Feb 03, 2016
The Collection: Dov Kelemer of DKE
The second episode of The Collection is out today with featured guest Dov Kelemer of DKE. Today’s episode of the monthly (first Wednesday) feature of the Adventures in Design podcast offers Dov’s story of how he went from die-hard Star Wars collector to the the go-to distribution service for indie toys as well as his insights on the scene. Hosted by Adventures creator Mark Brickley and Collection collaborator Huck Gee, the free-to-listen episode runs 55 minute and there’s also an Circle of Trust members-only ($10/mo) Shop Talk section which focuses on the nuts and bolts of the business. For a stimulating listen—maybe as an interesting background audio while stuck in rush hour traffic, working out, or doing X, Y, or Z—on the scene/market/industry we all love, check out The Collection #2.
Jan 06, 2016
Adventures in Design x Huck Gee -- The Collection Volume #1 : Joe Ledbetter Podcast
Having greatly enjoyed his insightful turn on the Adventures in Design daily podcast back in August (The Reinvention of Huck Gee - #237), Huck Gee has collaborated with AiD creator Mark Brickley on The Collection, a monthly (first Wednesday) feature highlighting notable art toy designers talking about their experiences of living the life/dream and thoughts on the industry.
Volume 1 featuring none other than Joe Ledbetter is now available for free download. After a half-hour or so of back and forth with Mark and Huck—including a discussion of Bugslot and Densguard #9 from budget and sales targets to the next edition—the episode moves on to Mark (and Huck) interviewing Joe. I’m listening to it as I write this and so far it’s a good listen and really informative especially for those who aren’t familiar with Joe’s start in Art Toys. I’m enjoying it to the point that I’m thinking of joining Adventures in Design’s paid Circle of Trust (subscription: $9.99/mo, $99 year pre-paid) to get access to the members-only Shop Talk segment with Joe covering the behind-the-scenes business aspects of Art Toys. Circle of Trust members have access to the entire AiD back catalog (only recent episodes are available for free) and each Shop Talk segment.
Dec 22, 2015
Nathan Jurevicius - ‘Junction’ Short Film Teaser
Nathan Jurevicius has just posted a teaser of his upcoming animated short film. Junction puts the pages of his recent book of the same name in splendid motion. This clip appears to show the main character who embarks on a traditional journey to harness the power of the wind to change the faces of his totem-like kin. Currently in progress, the short film is a collaboration with Okta, Petpunk, Gallus, Brent Maloney, Vishus and the Lithuanian Film Centre.
Dec 08, 2015
Toy Art Gallery – Holiday Sale
Shopping for someone nice or even naughty on your list who loves toys? If so, you’ll want to check out Toy Art Gallery’s Holiday Sale offering 15% off everything (minus pre-orders and floor models) through December 14th 2015. Head on over to TAG’s web shop to start saving –- the 15% discount is reflected on the site, no checkout code necessary.
Dec 03, 2015
Disburst Purchases DKE Toys’ Wholesale Operation
When DKE announced in June that it would cease its wholesale distribution business in the Spring of 2016, many (ok: nearly everyone) took a deep breath and wondered what would become of the go-to distro so essential to the art toy world. Thankfully, DKE has found a capable and energetic buyer, Disburst (clever name). Based in Ohio and lead by CEO Scott Kuenzli (previously co-owner of Rivet gallery), Disburst will retain Dov Kelemer to continue overseeing vendor relations and new product acquisition from the current warehouse in North Hollywood.
It appears that DKE has found an ideal new owner for its distribution business. Rather than simply maintaining the existing business, Disburst sees untapped potential for indie toys, art and design and has the background in specialty retail, back-office software, and logistics to realize their vision. From a brief informal conversation with Kuenzli, it appears that supporting retailers will be a primary focus and one of the ways they will work to grow the market. In a press release, Disburst’s CEO explains that "The opportunity to take the highly respected services DKE Toys provides and extend their reach and breadth is what motivates Disburst. Retaining Dov's participation via DKE Toys as an invaluable resource for independent toy designers to work with on behalf of Disburst is what makes this purchase so important to us”. He also mentions that the company’s “… extensive backgrounds in business operations will enable us to take and grow the DKE Toys wholesale and fulfillment operations to include even more vendors, products, and customers in the future years.”
