Steve Varner is an American toy creator and sculptor and founder of Varner Studios, a leading "in-house" toy development company crafting toys and collectables both traditionally and with cutting edge digital 3D technology.
Varner and his Studio may very well be best known for their creation and help in inception of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy line for Playmates Toys. A production relationship that continues to this day. Steve himself created the very first Michelangelo prototype that would become the proto-sculpt that started it all.
History & Noted Work
If you love pop culture or collecting action figures chances are you have in your collection a piece sculpted by Varner Studios. Most people don’t know who Steve Varner is or his studios’ contribution to the many action figures that have become iconic toy lines associated with pop culture. Varner Studios is located in Torrance, Ca. and was founded in 1979 by sculptor Steve Varner. Steve was formerly a senior sculptor at Mattel Toys and prior to that a sculptor for the motion picture and television industry. Although many people have never heard of Varner Studios they have been responsible for sculpting many of the action figures children have grown up playing with. This also includes more mass produced or less traditional "action figure" toys and collectables. Everything from collectors dolls, statues and busts, toy candy dispensers, toy vehicles and the like.
They are the “behind the scenes” guys in the toy industry for last 30 years. Steve Varner has made Varner Studios legendary in the toy industry. Varner Studios has sculpted some very famous and highly successful toy lines for most of the major toy companies such as Playmates, McFarlane Toys, Mezco, Hasbro, McDonald's, Burger King, Jakks Pacific, Spin Master and Disney to name a handful. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars,Bleeding Edge doll line, Star Trek, BatMan, Toxic Crusaders, Tomb Raider and The Simpsons are a small list of the iconic brands they have helped develop products for.
- Varner Studios
- Varner Studios on Blogspot, source for portions of this article.
- Interview with Steve and an inside look at Varner Studios on Cowabunga Corner