TOYSREVIL’S TOP TEN TOY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016

Every year - for the past couple of years since - I have dedicated blogspace to “TOP TEN TOYS OF”-the-year-before, solely based on my own collection/purchases - primarily because I had not felt totally “right” with commenting on collectibles I do not have the benefit of holding in my own hands, while in previous years I had whined on about toys I “wished I owned” (but no $$ to buy yadayadah #asifiwasaskingforfreeshit) … but this year, I’d thought to try something MORE …

In addition to sharing picks from my own humble collection, I’d like to take a look at releases that had piqued my attention, and engaged my interests, and share them with you folks reading - starting with THIS post for TOYSREVIL’S TOP TEN TOY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016!


Toys/Collectibles considered are not one-offs, customised from an existing toy, and instead have multiples of, or thematically released commercially. I can’t really talk about toys I have not featured on this blog, so the selection remains inclusive of coverage on TOYSREVIL.

*And if you do not already know (no worries if not, and welcome to my blog!) - the collectibles listed here are ALL ORIGINAL CREATIONS, and not based off existing properties (well, “inspired by” maybe :p).

Disclaimer#1: If I don’t talk about YOURS, maybe I don’t know about it, and you could consider submitting toy-news to TOYSREVIL, yeah? Email “toysreviler[at]gmail.com” (Read Submission Guide for reference, thanks).

Disclaimer#2: The subsequent selected collectibles are not necessarily ranked in any specific order of importance, but were what popped into my consideration-plate when I asked myself the question LOL

ONWARDS!


TOYSREVIL’S TOP TEN TOY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016: KAWS COMPANION by KAWS X MEDICOM TOY

WHY: The release of the Kaws Companion in a smaller size (11x” versus OG 15” tall released a decade ago!) and an “open” edition was an anti-thesis to the notion of “limited edition” that which at one point in toy-history dictated and differentiated mass-market toys to “designer toys”, IMHO.

Sure, folks can argue the fact of importance of the “designer/artist” over “limited quantity of product”, but to the average joe; “’Less’ has ’More Value'” - although in the instance of the re-released Companion, the dominant factor here is the artist’s brand name of “KAWS”.


Released to coincide with his “KAWS: Where The End Starts” at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, it had been an extremely apt release (given the circumstance of the quasi-retrospective nature of the exhibition), and as well an opportunity for collectors - both old and new - to have a chance at (re)collecting something that has since snagged itself a place in the hallowed hallways of “Art Toy”-dom, methinks!

(Art) “Toy Collecting” doesn’t just cater to the long-standing “old skool” collectors, but also to the new Padawans of the Toy-Force, and I feel that the Open Edition of KAWS COMPANIONS opened up that notion, to everyone (who could lay their hands on them anyways :p)



TOYSREVIL’S TOP TEN TOY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016: MR DOB by TAKASHI MURAKAMI x BAIT

WHY: This totally came as s surprise - at the very least to me - and was an example of a “art-influenced collectible, that mayhap resonated more with the “art crowd”, than the “toy crowd”, with not much chatter (although I don’t do forums, to be clear) besides the “Like”-counts on my Instagram-snaps and blog-hits - which at this juncture of the wwworld may well mean “curiosity” versus “actually paying for an item”, IMO.

“ART” as in the artist himself - who dwells in the art world than trade in the toy/collectible market, but is know to go beyond the borders of mass-labels folks inevitably deem themselves, much like KAWS does, and deserving a spot on the TOYSREVIL Highlights-List.

With products ranging between lux high-end sculpts and co-branded plush, to gachas from over a decade ago (See on Rotocasted.com), Takashi Murakami’s collectibles are few and far in between, and this two colorway editions produced by BAIT for release at COMPLEXCON 2016 certainly was a highlight in 2016, for me!


(Above photography by Thero Dennis)

TOYSREVIL’S TOP TEN TOY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016: KING KORPSE by JAMES GROMAN x INSTINCTOY

WHY: The sheer bulk and mass of this beast cannot be denied! An all-original design and sculpt, of an escaped gorilla - still in cuffs - deferred and de-skinned, with a ripped-opened chest cavity to reveal it’s insides, likened to a soft “PG-16” trailer to Jason Freeny’s “PG-13” Family Friendly Anatomical releases, only thing missing is a gorilla pee-pee to edge it over to the “Red Band”-side LOL

And while earlier co-releases with Instinctoy with Rotten Rexx, and James’ own prehistorical menagerie (seen at DCON) were notable, the impact of classic celluloid “King Kong” over "dinosaurs ", cannot be underrated.

Having had the chance to have seen the figure at STGCC last year, although I did not have a chance to hold it in-hand (the crowd was by then too huge, and I am sadly too shy to ask in the first place), it looked utterly impressive, and besides my own propensity to WANT to own it (it remains beyond my financial reach), it may well be a invisible bridge between the toy/collectible scene, and the cinematic-lovers of the classic, IMHO.

