Marya Demigillo's TOP TEN TOYS 2020

Welcome Marya Demigillo of Toy Art Philippines to this year's TOP TEN TOYS OF 2020-List, as we delve into what she has collected, along with a lil'Q&A to get to know her and her collections better!

MARYA'S TOP TEN TOY OF 2020 ~ #10: Garth Real Tree by Ricardo Cavolo x Superplastic
MARYA DEMIGILLO: I backed the first Superplastic KS campaign and really liked the 3-inch Ricardo Cavolo piece. I liked how it looked like the Pintados (tattooed indigenous people).

TOYSREVIL: Can you share with us, who you are and what you do?
MARYA DEMIGILLO: I retired from my full-time job in the art industry in 2018 and have just been enjoying being in the fringes of the community for a change.

MARYA'S TOP TEN TOY OF 2020 ~ #9: Flora by Julie West x Superplastic
MARYA DEMIGILLO: Been a fan of Julie West since Ye Olde English Dunny. I love how it looks so calm. A respite from the noise of the other toys that I have.

TOYSREVIL: How long have you been buying (collectible) toys? What type/genre of toys do you prefer to collect?
MARYA DEMIGILLO: I have been collecting toys for over 10 years now. I started with the Fatcap series. I was never serious about it but then I got a JPK Fatcap and decided to complete the series. I swore to never collect any other series but then, out of curiosity, I opened a Dunny 2010 blind box and never looked back since then. I like art pieces that have stories to tell, especially those with social commentaries.

MARYA'S TOP TEN TOY OF 2020 ~ #8: Sugar-coated Koops by Pixeldump
MARYA DEMIGILLO: I first saw this when Pixeldump gave away the yellow colorway to the frontilners. Then he agreed to trade with me and I was so surprised when he gave me this pink (his color sample)! (I collect pink pieces). I feel that this is a big middle finger FU scream to the government’s response to the pandemic.

TOYSREVIL: Where do you normally purchase your toys? Online? Offline from Stores? Events? Which do you prefer? And why?
MARYA DEMIGILLO: I purchase everywhere! Online stores, physical stores, Ebay, events, exhibitions. I like browsing art and designer toy blogs, Instagram, Facebook groups, forums, and other online sites. Whenever I travel, I look for stores in the cities and buy from the stores too. I prefer going to a store and spending time just browsing through their toy shelves. I like spending time just hanging out with the owners/staff and talking about the artists and toys. I get to appreciate the collecting experience that way.

New Money Metal Dunny by Tristan Eaton x Kidrobot
MARYA DEMIGILLO: It’s Tristan Eaton! It’s a dunny! It’s gorgeous! The picture does not do justice to the actual piece.

TOYSREVIL: Do you have “toy-grails”? And did you manage to score a “toy-grail” this year (2020)?
MARYA DEMIGILLO: For a big piece, I am looking at a Kozik Labbit stool. For the series, I am looking to complete the Kaws Bus Stop series. My ultimate grail piece is a custom by Jan Calleja.

MARYA'S TOP TEN TOY OF 2020 ~ #6: Kidrobot x MET Dunny Collection
MARYA DEMIGILLO: This series connected with me because I have seen some of the art that were used for these Dunnys and it reminded me of the time when we can so easily travel and just go to the museums abroad. I wonder how different everything will be once everything opens.

TOYSREVIL: Any particular focus or toy-aims this year (2020)? Starting any new line in 2021?
MARYA DEMIGILLO: In 2020, I focused mainly on art that made commentaries about our country and society. I like how most of the art that came out were a reflection of our frustration and sentiments about our government’s response to the pandemic.

I don’t have any plans of getting into a new series this 2021. The aim for 2021 is to fill the gaps in the story of my collection. During the lockdown here in Manila, I had the time to check my entire collection and I realized that there is a need to start streamlining and develop the story so that when you look at the collection there is cohesiveness to it.

I am looking at several big pieces (more than 8 inches) to serve as floor pieces.

MARYA'S TOP TEN TOY OF 2020 ~ #5: White Lotus by Junko Mizuno x Superplastic
MARYA DEMIGILLO: I thought it’s just a simple Junko piece but I was so amazed when I opened it. They used glossy/metallic paint so it adds another layer and texture, which really complements her art and design well.

TOYSREVIL: Has your collecting preference changed during this year? If so what are they? And why the change?
MARYA DEMIGILLO: I never liked collecting customs since there will always be a competition on the next piece by the artist (the downfall of a completist). But since the lockdown, I had time to get to know some of the artists, got to interview them and check out their body of work. In 2020, I got some one-offs or limited edition pieces from the artists.

I Could Scream 4Ever by Red Capsule x Bluepiper Studio
MARYA DEMIGILLO: Another series that made me miss travelling and just spending days in the museums. The quality on these pieces are top-notch which kind-of reminded me of the Gold Life dunny series of Huck Gee x Kidrobot.

TOYSREVIL: Do you belong to any particular or dedicated toy-groups (online or offline)? Do you have "toy-buying buddies"?
MARYA DEMIGILLO: I am a member of Toy Art Philippines, a group of collectors/artists that regularly do some activities for the local community. We also share news or updates from the local artists.

Yes. I have friends who collect the same artists/toy producers that I do. So if there is a particular release – especially overseas – we "group buy" because shipping will be somehow cheaper. We used to buy cases so we can trade with each other. It’s nice to have toy-buddies so you can easily do trades and talk about the artists and their art. You get to look at other artists’ works also because of this.

Stuka: The Beerus Hunter by Obscure Prototype Lab
MARYA DEMIGILLO: I got this piece in May of 2020 -- A reminder of how we should equip ourselves when going out. I laughed out loud when I saw that it’s titled Beerus (that’s how our president pronounced Virus). The sculpt on this piece is the kicker. I love it. TOYSREVIL: "Toy Buying these days is a solitary affair" = Do you agree with this? How do you feel about this?
MARYA DEMIGILLO: It’s not really solitary per se. There’s still the online discussion in the groups and threads so you don’t feel “alone” all the time. I may be alone doing my online searches and reading but I still call and chat with my friends and we share information. The physical may be removed from the community right now but there’s still a lot of online discussions.

What I miss, though, are the trading parties. It’s more fun if you get to do it in person and discuss the toys and artists lengthily with other collectors.

MARYA'S TOP TEN TOY OF 2020 ~ #2: 123 Drumming Girls by Yoshitomo Nara
MARYA DEMIGILLO: This struck a chord in me. We may see them as just children with dunce caps but what if they are actually marching to the beat of their own drums?

TOYSREVIL: Where can people go to see your collection?

Social Distancing Mech Unit 2 by Epjey Pacheco

MARYA DEMIGILLO: When art gives us a jolt of reality. Epjey is an amazing visual artist. This Kampon piece may be small but it looks so strong and intimidating like he’s really angry that it’s October already and we still did not have any mass testing.