Seen: Winter VTN

The Winter ’07 VTN (Vinyl Toy Network) show went down this past Sunday (12.2.07) @ the Pasadena Convention Center.  VTN is a vinyl art toy convention / shopping extravaganza featuring retailers, toy companies and artists.  Its presence and importance grows with each show.  This most recent one clearly had the most hype of any so far — with several eagerly anticipated releases including an exclusive metallic pink Buff Monster toy from MINDstyle, Joe Ledbetter’s Ringo from Wheaty Wheat Studios, Plasticgod’s Axis of Evil War Criminal Edition from Super Rad Toys and Frank Kozik’s Red Dead Che from Jamungo

As expected the line formed early.  Many of the hard-core rolled out of bed early to get to the convention center by 6 AM even though the event didn’t start until 10 AM.  To add to the frenzy, this initial line was considered ‘unofficial’ and there was a mad scramble to be one of the 1st 100 to be admitted to the convention center.  The first 100 each received a goodie bag but the real prize was a ticket enabling the holder to purchase 3DRetro’s exclusive Toxic Ringo Bear which was randomly inserted in 1 of every 2 bags. 

In addition to the exclusives, the other primary draw are the artist signings.  This time around Buff Monster, Bwana Spoons, Cameron Tiede, Joe Ledbetter, and  Plasticgod were among the artists signing and sketching for fans and collectors.  Based on the size of their lines,  JLed and Buff Monster are clearly superstars in their own rights.   Both had large lines of collectors eager to purchase their exclusives.  While many fans  bring sketch books for their favorite artists to sign or maybe even bring a toy as a gift — one hardcore Buff Monster fan created two hand-done translucent casts of MINDstyle’s Buff Monster figures and gave the white swirly one to Buff as a gift.

The booth selection was the best so far with new vendors including giants such as Dark Horse and MINDstyle as well as innovative new companies including Emmitt Potter’s EFP3 which offered lots of goodies from Bwana Spoons including a tantalizingly cool proto of their upcoming 4 Foot Killer project. 

In terms of innovation, the October Toys folks stepped up show coverage a notch by taking Toy Break live with real time streaming from the event.  Very cool and fun!

The Winter ’07 VTN has come and gone but not without tales of glory or bitter defeat in scoring the choice exclusives. We’re excited about the growing influence of VTN — here’s to more choice exclusives and artist appearances in the future.

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