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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

SDCC 2005: Part the Second The designer toy market has exploded in the past couple of years and stole my wallet. At the con, the aisles showcasing the latest and greatest in vinyl toys have grown as well. Some of the best toy designers are working in animation and comics (and vice versa), proving that a good design is a good design no matter what the medium.

There were some really cool showcases from the likes of Strangeco, Critterbox, Kidrobot, Toy Tokyo, Wheaty Wheat, Uglydolls, and Monsterisms, to name a few. I have to say that some of my favorite overall picks from the con ironically were toys. Check these out and see what I mean:

Jeff Soto's "Walker" produced by the fine folks at Critterbox is a stunner. The sheer size and love put into this baby is incredible. Soto's paintings are a visual cornucopia, so whoever had the idea of translating his creation into a toy is either crazy, or a genius. Critterbox (lead by the fearless Conor Libby) always seems to put out quality products (see their Dave Cooper toys), staying faithful to the artist's vision from sculpt to paint - and this one is no exception. The little dude inside the cockpit and the attention to detail (the paint roller!) just kill me. I don't know how much this toy is going to sell for but whatever the amount, it will be worth it.

A cool series coming out from Wheaty Wheat Studios, is Christopher Lee's The Urbanites. I got a chance to talk with Chris for awhile and he's one of those young-and-too-talented guys that make you feel really old-and-not-that-talented. He was the nicest, most unassuming guy and it seems like he has a great future ahead of him in toys, art shows, and animation. Chris is going to explode onto the scene once he graduates... That's right...HE HASN'T GRADUATED YET. I don't know about you, but the Golden Gate is looking mighty nice just about now.

You can see a good interview with Chris HERE at Vinyl Pulse.

Finally, much like comics, there's that one sleeper hit that gets everyone's drool flowing. Out of left field this year landed the Neth Creatures. Husband and wife team of Jay and Anna took toy design to a high level of sophistication. They both come from a design background (retail, fashion) and you can see their taste come through in not only their final toys, but in the packaging, poster prints, and display booth. I was especially impressed by their sense of pattern and color - something that is oftentimes unaddressed in designer toys in favor of kooky characters and "underground" paint customs. Everything just looked so darn classy (imagine if Martha Stewart and Banana Republic joined forces to make toys)! For a steal at $10, the Neth Creatures are the only toys that can fit in right next to your Pottery Barn picture frames. I look forward to seeing what they come up with next!

(I'm not taking credit for any of these photos. If they're yours, please let me know so I can give you credit.)


Blogger Alan said...

Nice part two Roq.

Yep, our awesome producer Corrine loves the Neth Creatures. She went crazy and bought almost everything she could at the booth! Kudos to Jay and Anna for kicking tail at the Con.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Jared Chapman said...

sooooo coooool!
Jeff Soto's Walker graced the cover of Juxtapoz magazine a while back... he's so grand.

10:16 AM  
Blogger roque said...

Start saving your pennies... You can see another cool discussion about him and toys HERE.

11:52 AM  

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