You Can Have a Nazo!
If you’ve ever been to a street parade in Rhode Island you’ve probably seen some crazy things – maybe a few roaming ginormous creatures. RI’s best-known, most distinctive creatures are a part of Big NAZO, an internationally touring performance group of visual artists, puppet performers and masked musicians who unite to create bizarre and hilarious larger-than-life characters, environments and spectacles. Now you can find those same characters and creatures on a much smaller scale. Enter Blue Lab Industries. Blue Lab Industries, owned and operated by Rick Scianablo, is a Rhode Island-based one-stop creative production shop specializing in product design, 3D scanning, jewelry, molding, 3D design and manufacturing. I recently visited Blue Lab Industries and sat down with Rick to talk about his Big NAZO inspired collectibles and toys.
Victoria Blanchard (Motif): How long have you been in the industry?
Rick Scianablo: I moved here from New York and have had five studios in RI over the last 10 years. I started Blue Lab Industries two years ago and started focusing on 3D.
VB: So tell me a little about Blue Lab Industries and your 3D designs.
RS: We can make anything from anybody’s idea and turn it into a real life object. We can even scan a real person and have it duplicated.
VB: Did you want to get involved with Big Nazo?
RS: I saw the characters and thought, “Yeah, that’s something I could get into.”
VB: What’s the process of making one of these collectibles?
RS: First we make the mold for the creature we want. Then we pour in whatever material we’re using, depending on whether we want the product to be squishy or hard.
VB: Are these characters available for purchase?
RS: Yes, they are available on our website at bluelabindustries.com Check us out!
The figures are new, and represent the first real merchandise available from NAZO. They’re not only collectible, they support a good cause – keeping the reality-bending performers out and about throughout the state (and the world). You can see prototypes and limited edition toy figures – from one to 12 inches high, and in materials from soft foamy plastic to bouncy rubber to weighty bronze – by window shopping past the NAZO showcase space at 250 Westminster St. (where Cafe Tazza used to be). Visitors are welcomed. “The exciting thing about having Big NAZO’s popular cycloptic astro-troll Character, Cornea, made into a collectible figure/toy is that it’s a reversal of the process by which a lot of toys come into being these days,” says NAZO founder Erminio Pinque, “We’re seeing mascots, TV shows, movies and all kinds of merchandise spawning from pre-existing toy marketing campaigns or social media platforms. “In the case of Cornea, she’s existed for many years in ‘real life’ appearing in NAZO shows, parades and videos locally and around the world. She’s Invaded parks and schools, walked down city streets, danced in massive stage spectacles … and now she’s inspired a collectible toy created from an actual full body scan! Anyone who has a Cornea on their shelf or toy box can be proud of how she’s different from all the other stuff out there.” It fits right in with NAZO’s mission to show children and adults that there is a special joy in being different, because we all feel like we’re from another planet sometimes. For now, all figures are collectible limited-edition productions. Most of them are variations of Cornea. Lumpy, mostly greenish and always silently expressive, the cyclopian character is one of NAZO’s longest running. He and his kinfolk are kid-friendly favorites and part of the NAZO band. For a direct line to the strange spirit of NAZO, see our insert featuring some of our reader’s favorite monsters of the month – illustrations by NAZO founder Erminio Pinque.