Designer Con 2015 is this weekend (Nov 21 -22) in Pasadena. The theme of this year’s Designer Con pop art fair is “Back to the 80s” and will feature an exhibition of the private Back to the Future art collection of founder Ben Goretsky.
As you would expect, there will be a slew of designer toy exclusives at DCON.
I’ve quickly become enamored with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Vinyl line by The Loyal Subjects. The Action Vinyls sport a decent amount of articulation for this category. When you couple the license (TLS also has G.I. JOE, Transformers, and Street Fighter and Masters of the Universe on the way) with the attitude-filled sculpts, consider me hooked.
One of their latest TMNT offerings is this “Radioactive” glow-in-the-dark set, which is exclusive to Hastings. If you’re new to the line, this is a pretty good set to pick up. It includes all four Turtles, which can be a little painful when you’re dealing with blind-boxed figures. And each comes with all the accessories that the blind-boxed figures have, excluding the character cards.
Like its illegitimate parent Funko has done with its Pop! line, Vinyl Sugar is building out the licenses for Dorbz – the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are the latest addition to the line. You can already find Dorbz for DC Comics and Marvel, including the awesome Guardian of the Galaxy Dorbz. TMNT Dorbz will be available in October, with the four Turtles and villains Rocksteady and Bebop.
Also joining Dorbz in October, Jack Skellington and the gang from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.
It must be #ThrowbackThursday. Funko has gone back 30 years to bring us back some Garbage Pail Kids. They’ve got 3.75-inch figures in a blind boxed format – which is the closest thing you can get to the trading card experience (except for trading cards, of course). But here, you’re getting your favorite GPKs in three dimensions, in vinyl.
On the eve of New York Comic Con, I’m doing a bit of catch-up on a piece that our good friend Jedd sent in several weeks back, during the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention. It’s a great interview with designer toy icon Frank Kozik. Be sure to check out Jedd’s own site, The Movie and Me, for his full coverage of STGCC and much more.
Artist and designer Frank Kozik is known in collectible art circles as the creator of the Labbit, but it also famous as a poster designer who created artwork for bands such as The White Stripes, Pearl Jam, The Beastie Boys and Nirvana. The commercial artwork he has done includes work for Nike, Swatch and MTV. Kozik was in Singapore as a guest of the Singapore Toys, Games and Comics Convention (STGCC) and I got to sit down with him to discuss his work. He was somewhat intimidating and frank and off-the-cuff, giving a detailed description of how Labbit came to be (it involves booty calls) and offering a surprising, piece of advice to aspiring artists.
Jedd Jong: What was the genesis of Labbit; how did you conceptualise that?
Frank Kozik: That’s an interesting story. In the mid-90s, I was going to Japan quite a bit, I was working with the people there. When I went over there for the first time, I was really in Sanrio products, was really into like Hello Kitty and Keroppi and stuff, I thought it was very interesting, the stuff they were doing. I liked how they did the characters, it was like super-perfect. What’s interesting is in Japan then, it was just something for low-class people. These were are sort of like snotty Shinjuku fashion dudes, right? And they’re like “what do you want to do, do you want to do cocaine on top of a mountain?” and I’m like “no, I want to go to Kitty Land!” And they all just thought I was crazy, they were like “what?!” They couldn’t understand, it was such a low thing for them. And I tried to explain it, I said “look, there’s something really interesting here. It’s like super-perfect way to develop a character,” like you got to get beyond who buys it. In the US, it became a really big cult thing.