Jun 10, 2019

Ghoulhead MaBa Tribute from Retrobrand x Zectron (6.11)

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Brothers in slime, Retroband and Zectron have combined their powers to bring you Ghoulhead, a clever tribute to the MaBa Zombies toys. Sculpted by Zectron over five long years and painted by Retroband, Ghoulhead pays tribute to the the vampire and two-faced blob toys from the original MaBa Zombies Series 1 lineup.  Produced by the toy wizards at Unbox Industries in the original scale, Ghoulhead features five total faces, three of which are transition style, asymmetric designs.

Proudly bearing the classic MaBa colors, the debut edition Ghoulhead (25 pcs) drops on Tuesday (6.11) at 10 AM PDT for $50 directly from the Deadly Delivery shop.

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Jun 09, 2019

Fools Paradise — Dokkan Awaken ||Furupawa

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Fools Paradise revels in over-the-top designs with head-turning, smile-inducing results.  How best to top their recent run of DBZ-inspired Dokkan Awaken figures? Going big, of course.  Goku has more than met his match with the new Broly-inspired Furupawa.

While the regular Dokkan Awaken figures stand an impressive 13.75", the new Dokkan Awaken Furupawa dwarfs the earlier releases at 18.9", a full five inches taller. My previous comments about the large format amplifying the craziness of the Fools Paradise designs apply even more so with Furupawa, especially when you consider the volume.  This is a massive homage or perhaps takedown of hypebeast culture cranked to eleven, with recognizable brands featured head to toe from tats to the gear and kicks.  And to top it off, we have the Lowfool bling hanging around Broly Fools' very large neck. 

The Dokkan Awaken Furupawa vinyl (18.9") will be available direct from Fools Paradise for pre-order on Tuesday (6.11) with pricing to be announced shortly.

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Jun 08, 2019

King Saladeen x Pop Life — 'JP The Money Bear' Drops Tonight (6.8) in Los Angeles

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Tonight's the night. Pop Life will present the official Los Angeles debut of their JP The Money Bear from Philadelphia-based artist King Saladeen in Beverly Hills tonight, Saturday (6.9) from 6 to 9 PM, at U.S. Alterations. It's been quite the year so far for the Money Bear, including a Shenzen Release in January followed by recent releases at Sneaker Con in Shanghai and Five Points Festival in NYC this past weekend.  See you there!

King Saladeen || JP The Money Bear
Saturday, June 8th (6 to 9 PM)

U.S. Alterations
8692 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA

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Secretbase — SpongeBob Full Color GID Edition

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Secretbase has just released its SpongeBob Full Color GID sofubi toy.  The newest colorway of its ongoing licensed series features painted details over the base glow-in-the-dark vinyl.  For those that want the best of both worlds, the new edition looks great with the lights on or off.  The new Full Color GID sofubi edition (5.5") comes with a fun cardboard base rather than the more traditional bag and header packaging.  It's available now for 13,824 yen ($128) via e-mail inquiry to [email protected] per the brand's overseas ordering instructions.

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Jun 07, 2019

Luke Pelletier x Mighty Jaxx — Robo Hammerhead (6.8)

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Mighty Jaxx will offer the fantastically funky Robo Hammerhead vinyl figure from Chicago-based artist Luke Pelletier as a pre-order on Saturday (6.8) at 6 AM PDT from the Mighty Jaxx web store for $129 (includes worldwide shipping).  Having grown up in a tourist town—presumably a beach city given his art—Pelletier's art explores the American vacation with a curious rather than critical gaze.

Robo Hammerhead is a glorious mashup, blending horror, sci-fi, rock 'n roll and countless aquatic themes/memes. This quadruple-take of an art toy is a strong translation of the artist's mix+match palette and retro-tinged imagery. It's also the kind of crazy, 'what is that' kind of piece that drew me into collecting art toys.

