Q: What is the purpose of this blog?
A: I wrote something-like-a-reason here.
Q: What are “designer toys”?
A: This is a really simplified timeline:
- Designer Toys: late 1990s-early 2000s; originating in Hong Kong; inspired by street culture, fashion, hip-hop and punk music; sometimes called “urban vinyl;” characterized by the work of: Michael Lau, Eric So, Bounty Hunter, KAWS, James Jarvis, Frank Kozik and others.
- Art Toys: mid-2000s; characterized by companies like STRANGEco & MINDstyle; working artists making limited edition, affordable vinyl versions of their art; the art extended to the toy packaging; examples of prominent players include: Dalek, Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup, and many artists working in the genres called “pop surrealism,” “lowbrow,” and “rock posters”.
- DIY Toys: 2009-current, characterized by customization, self-production (resin), attitude that everyone can be an artist, anything is a canvas, every production toy has a DIY version and a custom show, DIY recognition as a path to production, custom work often includes sculptural enhancements.
Q: Who died and made you ‘toy maven’?
A: Nobody, hopefully. In 2008, over the span of two weeks, two different people suggested the title. If you are ever writing a book report on me, the “toy maven” moniker was proffered to me by Jason Feinberg (Jailbreak) and Brian Jenkins (Gallery Star). I have been using the title less and less. In 2011, @Kaijuchronicle and RhinoMilk made me this graphic.
Q: What is the San Francisco Toy Tour?
A: I used to invite people who were coming in from out-of-town to contact me for a “San Francisco toy tour.” We’d go to Giant Robot, Kidrobot, Super7, Double Punch, Rocketworld, STRANGEco, Heroes Club, Japantown Collectibles, Upper Playground, Gallery1988 and maybe a studio visit with Frank Kozik or Mark Nagata or a trip to Pixar or Clarion Alley. Unfortunately, I’ve stopped giving the tours due to multiple closures of the tour stops in 2011, lack of time and something like a priorities check. San Francisco still rules though. You can find the old map and 79 pictures from the tours that took place on the Toy Tour page.
Q: What’s the difference between men and boys?