While we’re relieved that DKE has found a new owner for its distribution business, we’re also quite encouraged by Disburst’s hands-on vision for expanding the market for the collectibles we all love and by their core competencies in retail and related technological infrastructure which should nicely fuel the future of indie art product distribution.
Nov 30, 2015
Mindzai has 15% off Everything for Cyber Monday
Looking for more toy deals? Mindzai has your back with 15% off everything for Cyber Monday. Rather than use a checkout code, simply head on over to Mindzai.com and enjoy the savings with the 15% discount already taken for each item including pre-orders! Hurry, this sale ends at Midnight EST / 9 PM PST (11.30).
Nov 29, 2015
A Few Hours Left on for the Black Friday Sale at Kidrobot
Kidrobot’s Black Friday sale ends tonight (11.29). It’s a little unclear when exactly, but it’s a good guess that it’s 11:59 PM MST. At any rate, if you’re looking to pick up some older pieces say a Kidrobot Black you’ve been eyeing for awhile or some brand-new stuff like the brand-new 20” It’s Just a FAD Dunny from J*ryu, right now would be a great time. To partake, head on over to kidrobot.com and be sure to use promo code: BLACKFRIDAY15.
Still Time to Save with myplasticheart’s Black Friday Sale
For your holiday toy splurging, myplasticheart has some tempting offers which run through tonight (11.29 at 11:59 PM EST/ 9 PM PST). First, they’ve put together a special selection of heavily discounted toys (up to 50%). In addition, this year mph is also offering a sweet 15% off most of their inventory provided you spend at least $25 (which should be pretty easy to do). To get the 15% off, be sure to use the BLKFRI15 coupon code at checkout. Happy shopping.
Sep 13, 2015
Huck Gee – The Blank Debuts and is Stolen at STGCC
From the high of debuting new toy protos to the shattering low of having them disappear without a trace. Unfortunately, that’s the whirlwind of emotions that Huck Gee experienced as he put three of his Skullhead Blanks on display at the Singapore Toy, Game, and Comic Convention (STGCC) over the weekend. First, the good before the ugly. The Skullhead Blanks look great -– a nice combo of detailed head sculpts with a satisfying chunkiness befitting a designer toy platform. In addition to the bitter sweet pic from Huck (above), hit the jump for a nice in-hand pic from @lefocker.
As for the unfortunate ugliness, it turns out that someone apparently stole the trio of blanks during the show. If you have any info/tips on that might result in getting the Blanks returned to Huck, drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hopefully someone will step up and help remedy this rather awful situation.
While we can’t will the Blanks back into Huck’s possession, we are looking forward to their eventual release and success as a self-produced, artist-driven, indie platform toy.
Sep 04, 2015
Rotofugi is Back Online with New Site and Store
Whew… So many of you may have noticed that Rotofugi’s online store was down for an extended period as they transitioned to a brand new web site. Thankfully the wait is over, the multi-DTA award-winning store resumed online orders earlier this week. So if you’ve been wanting to pick something up from Kirby, Whitney, and crew, or are just curious go check out the new and improved site which btw is responsive – a fancy buzz word for a site that looks great on all devices including computers, tablets and phones.
Jul 27, 2015
David Horvath, Sun-Min Kim and Bigshot Toyworks – Dream Big Friends
Hmmm. David Horvath just posted two teaser images of Dream Big Friends. While we know almost nothing -– the silhouette image suggests that one of the friends might be a pony-tailed girl and the cute sketch doodles in both pics just might be hinting at some of the other “friends” in the works. There’s also the official blurb via their twitter (@DreamBigFriends) :
An imaginative, alternative play/growth experience for young people around the world. Our goal is one of empowerment and inspiration.
