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Kidrobot London Closing Down

KRlondonClose

Over the past few weeks, the UK vinyl scene has been astir with rumours and speculation that the Kidrobot London store would be closing.  People started to suspect something was awry after the pre-christmas sales and a string of MASSIVE sales recently.

It is most unfortunate that sadly these rumours have proven to be true, the Kidrobot London Crew posted the following message on the KR LDN facebook page:

There has been rumor and speculation about the future of our Kidrobot London store, and the impact this may have on the vinyl scene on this side of the ocean. We regret to say that we are indeed closing down. This January will be our last month of trading at 19 Earlham Street. We have struggled to approach this issue delicately, as we know a lot of you have come through the store over the past few months and have raised the concern with us. We understand your concerns with what this means for our little tight knit community with the store closing down, as this impacts not just our artist friends, but those who enjoy the Kidrobot brand for what it is and what it stands for.

The Kidrobot brand is still going strong. It is just our store in London being impacted.

Firstly to our brilliant customers/fans; Thank you for your custom over the past 3 1/2 years. We here at Kidrobot London have loved getting the chance to know you all. Thank you for sharing your collections with us, your passions, and bantering about how annoying flocked toys are to keep. Many of you have become more than customers, we’re happy to be able to call you friends.

Secondly To our artist friends; Thanks for all your support over the years, be it with shows, customs or just coming to hang out. We have watched many of you grow and have enjoyed watching you all making your mark with your amazing customs and art. We still get little tingles down our spines when we see your names amongst the heavy hitters in our scene. Thank you for sharing your passion with us!

Thirdly and on a personal note; Thanks to the ragtag bunch of misfits and delinquents that were the Kidrobot London staff (present and past). I’ll miss coming into work each day and seeing you guys and gals. You were the best make shift family anyone could ask for.

Let’s keep our little toy community spirit strong, and growing. Why not share with us your favorite moments of Kidrobot London, We’ll start.

Our fondest moment here at Kidrobot London is meeting you all. It wasn’t about the vinyl, it was about the people. You all rock.

Much love and big up the UK designer toy scene.
the Kidrobot London Crew.

A sad day for the UK/Euro vinyl community, I’m sure we’ll hear more as to reason for the store closure in the coming days.

I wish all the staff of KR LDN the best of luck in their future endeavors and will remember all the awesome things they accomplished in the past 3 years that helped to build a strong community and forge friendships of collectors and artists alike.

Jason Freeny’s CAPSLs – Series1

With CAPSLs Artist Jason Freeny Shows Us Once Again; It’s What’s Inside That Counts

One minute you’re an unknown artist working on a quirky new project; the next you’re being named Clutter Magazine’s Breakthrough Artist of 2011. Suddenly you’ve got an army of avid Facebook fans following your every move and your pieces are selling for $10,000 each. So where do you go from there? For Jason Freeny, who made his name by  dissecting toys, the answer was fairly obvious. Today Freeny is launching his very own line of designer toys; CAPSLs. Available online at CAPSLs.com, CAPSLs are super-durable, interactive keychains with pocket-sized personality and just enough space to store your smallest goodies, like candies, mints, “prescriptions”– whatever it is that keeps you going (and hey, we’re not here to judge).

In 2011, Freeny’s “Pop Anatomy” sculptures gave us a very literal look inside of  pop culture icons as Super Mario and Hello Kitty and launched Freeny into the spotlight with glowing write-ups in Gizmodo and High Snobiety, among others. With those pieces, Freeny started with mass produced toys and turned them into unique works of art. Now this web phenom is partnering with FCTRY, an independent product design firm, to turn the tables and mass producing his original creations for everyone to enjoy. For the first time, Freeny’s thousands of fans can each take home a piece of the rising star’s work.

“For my first line of designer toys, I wanted to add function” Freeny says. “ Everything else out there is all about form, but CAPSLs are actually useful too. And I wanted to add a 4th dimension, since so much of what I do focuses on what’s inside; CAPSLs let you go inside and actually use that space to store things.”

