Ten years ago, Toy machine had released the most ground breaking skateboard video known to man…“Welcome to hell.” Not only did it truly revolutionize insane slam sections, it left skaters stunned as to what Toy’s new current amateurs and pros were pulling. Toy Machine, to me, will forever be the most inspiring company of all time and I blame “Welcome to hell” for its mesmerizing hold it had on me when I was fifteen. The editing, music, and skating define an era. Dear God, am I really fucking twenty-five? I feel horrible.


The Music in “Welcome to hell” got, rather, still stokes me to flames aside from the footage itself. I literally watched this film religiously before my skate sessions. I was obsessed. My slow-mo function on my VCR wore out I used it so much to review the technical tricks. Still can’t pull a good 30% of these ten year old tricks.

The film begins with an unbelievable montage of the American society as of 1996, with people being lazy, stuffing their faces with edibles and achieving nothing by way of instant gratification and sloppiness. Lard is playing in the background, Power of lard, and blares out in electric guitars, screams and scene changes with Jamie Thomas doing a huge lipslide down an eight to twelve stair handrail and assortment of other skaters performing crazy tricks down too many stairs. I wasn’t ready to see this lunacy…not yet anyway.

jamie thomas smiths an eleven stair



A new amateur (current pro) had joined the Toy Machine crew, Mike Maldonado. I had seen some early technical footage of him on H-Street’s “Lick” in the early 90’s so I was semi-familiar of his style. Skating to The Misfits, London Dungeon, he blew my mind away. Huge ollies over walls and guardrails, blunts down six stair rails. Considering how this was the first skater of the film and he’s shredding up the scene, I was anxious to see who and what the last skater of the film does as the finally.


Elissa Steamer (current pro), possibly the best female skater of the 1990’s proves that women can skate as hard perhaps harder than guys. Besides her trash taste in music, Sundays - you’re not the only one I know, she’s amazing. I was super jealous that she was able to pull off nollie half-cab heel and crooks on short rails while I was still practicing 50-50’s. Horrid!

elissa steamer - crooks


What could top these skaters footage: The team’s tour section!

Van Halen, I’m the one, with skaters flying across skate parks with giant 360 flips, backside tails on car hoods and Jamie Thomas shooting roman candles at the filmer. If that didn’t get one pumped…Brian Anderson would.


Now, Brian Anderson has to be my most favourite underrated skater of all. Guy has so much talent, tech, hardcore. Wow…his part was a milestone for me. Not only did his taste in music blow me away, Pink Floyd, brick in the wall part 2, but his lay-back and smooth style gave me this feeling of wonder. How the hell can anyone pull off big-flips and land them straight and silky? Mr. Anderson. He deserves to be on Girl.

brian anderson - 50/50



Stava Leung. I don’t know too much about this guy other than Toy’s early “Heavy Metal” and “Welcome to hell.” What I do know is that I still envy his killer switch frontside flips. His part opens with him
frontside boardsliding a church rail and an angry catholic citizen yelling at him for doing so.


“Break your leg! Break your leg! I hope God makes you break your leg! You son of a bitch!” Groundbreaking! Hah!


Stava also gets roughed up by a cop for doing an outrageous act of humanity; Skateboarding! Bastard Sub-human.

stava leung - f/s boardslide a dumpster



Donny Barley. Guy does a wall ride on a glass window for his opening trick. Black Sabbath, megalomania, plays while he skates like a madman. Switch 180s a fire hydrant and kickflips a ten stair. Oh man! Donny ends his part with a switch 180 smith down eight and another 180 into switch smith down another eight. Two more skaters; what could be better than that?!

donny barley - huge air!




Ed Templeton. For those of you that don’t know what a knob is, it’s that ugly little stick, bolt, odd thing that building owners put on their rails and/or curbs to prevent skaters to skate them. Whoops! Hitting knobbed rails and up rails with Sonic youth, titanium expose’, in the background Ed kills it.


Iron maiden, hallowed be thy name. Jamie Thomas rolls up. Viewers know this is the last skater of the film; fearful to see what’s about to happen. This guy is crazy you know.


Frontside boardslide down the Brooklyn banks nine set, kick flip, heelflip, ollie down four, 360 flip flat he catches some speed and…backside 50-50 down a fifteen set! OH SHIT! Jamie continues to shock viewers with huge rail tricks, a car hood ollie, a car hood lipslide a kickflip over a motorcycle, a roof gap shuv-it and a pole-vault off trees. Wow! OH NO! What the hell is he doing?!


no shoes!!!


Jamie Thomas ends a great part with a colossal 50-50 down a twenty stair rail. “Welcome to hell” was done and I was proud to be apart of the history. BUT WAIT!


Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining. Beauty is all around. SATAN! Slam section. The Toy crew shows off the pain that comes with the glory. Dislocated toes, face plants, black and blue testicles, leg rips, elbow smashes, sprained ankles and of course they can’t leave out…


breaking necks!!!



In conclusion, I just want to end with a thank you to the Toy Machine crew for all of the inspiration you’ve given me and my buddies during the years. The art, filming, style, and overall skating factors in as a true encouragement I will always cherish. You damn vampire fiends.


-eep!