Oh, one last “clue”. Based on the welcome email for the official mailing list at DreamBigFriends.com the project appears to be a collaborative effort between, David, Sun-Min Kim and Klim of Bigshot Toyworks. Klim’s involvement along with the mention of “play” has us hoping that Dream Big Friends is a toy project! If so, it sounds like it’s geared to the younger set, but positive toys sounds like a win to us. Be sure to keep an eye on the project’s Instagram (@DreamBigFriends)
Jul 26, 2015
2PetalRose – Hannya Maiko Commission
While they are understandably few and far between, 2PetalRose’s Maiko (II) figures are quite nice. Here’s a look at his latest, Hannya Maiko (15.5” with base). Per the title, this commissioned piece re-envisions Maiko as a female demon complete with custom designed and printed outfit—love the detail on the kimono and the weathering on the helmet. Here’s hoping to a new edition or batch of one-off Maikos shortly :)
Jul 16, 2015
Designer Toy Awards 2015 Nominations Close on Friday (7.17)
Have you nominated your favorite artists, toys, brands, stores and blogs (!) for the upcoming 2015 Designer Toy Awards? If not, you have until this Friday evening (7.17) at 11:59 PM EDT to nominate your favorites over at designertoyawards.com. After nominations close, the Nomination Committee will review the submitted nominations and determine finalists in each category.
Jun 09, 2015
Nakanari at NextDayBetter + ORL (06.13)
Mai Hiro’s very own Nakanari will be speaking at his very first event in Orlando, Florida. NextDayBetter + ORL features creative speakers and food series for diaspora communities. At this event, Nakanari will be highlighting his past projects with Gibson, Kidrobot, MYX TV and his very own personal story. The event will take place on Saturday, June 13th from 10AM – 3PM. Be sure to RSVP HERE.
May 24, 2015
Toy Art Gallery – Memorial Day Sale (20% Off)
To celebrate the holiday weekend, Toy Art Gallery is offering 20% off with their Memorial Day Weekend sale. The sale applies to nearly all their online stock minus pieces from their current show (previous show pieces are discounted), pre-order items, and floor samples. This is the perfect time to pick from TAG’s stock which includes western art toys and an excellent selection of eastern vinyl. Plus, the 20% off applies to brand-new releases including the Black edition of DEKU the Buster from Uky Daydreamer as well as the new Bubblegum and Stardust Uamou flavors + her Lemon Lime Bastard. Browse, buy and benefit at shop.toyartgallery.com through Monday 5.25 at 11:59 PM PDT. Prices are already discounted, no need for a checkout code.
Apr 20, 2015
TADO Studio Clearout!
TADO has got a special studio clearout going on right now in their webstore! Basically everything is discounted, which includes toys, cushions, prints, stickers and plenty of other goodies. Make your way to their shop now, before it’s all gone!
Feb 26, 2015
Loot Crate Munny Contest
Loot Crate brought its subscribers a Mini Munny as part of February’s Play crate. Now, kings of the monthly box of awesome are sponsoring a Munny Contest, asking fans to customize a Mini Munny and enter it into one of several fun categories, by submitting a pic of the finished piece by the March 20th deadline. The categories range from specific themes (Hero/Villain, Best Lookalike, Best Videogame) to materials/methods used (Best Fashionable, Best Modified, Most Resourcful, etc.). The contest will be judged by an industry panel from several brands including Kidrobot (Frank Kozik), IGN, iam8bit, Nerdist, Meltdown, and more. In the spirit of democracy, the public can vote for their favorite customs as well.
The winner of each category will receive a prize pack slightly tailored to the category. In addition, there’s a sweet prize pack for the entry that receives the most fan votes ($500, 1 Year of Loot Crates, Looter Tee, Super iam8bit and Hohokum Almanac books, plus a 7” munny) and another for the Judges Pick which is similar but swaps out the $500 for a $100 Amazon card and trims the subscription to 6 months.
Drop by the Loot Crate Munny Contest page to check out the submissions, enter your own, and vote for your favorites.
Jan 28, 2015
Kidrobot Welcomes Customs, Not Bootlegs
Long overdue, Kidrobot has r eleased an official statement addressing bootlegging in which they make clear that they welcome and support customization of their various toys (including their popular Dunny and Munny platforms), but will actively seek to prevent bootlegging—the un-authorized duplication of their toys.