The first series of CAPSLs features 12 original designs ranging from sweet (Flower Bomb) to zany (Frog Squid). Tops and bottoms create an airtight seal, and they’re interchangeable, so you can mix and match with more than 100 combinations. In addition to the original 12, several special limited edition CAPSLs will be released over the next few weeks.

The full series is available for $99 and will include all original 12 plus 3 blind boxes. Individual CAPSLs can be purchased for $7.99 at http://www.capsls.com. Buy the full set and get a limited edition Medicine Man for free.

Connect with FCTRY. on Facebook to learn about how CAPSLs were designed, special releases and to connect with Jason Freeny at http://facebook.com/CAPSLs.

CAPSLs (series one) include: 3 Eyed Squid, 40 Watt, Bones & Band-Aids, Brain Monster, Daily Dose, Flower Bomb, Frog Squid, Happy Pill, Frog Squid, Peace Bomb, Shark Bomb, Spray Bomb, Squid Monster and Medicine Man (limited edition 300 available)

The Beast Brothers x Huck Gee – Lord Magma Giveaway!

As a special thank you for all of the support giveaway we have enlisted the help of our favorite blogs: Clutter Magazine, Spanky Stokes, The Blot Says, TOYSREVIL, Vinyl Abuse, and Vinyl Pulse.

Starting Monday, June 11th and ending Thursday, June 21st you can go to the participating websites and enter to win this rare piece of work. Each site will host a way for you to enter the contest – It could be my filing out a form, sending an email, comment on facebook, whatever they have chosen! You can only enter ONCE on each site – so you have up to 6 chances to win!

After the contest ends each participating website will send us a name that they have randomly chosen as the winner from their entries. We will then put all 6 entries in a hat for a live drawing on Ustream Friday, June 22nd at 12:55pm EST as we kick off the official Lord Magma launch. The winner will be chosen LIVE and become the proud new owner of a custom by The Beast Brothers and Huck Gee.

Chuppi – TADO x MATHMOS

“Iconic UK brand MATHMOS have teamed up with graphic art duo TADO to create Chuppi – the perfect interactive child’s nightlight AND an adult’s collectable art toy. The wireless colour changing customizable Chuppi available internationally from the 30th April at www.MATHMOS.com and is priced at £30 (40EU).

Harnessing almost 50 years of MATHMOS ambient lighting expertise, Chuppi can be set on a single colour or allowed to cycle through the spectrum. He (or she!) will fade off automatically after half an hour, but can also be set to stay alight. Each Chuppi comes with reusable stickers for 18 different characters allowing for full customization. Should you ever tire of your light giving companion you can simply rearrange the stickers. Wirelessly this unique customizable art toy and light lasts for up to 6 hours and you simply place Chuppi on their home to charge.

Commenting on the collaboration TADO said:

“The main challenge was coming up with a fun little guy that offered something a little bit different to the customizable toy market. As such we wanted to try and make something that could be used either as it comes, or as a platform to be customized, with the added dimension of it being illuminated. The stickers we created also allow people to have some fun and get creative without having to break out the pens and paints! We worked really closely with MATHMOS to come up with the characters shape and pose, a true collaborative project in every sense of the world and we are delighted with the results.”

We’re really excited to get our hands on a Chuppi, in the worlds of Steve Carrell, “I love lamp”.  Leave it to TADO to be the one’s to come out with a customisable toy as awesome and innovative as this.  The stickers alone make it possible to create hundreds of different quirky characters.  It’s going to be awesome seeing the customs that are created from this form, especially as the lighting element can play a big part in the creative process.  Keep your eyes peeled for a full review as and when get our mitts on a Chuppi of our own.

IF YOU BLINK, YOU’LL MISS IT @ Toy Art Gallery

Quim Tarrida | “IF YOU BLINK, YOU’LL MISS IT”

Opening: Friday December 9th, 7-11 pm
Dec. 9th – Dec. 30th, 2011

TAG | Toy Art Gallery

 

“If You Blink, You’ll Miss It” is the artist Quim Tarrida’s first exhibition in the United States.  This project is part of the Subheroes Project, which includes a large part of the artist’s multi-disciplinary production from the past few years. The title is derived from a film industry jargon term, which is used to refer to subliminal images inserted in some sequences, and which are imperceptible to the naked eye.