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Jun 06, 2019

J.T Studio — Sha Monk and Tang Monk 8" Vinyl Pre-Order

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J.T Studio has filled out his Journey to the West 8" vinyl series with the new Tang Monk and new Sha Monk figures.  First shown in unpainted proto form at BTS 2018 and then as a full-color protos at this year's STS and TTE, both figures are based on their previously released 1/6 counterparts.  As with the Monkey King and Pigsy vinyls, Jei Tseng brings an urban, modern twist to both monk characters drawn from the epic 16th century Chinese novel.

Limited to 300 pieces each, Tang Monk and Sha Monk stand 8" tall and feature seven points of articulation.  They are available now for pre-order for $90 each (global shipping included) direct from J.T Studios and are slated to ship out in July.

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Jun 05, 2019

Vinnie Fiorello x Funko — Monkey Assassin

downloadIf you've been collecting vinyl toys for awhile, you might remember the curious Monkey Assassin (2004) from Vinnie Fiorello, perhaps best known as the lead singer of Less Than Jake. What you might not remember, is that the cold-blooded ape was produced and released by Funko, long before Pop! took the world by storm.

Recently Funko unexpectedly released a new version of Monkey Assassin, this time in Pop! form. Originally released as a Funko Exclusive, the new edition features the sword-wielding pose featured in later versions of the toy rather than the behind-the-back OG pose. It's available now directly from Fiorello's Paper + Plastik shop for $15.

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Jun 02, 2019

Itokin Park x Shigeru Sugiura

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Itokin Park is offering a new vibrant colorway of his interpretation of Son Goku from Shonen Saiyuki created by the legendary manga artist Shigeru Sugiura. Standing 7.8" tall, the cheerful sofubi of the Monkey King features a bright palette of pink, red,blue, and yellow.

Son Goku by Itokin Park is available through June 3rd (Japan Time) via e-mail lottery for ¥120 + s/h.  To enter send an email request to [email protected] with a suject of 'Son Goku Lottery' and include your name, shipping address and country in the message.  Winners will be notified by email with instructions to complete the purchase via Paypal.

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May 28, 2019

Pop Life Debuts New Art Toys at Sneaker Con Shanghai

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For those wanting to stay on top of the newest art toys and trends, conventions in Asia are a must. At the recent Sneaker Con in Shangahi (5.17 - 5.19), Pop Life debuted several new art toys including three new We Bare Bears SFBI soft vinyl figures (Panda, Grizz and Ice Bear) from the Cartoon Network show, The Flash from the DC x Imperial Palace art toy series, and four new blindbox mini series.

Pop Life's SFBI brand debuted two new mini series based on their popular Soda Kats by Kenneth Tang and the Ice Kirin figures by Andy Chen.  The Ice Kirin Minis (Baby) feature thirteen designs packaged in 'mystery cups' including several that feature translucent vinyl with embedded glitter. The Soda Kats minis also feature 13 new drink-flavored designs including popular Asian and Western soft drinks, childhood favorites and one inspired by the iconic Irish stout. 

In addition to the new SFBI mini series, Pop Life also released Ron English's Delusionville minis featuring 13 designs and 12 original sculpts.  The cast of characters includes a few appearances by Ron's classic Rabbbit, the brand-new Elefanka, and two smiley grins. Perhaps the metallic gold version is the chase?

Finally, Pop Life released its new Smurfs minis, part of its Collectormates collection. Having had the chance to see these in person, the new figures are an addictive mix of old and new. While your favorites are here including Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Jokey Smurf, Brainy Smurf and more, the noticeably larger size immediately clues you in that, yes, these are brand-new versions of the classic toys.  It's like being a kid, all over again.

