Mar 26, 2018

An Introduction to Pop Mart

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Recently, POP MART, a leading Art Toy brand in China, has been making news here, as the organizers behind the Beijing Toy Show (BTS) which debuted last September, the upcoming Shanghai Toy Show (STS) which will be held from April 4th to April 7th, and as the producers of the brand-new Satyr Rory blind-box series from Seulgie. But, who is POP MART? It turns out that they are one of the premiere art toy brands in mainland China focused on three main areas—Retail, Toy Production, and Events.

Founded in 2010 by then 23-year old CEO Wang Ning, POP MART describes itself as the  largest art toy retailer in China with a 400+ location retail network, primarily in larger cities including Beijing and Shanghai. The stores offer a mix of gift items and art toys with an emphasis on blind-box minis. Supplementing their conventional shops, the brand operates a quickly expanding number of Robo Shops—high-tech vending machines that dispense mini figures in both blind boxes and full cases! Fans can walk up to one of these machines, at a mall or other convenient location, browse what’s available via the screen or the display case on the side of the machine, and quickly select and pay for it right on their phone. We’d love to see something similar stateside.

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In addition to their stores, POP MART produces a growing line of  licensed art toys, primarily  minis. Collectors have fallen in love with Pop Mart’s extensive line of Molly mini figures from Kenny Wong, lining up to buy the newest toys and meet the artist at events such as the 2017 Christmas Exhibition in Beijing.

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Molly is one of the best-selling art toy in China, with over two million Molly toys sold yearly  across the line including  blind-box series—eight per year, with 100+ designs—and special releases such as this year’s Chinese New Year Zodiac series.


Slow? Watch Molly Christmas 2017 video on Youtube

Beyond the blond cutie, POP MART has released and plans to release minis from an impressive list of artists/properties including art toy standouts Coarse, Fluffy House, Kasing Lung, Mame Moyashi, Pucky, and Seulgie as well as beloved pop culture standouts including Disney, Gudetama, Hello Kitty, Naruto and tokidoki.

IMG_0150Currently, POP MART’s production is focused on the Chinese market with distribution extending to Southeast Asia. That said, resourceful collectors will find several of their releases available stateside from forward-looking art toy boutiques.

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As part of its efforts to grow the Art Toy market in China, Pop Mart has greatly expanded the reach of their events from focused product releases to large-scale conventions, beginning with the first Beijing Toy Show (BTS)  last September and continuing with the upcoming inaugural Shanghai Toy Show (April 5th – April 7th). With an expected 50,000 attendees and 130,000 Square Feet of exhibition space, STS will be roughly double the size of the first BTS.

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The conventions offer a strong and extensive mix of vendors. Indie artists and established brands are well represented as are the various leading art toy hubs, both Eastern and Western. Several people mentioned to me that the Beijing Toy show was one of the best art toy shows they’d ever attended, in part thanks to POP MART’s focus on streamlining the convention experience for collectors and exhibitors. POP MART’s staff managed lining up, placing of orders, and paying at the booths, making it an orderly process.


Slow? Watch BTS 2017 Video on Youtube

In addition to their twin conventions, POP MART has launched PAQU, a social network mobile app for toy lovers. Developed in-house, PAQU lets collectors stay up on the latest news, show off their latest buys, and immerse themselves in the art toy community.

While Pop Mart is currently focused on their home market, expect to see more and more from the brand as they expand the range of artists they work with, both toy production and convention-wise.

Posted by Jack @ 04:54 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Feb 27, 2018

Marsham Toy Hour – S3 E7 –Toy Fair Talk!

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This weeks episode of Marsham Toy Hour covers some of the coverage from this years Toy Fair. The gang talks about the happenings from the Super7 booth, as well as the Kidrobot booth. They also go into the topic of what is a “Dunny” when it comes to a Dunny series. If its oversculped where you do not see the platform, should it still be considered a Dunny? What do you think? Take a listen below!

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Feb 21, 2018

Marsham Toy Hour S3 E5 & E6

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We’ve got two wonderful episodes of Marsham Toy Hour to share with you! This weeks latest episode featured special guest Chris Ryniak, where they chit-chat about some great news coming from Chris and Amanda’s end. They also go into DTA nominations, themed Dunny series and we also get to hear Theresa fan girl a bit too.

 

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Last week’s episode brought us Kyle Kirwan. We got to learn that Kyle spends a lot of time on the road, as he travels in an RV. They talk about the impact of early reveals of product and how folks need to learn to take constructive criticism. Take a listen below!