The exhibition consists of an approach to the personal universe of Quim Tarrida, which he himself calls the Subcutanian World, a microcosm inhabited by strange, metamorphic and viral beings, true antiheroes on the verge of the uncanny.  Projections of the self or of Neo-pop alter egos, ultra-world characters, compose a unique and prodigious imaginary, and attain form through a series of sculptural pieces, limited ceramic editions, and drawings, notable among which are classical pieces from his iconography, such as Subsub Family, The Soldier, Subcutanian Ninja, Oh Gaar, or his latest productions, Relaxing in Blue and The Monkey Knows.

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Chums, Terror of the Deep @ Kickstarter

It’s that time again, yup, it’s time to support an awesome new toy over at Kickstarter :]

I was emailed this week by Lissy L’Amoreaux of Union web design (who I highly recommend you check out, as they’ve done some amazing work for huge clients); informing me of their new venture into the vinyl toy market.

Chums, if successfully funded will be a run of 2000 pieces with the prospect of more friends to be made from any profit on the first run.  You can pledge as little as $25 (rougly £25 with shipping) to secure yourself a Chums when they’re released into the wild.

 

Overview

As both digital artists and vinyl toy enthusiasts, we set out nearly one year ago to design and prototype a vinyl toy that would actually do something. But what utility could a vinyl toy offer? We decided on a little friend for our desks that could hold our tablet pens. The result of one year of creativity, fun, a bit of frustration and a lot of trial and error is complete.

Meet Chums, Terror of the Deep.

Chums, although a deadly predator, is more than happy to hold your pen, pencil, beef jerky or whatever else you dare put into his mouth.  He may be small at almost 4″ but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous, he comes well prepared with his bib should he accidently spill some blood and his 22 sharp teeth should be enough to make any thief think twice about touching your stuff.

Not only do you have a neat vinyl toy, but also the added functionality of making sure you never lose that really fancy fountain pen you got from your aunt that one christmas.

The Goal

Our goal in raising this money is to take our prototype and work with a factory to produce 2000 painted and packaged Chums. Specifically, the money will go toward four things: Casting the production mold, making many Chums, painting many Chums and packaging many Chums. We don’t plan to make a large profit on this first run. We simply want to take our creation and give him to the world at a reasonable price. Any money that we do make will be reinvested in making more and more little friends for people to enjoy. Now that you know how we intend to use your pledge, you can find the specifics about this fascinating species in the next sections.

Head on over to Chums’ Kickstarter page to contribute to the project and help make it a reality.

Buff Monster “The Reign of Pink” @ StolenSpace Gallery

 

StolenSpace is proud to present the premier London solo show from renowned Californian street artist Buff Monster. Featuring paintings on board, installation work and also the release of a limited edition print.

Celebrating 10 years of the king of pink; Buff Monster has created a brand new body of work expanding on and revisiting familiar themes that he has become synonymous with. The artist has become famous for his signature candy pink bubbles, drips, ice cream sundaes, breasts and Japanese-inspired cutesy winged characters (also called Buff Monsters) which bring a smile to the face. As well as his highly collectable fine art paintings Buff Monster is known all over the world for his collectible toys and design projects.

‘I’ve always painted squirts and boobs and drips, and I’ve always considered them landscape paintings; oozing landscapes. Of course, I use a very limited color palette: Buff Monster pink, along with a couple other shades of custom-mixed pink, and white, black and grays.

For me, color is very important and I think that using a very limited palette serves to distill the essence of the expression. Formally, the paintings are rendered with great detail and are created in the superflat method of painting. I take great care to keep the paintings as flat as possible; making sure the surfaces is as flat and perfect as I think is appropriate. I use very fine sandpaper along the way to guarantee a smooth surface’.

 

The Reign of Pink exhibition opens Thurs 28th April with a private viewing @ StolenSpace Gallery The Old Truman Brewery, Bricklane, London.  Open to the public from Friday 29th April through to May 29th, so you’ve plenty of time to go check it out.