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YoYo Yeung x Pop Mart — The Kenneth Fox Blindbox Series

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The The Kenneth Fox blindbox series from Yoyo Yeung and Pop Mart tells the tale of the artist's Fennec Fox character from his beginnings as a little girl's plush toy to growing up and exploring his own parallel reality. Released on May 21st in China, the Kenneth Fox series features twelve standard designs in various poses and outfits (red ribbon and cloak). Keeping with the brand's blindbox approach, a case of twelve figures contains a full, standard set.  A chase (hidden) figure?  Absolutely, the 13th design in the series is the adorable Kenneth Plush figure.

Like many of Pop Mart's blindbox releases, each Kenneth Fox figure features a unique sculpt. The unique sculpts add to the sense of discovery with each opened blindbox.  While colorways are fun in their own right, they can't really compare to unique sculpts.

The Kenneth Fox blindbox series is coming to the USA shortly from select retailers including myplasticheart.

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Coarse : Jaws and Aura — Halcyon (6.4)

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Coarse will release the Jaws and Aura — Halcyon vinyl set on Tuesday (6.4) at 8:59 AM PDT from the Coarse shop for $360.  First available in Asia (STS and TTE), Halcyon is in stock and will ship out in June.

The Halcyon set features bright, Spring colors (pink, blue, white yellow) for both Jaws (10.4")  and the amazing Aura (~14").  This smaller version of the classic Jaws figure features a removable Shark helmet for display flexibility. Halcyon follows the OG Half Moon edition which was released at the 2018 Beijing Toy Show.

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May 27, 2019

Tenacious Toys 5 Pts Exclusive Brightstar Blue TEQ63 by QUICCS x The 3D Hero

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Tenacious Toys continues its Five Points announcements with their very own Exclusive TEQ63—one of the most sought-after art toys around.  The Brightstar Blue TEQ63 is an artist crossover edition between QUICCS and Tavvon, The 3D Hero. Produced by Martian Toys, Brightstar Blue leads the charge for the new Artist Series TEQ63 figures with some of the most elaborate deco to-date on QUICCS' signature figure.

Tenacious Toys will release 100 pieces of the Brightstar Blue TEQ63 at Five Points—60 on Saturday and 40 on Sunday. In an effort to avoid a large lineup in front of their booth, they will hand out wristbands at 11:30 AM sharp in the Beer Garden. The wristbands will specify the hour to go to the TT booth [#426] to purchase the figure.  The wristband (worn on wrist) is required for purchase and limited to one per household.  Tavvon, The 3D Hero, will be holding signing sessions, check his IG for the info.  He will also be offering addition QUICCS collabs and his very own Brightstar resins from Booth 426. QUICCS will also be signing during the show.

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Elevate in Pink from Louis De Guzman (5.31)

ELEVATE_IGLouis De Guzman's dynamic take on everyone's favorite troublemaker is set to make a return with a new pink edition of his Elevate vinyl sculpture.  A  follow-up to the OG full-color edition which debuted at last year's ComplexCon,  the new all-pink edition (8") is limited to 500 pieces and will be available this Friday (5.31) at 10 AM PDT for $275 each from the artist's web shop.  

Precariously posed, Elevate is an excellent translation of the Chicago-based artist's geometric-abstraction aesthetic from 2D to 3D, with bits of the iconic skater coming apart before our eyes, perhaps just before he bails.

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May 25, 2019

Mighty Jaxx x Abell Octovan — I Donut Care Champagne Edition

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How do you follow-up on the traditional glazed donut capped off with rainbow sprinkles?   Abell Octovan and Mighty Jaxx have dreamt up a new sophisticated take on last year's irreverent I Donut Care vinyl—recently shipped—one upping the traditional glaze with a most unexpected flavor, champagne. And it just happens to match the tried and true black + gold color combo collectors love.  Who says junk food addicts can't be high class at the same time?

The I Donut Care Champagne Edition (8", $129) is available for pre-order now from Mighty Jaxx and scheduled to ship in Q4 2019.

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May 21, 2019

ToyQube x Tezuka Productions — Greeting Astro Boy Black on Black Edition (5.23)

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U: Release is on Thursday (5.23), not Friday.

