Talking ToyStreet With Cookies-n-Cream

People get together for many different reasons (and perhaps even intentions) ~ to celebrate a life or death, to fight over or for something, to showcase or share ... or simply to commensurate, in a gathering of like-minded folks and familia, in the pursuance of like-minded hobbies and desires.

In many ways, the main intent of this humble little blog you are reading now, is not solely meant to be just about "me" and what "I" like, but to be able to share with everyone who chooses to pop by, stay and have a read, about what we like and enjoy (or "not", in some cases), and commensurate about it, online.

But truly, nothing beats a physical gathering of people, from a large-scale convention, to a weekend flea market ~ for I have found it is the surest way to meet and greet fellow like-minded folks, and as well to feed your addiction (to "life" and "art toys", yo!). There is simply nothing compared to a face-to-face "HI", or peering down on the actual product displayed on a table-top or stand, your fingers only inches away LOL.

When the folks at New-York based Cookies-n-Cream presented their concept of ToyStreet (for TOYSREVIL to be a media-sponsor for, which I am proud to have been involved in), I was very much intrigued with the idea, which I had felt rested between a "traditional annual" convention, and something near and close, likened to a flea market (at least for me, and hell, I heart flea markets LOL ). But this was decidedly different from your run-of-the-mill mixed grab-bag of yellow-pages-styled products-on-show, but of an event and intent dedicated specifically to the Art and Designer-Toy culture, and no doubt a celebration of the diversity of what said scene had to offer, IMHO.

And with that, permit me to share with you folks a little Q&A I had with Ganiu "Scrills" Ladejobi of Cookies-n-Cream, about the genesis of the project, and a post-mortem of the event ~ CLICK THRU to read, along with copious amounts of event-snaps!

[57 x images of STALLS+BOOTHS @ ToyStreet above / CLICK for full-screen viewing]

TOYSREVIL: How was the turnout? How many vendors, and did you guys keep track of the number of folks attending the event?

COOKIES-N-CREAM: The turnout was good for the 1st event. We had 21 vendors and a flow of about 250 people in and out of the venue. Just to name a few of the vendors, we had Toy Tokyo, Toyqube, Giant Robot NY, Sucklord, Marka 27, TooFly, CubeeCraft, Dave Cortes (Pugzee/Inu Art), Argonaut Resins and many more.

[42 x images of TABLE-TOPS @ ToyStreet above / CLICK for full-screen viewing]

TOYSREVIL: Nice! How was the feedback on the event? From vendors to attendees? Does this sort of event happen in NYC (often)? If not ~ why not?

COOKIES-N-CREAM: The feedback was great. We were really surprised at how well ToyStreet was received. Lots of folks in attendance enjoyed the event and felt like this was something that was much needed here in New York City.

Usually, events like this are held on the West Coast and we don't see a lot of it here in NYC so it was cool to be able to do something like this in a place where it was needed. As far as why there's not lots of events like this here is something that baffles us as well and was part of the reason that gave birth to ToyStreet.

Of course, there's ComicCon, Toy Fair and the big events, but something that was more connected to the city and its creative individuals on a more grassroots level was missing. Hopefully ToyStreet will fill that void and usher in other events like it. Anything that allows us to introduce people to the designer toys/art scene and also allow for greater exposure for artists is a positive thing and that's what ToyStreet is all about.

The artists/vendors involved also appreciated us doing the event. That meant a lot to us. To hear people we respect like Marka27, Sucklord, Dave Cortes, END (Argonaut Resins), TooFly and many others all thank us for doing this was enough to make it all worth it. We look forward to doing many more ToyStreets.

[54 x images of PEOPLES @ ToyStreet above / CLICK for full-screen viewing]

TOYSREVIL: Was there anything you guys would've loved to do but could not, for this event? And visa versa, anything you'd not do again for the next event?

COOKIES-N-CREAM: Well, this first one was something that we knew would be a learning experience for us. Something that would allow us to see what works and what doesn't. For the most part, things went well but one of the things we definitely felt was missing from the way we envisioned it was the whole "trading" thing.

We really wanted folks other than vendors to be able to come in and meet with other collectors to trade in addition to them being able to meet/buy from artists/vendors/brands etc. So with the next one, we'll allot a section of the space where only toy trading will be allowed. This will be separate from the area where you can buy from vendors.

We're still tweaking certain things with the event. It is far from perfect the way it is, but can only grow to be better as we continue to work on different things to enhance it. We can definitely tell you that the next one will be a really good one.

[39 x images of MUSIC Activities @ ToyStreet above / CLICK for full-screen viewing]

TOYSREVIL: Methinks sadly the concept of "trading" does seem particularly lost, in this advanced commercial-age, especially when it comes to creators' own creations versus another creators ~ very much unlike the days of decades back when I could literally trade my collectible trading-cards with others without the need to consider "value" of trade ... anyways ... Is this going to be a yearly thing? Would something like a monthly or even quarterly ToyStreet event "work"?

COOKIES-N-CREAM: At the moment, we're looking at it as a yearly thing although some people have reached out to us to consider doing it twice a month or quarterly. Maybe we might do another one before the year is up but at this moment, we're kind of set on it being an annual event. It took a lot of work and our own personal finances to put this together, especially considering that we're a small crew of 3 people that co-ordinated this whole thing. If we were to do it more than once though, it would be only twice a month but we'll see. Maybe with the right amount of alcohol, we'll think about doing it more than once haha but for now, it's just annual so look out for ToyStreet 2011.

[5 x images of LIVE ART DEMOs @ ToyStreet above / CLICK for full-screen viewing]

TOYSREVIL: Kudos for the effort, Scrills! Who was the mastermind behind this event? Names, I need names! LOL ~ in your opinion/s, was it as successful as you wanted it to be? And why?

COOKIES-N-CREAM: The event was put together by Cookies -n- Cream (a clothing & designer toys brand based out of NYC) which consists of Ganiu "Scrills" Ladejobi, Johnathan "Jon Blak" Sinclair and Peterson "P Loc" Lochard. We can't take all the credit though as there were plenty of other people that helped make it a reality and we thank everyone for their support. It was more of a community effort than just the three of us and from the way it was well received, it will only get bigger and better.

Yes the event was definitely a success. It gave you a good idea of what we were trying to do, which is to allow artists/vendors/collectors and everyone else to connect in a unique experience. We're happy with the way things turned out and will continue to work on improving it.

[6 x images of EATS @ ToyStreet above / CLICK for full-screen viewing]

Credit: All ToyStreet 2010 images posted here courtesy of Cookies-n-Cream.