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Feb 15, 2018

8th Annual Designer Toy Awards Nominations OPEN!

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It’s that time of year folks! Start thinking of your favorite toys, artists, companies and BLOGS *wink wink*, as the Designer Toy Awards have now opened up the nomination process for the big event on June 1st during the Five Points Festival weekend. The nominations will be open from now through March 12th at 6PM EST. To nominate, head on over HERE after registering/logging in, select the preferred Award Category and get to nomming! They’ve also added a new category, “Best Production Sculpt”, which we cannot wait to see who/what makes it to the finals. For more information, make your way to the DTA website HERE. Don’t forget to keep Vinyl Pulse in mind when you make your way to that “Best Media Outlet” category. 

Posted by Kristoffer @ 12:16 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Feb 07, 2018

Marsham Toy Hour – S3 E4 with Igor Ventura

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This weeks episode of Marsham Toy Hour brings in a special guest by the name of Igor Ventura, master customizer all the way from Brazil! We get to learn about how Igor was first introduced into toys and where it has brought him to today. There is some good discussion on the new Wild Ones series and kind of what goes on behind the scenes of a KR Production piece. The big news drop is about his very own release with Kidrobot, the Death of Innocence 8” Dunny. A release date is given and everything! With all the Dunny talk in this episode, they even end things with a fun trivia game. Please give this episode a listen below!


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Feb 01, 2018

Marsham Toy Hour – S3 E3 – Dear Marsham

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Another week brings another exciting episode of Marsham Toy Hour! This we get all three of the gang, Gary, Theresa and George, as they discuss the lack of excitement in the toy scene today. The ever so favorite leak and sneak peeks, as well as the topic of translation of 2D art to 3D and how important it is when it comes to toy design. Take a listen below!

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Aug 28, 2017

Marsham Toy Hour – S2 E18 & E19 with Gary Rozanski and Macy McKenny

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We’ve got three hours of solid podcast content coming from your way from Marsham Toy Hour! Last weeks guest is coming all the way from the U.K. and is representing the crew of the The Toy Chronicle, Gary Rozanski. They really get into the world of toy blogging and content creating when it comes to getting toy news out. They also bringing up all the different bearded artist and the need for more bearded toys.

 

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This weeks episode brings you another special guest by the name of Macy McKenny, who is a full-time polymer self taught sculptor and designer. She quite her regular day job to pursue sculpting, as her Instagram blew up with the help of Buzzfeed. Be sure to give both of these great episodes a listen!

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Aug 15, 2017

Marsham Toy Hour – S2 E7 with Seriously Silly K

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If you’re a sculptor/inspiring sculptor, you can pick up some good tips from this episode, as Marsham Toy Hour welcomes special guest SeriouslySillyK. Be forewarned, there is some adult content, so we suggest ear muffs for the kids! Besides all the fun they had, some conversations were had and we definitely think you should take a listen!

Posted by Kristoffer @ 10:38 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Jul 31, 2017

Tony Bui’s “Important Stuff” A Glow-In-The Dark Journey

Our good pal Tony Bui has just recently started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund a very fun and unique book! Check out “Important Stuff” A Glow-In-The-Dark Journey, a book that teaches children about some “Important Stuff” such as things like the Dinosaurs, Vaccines and the first civilization of Mesopotamia. Tony is known for his GID prints and wanted to extend that into a super rad children’s book. He’s got some awesome pledge packages to choose from, which includes goodies like pins, commissions and pizza parties. Be sure to take a look at this campaign page HERE and please help to get this book made!

Posted by Kristoffer @ 10:50 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Marsham Toy Hour – S2 E16 with wtfunks of Super7 and Vinyl Pulse

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Guess who’s back, back again. That’s right! I got to join in once again on this weeks episode of Marsham Toy Hour with Gary Ham and Theresa Hawkins. We get into some fun Leaks and Sneaks, as well as a discussion about toys with moobs. We also go over toy photography versus stock styled photos when it comes to toys. There was also some chit chat about Martian Toys’ “The Next Great Blank Toy” Contest, which sounds very promising. Probably my favorite part of the episode was our Fantasy picks for our own little mini-figure draft. If you want to hear who I picked for my roster, you’re going to want to listen below!

