TOY REVIEW: ”di'dot - in search of happiness" by Feather Made x M'S PRODUCTION & CO. (MSPC)
Thanks to the generosity of Mankas Chong at M'S PRODUCTION & CO. (MSPC), I was able to review this splendid art toy sculpture titled ”di'dot - in search of happiness” by Canada-based FeatherMade!
My take-away: The care and effort put into the packaging is highly commendable and has become a hallmark of MSPC (witnessed in their subsequent releases).
And while ”di'dot - in search of happiness" happens to be their first production piece, you’d think MSPC has been in the “business” for much longer than you’d imagine (maybe they are!) with a very well done production and sculpt.
And the fact that this is a “original creation” and not based on an existing media property, is another speciality of MSPC, IMHO. With that in mind, this set would appeal to folks who enjoy it’s aesthetic and spirit, although I would recommend further understanding of the character - perhaps in the form of readable literature - so that folks can immerse themselves more into the character, and it’s “story”, beyond it’s aesthetic value, IMHO.
Scroll thru for a breakdown of my impressions and snaps (individual ones since uploaded HERE on Facebook).
The art sculpture set comes packaged handsomely in a screen-printed premium cardboard art box. The box I received for this review was pristine and crisp, packed snuggly in it’s heavy set carton box and padded with foam wrap. There is nothing worse than a badly packaged item and having it arrived at your doorstep all mangled, but M'S PRODUCTION & CO. (MSPC) has it done “right”, and I received my boxes with much glee!
each set in color art box - L25 x W25 x H19 cm / ~2.10 (kg)
each di'dot in full package - L27 x W27 x H23 cm / ~2.40 (kg)
each di'dot in secured protection shipping package / ~2.80 (kg)
Upon upon opening / lifting up the box lid, you will be first greeted by a 200gsm heavy tracing paper with printed-on black & white "happiness in every moment" cover art - which can be simply lifted up to reveal contents laid out within. This is what I term the first in the “Layers of Happiness” revealed within LOL
One aspect of this overlay which I enjoyed - and makes full use of the “folds” on either side of the overlay - was the text printed alongside - which read “accept life as it comes, you will find happiness” A nice reveal/“surprise” indeed.
Underneath the overlay print, is a tussle of finely shredded paper - which gives it an interesting textural feeling initially, but I felt was a addition that was unnecessary, save to shield and protect the print underneath, IMHO. It was only until much later that I imagined that I could reuse the shredded bed as a display diorama base for the figure itself, if ever I wanted to, or if display space is limited.
FYI: The box lid itself is meant to be used as a “base” for this display, with splashes of color incorporated/printed on the surface, interacting with the ice-cream in di’dot’s hand!
Or maybe this “layer of happiness” was meant to “awaken” the collector’s tactile touch senses? :)
The next “layer of happiness” is a silk-screened "happiness in every moment" print, with mine signed (in pencil) and numbered “AP/29”. Sized L22.5 x W22.5 cm, this 220gsm canvas texture silk screen heavy color print is a swell bonus that helps elevate this package from “just” a vessel for a art sculpture, IMHO.
And underneath that, was yet another piece of artwork, this time hand-drawn and signed! Truly a lux touch, indeed! Mankas Chong - head honcho of M'S PRODUCTION & CO. (MSPC) - explains that for the AP version (of which my set is), all di’dot came with an original hand drawing done by Feather Made in Canada (limited to the same 33pcs).
As we get closer to the figure itself, the next layer is a signed and numbered Basswood-made Certificate, die-cut in a shape of a leaf, which was in turn housed in a die-cut shape in the soft sponge.
The debossed burnt/etched-in text indicated that while “Limited Edition of 79 pcs”, my review copy was numbered 29 of AP (“Artist Proof”). Canada-based Feather Made is Victor Chan and Phoebe Pang (originally from Hong Kong) co-signed the wood certificate,
Once the final “layer of happiness” AKA the soft sponge “cover” is removed, you can see the individual pieces - which makes up the entire figure - housed snuggly within the soft sponge cut-out niches, within their own clear plastic baggies.
There are a total of 5 separate pieces. The main body of “di’dot” - which has the entire body attached to the tree stump base, the “ice cream” sculpt, two “wings” for “di’dot”, and his “tail”.
Both the wings and tail are cleverly attached to the main body via magnetic components. They are both easily attached and detached. Alas for my figure, the tail was a little bit “too easy” to be detach from the main figure.
This production 6-inch tall handcrafted polystone art sculpture featured over 20 colors used - the result of which being a aesthetically layered work of effort, and feeling like a OOAK hand custom! The splendid hand-painted effect carries on over to the “tree stump”, and as well the wings and even tail.
The choice of colour application and colour choice gave it a somewhat “childlike innocence” and sense of “fun”, particularly with the dollop of color on the tree stump - no doubt a drip from the ice-cream, and the slight “white” drip (or was it a “highlight”?) on the character’s belly.
Sculpting of the main figure was by Mankas Chong himself, who had this to add;
"…that is my first sculpt in among of M’s Products. I would like to specially thank FeatherMade, and really appreciate their genius design of di’dot. [Hints: di’dot has a partner in its story, please stay tuned with us.]"
The figure itself features a “open hand” sculpt, for which the “ice cream” accessory is attached to, via a simple slight ‘protrusion and hole’ (“mortise and tenon” in woodwork terms :p).
The ice-cream accessory feels like a solid piece of polystone, and has a decent heft to it, so I was a bit anxious if it were able to be held in place in the figure’s “hand”, though not exactly “tightly”, for my piece anyways.
I would recommend collectors take note of where they display this piece, in lieu of shelf-dives, in case the shelf gets moved too violently … in this instance the shredded paper (the second “layer of happiness” :p) could serve as a decent buffer for the piece to land on?
Yes, I am “over-reacting” … but I’ve plenty of fallen and broken collectibles in my #toylife NOT to be weary of “safety” of my toys and collectibles! :p
And while the figure itself was painted by the factory, the swirling dripping ice-cream itself were hand-painted by artist. The paint effect also looks slightly different than the one shown on Feather Made’s Instagram! Mankas shed some light on this ‘situation’;
"Yes, each lovely ice-cream is unique as they were all hand-painted by Feather Made. We produced the white blanks and Feather Made painted each one by one in Canada."
Produced by M'S PRODUCTION & CO. (MSPC), “di’dot” was designed by Feather Made, and was the very first art sculpture to be rolled out from MSPC, released in late-January, 2016 (FEATURED #onTOYSREVIL). As for the availability of "di'dot - in search of happiness” (on www.mspchk.com), this was what Mankas Chong had to add;
This is an “original” character created not based on an existing media property, and is one of the hallmarks of MSPC’s project products thus far, giving a “collectible voice” to Asian creations, IMHO.
"We sincerely regret to all fellows who missed the “di’dot – in search of happiness” (original version 79pcs limited), since we had released the AP version during TTF last year (33pcs limited), Golden version (3pcs limited), and gratefully they were sold out. Together with Feather Made, we have no intention to release other colorways or other versions in the future. Hope all di’dot will happily stay with their owners."
A second “di’dot” art sculpt was launched for pre-orders recently on www.mspchk.com, but pre-orders since CLOSED (at time of this review).
M'S PRODUCTION & CO. (MSPC) will as well be in attendance at the coming Thailand Toy Expo, so you can give Mankas and MSPC a shout-out there!
Thank You for Reading!
(And thank you for your generosity, Mankas!)