Interview: Dollar Slice Bootlegs

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:

My last words on my grave will read “I wanna be remembered for the toys, or not at all.”

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