I certainly hope to see more promotional fanfare or some such exclusive editions for when KONG: SKULL ISLAND premieres March 10th, 2017 in the USA … and seems there will be at least ONE NEW colorway of KING KORPSE to come (not including the Gold Edition in INSTINCTOY’s 2017 Lucky Bag tho :p), with the Albino/Yeti Edition!


(Above Instagram image via @jgroman60
Below Original Instagram image via @motojam)

TOYSREVIL’S TOP TEN TOY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016: TEQ63 1/6 by QUICCS x DEVIL TOYS

WHY: The evolution of QUICC’s TEQ is a distinct “lesson” in determination and production-do, with first multiples of TEQ63 in different editions and variety of makes made (from QUICCS himself, no less) and released, and subsequently enjoyed worldwide, then having it adopted into a 1/6th scale articulated action figure by Devil Toys in Hong Kong!

I am once and always a fan of 1/6th, so this was a no-brainer choice for me. And while I am highly critical of 1/6th figures - and you can argue there are tons more makes out in the toy world (from GLITCH/God Complex, 1000toys, Medicom, Hot Toys etc) - THESE stands the most evocative for me, having had the chance to co-release with Quiccs different versions from the blog thru the years … and as well the design is “casual” enough not to “oversell” the story concept as hard as other stories tend to evoke, IMHO.

Not forgetting at all the accessories/weapons, and sidekick mecha-Dog! Sweet-adds, man! Good call!

Derived from the Gundam mechas of memories past, QUICCS has since carved out a singular path of the TEQ63, from indie resins, to productions with other overseas brands (Martian Toys, and soon Kidrobot), and eventually even upcoming personal jewelry! QUICCS has adopted his customising skill, into creating his own brand of design, and that is an awesome feat in my book!

Unfortunately I’ve not held one in hand nor own one of the three editions released thus far (Above image via IG @motojam) to critique otherwise, I’ve had the chance to see them at STGCC last year, behind a glass panel hahaha


(Original Instagram image via @2petalrose)

TOYSREVIL’S TOP TEN TOY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016: SHOGUN REBELS by 2PETALROSE

WHY: Blurring the borders between the sweetness of ball-jointed-dolls (an entire scene I do not represent on this blog but for Blythe in the distant past) and aggressive stylings of Samurai warriors - that has captured imaginations thru timelines and cultures, 2PetalRose helmed by Liam Scriven brightened up the scene with his various depictions of his SHOGUN REBELS, with “Shikomi” and “Hondo” - no doubt an evolution from Maiko in 2015…

The richness and depth of these figures showcases the craft beyond self-made resin collectibles, adding layers of complex effort and conceptual design, to produce a heightened notion of “collectible dolls” (with the term “dolls” not meant to “demean” but “visually categorise”).

Visually, as well this appeals to my love of stop-motion features, personified with slim limbs and high articulation, and stylistically, the subtle appropriations of the essence of Hip-Hop stylings for that elusive “toy street cred”, works extremely well for my senses! And that RONIN SKULLHEAD collaboration with Huck Gee? One of the BEST collabs of the year, bar none!

I’ll end this gush with a look a the video clip for his latest build, meant for @mattiafagnonionlus, with the removable glasses an utter brill add!



(Original Instagram image HERE)

TOYSREVIL’S TOP TEN TOY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016: GOLD LIFE by HUCK GEE X MIGHTY JAXX

WHY: And while we’ve seen incarnations of Huck Gee’s “Gold Life” characters in various platform figures, and his own limited-run builds, GOLD LIFE with Mighty Jaxx seems to see the most “accurate” representation of his creations (or so I assume) - without constraints of said-platform’s form - direct from the artist himself! That excites me more than anything else, frankly speaking.

And having it produced and made available and affordable to the general toy-buying public, makes it a notable and important, I feel. As more folks veer towards labelling collectibles as "art" - which is in essence, nothing wrong, and I agree with most (not "all" :p) - the "cost" of the item(s), inevitably goes UP, with the perceived inherent value of what gallery "Art" would be priced at ... and I truly feel we should not be loosing any collectors ("beginning" or otherwise) into the scene, because of simple "affordability", or else we'll be trapped into a cannibalous cycle of recycling existing collectors and their collections, IMHO.

*Gets Off Soapbox*

Sure the items are still in a “limited run”, but a larger run, and perhaps even longer shelf-life - which isn’t necessarily a “bad thing”, as more people might have a chance to know more about, and own MORE Huck Gee products, rather than overbid themselves online for items since “Sold Out”.

But rest assured, as there still “big-ticketed items” to keep speculators hard at work and self-finance dreams alive, innit? Us poor slobs still might have a chance to own some goodness from Mr Gee, innit? I for one am extremely grateful, and will share more of my toy-joy in a separate post ! :)

The colorway edition show above is the Shadow Edition launched for STGCC2016. Look for full colorways to be released, a new character, and perhaps even an upsized version!


