KAWS v FREENY: A Easter Weekend Toy Drama

With the release of Jason Freeny’s ANATOMICAL CHOCOLATE EASTER BUNNY (Standard and Strawberry VIP-Exclusives), and breaking news of KAWS’ COMPANION BLUSH release, comes a slice of “toy-drama” happening this Easter weekend, between both artists. Here’s what has happened thus far…

Something I've been working on in the background... #jasonfreeny

A post shared by Jason Freeny (@gummifetus) on

It started with Jason Freeny posting the above image on his Instagram stream @gummifetus, with the caption; ”Something I've been working on in the background... #jasonfreeny”.

And somewhere down the comment field, @kaws left a comment; Dude, let it rest!”, followed immediately by another comment, You build a career ripping off this figure, no need to mix our work together! - which essentially calls Freeny out, and henceforth left the floodgates opened to folks and fans commenting, taking sides on either, and some weighing in on neither.

@gummifetus’s reply to @kaws’ comments were; Just sculpting my semi-accurate interpretation of the internal structure that would give this character its external form... never expected drama. I guess I'll leave this here, perhaps a conversation that needs to be had... taking my kids to the playground. 👍🏻”

Commenting has since spilled over to the @kaws Instagram, with commentary in random post(s) - as there are no specific related post.

Contemporary artist “Damien Hirst” has been evoked in the “who came first”, adding to the who did right, who deserves what etc - EDITED: Alas my blog-comments are on the fritz (since changing out this new layout :p), but do feel free to chime in and continue the conversation on this TOYSREVIL Facebook post :)

So much drama on a Easter weekend!

Featured below are some select screen-snaps of the commentaries (as of time of this blogpost on TOYSREVIL) to stir some Sunday-sh*t right up LOL And while KAWS' public commentary might have been made in poor form, it served as the impetus to begin this conversation, that has permeated the toy-scene and community for far too long, methinks.

(*All rights of text to their respective commentators and do not necessarily represent the thoughts of TOYSREVIL)

**To see more work from both gentlemen on the TOYSREVIL-blog, click for Jason Freeny and for KAWS.

Remembering comments I had received before of folks exclaiming Japan’s “Secret Base” of biting Jason Freeny’s semi-anatomical dissection, puts into perspective of an artist’s infamy being worthy of being commented on, versus a not as-famous-name/brand caught in the cross-fire.

As far as my memories serve me, I remembered seeing the concept of “anatomical dissection” in scaled models seen in the “Education” toy-aisles in Toys’R’Us years back (before I got into the “toy-blogging-scene” always :p), and to see them being adapted unto “urban vinyls” and “art toys” was such a joy to behold! And to discover later (thanks to Kaiju collectibles) the artwork of Shogo Endo (circa 1967) was such a wonder to witness!

As for “who did what first”, well, would that be like stating who was the first person to comment “FIRST!”, innit? I’ll leave that to the “toy-historians” to decide, as I have my own personal sense of discovery to contend with :)

This aside, it also opens another conversation where folks might utilized the terms "collaborate with" an artist because of his/her original collectible/product, when there is no specific "collaboration" directly between the two artists in the first place, besides customising on said collectible/product.

In this particular instance Freeny had in no way mentioned the words "collaboration" (that I know of) in the Instagrammed image, but some folks might instinctively take it as such ... this commentary is NOT directed at anyone in particular, but you cannot deny the association some folks have been "conditioned" to think, innit? :p

Cheers and Enjoy Your Toys, AND weekend, folks!

UPDATED: Jason Freeny offers up clarity of what "customisation" in the art toy world means, and clears up some misconceptions on his Facebook:

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