Love the UK invasion of Buff Monster and only hope that it continues. Peep the gallery bellow for shots of Buff Monsters’ awesome new mural in Bristol (if you live there, I envy you lol) to whet your appetite for pink goodness!  Stay tuned for further coverage :]

(images courtesy of Beth @ StolenSpace Gallery)

Sergey Safonov’s Luno the Moon Rover

Luno the Moon Rover is a character-based spaceship created by Sergey Safonov the man behind the toy collection database Rotocasted. Luno is both an art sculpture and a toy for painting and playing. It is designed with storytelling in mind and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first man in space.

Luno the Moon Rover is about 5 inches in diameter with three spinning wheels. Mini Luno is about 3 inches in diameter. Both sizes of Luno will be made of hand-cast resin and painted glossy white.  Follow the updates to watch the progress of Mini Luno with Crazy Label!

About the Designer:

Toy designer, Sergey Safonov, dreamed of space travel all throughout his childhood in Russia. As a kid, Sergey was surrounded with space memorabilia: He had tons of space related-books and magazines, space food (tiny bricks of bread and space tubes) and April 12th was a family holiday. The only problem Sergey had with space toys was that all of them were replicas of spaceships and mechanisms, and he was looking for characters with which to play and tell stories. Now Sergey Safonov is grown up with a young son of his own, so he is trying to create his own space character: Luno the Moon Rover.

Sergey has been creating characters and producing original, hand-made toys for many years. His work has appeared in the books Dot Dot Dash and Art-Toys and the magazine, Design Bureau. He is currently working on a picture book about his characters, the Gooma. The following photos are several of Sergey’s original resin toys. They are available as part of one of the reward options for people who pledge to help produce Luno the Moon Rover.

Another great piece, (hopefully) made possible by KickStarter.  I can’t help but notice that Luno looks kinda like Pooka from Dig Dug, which is awesome in itself :]  Go pledge, every dollar helps and you can receive your own Luno, Mini Luno and more toys & art by Safonov.

Happycloud Thunderhead x Makkinoso – Hobie

Hobie becomes a plush in a collaboration from Happycloud Thunderhead & Makkinoso. A limited edition of just 3 pieces, each Hobie stands at 34cm tall (approximately 13 inch) and cost $60, available HERE.

I love the style of Makkinoso’s work, it always reminds me of oldskool skateboard graphics/stickers and Hobie looks awesome in his new plush form.

Stance – DIY vinyl sneaker

What is Stance?

The Stance High is the first edition in a unique line of designer toys that connect the art and creativity of the customizable toy community with the passion and emotion of the sneaker culture.

Artist can re-create their favorite pair of Jordan’s that they wish they still had; or design a new colorway for that sneaker that you’ve always wanted to see. However, my ultimate vision is that artist will throw all the rules out the window and run with their very own vision of the perfect kicks.

Love the concept of this project, the packaging (although just a concept at this stage) alone is just plain awesome and certainly original.

There’s a huge amount of creativity in the custom sneaker scene and it’s gonna be awesome to see what will be made of the platform.. but only if you back it!  For $25 you can pre-order yours over @ kickstarter and help bring this product to life.

Plastic Culture x Thunderpanda – Perry the Sea Wanderer

Last seen at STGCC 2010 and now revealed in these production shots via Plastic Culture. Perry, designed by Thunderpanda stands around 8″ tall on his (finger-like) tentacles, and will join KID as part of the Wanderers series.

Background story of Perry the Sea Wanderer:

Traveling is a part of Perry’s life. From China sea, Medittarean sea, Barring Sea to Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, you name it. He has been there! He has friends from all over the world. His ear suggests that he might be related to a famous cartoon character. Until today, no one knows the real truth. It was rumored that the mother once met Mr. you-know-who in the island of Barbados.

KusoVinyl – Red Lucky Cat Spiki

Lucky Cat Spiki is here to bring good luck to everyone in the year of rabbit. In Chinese tradition, the colour red represents luck, good fortune, and happiness and KusoVinyl is ready to send Lucky Cat Spiki to spread the love!

KusoVinyl will be taking pre-orders of Red lucky cat Spiki, designed by Nakanari, on Feb. 2nd 2011 (Chinese new year eve). Estimated drop date: Mid February. 4″ tall, limited to 200 pcs worldwide. Retailing at $12.