling awesome toys and gear that art lovers (like him) loved right away. And that was just the start of Mindzai’s new adventure. In the spring he brought some gear to Homebase at 11 Camden St. The next thing he knew, his stuff was all sold and (artist/Homebase owner/friend of Chris) Skam invited him to move in and take half the store. Less than a week later he did. And on June 1, 2013 Mindzai became more than just a website and blog – it was a store.

Mindzai Toy Shelf

Last Wednesday I visited Homebase + Mindzai for the first time with the invitation to check out a DIY toy workshop with Chris and some other lucky invitees. The moment I walked in my eyes were wide – but I didn’t know where to look. The bright colours of the spray paint cans are intoxicating, but the toys on the shelves make me want to reach out and start playing right away. The toys are wide in range – but all fall in the same family of style. Personally, as you may guess, I was drawn to the superhero and sports toys. Marvel, DC, Transformers and the NBA are all on display and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want some of each of them somewhere in my place.

Note: To hear Chris talk about the toys is awesome. It’s a cool thing when someone talks about something that they are genuinely passionate about. He brings up collection culture which speaks to me as a former baseball card junkie. And he smiles when he talks about the Blindbox toys and what it feels like to watch people open boxes hoping that they’ll get the figure that they want. If you stop in to pick something up for yourself, do him a favour and open it in the store so he can watch.

As a group we sat down to DIY some toys of our own. Everyone was given a goodie bag with some Blindbox toys (I got an add your own stickers Spider-Man) and a blank toy to paint/colour at the table. Turns out I was sitting with some pretty talented people. Chris also told us that he plans on turning the DIY Workshops into a regular occurrence at the shop. He’s looking at Monday to Saturday in the evening and Sunday mornings. Let me tell you this, it’s a good time. There was a lot of table talk about designs and colours and ideas and inspiration. And we were all strangers! Getting a room full of co-workers or friends together to give this a go sounds like a helluva good idea.

Mindzai DIY Toys

Note: My toy is the dude on the left… the more awesome toys were made by 2 of my fellow workshoppers. They have that talent I was talking about.

To say that Chris has found his place in the artistic community and his way to contribute would be an understatement at this point. Mindzai keeps growing, his ideas keep flowing and the people keep coming through the door.

If you’re a collector, stop in. If you’re curious, stop in. If you are looking for a new hobby, a gift for a friend, a place to try something new, and a good guy to facilitate the whole experience – head over to 11 Camden St.

It’s Awesome!

Contact Mindzai
webiste: www.mindzai.com
twitter: @mindzai
facebook: mindzai creative shop
i
nstagram: @mindzai
phone: 416-737-2711

Homebase Mindzai Spray Paint

Mindzai Logo Banner

creator of content, manager of community, writer, tweeter, coffee drinker. sports, comics, movies, food, music & pop culture geek. Proud MoBro.

Mindzai – DIY Toys, Art and Good Times!

Mindzai Logo Banner

For years Chris Tsang wondered what his contribution to the art community was going to be. He spent years working retail, then in a print ad agency.

Mindzai Store FrontAnd then came the Mindzai.com blog – his appreciation for street art and graffiti and more traditional mediums had him taking pictures and visiting shows and galleries. He posted early and often, finding an audience that, like him, wanted to see more awesome art.

But then, as it does, things got a little stale and Chris held back on the blog. Until late 2012 when he found the spark again and decided that Mindzai (say it slow… mind’s eye) needed a reboot. He did the design and coding himself and in January 2013 the site relaunched… with a new wrinkle, E-Commerce.

Chris started selling awesome toys and gear that art lovers (like him) loved right away. And that was just the start of Mindzai’s new adventure. In the spring he brought some gear to Homebase at 11 Camden St. The next thing he knew, his stuff was all sold and (artist/Homebase owner/friend of Chris) Skam invited him to move in and take half the store. Less than a week later he did. And on June 1, 2013 Mindzai became more than just a website and blog – it was a store.

Mindzai Toy Shelf

Last Wednesday I visited Homebase + Mindzai for the first time with the invitation to check out a DIY toy workshop with Chris and some other lucky invitees. The moment I walked in my eyes were wide – but I didn’t know where to look. The bright colours of the spray paint cans are intoxicating, but the toys on the shelves make me want to reach out and start playing right away. The toys are wide in range – but all fall in the same family of style. Personally, as you may guess, I was drawn to the superhero and sports toys. Marvel, DC, Transformers and the NBA are all on display and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want some of each of them somewhere in my place.

Note: To hear Chris talk about the toys is awesome. It’s a cool thing when someone talks about something that they are genuinely passionate about. He brings up collection culture which speaks to me as a former baseball card junkie. And he smiles when he talks about the Blindbox toys and what it feels like to watch people open boxes hoping that they’ll get the figure that they want. If you stop in to pick something up for yourself, do him a favour and open it in the store so he can watch.

As a group we sat down to DIY some toys of our own. Everyone was given a goodie bag with some Blindbox toys (I got an add your own stickers Spider-Man) and a blank toy to paint/colour at the table. Turns out I was sitting with some pretty talented people. Chris also told us that he plans on turning the DIY Workshops into a regular occurrence at the shop. He’s looking at Monday to Saturday in the evening and Sunday mornings. Let me tell you this, it’s a good time. There was a lot of table talk about designs and colours and ideas and inspiration. And we were all strangers! Getting a room full of co-workers or friends together to give this a go sounds like a helluva good idea.

Mindzai DIY Toys

Note: My toy is the dude on the left… the more awesome toys were made by 2 of my fellow workshoppers. They have that talent I was talking about.

To say that Chris has found his place in the artistic community and his way to contribute would be an understatement at this point. Mindzai keeps growing, his ideas keep flowing and the people keep coming through the door.

If you’re a collector, stop in. If you’re curious, stop in. If you are looking for a new hobby, a gift for a friend, a place to try something new, and a good guy to facilitate the whole experience – head over to 11 Camden St.

It’s Awesome!

Contact Mindzai
webiste: www.mindzai.com
twitter: @mindzai
facebook: mindzai creative shop
i
nstagram: @mindzai
phone: 416-737-2711

Homebase Mindzai Spray Paint

Mindzai Logo Banner

Scroll to top