While the distinctions can get blurry, our interpretation of the statement is that artists/collectors/fans who purchase a Kidrobot figure can do to it as they see fit, and can release limited series of “Dunnys”, “Munnys” or what have you as long as a production vinyl figure is used for each piece. However, the duplication or reproduction of a Kidrobot toy will be viewed negatively, as an infringement of the brand’s intellectual property, and will be subject to corrective action. Or put another way, paint, cut, and add to their toys, but don’t make molds and cast your own copies of KR figures. Additionally, don’t create and sell from “scratch” versions of “Dunnys” (as an example) as these will likely be considered bootlegs; each piece does not include one of KR’s production toys. Again, this is our interpretation of the statement, if you’re in doubt please reach out to Kidrobot for clarification.
From our perspective, this policy is sensible, allowing artistic creativity, while protecting the financial investment and rights of Kidrobot and the artists they work with. Frankly, we’ve been surprised that Kidrobot has until now, turned a bllind-eye to bootlegs, such as resin Dunnys.
Perhaps as equally important as the basic policy is the fact that Kidrobot is open to working with artists who would like to pursue projects which involve duplicating production toys, under a licensing arrangement. In fact, Mikie Graham worked with Kidrobot on this type of arrangement for his sweet Halloween Dunnys. Additionally, the re-born KR is actively working with and promoting customizers.
Dec 30, 2014
Huck Gee – End of Year Sale
Before he takes down and retools his website for the awesomeness he has locked in for 2015, Huck Gee is closing out 2014 with his ‘End of Year’ sale. Now through January 1st, you can save a hefty 35% off anything in his store. So if you’ve been thinking about pulling the trigger on a print, Tee, or something else – now is the time. Be sure to use the checkout code HAPPYNEWYEAR.
Dec 27, 2014
3DRetro – 25% Off After Xmas Sale
Looking to spend some of your holiday cash? It might pay to check out 3DRetro. Through this weekend they are running their After Xmas Sale with a cool 25% off everything in stock. Head on over to their site, pick out some tempting items and be sure to use the AFTERXMAS25 checkout code.
Dec 16, 2014
Dragatomi Closes Their Doors =(
We regret to inform you all that our favorite designer store in Sacramento, Dragatomi, will be closing their doors. With the success of their latest venture, they were left with a difficult decision to close up their brick and mortar store. Don’t worry, because they will still keep their online store afloat and they have also teamed up with Unseen Heroes as a satellite location with a small selection of items available. They will also continue having releases, signings, and shows at their location in the Broadway Triangle district of Sacramento. If you really miss seeing the friendly faces of Ray and Joanne, you can always find them touring around Sacramento in the Wandering Boba truck! Good luck Ray and Joanne!
Beginning now until December 24th, all remaining in-store merchandise will be 50% off, excluding original artworks.
Dec 04, 2014
De Korner – Holiday Sale + Mystery Boxes (Thru 12.20)
Did you miss out on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals? Don’t fret. De Korner has Holiday Savings for you with two ways to get more for less. First, they are offering discounts (up to 50%) on select items including some strong older pieces including The Seeker by Jeff Soto, Dalek Teddy Troops and more.
Plus, they are continuing their Mystery Box Warehouse Sale. Each Mystery Box ($20, $30, $40, $50, $100, or $200) features items from their warehouse worth at least twice the purchase price, so a $20 box will get you toys valued at $40+.
Drop by De Korner to check out the Holiday Savings.
Dec 01, 2014
myplasticheart – 20% Off for Cyber Monday (12.1)
myplasticheart is offering a special Cyber Monday promo – spend at least $100 and receive 20% off by using the checkout code CYBOMOMO. This deal excludes new releases, pre-orders and original art. The Cyber Monday deal runs through 12.1 @ 1 PM EST.
3DRetro – 30% Off Cybermonday Sale (12.1)
Nov 28, 2014
Black Friday Savings from Rotofugi
Looking to make your toy buying dollars go as far as possible? Rotofugi is offering a variety of Black Friday coupons good through Cyber Monday (12.1). If you spend $50 or more you can get free shipping by using the ‘FRIDAY50’ code. There are also discount codes depending on how much you spend (total before shipping and tax are added) – 10% off if you spend $100 or more with ‘FRIDAY100’, 15% off if you spend $150 or more with ‘FRIDAY150’ and a sweet 20% off if you spend $200 or more with ‘FRIDAY200’. These special coupons are good through 12.1 at 11:59 PM CST.