Posted by Kristoffer @ 10:35 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Jul 11, 2017

Marsham Toy Hour – S2 E14 with Teresa Chiba and Don Kratzer

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Marsham Toy Hour welcomes back Don “Datadub” Kratzer who brought along another very special guest, Teresa Chiba! We get to learn a lot about her and her introduction to Japanese Vinyl Toys and her upbringings with Max Toy Co. and new projects with Vinyl Artist Gacha and Medicom! Give a listen to the latest episode down below!

Posted by Kristoffer @ 11:22 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Jul 05, 2017

Marsham Toy Hour – S2 E13 with Rotofugi!

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This weeks episode of Marsham Toy Hour brings some OG Toy Slangers, the vinyl dealing duo, Whitney and Kirby Kerr of Rotofugi. We get to learn about the early years of the Chicago based brick and mortar store and how they started. They also chatted about the evolution of Rotofugi and how they’ve grown from designer toy store/gallery to a toy store that carries other things and more. Take a listen down below for the full episode!

Posted by Kristoffer @ 11:36 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

May 30, 2017

Marsham Toy Hour – Five Points Festival Recap

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Marsham Toy Hour is back after a little break, as Gary Ham was attending/vending at Five Points Festival. We get the inside on the big event on the East Coast from a vendor, attendee and outsider, as we get to hear from a return guest Theresa Hawkins and of course Carlos East. On this episode, they also go through the Marsham DTA prediction pool and announce who got the most points!

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May 23, 2017

Drawing With Skinner Episode 1: Featuring the Gaslamp Killer

Imagine Bob Ross on some psychedelics and this is what you get! Skinner has teamed up with Super Deluxe to bring you a new show, titled “Drawing with Skinner”. The first episode had a very special guest, Willow aka GLK aka The Gaslamp Killer! During the episode they do their thing on their own canvas following the special theme, which was decided by the wheel of fun. If you enjoy his Instagram stories as much as we do, you’re going to love this show! They already have a couple episodes ready for the next two weeks. With your help, we can hopefully see more! Be sure to like, share and subscribe!

Posted by Kristoffer @ 11:11 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

May 16, 2017

kaNO – Five Points Festival Mural In Progress

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kaNO is back in NYC to work on a towering 40-foot mural on the Lower East Side for the inaugural Five Points Festival.  Curated and organized by the folks at The L.I.S.A. Project, a non-profit working to promote street murals in the Little Italy NYC neighborhood. His largest mural to-date, the mural features an urban hero, sporting a vest + cap and wielding GoD nunchucks.  Props to kaNO on the epic project and for this sweet shot taken at the end of Tuesday’s session. 

If you’re in the area, drop by the mural at 79 Rivingston St. to catch kaNO in action.  He will be working on the wall through Thursday into Friday.

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Marsham Toy Hour – S2 E8: Five Points

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With Five Points Festival right around the corner, why not have the people behind the whole thing join the Marsham Toy Hour! Gary gets in the ins and all the outs of the big event this weekend with Miranda and Josh of Clutter Magazine and Peter of Left Field Media. They also get to chat about the Designer Toy Awards and all the after event goodness! Take a listen and get amped up for this weekend!

Posted by Kristoffer @ 10:11 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

May 11, 2017

Giant Ron English Statues Removed in Shanghai

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The breathtaking installation of two towering MC Supersized and Liberty Grin statues (~ 20 ft) for Ron English’s East Meets West art exhibition in Shanghai was unfortunately cut short. As reported by the South China Morning Post, the statues were installed Wednesday morning China time and then were subsequently removed a few hours later at the request of mall management, law enforcement and local government, even though the proper permits had been requested and received by the Reel Department Store, the local show sponsor, as part of the exhibit preparation.

While one might be suspicious of the reasons behind the removal, the stated reason was a matter of size.  As Ron explained in response to the question of whether the removal was politically motivated, “I don’t know. I am not familiar as the situation seemed to be one of the size and scale in the public square, and perhaps things being lost in translation versus anything else.”  

While the South China Morning Post reports that McDonald’s was apparently not pleased with a larger-than-life MC Supersized, the restaurant chain’s complaints were ultimately not the reason the statues were removed.  In fact, MD Young of exhibition producer Pop Life explained that “…was not the issue as the artist was able to provide proof of US copyrights for his works.”

As you can see in the pictures above and after the jump, both of Ron’s statues look great and were the perfect calling cards and anchors for the exhibit.  While only a fraction of the potential audience was able to see them, the news of their removal and display at a future stop on the art tour will ensure that many more people will see and enjoy them.

