November 21st, 2011
There are so many amazing toys out there, and we often get to see a glimpse of artists’ characters brought to 3D life with the customization of platform toys or the creation of a small run of their figures at their own hands. Here’s part of a rundown of artists whose characters I’d love to see in a full production line.
New Zealand artist Paul Shih is a pro at making his own resin toys. His characters are very memorable and he does a great job at realizing them in 3D. His Pandara (below) and Sushi Kaiju figures are amazing! It would be awesome to see these produced in larger runs!
Husband and wife team APAK dream up the most charming characters. They have done some lovely customs, including the UNKL SUG below, but it would be great to see a production toy of one of their little creatures, so I could buy a plethora of them to inhabit my shelves.
I love Oliver Jeffers’ characters from his children’s picture books. As a former children’s librarian, I find that they really stick out as having engaging and unique imagery for both the young and old. Although Jeffers has many characters I’d love to see made into toys, I think his penguin character would be my first pick.
Let’s throw another panda into the mix! Podgy Panda, another artist from New Zealand who is now residing in London, has created some fantastic characters and is a master at customizing even the biggest of toys. I would love to see his signature panda as a line of toys – maybe featuring accessories, like these space panda sketches below!
Stay tuned for the next installment of this list with more characters from talented artists around the world! And let us know whose characters you’d like to see more of.
November 18th, 2011
Recently I visited Alex from Dance Party Massacre to check out his studio space. DPM is a a clothing brand based in Boston, MA that mixes elements from horror movies with keen graphic design to create tongue-in-cheek pieces. His studio is filled with awesome images from campy 80s movies and inspirational slogans to keep his creativity a’flowin. I also ran into this aggro custom Munny, a piece of fan art he received, which I wanted to share. I always love seeing customs on different DIY platforms. This one is ready for a massacre and the box is even splattered with what I am hoping is just red paint…! What are some of your favorite customs you’ve seen this year?
What’s your favorite DIY platform? Teddy Troop? B-Bot? Ghost Girl? Check out our DIY section! There are a ridiculous amount of DIY toys in there as well as markers to get creative with!
November 18th, 2011
Thanksgiving is next week and that means only one thing… the Holidays are upon us and soon we will be bombarded with gift giving! Unlike me, who often waits until the last minute to put together gifts for my loved ones (sorry, guys!), you should get your shopping done as early as you can. There are some awesome art toys and books in this week’s Toy Rundown that would make incredible gifts! And keep an eye out for upcoming mph gift lists tailored for all the people in your life – the young at heart, the young at age, the toy fanatics, the plush lovers and those people who are difficult to shop for!
- The Tree Book by Mark Ryden – This book is the exhibition catalog from “The Tree Show” at the Michael Kohn Gallery in LA. Exquisite paintings, drawings and sketches, as well as photos of sculptures and installations. A great piece for fans of Mark Ryden. I mean, come on… who doesn’t like creepy little girls wearing woodland creatures as hats?!
- Banksy Myths and Legends by Marc Leverton – This awesome book is a collection of stories and tall tales all centered around the enigmatic presence of Banksy. Some might be true and some just hearsay, but they are all pieces of the legend that he is.
- Bellicose Bunny by Nathan Hamill – This little bunny has won my heart! Although bellicose is in his name, I am certain that he fights for good, not evil, making this lil’ guy number one! “Starbunny Fields Forever!” Limited edition of 200!
- Hello Kitty mimobot USB Blind Boxes – Hello, Kitty! Not only is this iconic Sanrio character capable of making people giddy, she’s now a cute and stylish way to save your files! Thanks to mimobot, Hello Kitty acts as a USB flash drive and also comes in cute animal designs! Penguin, fox, panda…! Too cute!
- Skin & Bones Domino Set by Jeremy Fish – Okay, so I’ll be honest, I don’t know how to play dominoes, but I will definitely learn how and then will look super cool when I grab this domino set and hear all my friends “oo” and “ahh” in envy.
- Chipster by Scott Tolleson – This smiley character is Chipster, a gentle, huggable creature who relocated from the bustling city to the serene forest. Be his bff in matching argyle suits, eating chocolate peanut butter cups into the sunset together! (Note: Argyle Suits and PB Cups Must Be Purchased Separately)
November 16th, 2011
JLed’s newest mini series, featuring the 12 animals from the Chinese Zodiac are quickly disappearing in store and online. Produced by Play Imaginative, the Chinese Zodiac mini series comes packaged in window boxes, so you can choose your birth year animal! Each figure is interpreted in Ledbetter’s signature style and each is quite charming, if you ask me. We have already sold out of some and others are running low in stock, so grab your animal before it goes!
And for a little fun, I thought I’d put a poll in today’s post, since JLed has produced a lot of characters in his time as a toy designer.
November 15th, 2011
It’s my birthday today and what I really was hoping for was cupcakes to rain from the sky. Instead, I got regular rain… but I thought I should share in the birthday joy by holding a giveaway on the blog! Today we are giving away two Uglydoll Windups! I received a few of these for my birthday and loved them, so I know you will too. To enter, leave a comment on this post with your top three birthday presents you’ve either received in the past or hope to receive. If one or more of the items on the list is an art toy, you’ll be entered twice in the giveaway. Woohoo! Windups will be chosen at random and so will the winner!