ToyQube will complete its Black on Black editions of its Astro Boy City series with the pre-order release of the Greeting Astro Boy—featuring the tradiitional Thai greeting—in the all-black colorway ($99.95) on Thursday (5.23) at 12 PM PDT from ToyQube.com. This one is slated to ship in July.

Officially licensed through Tezuka Productions, the Astro Boy city series celebrates New York City (Liberty design), Bangkok (Greeting design) and Los Angeles.  While the NYC Black on Black is sold out, the Los Angles Black on Black is currently available from ToyQube ($145).

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May 17, 2019

Pop Life Global x Imperial Palace x DC Comics Art Toys

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As part of its newly announced collaboration with the Beijing Imperial Court Cultural Development Company, Pop Life Global introduced an initial catalog of collectibles and products at a press conference  held at the historic Summer Palace in late April. The brand-new Imperial Palace x DC Comics art toy series is one of the highlights of the new collection. Echoing the rich 600-year tradition of the Forbidden City (Palace Museum), the new line features DC's iconic heroes and villains in traditional armor and garb.

The large-format vinyl series is loaded with a heroic cast including Superman, Batman, Robin, Flash, Green Arrow and Nightwing. The rogue's gallery includes Joker, Deathstroke, and Harley Quinn. While exact release dates are not available at this point, the first release, Flash, is debuting this weekend at SneakerCon in Shanghai.  The new Imperial Palace x DC collectibles are tentatively scheduled for a stateside release in June 2019.

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May 15, 2019

Unboxing 'Little Voyagers' from Coasre x Pop Mart

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I recently had the pleasure of visiting Coarse's Los Angeles Studio to unbox all of the brand-new Little Voyagers blindbox figures produced by Pop Mart.  Despite some slight (ahem) technical difficulties, I had a blast opening both Little Voyagers 'chapters' (series): Let's Go! (daytime) and Sweet Dreams! (nighttime).  Give it a watch on Youtube or below.

The twelve sculpts—two each for Cactus, Cat, Hamster, Frog, Fish & Raccoon—highlight Coarse's signature aesthetic and emotive storytelling. In addition to character cards—fairly rare these days—Coarse has also gone the extra mile by including fold-out pamphlets in each blindbox featuring a story detailing each character's journey (12 in all) and a full-color illustration on the flip side.

Little Voyagers are available now direct from Coarse in full cases (six figures each) for $98/case.

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Go Incognito with 'Blue Moon Hooligans Hideout Skull' by Bwana Spoons

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For his newest sofubi Bwana Spoons changes things up.  Instead of a quirky or cute character figure,  Hooligans Hideout Skull is Bwana's take on the vinyl skull. While the subject might be conventional, the new piece is anything but with a stylized shape with a wide, pronounced jaw, mushroom spores and an erupted-volcano top.

The debut Blue Moon Hooligans Hideout Skull is available now for $55 direct from Gravy Toys.  This unpainted edition features translucent 'Blue Moon' vinyl which has a richer, deeper look than the 'rainy day' translucent blue that many collectors are familiar with. 

From the front or 3/4 perspective, the figure definitely reads as a skull. From the side profile shot (above), the Blue Moon edition presents a more challenging read with a slight shape shift. The translucent blue cast visually softens details such that the unusual shape comes to the fore, becoming an undulating landscape of sorts.  And… what's that at the rear? What is described by Bwana as a 'window into the back of your soul' looks like it might be a blown-out wound.

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May 14, 2019

Go Back to The DBZ Future with BTTFool by Fools Paradise

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Fools Paradise is now taking pre-orders for its latest pop-culture mash-up, BTTFool.  Limited to 498 pieces and available for $328 direct from their online store,  the new vinyl release is a clever mix of Back To The Future and Dragon Ball-Z.  In addition to the Marty  and Doc Brown relationship, BTTFools also plays with the fact that the 'future' versions of Trunks (Marty) and Vegeta (Doc Brown) are in fact, father and son.  The other clever aspect of this design, is that it seamlessly incorporates their previous coin-op ride series via the Delorean ride with the brand's recent focus on stylized re-interpretation of not one, but two pop culture universes at once (Super Mario + The Professional & Super Mario + Forest Gump). 