MORE PICS + INFO»

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May 03, 2017

Marsham Toy Hour – S2 E6: Flipping with deKevin

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This weeks episode of Marsham Toy Hour is definitely an interesting one! This weeks special guest is deKevin of DeKorner and the main topic of this episode is Flipping. He is extremely honest on the reasoning of why he flips, as well as how it all started. deKevin also gives his ins and outs and why he believes flipping is important for the toy community. This is a really great topic and it’s really nice to hear about it from the other side, where as most flippers will never admit flipping. Give the episode a listen!

Posted by Kristoffer @ 10:47 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

May 01, 2017

Super7’s Secret Society 2017

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Super7 has opened up their Secret Society once again! For only $125, members will receive 2 exclusive SSSS figures, T-Shirt and dibs on any and everywhere Super7 release! That includes general release items so you don’t have to worry about them selling out. SSSS also guarantees you dibs on all exclusive releases so you don’t have to attend any conventions to obtain such sought after pieces! Sign ups are now open through May 19th and once that door is closed, it is closed until the next round next year. You can purchase the membership HERE.

Deep within the darkest reaches of a forbidden forest, an overgrown path winds through the gnarled trees. Those who possess a secret map may find their way through the woods to a hidden lodge. Those who possess the required arcane knowledge may gain entry to the lodge and join the ranks of the mystical Super Seven Secret Society, a name only whispered cautiously among a trusted few. What mysterious delights and lost knowledge reside inside the ancient lodge? How can the lodge be found in the haunted mists of the profane forest? If you manage to live long enough to reach the door, how will you ever get inside? Your only choice:

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Apr 25, 2017

Toy Geeks: Behind The Counter with Sket-One

The Toy Geeks bring another fun episode of Behind the Counter with a very special guest by the name of Sket-One. They get into the nitty gritty with Sket and see what he’s been working on. He gives us a good glimpse on his Condiment “Junkie” Resin Sculpture and the custom 5” Metro MAD*Ls. They also open up some Kidrobot x Adult Swim Blind Boxes, which will be releasing early at 3DRetro’s event this Friday (SEEN HERE). Take a gander above ^^^!

Posted by Kristoffer @ 10:58 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Marsham Toy Hour – S2 E5 with Yaniv Brick

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This weeks Marsham Toy Hour gets flipped around a bit! For this episode, Yaniv Brick of The Art Pin Collection is carrying on the conversation by asking George, Gary and Carlos all the questions. They go back on previous topics, such as plagiarism, Kaws Vs. Freeny and full-time toy making vs. part-time. They also end the episode with another fun game of Designers and Dragons! Take a listen below!

Posted by Kristoffer @ 10:36 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Apr 18, 2017

Marsham Toy Hour: S2 E4 – Collector Series 2

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This weeks exciting episode of Marsham Toy Hour brings two toy collectors to the mic! They kindly welcome to the show Windy AKA igypsywoman and Theresa AKA tmhawk24 who both have some incredible toy collections, as well as some great photos of them! We get a glimpse on a couple different types of toy collectors and how they got into the hobby, as well as the lengths they go to to get some very sought after toys! Give them a listen by hitting “play” button below!

Posted by Kristoffer @ 09:58 PM in Heads Up | Permalink  | Comments (0) |

Apr 13, 2017

Marsham Toy Hour: S2 EP 3 with kaNO

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This weeks episode of Marsham Toy Hour brings a very special guest, whom we are excited to join the gents. Introducing New Yorks finest, kaNO Kid! We get some good insight and some very good conversation going on the topic of flippers, Kickstarter, KAWS and what kaNO believes is the current state of “Urban Vinyl” toys. Give this episode a listen!

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Apr 11, 2017

Kidrobot Opens the Vault Once Again (4.12)

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The Vault is back.  Kidrobot has once again scoured their backroom and secret stashes and come up with super limited quantities of toys and products that have long been sold out.   Find out what they’ve unearthed for the 3rd edition of the Vault when it opens on Wednesday (4.12) at 9 AM PDT at Kidrobot.com.

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Apr 06, 2017

Marsham Toy Hour – S2 E2 with Colus!

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The guys of Marsham Toy Hour took a week off, but we are sure to glad to see them back, as our Monday was quite empty without them. This weeks newest episode welcomes a very special guest by the name of Colus. They get into his production process, 3D Printing, Jinx Studios, as well as learning of the many projects he has worked on. They also end the show with the continuation of Designers and Dragons! Give them a listen below!

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