San Francisco Wondercon 2011 Pictures and Recap
As I said back in 2009, “Wondercon isn’t about toys.” It’s about comics, superheroes, Star Wars, extreme nerdiness in a variety of flavors, people in costumes I usually don’t understand, and increasingly, video games and movies. Toys are a fringe benefit of Wondercon. But they’re there. You just have to find them before the toy-eating pirates (see above) or the disarmingly chill zombies (see below) get there.
I attended Wondercon on Friday and Saturday, and I ran into most of the Bay Area’s toy artists and “media”. I might go as far as to say that there were more interesting toy people at Wondercon than there were actual interesting toys.
Here’s Dril One spotted at the Uglydolls endcap. The Uglydolls area was a vast array of colorful plush, tin toys and some ceramics. Uglydolls co-creator David Horvath did a signing on Saturday. There’s a bit of foreshadowing in this photo, but that’s a story for another time.
This is Aaron Atchison of Mugo. Mugo makes designer mp3 players that are also USB flash drives. He’s posing with an inflatable version of Shin Tanaka’s Mugo player. Mugo has collaborated with Shin, Frank Kozik, Jon Burgerman, Travis Lampe, Scott Tolleson, Julie West and a bunch of others. I think it’s a cool product, but at this point, I’ve already got an mp3 player and a USB flash drive.
Here’s what the Mugo players look like. Cute, right? It’s a Shin Tanaka/Julie West sandwich.
JULIE WEST AND ADRIANNA BAMBER
Julie West and Adrianna Bamber‘s booth was stocked with vinyl, plush and resin toys, as well as a illustration work.
Julie had this amazing dollhouse populated by hand-painted Kokeshi dolls.
Adrianna had the fully-painted resin version of her unicorn (last seen as a proto at APE’10). I know from experience that Wondercon isn’t always the right crowd for “art” toys, so I hope you online readers will go visit Julie’s and Adrianna’s virtual stores for your fix.
Rampage Toys is new to me. They were showing a M.U.S.C.L.E.-looking rainbow of resin ACE figures, some in collaboration with The Godbeast. The angry chocolate chip cookie was more my style. Their online shop is here. I’ve got more photos of Rampage Toys here.
The cupboards were pretty bare at Kidrobot. Their wares mostly focused on Munnyworld and some older and licensed (Simpsons, Family Guy) toys. Huck Gee did a signing on Saturday.
Ditto for Super7 on going minimal. They debuted two new colors of existing figures at Wondercon, but the focus seemed to be more on T-shirts.
JIM CRAWFORD/MARK NAGATA
Thankfully, I ran into Mark Nagata who had a messenger bag full of toys. Here he is with Jim Crawford, my Day 1 Con-partner.
They didn’t have a booth, but the Dragatomi family was in attendance, waving to their fans as they made their way down the aisles… I kind of dig Kayla’s expression, which seems to say: “This ain’t all that. My parents own a toy store.”
Camilla D’Errico is always super nice to run into. I see her a couple times a year at various conventions. She had books, shirts, jewelry, prints, plushes…and she dropped some secret info about upcoming vinyl toys and sculptures. Pick up her book Femina & Fauna. I did. More photos of Camilla D’Errico here.
Pop surrealist oil painter Joe Sorren sketched and signed his new book at the Last Gasp booth on Saturday. I read it cover to cover last night, and now I wish I’d bought two. Joe was really cool to chat with, and this is another book I recommend picking up. There’s a great chapter on his process. More photos of Joe’s signing here.
Check out this awesome showcase of all things Blamo. They had some nice-sized wood and leather pieces by Spencer Hansen, plus the Con-debut of a Dril One collab. More photos of Blamo Toys here.
SHING YIN KHOR
Shing Yin flew up from LA with her monsters and specimens in carry-on. Shing is hardcore. Hard Khor? Find any Wondercon remains in her etsy store.
Shing totally earns extra points for wearing her LOVE MOVEMENT T-shirt. (You, too, can own a LOVE MOVEMENT tee…)
Animator and LOVE MOVEMENT alumni, Sho Murase in the Artists’ Alley.
Jay222, Sarah and Gremmie smiling for this picture mere hours before I “got there first” to a mutually coveted, most awesome painting at Kokoro Studio’s Rise Japan art opening.
There’s Pushead, Jesse Hernandez and Alex Pardee chilling with the tables turned, as fanboys, in the Artists’ Alley.
George and Ayleen of Toy Break off duty this time… I told them that Designer Con is my favorite convention, and I meant it.
KUSO VINYL and JESSE HERNANDEZ
Speaking of Jesse Hernandez, he signed his Mictalan figures at Kuso Vinyl on Saturday.
Kuso also had a variety of Spiki vinyls on hand, with Nakanari available both days to sign and sketch.
MINDstyle‘s Kobe Bryant figure stood on a lonely-looking card table retailed by an action figure company. My how the heroes have fallen…
BABY TATTOO and RAGNAR
Ragnar joined Baby Tattoo Books on Saturday.
Skinner made the scene at the Color Ink Book booth on Saturday. He had prints and mini and maxi Lurkers.
I picked up a G.I.D. mini to match the black mini I snagged at A.P.E.
Here’s your obligatory Storm Trooper photo…
I’ll balance that out with some Harry Potter kids.
I’m not sure what’s happening here, but maybe that’s OK?
Gentlemen who may never know the touch of a woman…
Vyxsin and Kent, the goth couple from the Amazing Race. I have no idea why they were here or what they were selling, but for goths, they seemed pretty happy to be there. Goths in pop culture FTW!
Reality TV was repping at Wondercon. While I somehow missed Jane Wiedlin on The Surreal Life, she was definitely my favorite Go-Go, not to mention the best cameo of Clue and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
My posse for Wondercon Day 2: Yosiell Lorenzo, Matt Hisey, Michal Wisniowski, and um, “a friend”.
Good times! See you next year!
Want more? For 107 unabridged photos from Wondercon 2011, see my Flickr set.
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I love your description under the Dragatomi family photo ha ha