Having had a chance to see the prototypes in person, one thing that stands out is their  impressive size.  Doc Fool stands almost 14" tall and due to Fools Paradise's exaggerated, muscular style, is quite bulky.  In fact, most of the recent Fools Paradise releases have a surprisingly large scale that really needs to be seen to be appreciated. Their oversized profiles add considerably to the over-the-top nature of Fools Paradise's recent releases.  So much, fun.

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BlackBook Toy x Mishka x Lamour Supreme — Hallucination Kong Micro-Run by Kenth Toy Works

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BlackBook Toy is set to release the first painted edition of Kong, the latest evolution of their ongoing collaboration with Mishka and Lamour Supreme, with the Hallucination micro-run (edition of 7 pieces) from Kenth Toy Works. The ideal choice for the honor, as he sculpted both The Beast (Kong's body) and the Kong head, Kenth Toy Works brings his signature Hallucination paint scheme to the imposing ape sofubi. With a mottled purple, green and blue pattern, Hallucination Kong draws out the beast's ferocity and visceral anger. 

Limited to just 7 pieces, the Hallucination Kong micro-run sofubi (12.6") will be released via email lottery for ¥27,000 (~$246) from Thursday, May 16th at 8 AM PDT through Sunday, May 19th at 7:59 AM PDT.  Check BBT's Kong lottery page for full information and complete lottery directions.

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May 12, 2019

Ron English and Friends Build The 'Welcome Wall'

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'The Wall' seems to be a persistent constant, from news outlets to everyday conversation—it's a nearly unavoidable topic in the USA.  As he's been known to do, Ron English is turning the polarizing concept on its head with the Welcome Wall, a planned 2000-foot long, 15-foot high wall beginning on the property of the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas which is situated near the Mexico-USA border. The center is scheduled to be the site of a proposed section of the actual border wall which would split the preserve into two.  As the name suggests, this new plywood wall features art from Ron and fellow artists welcoming visitors from both sides of the border.  Emphasizing the new wall's welcoming nature, the structure features at least one door and a climbing wall.

Ron's contributions to the wall include many of his popular characters as well as panels that are satirical and political in nature— some mocking President Trump, the #1 proponent of the actual border wall. The first section of completed wall also features the art of Anat Ronen, Jessica Monroe, Helena Martin, The Ghost, Federico Archuleta, The Deathhead, Jose Ramirez, and Jason Perez.  Funds to complete the the Welcome Wall were raised via a now completed Indiegogo campaign.

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May 10, 2019

Coarse x Pop Mart — 'Little Voyagers'

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The brand-new Little Voyagers mini-ish figures from Coarse and Pop Mart continues the storyline set out in the Cold Ways illustrated book.  The six travelers include three drawn from the pages of the story—Raccoon, Fish and Cat— and three newcomers to the saga—Hamster, Frog and Cactus.

Coarse's first  blind-boxed figures are available in two smaller 'chapters' (series). Let's Go! (chapter 1) features on-the-move sculpts of each of the six series characters while Sweet Dreams! (chapter 2) features sleepy, restful versions of each voyager.Having seen these in person, the Little Voyagers impress with sculpts full of life and personality as well as their unexpectedly large size relative to typical blind-boxed figures.

First released in April at Shanghai Toy Show, Little Voyagers - Let's Go! and Little Voyagers - Sweet Dreams! are available direct from Coarse's online shop  in cases of six figures for $98/case.  Each case features a full and complete set of that chapter's figures. Coarse is not offering individual blind boxes.