(Original Instagram image HERE)

TOYSREVIL’S TOP TEN TOY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016: MAGURO SENPAI by MAME MOYASHI

WHY: And while I was a tad slower at discovering Mame Moyashi’s MAGURO SENPAI (seeing the promo ad on myplasticheart’s Instagram), I was lucky that my local retailer Ozzo was one of the main distributers in Singapore, AND had their own exclusive edition, both of whom lay in my collection now!

One (or “Two”) of my happiest and “regret”-free purchases in 2016 - the concept and option is as refreshingly “fresh” as raw sashimi should be, and simplicity is the key to it’s allure, for me anyways. Not to mention the not-too-sublte but gloriously macabre-ness of it’s gutted-out own belly, with his own blade in hand (no less) = Hong Kong-styled "Horror Movie" at it's best! LOL

The figure is credited to the company / brand name “Mame Moyashi” rather than a specific artist/designer tho.

Look for more multiples of editions and colorways to be unleashed in 2017 (both “hits” and “misses”, to be totally fair) - including INSTINCTOY’s exclusive edition, while I await Maduro’s toy-brethren on the Mame Moyashi Fisheries, with MASTER THE GIANT CLAWS, THAT Squid, and a new Sea-Urchin Kaiju? Going to be quite lively down in the wet market soon…!


TOYSREVIL’S TOP TEN TOY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016: BOXCATS by RATO KIM

WHY: I was first introduced to BOXCATS by Tay Choon Mong (of Hornest.sg) online, but it remained a “cute” figure unremarkable in it’s concept, truth be told … then came the BreadCats, and South Korean artist Rato Kim’s stylistic delving into the edible toy aspect of the resin piece, exploded as a splendid taste sensation in my toy-loving heart, and appetite!

Alas I have not been able to sate said appetite for her BOXCATS, but I remain hopeful one day I will be able to :)


TOYSREVIL’S TOP TEN TOY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016: SUNNY AND CLOUDY WEATHER SHOP SKOLL by LOFI Collective

WHY: I admit, I was charmed to the hilt starting with it’s origin story (*Shared by Eun Byeol Choi exclusively on TOYSREVIL) which led to a more in-depth re-look at the SKOLL design from LOFI Collective, beyond the cuteness, reminiscent of the classic 80s Strawberry Shortcake (a fav of my sister) and your puffy-dressed girls now updated to the word of K-Pop and teenage sunshine , amidst the gloomy rain of the world of Sunny And Cloudy Weather Shop :p

The subtle striped socks and wolf-head - were aesthetic and designs allures (for me), as is her cloud-bubble hair! And now with the collectibles evolving beyond their hand-made hand-painted resins, into affordable and accessible PVC figures (see video above), here’s hoping more folks get introduced and clued in to LOFI Collective’s art!

AND, I love “diversity” in an artist’s portfolio, so this was one of the more important aspects (for myself), to have discovered and helped me stay interested in “the scene”, since gloriously “borderless” :)


(Above IG snap via @thetattooedfoodie)

TOYSREVIL’S TOP TEN TOY HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2016: IT’S A FAD DUNNY by JRYU x KIDROBOT

WHY: Kidrobot has been making waves in the designer toy scene for years, with their high and lows felt directly by collectors of their myriad of products thru the years - success and duds - and is one of the aspirations of toy-designers, to have their works produced by Kidrobot.

And while recent advancement has seen an abundance of both licensed and artist-related Munnyworld merch (under the madness that which is Frank Kozik as KR’s Creative Director), one of the few highlights of 2016, for me, was personified by JRYU’s ITS A FAD DUNNY.

Where once it was a “cancelled design”, than a custom for a show, and since then has emerged as a 20-incher behemoth, and a series of 8-glorious-incher filigreed beauties, ready to grace my toy-shelves one day (Well, I can dream, can’t i?), alas missing the drop at Ozzo before it had been snapped up (*I cannot afford shipping otherwise), and touching the computer screen ever so gently (or “violently”, depending on your perspective in toy-life :p) … THEN Clairvoyant Dunny turned up???? Then The RED? Are you kidding me?

You are killing it, Jess! You are killing me! LOL

Any of YOUR favs mentioned above too :)


Notable mentions include Alex Pardee x ToyQube’s THE ASTRONAUT, Daniel Yu x Unbox Industries’ JIANGSHI ACOLYTE, ZiQi’s DINO, and a few more in another particular “category”, that will be mentioned in Part Two of TOYSREVIL TOP TEN TOYS OF 2016!

Cheers
Andy TOYSREVIL

Comments

POPULAR-EST OF TOYSREVIL POSTS FOR THE PAST WEEK