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Task One


Daniel "Task One" Rowley

Note that this page be updated in an ongoing basis.


It is with great sadness that we report the recent passing of our friend and brother in toys Dan "TASK ONE" Rowley. Task has been involved in customizing toys and producing resin figures for as long as I can remember - I started collecting in 2004.

When I started blogging in around 2010, Task was already producing some of the most memorable customs the art toy community had ever seen. Super intricate, unbelievable attention to detail, micro sculpting, electronics, conceptual art pieces.

Always playing with our perceptions of pop culture, iconography, graffiti style lettering, deconstructing and reconstruction... endless creativity. You can see my pasts about Task One pieces from 2010 - 2016 on my old blog here, as well as on Spanky Stokes here and Vinyl Pulse here.

I picked a few images from those old posts and included them here.

I never knew how he did it, it always felt like he never slept. His work was too time intensive, too intricate, and he produced what seemed to me to be a simply impossible level of work. But he did it, and he worked hard and long hours to master his various crafts.

As he worked and learned and evolved, he developed the seriously legendary resin casting skills that many of our contemporaries talk about in their eulogies.

In the future I will paste some of those words here.

Task became known for his mastery of clear resin, often producing resin sculptures like crystal clear Dunnys over and over till he deemed them perfect.

Then he began inserting / floating other resin objects or sculpts INTO the crystal clear resins (this is called "double-casting"), blowing everyone's minds yet again.

That wasn't enough, in recent years he was working on perfect gradients of colors in clear resins (think about how hard that must be to control color gradients within a liquid?!).

Perfect was never enough for Task, he always worked on the next level. Most recently, a lot of us collectors saw him working in complex double casts with holographic or prismatic effects inside the clear resin which I will probably never really figure out.

I have seen multiple accounts from his friends and associates where they say Task gifted them what he considered to be a "flawed" piece he made while working to perfect one of these styles. I've seen photos of those flawed pieces, even the recipients said that they were visually perfect.

That's just the kind of person Task was. He gave endlessly, quietly. He worked tirelessly. I think I read about 20 eulogies this week from his fellow resin artists which stated that each of them, all of them (think about that) would call up Task and ask him questions about his techniques. And he shared all of his secrets very openly, all you had to do was ask.

Mention it once at a show when you ran into him, and he'd scribble down notes for you about one of his processes or techniques, and hand it to you. And there you'd have it, the secret sauce from the master magician himself. For free. Just because you asked.

That is the kind of person Task was, and those talents were not lost on us. People noticed. One day, Task got a call from Hollywood and off he went. I literally heard this story from the guy that was sitting next to him when he got the call.

Word is he went to work at one of the top prop shops in Hollywood, creating props for some of your favorite shows and movies. Every once in a while he'd post some of these to his Instagram (here) - you don't have to scroll too far down to see a droid from The Mandalorian or a weapon from Captain Marvel.

A little while later, another one of my resin buddies Brian (Dead Head Toys) went out to the same shop to work with Task - a dream team. Whoever runs that shop won the lottery.

To see many many more photos of Dan's beautiful designer toy projects, intermingled with props like the ones above, check his IG here.

If you are so lucky as to own a piece, or 2, or 10, by Task One, you own a literal treasure. Your enjoyment of his work has always made him (very quietly) incredibly happy.

To say that Dan had an effect on the designer toy community would be putting it lightly... in many ways he steered the concept of the designer toy - what level a designer toy SHOULD be, what it should offer the collector. He set that bar suuuper freaking high. When he offered constructive criticism, everyone sat up an paid attention. He didn't often wade into the fray in the boards and groups, but when he did, his comments, ideas, direction and opinions have always been highly respected in our community. 

Over a decade ago he outlined a plan for all of us to elevate our position beyond the micro niche of designer toys. He emailed this to me as a sort of sketch of a path forward, after lengthy conversations. So brilliant, and yet I've been too caught up in my own life to implement even 10% of what he outlined a decade ago. I'll share more about that soon right here. I also have plans to list out as many of Tasks's projects in the art toy space as I can. There have been so many, the compilation will take a while, but I do want current and future collectors and fans of art toys to know and understand who Task was and what he accomplished. 

Task was WAY more than meets the eye. He was always lurking in the shadows at the shows (or outside the shows) or at the pub, hanging out with us rejects... speaking quietly.... all the while, his brain operating at this mega high level that just exhausts me to even try to imagine. 

I have much more to say about Task, his quiet behind-the-scenes demeanor carefully masked a bright analytical intelligence. 

For now you can simply marvel at all of these projects old and new, art toys, custom toys, resin sculptures and props, on his Instagram


Daniel Rowley passed away suddenly and left behind a wife and a young daughter, so your donations truly help a grieving family.