South African artist Kronk designed a somewhat complex “Yankee Pig Dog Labbit” as a homage to Labbit originator, Frank Kozik. It’s got lots of rivets and stripes and jetpacks and such. While that’s all very alluring, the “exciting features” that Kidrobot‘s marketing department wants to talk about are: misregistration; sloppy, hand-painted look and fuzzy paint details. Do go on…
Ever so often things don’t go exactly as planned…And so it is with the Yankee Pig Dog Labbit. Don’t get us wrong, we’re stoked with the end result (but it just wasn’t up to snuff). It’s a reflection on us, not the artists involved, so we’ll take the hit. We’re knocking a few bucks off the price. Awesome, right? There may be some inconsistencies in production…But it is still amazing. And now you can buy a whole squadron!
On the one hand, transparency is good. But on the other hand, if Kidrobot knows its product “just wasn’t up to snuff” before releasing it, why release it at all? It’s not like this statement is coming after-the-fact, like a recall. It’s a pre-call.
“Sloppy, hand painted look” is also curious phrasing for a company responsible for growing the DIY toy movement with blank vinyl toys designed for hand-painting. There is sloppy hand-painting and meticulous hand-painting. And then there are excuses.
Not to mention that $69 still seems like a high price for a defective toy. When I see those commercials for Marshalls (“Never pay full price for fabulous!”), I get the feeling that the discount to defectiveness ratio is better than this.
But I’m not the target demographic for this release. A quick online search showed that fans of Kronk who were already planning to pick this up are undeterred. Their interest is in 1) supporting the artist and 2) collecting another piece of his work.
Meanwhile, the people who enjoy hating on Kidrobot (yet somehow still patronize their blog and message boards) snark it up with: “Misregistration, sloppy paint job, fuzzy details… how is this different than any other KR release?”
As for Kronk, he seems to be taking the whole thing rather well given that 300 sub-par art toys with his name on it are about to be released into the world: “There were a few problems with the paint, but not major from my point of view” and “Just glad this toy is seeing the light finally.”
Kronk’s Yankee Pig Dog Labbit will be available for $69 through Kidrobot on October 14th at New York Comic-Con. You can find the latest details and comments about the release here.