Coinciding with his first children’s book, This is Silly, Gary Taxali has released a series of retro-styled, very affordable, wooden toys. The figures were produced for Canadian bookstore, Indigo, and made in China. Gary told Imprint magazine that he “took existing classic toys and reshaped, redesigned, and reformatted them to make them my characters from my world.” I totally had some of these toys as a kid. In this age of PlayStations and Chat Roulette, it seems crazy that I once found so much enjoyment in a Jacob’s Ladder. But I did. And I hope a few little people on my holiday gift list will, too.
As with Uglydolls’ recent (and cool) mass-market tin toys, this brings up those inevitable questions about art vs. brand. Imprint’s Steven Heller asked Gary about it, and I like what he said:
A few years ago, I made expensive, limited-edition designer toys that cost $60. Now I have toys that cost $5 – $13. The idea of having an affordable product and reaching more people is not a bad thing to me at all. Sure, there are those who suffer from branding by over-saturating the market, but as long as I feel I am putting out products with integrity, I fail to see the downside.
Visit the Taxali shop to pick up these toys for pennies on the (Canadian) dollar. (There is also an option to have them signed by Gary.) Thanks to Canada’s own Vinyl Goddess for the twitter-tip!