John Pryor grew up in an artistic house, surrounded by artists. But it wasn’t until he started making toys that he found his artistic calling.
Dollar Slice is a rockstar in the toy world. His personality and attitude are a reflection of his work. Sometimes it is just a fun bootleg toy and sometimes it is a “Fuck You” to the system.
I talked with my buddy John “Dollar $lice” Pryor just before Christmas...
BR: Christmas is coming up soon. How do you handle the holidays as someone who makes toys?
DSB: Thanks for having me partake in this! Yeah man, it’s freaking gnarly. I feel like making toys during the holiday season is like spitting in the ocean. There’s just soooo much work to choose from out there these days. It’s a lot more hustle than say the rest of the year but it’s always fun and we’re making toys so already that’s a dream life. On the super positive side of things, it’s super easy giving gifts to homies n what not since like there’s a Santa factory of cool shit here haha
BR: What new stuff you been working on?
DSB: Oh my, that’s like a loaded one hahah!! Feck, I’ve got that Simpsons “Back To School” series that’s coming out... got some fun stuff cooking for that assembly required show, Clutter Inaction7 and got a second edition rocket firing snaggletooth coming soon too.
Lisa in DSB’s “Back to School” Series
Card Art by Carlos “MOC Toys” Espinoza @moctoys
BR: Who’s coming up in the scene that you have your eye on?
DSB: There’s so many amazing artists coming up constantly that I’d be playing favorites to name anyone. I do enjoy this newer generations level of precision with their casting. I feel like all the up n comers are doing a great job, so I guess I’m watching all of em haha!
Rocket Firing Snaggletooth DSB’s “Grail Piece”
Card Art again by: @moctoys
BR: What would you be doing if you weren’t making toys?
DSB: I don’t know what I’d be doing. Making toys motivated me to quit an endless cycle of alcohol abuse of over a decade. So I can guess pretty clearly that I’d be in jail by now and prolly with a felony or two cause I was a master of ruining my life with a bottle. I’d already run out of close calls and pure luck ya know? Yeah I’d be in a cell. No doubt.
BR: Making toys had a big part of my sobriety as well.
Do you think there is therapeutic or healing aspect to making toys?
DSB: I didn’t realize you were in the same boat?! Dude awesome! It’s wild. I dunno if the toys are therapeutic or helpful at all honestly. I feel it’s completely the individuals own inner strength and unwavering integrity. You gotta be strong enough to look at yourself brutally and take 110% accountability for the place you’re at. That’s fucking hard work and no amount of rich parents or rehab vacations will be enough if you’re not committed to a life you’ve never lived. It’s doing everything the opposite of how you ever did anything before. I mean for everyone one of us that kicked the bad habits, there’s 5 more that can’t stop for the life of themselves and in their cases I feel the whole toy art scene actually enables self destructive tendencies. So I guess no, I think toys just attract some incredibly fucked up broken losers and it’s easy enough to do as well, so even if you’re bangin dope, you can still get a decent following n career. It’s completely a case by case situation.
In my experience. Also, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying everyone doing this is a fucked up broken loser... But a lot of us were
BR: Good point. I never thought making toys was therapeutic. It’s hard, arduous work that only a lunatic would pick up.
DSB: I totally agree. Making toys is one of the most stressful career paths I’ve walked. I love it and will never quit but it’s far from calming or relaxing.
BR: Is this a good toy?
DSB: What the actual fuck dude?! Is that Ferris Bueller in some sorta gadget laden toy?! It looks like a death trap. I dunno if that’s good or bad.
BR: Well. This has been fun...
Any last words?
Where can people find you and your stuff?!
DSB: Thanks for asking me to play ball with ya dude! I really appreciate the time it takes to make these interviews all come together. People can find me on IG: @Dollar_Slice_Bootlegs
They can buy my art here: www.dollarslicebootlegs.bigcartel.com
My last words on my grave will read “I wanna be remembered for the toys, or not at all.”