Thursday, 21 October 2010


Every addict has a dealer, and the dealer that started my addiction was...

Mr Clement @ Playlounge, London

... I first came into contact with Designer toys and the first time I really took notice of them was at Playlounge in London. I stumbled upon it because I was looking for more Gloomy Bear key-chains and they were the only place that had it in stock in town. This was back in 2005.

Army of Gloom(y)

After a few random purchases, including lots of Nara Yoshitomo plushes, I was attracted by the character designs on some blind box mini figures. They get you hooked exactly the same way as capsule toys, where you do not know what you are going to get until you rip the packaging open. You keep buying until you've found all the ones that you want >_<

Overlaps - the FlipsideOverlaps

This mini figure series was David Horvath's 2-Faced Dunny series 2!!! The addiction worsened and after many other David Horvath and Kim Sun-Min toys later, I was too far down the rabbit hole to escape ........

Family Portrait

Since then I've sold most of them from the 2-Faced Dunny series, keeping only the ones I really want, including these two.

Flickr AddictCreepy Crawly Saturday - Spider of All Spiders

I don't believe that I will ever kick this addiction for good but at least I hope to distill the collection into the very best for my Toy Shrine and stop being a completionist! :P


One More Thing

As I have talked about the non-designer toy stuff that I was growing up with in my previous post, I think they deserve a bit more attentions before moving on. Especially the very popular games and movie merchandise figures, like capsule and happy meal toys. They are mass produced but some of them are by no mean low quality! Here are a few examples.

1. Link from Nintendo's Legend of Zelda series - his eyes move as you twist his head, just like he was in The Wind Waker game

Link wondered why the rabbit kept shouting "Daaaaaaaah"!?Protect The Human

2. Mad Barbarian x Sony Postpet - designers lending their talents to a popular Sony software character

Mad Barbarian Sound

3. Wanroom - San-X makes everyday objects super cute

friendly homeware

4. Le Frog - Happy Meal toy for the movie Flush Away, capturing the character perfectly

Le Frog

I guess what I am trying to say is that a great toy is all about its design and the emotions that it brings, and sometimes it only costs a few bucks :)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Very Beginning

Before I start ranting about the current PopArt/Designer Toys stuff, I would like to show you the toys that I grew up with. There were the usual cars, cuddly soft toys, Lego etc... and here are some that survived my mum's great purge, which will sit proudly as the elders of my toy shrine.

Sesame Street
Fisher Price Sesame Street (part of a playhouse set)

Happy Mondays

超合金 Chogokin Robots (in photo: Godmars sets)

I was also a Nintendo kid growing up in the Far East, so game character merchandises eventually shaped part of my toy buying habit. Also I am pretty sure that all the hours of Japanese cartoon watching and games playing are what is fueling my twisted imaginations for the photos that you see on my Flickr photostream today. Thank you Akira Toriyama & Shigeru Miyamoto san!

The Wonder Years (80s) - What Mario and Princess Peach do in their spare time?
my first electronic game - LION Game&Watch by Nintendo

So before 2005, I was buying mostly Game/Cartoon merchandises, cute Japanese plushes and gashapons (capsule toys) that are fun, weird and mass produced for stress-free collecting. You didn't have to keep all the large boxes, cart-jacked by flipping flippers or remortgage your house!

The Pikmins' perspectiveRight here waitingNyanko Dim Sum

...... and then it all got a bit out of hand!!!

Capsule Station