TOYSREVIL's SYMT: TATTO by Michael Lau


Featured here are in-hand snaps of my TATTO "urban vinyl" figure from Michael Lau! This is the OG edition, first released in 1999 (I'll try to take a snap of it next to Bandai edition next time), which I managed to snag a few years later, at (the earlier incarnation of) Yellow Box Toys, for when they were on the third floor of Army Market (before the moved across the road to Golden Mile Complex where they have been since).

I've previously had a look back in 2014, but the figure looked much "clear" then tho ...:(


I remembered first picking up PLDG / Prototype Lamdog (since Sold AAARRRRGGGHHHH) whnonstead THIS was the figure I wanted, but was undecided to bite the bullet because of the price asked, but relented because I could not find it online via auction sites (my then primary hunting-ground for toys :p). What I've always regretted was NOT picking up the BLACK version too, as it was much pricer then.

Nevertheless, I was glad I took the plunge for this OG, because quite frankly, having it in my hands, for over a decade later - whatever $$$ I had been agonising over part with for toys - is now all in the past, while the figure remains still in my present!


This 6-inch tall vinyl figure was apart of his "Gardener" series, which also saw an incarnation in 1/6th-scale alongside his Gardenergala series (my toy-grails), and featured "tattoos" print on the figure's bare upper torso's "skin" - which was already refreshing by that happenstance, versus the hip-hop streetwear of products that appeared during this era. What caught my eye the most was the tattoo on their figure's bald head, all of whom are in a tribal styled aesthetic which reminded me of George Clooney's "Seth Gecko" in 1996's "From Dusk till Dawn" from Quentin Tarantino! I've always wanted a tattoo like that too - for myself! (But only managed to do it on my "James Punk" custom LOL).



A collectible toy with piercings and a beard too? FRESH! The pink nipples and outie-belly-button certainly added to the "charm" of these "non-traditional" figures.

With just my naked eye, seems the metal chain-links is not as rusted as some older toys are (of course I'd know better if I could actually feel it, but), and there seems to be no "vinyl-sweat" seen, but to be fair, the figure remain in the sealed baggie - one reason what I am also worried to open them tho ... My earlier feature of the Tokyo Tribe Kai and Mera vinyl figures from Michael Lau has already seen the vinyl-sweat, so....


The one thing you'll notice from these pictures, is that the figure is STILL sealed in its plastic baggie! I've not removed him since I bought him, and in fact most of of my Michael Lau-figures still remain in their bags (actually except for ZEX :p), only because I have no where to display them, and it is my ardent wish to be able to do so one day, and I'll finally erect my ML-toyshrine and un-baggie all of them! #truestorybro


Also featured below are images of the box itself - since browned and weathered (I did not store them as well, alas ~ *sob*) ... and it's kinda "funny" to me now, that when I first purchased them, the box and even the bag meant just a receptacle to house the item, and bore less "meaning" and more of a "barrier" I need to overcome AKA "rip into" to get AT the toy itself!

... but since having the blog (all 15 years of conditioning), I have truly begun to appreciate the box design itself, and what is shown on it, as is the bag!

The archival part of being a "toy-blogger" is somewhat different a mindset of a "toy-collector", and I am - even now - still adjusting to the difference, and am quite frankly fascinated by it, the constant desire to archive these things, as I am doing now with these pictures and blog-post LOL


The box stated "Produced by archetype", which I have tried to find further information on, but failed... In my assumption, I reckon this would've been the branding before he moved on to his "Crazy Children" series with "Crazysmiles" (Would be easier to check out the boxes for the series when I can at a later date :p).

I am reminded of a blogpost I published in 2011, of a "We Are 10 Years Old" celebratory release with "CRAZYCHILDRENKING", and if I go by my math, then perhaps "Crazysmiles" started in 2001 instead? (I actually stopped my "crazysmiles"-tag/label with that post too hhhmmm).


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And while Hong Kong toy designers like ML and Eric So were my focus in the beginning of my delve down the rabbit-hole of "designer vinyls", said focus was diverted when more of the toy-world opened to me since!

I might have a whole lot of Michael Lau figures, but I certainly hope to have another look at them in the days to come.

Have a fab toy-day!
Andy TOYSREVIL

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