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May 08, 2019

Superplastic Takes Over Kickstarter with Janky Series 2

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After just two days, the Janky Series 2 Kickstarter campaign from Superplastic is off to a roaring start, eclipsing the initial $25k goal by roughly 12x with 28 days to go. Series 2 features exciting designs from Add Fuel, Caramelaw, Chocotoy, Jor Ros, Julie West, Pete Fowler, Guggimon, Huck Gee, James Groman, Seen, Squink, TADO, 2PetalRose, Wattle and one mystery artist. The new series features an almost entirely new roster compared to S1 with Pete Fowler and Huck Gee as the only returnees. As with the first series, the new collection is a strongly curated mix of artists well known to art toy fans and talented artists and illustrators who are making their toy debuts. Overall the new designs are full of life including Jeiko from 2PetalRose, Smiley Don from dino loving James Groman, and the mystical Zero dragon-inspired design—with wicked tail—by Wattle. Series 2 is set to drop in November 2019.

In addition to the brand-new Janky series, Superplastic is also offering two 8-inch Superjanky figures in Kickstarter exclusive editions: Gloomy by Mori Chack and Bendybones by Squink. And… there's a brand-new 12" Work & Play figure from Guggimon.   Finally, what would a Janky Kickstarter be without a new King Janky or two? Fear not, his highness returns as a royal ninja with the new King Janky IV design in both a regular blue edition and an early-bird Storm Edition which will be added to all pledges/orders placed before 9 AM PDT on Friday (5.10). 

Head on over to the Janky Series 2 Kickstarter for all the info and to browse the various rewards packages.

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May 03, 2019

Look Keys Launches Art Key Collection (5.3)

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New lifestyle brand Look Keys has launched two lines of art-driven house keys.  Curated by yours truly, the Art Key Collection features designs from sixteen talented artists:  Alex Pardee, Amanda Louise Spayd, Amanda VisellAndrea Kang, Chris RWK, Chris Ryniak, Greg 'Craola' Simkins, Hyperactive Monkey, Jermaine Rogers, Joe Ledbetter, J*RYU, Julie West, kaNO, Reactor-88, Sket-One  and Yoskay Yamamoto.

With large, bold images (1.25") protected by semi-rigid resin domes, these keys are an easy way to add more art, color and style into your everyday routine.  Available for both Schlage and Kwikset keys (90%+ of USA house locks), each key is ready-to-cut at stores that make/copy keys.  Head on over to LookKeys.com to pick up one or a few—handy for quickly identifying which keys is which—for $10 each. In addition to the Art Keys, Look Key is also debuting keys from apparel brands including Mishka, Sketchy Tank, Slush Cult and more.

Be sure to check out the gallery for a look at all 16 art keys.  I enjoyed putting together this collection and hope you find one that you'd love to put on your key ring.

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Apr 29, 2019

2PetalRose x Collect and Display — Kid Katana Original Renegade (3.30)

kidk4Collect and Display will release the debut Kid Katana (Original Renegade) art toy resin (8") from 2PetalRose on Tuesday (3.30) at 7 AM PDT from their online store for £175 ($228).  The new Kid Katana—nestled in between the original 3" and the larger blanks created for his recent solo show—fulfills the dream of a production 2pr toy. With only so much time to steal away at night or on the weekends, the artist has only been able to release extremely small runs of his in-demand, stylized feudal Japan figures. 

A deluxe production, the Original Renegade edition is limited to 200 pieces and includes interchangeable helmet/top knot as well, katana with bowed, faux leather strap and a signed/numbered Certificate of Authenticity.  As you can see from the pictures, 2PetalRose and the production team at Unbox have been meticulous in carrying over as much of the 2pr handmade-figure experience as possible in a production piece.  The attention to detail continues right through to the packaging which includes the die-cut foam insert the artist's collectors have come to expect.  This is an absolute must for 2pr collectors.

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