Taco Bell tries “Urban Vinyl’ with Bellhedz


The impending release (9.7) of the Bellhedz blind-boxed minis from Taco Bell is pretty much all the vinyl scene is talking about today.  From the basic shape as well as the packaging, it’s pretty clear the design and concept is based on Kidrobot’s Dunny

Slowly but surely designer vinyl or “urban vinyl” (as out of touch marketers call it), is going mainstream.  For better or worse, it’s happening.  From Mighty Muggs to Vinylmation to  Domo Qees at Target, the trend is clear.  However it’s  upsetting that Taco Bell chose to appropriate a scene/trend in such a blatantly unoriginal way.  Go ahead and make a blind-boxed mini series for your restaurants but at least come up with an original shape or at least one that doesn’t immediately remind us of one of the top selling blind box platforms out there.   Ultimately though, that’s not the long-term issue.

It’s not BellHedz per se, but what they represent and maybe usher in – mainstream blind-box minis done in the vinyl aesthetic in large numbers. It’s a potential threat as minis are one of the bright spots for the industry in terms of sales. Mass market vinyl mini-series might devalue existing product and work to erode the idea of  vinyl as something special and different from toys as usual. On the flip side, if done ‘right’ (no easy task), large-run minis  may drive growth in the industry.