created by Noferin, these series of handcrafted wooden-figures are utterly charming (IMHO) and a such a pleasant delight to behold (ever since i first peeped them on pinkghost-blog - thanks!).
Pecanpals stand between from 4.5 to 8 inches in height and the full-colored versions are limited to 200-pcs per character worldwide (there will be a variant series featuring wood-stain and wood tones!) and is currently scheduled for a mid-2008-release ... meanwhile i had the opportunity to chat with Candy and Nicho (the principals of Noferin) on the genesis and future of Pecanpals :)
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TOYSREVIL: how did the concept of Noferin Pecanpals come about? what was going through your minds when you folks designed/conceptualized the characters? and from where did the concept spring up from?
NOFERIN: Noferin is made up of Candy and Nicho. Candy is a self-trained artist with a background in Graphic Design. Nicho is a writer who is studying an Environmental Science degree.
The first Pecanpal characters appeared on “Have a nice day!” notes that Nicho left for Candy in the morning. They were just silly little characters that didn’t have a name or purpose.
NOFERIN: We grew attached to these characters and started drawing them everywhere. Candy found herself drifting from the commercial design world and being drawn more to the art world that we first saw in Gary Baseman’s “Dumb Luck.” This new art movement really appealed to us. We were so inspired by the work of Baseman. That’s when we started to think, “We’ve got to make something special of these guys. Something unique!” So we started to develop their world and their personalities and characteristics.
Candy asked Nicho to write a story about one of the characters. He did, but at this stage, we didn’t know the characters well enough. So that idea was put on hold for a while as we worked on the details of the toys.
NOFERIN: It’s hard to define when certain things happened because the way we work makes everything seem very organic. Things just seem to grow from one thing to another. Our vision is almost identical and although we both bring different elements to Noferin, we rely heavily on one another for inspiration and guidance. The writing, design and art sides of Noferin all mesh together, and are created side by side.
TOYSREVIL: what is their toy story? do they have any stories to begin with?
NOREFIN: Stories are not only very important to us, they are essential to Pecanpals and the world of Noferin. We are the storytellers of Carrara Island.
All the aspects of Noferin are basically exposing the narrative of the world we have created. Being a writer/artist duo, our world is essentially one ever-growing narrative. The stars of the show are the Pecanpals and through our various avenues (novels, artwork, toys and design,) we aim to tell their stories.
TOYSREVIL: lovely. i've always "felt" that a toy who has a story, makes it "come alive", at least for the collector or hobby enthusiast, IMHO - could you please describe the group? and each individual Pecanpal?
NOFERIN: The Pecanpals live on Carrara Island. They have very real and developed personalities. They all bring something unique and fantastic to the whimsical world we have created.
Pecan is the self-appointed leader who believes that all the information you ever need to know is found in storybooks. It’s a shame that no one else shares his belief. (Pecan is 8"-ers tall)
Fanelli is a powerful, headstrong individual who keeps the balance on the Island. She has her hands full caring for her twin boys, but that doesn’t stop her developing some truly spectacular ideas. (Fanelli is 6"-ers tall)
Jac Jac is the pillar of scientific knowledge. He is a very dependable character and will always lend a hand, but his focus on scientific knowledge has left him somewhat socially awkward. (JacJac is 5.5"-ers tall)
Pandacake is the youngest and most inquisitive member of the Pecanpals. She is a stickler for detail and often picks up on things that others don’t notice. (Pandacake is 4.5"-ers tall)
Claudius has muscles that most can only dream of. He cares about all living things and has the biggest heart of anyone we know. He will never disappoint. (Claudius is 5"-ers tall)
TOYSREVIL: *i-heart-Pecanpals* LOL ... the Pecanpals look like they're made of wood, but the surface-finishing is extremely gorgeous!
NOFERIN: The Pecanpals are made from wood. Our initial prototype (which all these pictures are of – final images will follow in a later post) was entirely painted over. Because of the high quality, gloss enamel paint that we use, you can still see the wood grain, but from a distance, it is not immediately evident that it is wood. Well, since one of the most important aspects of our figures is that they are made from wood, we decided that we should make this more evident. Therefore, the final design will have sections where parts of the figures are not painted. Instead, they will be coated with wood stain, allowing the grain of the wood to show through. We are very happy with the way this has turned out. It really adds something special to the pieces.
TOYSREVIL: the special they are indeed, and thoroughly charming, IMHO! how big are they?
NOFERIN: The Pecanpals range from 4.5 to 8 inches in height. Because our pieces are made from wood, they are heavier and more solid than vinyl toys. This somehow makes them feel larger than they are. Also, all of the joints are articulated and can be removed. We were originally going to go for brass joints because we liked the feeling and look of them, but we opted against this because the pieces were going to become too heavy.
TOYSREVIL: any indication of quantity and price (at this point in time) please?
NOFERIN: The full-colour version is limited to 200 per character worldwide.
Pecanpals are essentially entirely handcrafted – right down to the hand painting. We strive to make our pieces to the highest quality, and we believe that our product will reflect that. There are a lot of designer toys out there that are ridiculously over-priced and their quality is questionable.
NOFERIN: Even though we are producing a limited run of very high quality toys, we still want them to be affordable. We aren’t sure of a final figure, but they will be around $65 - 80 USD each.
TOYSREVIL: how soon will they reach toyshelves? how do folks get about getting them (eventually)? what is their status now?
NOFERIN: We have an online store where orders can be made. (www.noferin.com) Pecanpals will also be available to purchase at select retailers worldwide. We will list these on our website closer to the time of release. We are aiming for a mid-2008 release date.
TOYSREVIL: looking forward to them, Nicho and Candy! cheers for your time and trouble thus far, and in closing, please do describe yourselves and what you folks do, and am planning to do.
NOFERIN: We work very closely together on all our projects. It is the only way we know how to work. We have a lot of ideas for Noferin that lie a bit further down our path. We will get there, but we have to take baby steps at first.
At the moment, we are working primarily on the art side of Noferin. We have had work exhibited throughout Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Arizona, Florida and Australia. Candy is currently preparing for a solo show we have in April, 2008 at CoproNason Gallery in Los Angeles. This will be a lot of fun, but we are already nervous! We’ve got a few shows planned for 2008 and 2009.
We have our toys coming out next year, and are finalizing things with our first novel.
We’ve got lots of things we want to do, but as we said before, it’s all about the baby steps first.
TOYSREVIL: you're very welcomed! and baby-steps are always cool, becoz they'd lead to bigger strides, and from what i see of the Pecanpals, they may yet be luring folks to visit more of Carrara Island and the realms of Noferin, IMHO - have a fab christmas and a fruitful new year to come, Candy & Nicho!
[web / blogspot / art/exhibition-blog / myspace / flickr]