New York Comic Con 2008 - Designer Toys
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New York Comic Con is pushing to be the East Coast's premier showcase for Designer Toys. After spending three days in and out of the packed aisle full of fans and curious attendees, it seems clear that NYCC is the place to score one of a kind customs, exclusive colorways, and meet the artists behind it all. The Designer Toy aisle was definitely the most packed area of the show, with Saturday's crowd being literally chest to back as you walked through, and the buzz was everywhere. In case you missed out on the fun, here's a look at what was shown.
Erick Scarecrow was on hand the entire weekend to talk with fans and create some nice sketches. He was extremely nice to chat with, and was always willing to talk. There were some great exclusives to be had as well. First up was the debut of the Old Skool Kaiju line with the first figure, Dizign, looking great. Three colorways were available with the Glow version being the most limited at 100pcs. Also, Kissaki was there with her swords ready for action. I didn't realize until the show that her swords are pencils. I love how Erick employs art supplies into his work. There were also exclusive colorways of Harriet Carney, Franken Kern plush, Dookie Poo, and Kajoin Kitty. Plus all the artists behind the toys were on had throughout the weekend to sign your book or tag their toys. But the toy that got most people talking (even the non-Designer collectors) talking was the Soopa Coin-Op Bros. These blank toys hit on a vibe that everyone was digging at the show. I picked up a green-glow version and had as many artists as I could make their mark on it. It is one of my prized toys for certain! Check out esctoys.com
This is going to be a great year for this company. There was no doubt when you walked around this booth that these guys are working hard to create toys leaning more towards "fine art" toys. Just when we thought the mini-figure was dead, Kathy Olivas and Dok A prove that there's some breath left in the format yet. Dok A's toys looked especially great, and are sure to be the first of many production pieces from the great customizer. There were a very limited number of hand painted casts on hand at the show of one of the toys. Keeping the handpainted uniqueness going, Kathy Olivas painted 25 Redbirds from the Benny and Redbird sets. These were simply gorgeous. Brandt Peters was showing strong with 100 giant black on black Slaphappys. Both Kathy and Brandt were signing and drawing frame-worthy sketches on Saturday. Buff Monster also had an exlusive colorway 3" Squirt, and EWOK was signing his gold NYCC colorway of Horselington (limited to 25). SKET, MAD, Cameron Tiede, Frank Cho, and even Jim Henson had toys on display also. Very cool booth, very classy toys. Be sure to visit MINDstyle.com
Android 8 had some interesting prototypes on hand. I was particularly drawn to My Beating Heart. This is a plush heart that has its own beat. The beat is set to a rhythm replicating a heart at rest or in meditation. When one hugs this plush while resting, your heart syncs up to the toy and you feel more at ease. This is a very interesting concept to me, and also in a way is something that many companies are looking towards: interactive toys. We'll have a closer look at one of these plush very soon. Check out Android8.com
Shawn Smith and his wife are some of the nicest artists I've met: so relaxed and easy to talk to. It was nice to see such a cool couple in a sea of madness at the con. You had to figure that the artist behind such cute and fun plush wouldn't be mean, right? NYCC was the debut of the company's DIY plush, Plushform! The form is based on the Wee Ninja, but is very open to interpretation. The cloth used can hold almost any type of medium. Paint, marker, crayon, pencil, stickers, just about anything will work when you make your own plush. This is such a great idea, and is the first totally blank plush available. To show you a few of the possibilities, there was a mini-show at their booth with 13 customs on display. This is an exciting toy and is super fun. Of course there were the favorite plush and vinyl on hand. The NYCC exclusive colorway of the Pork Dumpling vinyl (orange) was a must have for me. Expect a review on both the Plushform and Dumpling soon. Shawnimals.com
myplasticheart was a hopping booth. Not only were they showing their own toy designs, they were also showcasing STRANGEco and MAD's new toys as well. STRANGEco is keeping the Moofia love alive with 3 new mini-figures which debuted at the show. Also, a prototype of a male counterpart for Mozzerella was on display. He comes with shotgun shells instead of bullets! The con exclusive glow Bird God sold out very quickly, and the green Lueys were looking awesome. Also, the Night Edition Arkski debuted to a great response. MAD came by the booth on Saturday for a signing and to show off his new MAD*L. The NVC Crew was on hand to customize their Roller Warrior's mask and the icing on the cake was Brent Nolasco and his customized Vivisect Playset pieces. These were amazing!MyPlasticHeart.com and STRANGEco.com
BigShot had everyone talking about their debut of the Bertie! This honestly is quite possibly the most amazing toy I've ever seen. Only six made it in time for the con, and a raffle system was in place for buying them. Two were drawn a day, which was the only really fair way to do things. Much respect to Klim and the crew for not playing favorites in any way. Also on display were 2 DIY wood figures. The Neighborwood is an amazing looking toy in its own right, that would look great with just some wax to highlight the grain. Also, some sweet Lucha Libre plush and the always cool all city style trains were on display. BigShotToyWorks.com
Besides the excitement of the con, there was a party or art opening every night. It was hard not to have something to do. We made it out to two of the openings and had a great time at both.
MAD's Some Stuff I Made
myplasticheart hosted the first opening of the weekend on Thursday evening with MAD's custom MAD*L show complete with prints and the debut of his newest MAD*L with a NYCC colorway. It was a strong showing to be certain with 10 customized giant MAD*Ls with matching prints. There were also prototypes of the upcoming MAD*L pillows and the soon-to-come series were on display. The convention exclusive is a really great design and sold out at the con the following days. It was awesome to talk with MAD and it is very exciting to have a new MAD*L. Something we've been waiting not so patiently for. But it was definitely worth the wait! Expect a review of the newest MAD*L soon.
Kaiju Invades NYC
This show was absolutely amazing. Everyone who came was so excited and anxious to get a look at (and buy) a customized Kaiju monster toy that the buzz in the Showroom was really positive. There were over 100 toys customized by some of the biggest names in the art world. The line outside of the gallery was a block long, but the staff handled everything wonderfully. Tickets were handed out and they went down the list for purchasing toys. It made looking around a lot less stressful. There were killer t-shirts for sale, prints, exclusive toys (not customs), and a huge mask that you could wear. It was a great time, full of awesome people and jaw dropping customs.
This was my first New York Comic Con, but definitely not my last. It was a great time from start to finish. No doubt it was exhausting, but it was so much fun to see so many artists I admire, check out what the companies had on display, and chat with fellow fans I don't think I can sit out next year. Be sure to check back here for reviews of some of the exclusives/debuts and our continuing coverage of Designer Toys.
Skip had a great time at the con too. He was more interested in the comic books…. who knew they had those there? Check out his rundown of the major companies here. There were some sweet exclusives too. See Mr. Stinkhead's review of the NYCC Exclusive NECA Ninja Turtles, and my take on TOBOR.
Head over to our NYCC gallery that is full of pictures and our blog. Eye candy at its finest. And we now have our Video Podcast up with footage from the show.
None of our coverage could have been possible without the help of our awesome sponsors.
- Freebento.com is the place to hit for off the wall Japanese toys and there are plenty of Designer toys to be had too! Check it out!
- Kaiju Big Battel is the most amazing live show that my eyes have seen. Truly controlled chaos.
- Fun1 Designer Toys is that store that we all think is "our little secret". Good toys, honest prices, and great people. Now everyone knows!