Top 10 Designer Toys of 2006

kawsdissect.jpg

It’s been an up and down year for toys. The market’s a tad saturated at the moment, especially on the platform toy front. But for all the bilge that’s been released, there have been plenty of pearls. Well, there’s been a few at any rate. In fact, this last year’s seen a fair few classics. Some were, and still are, underrated gems. Others were deservedly-hyped blink and you’ll miss it releases. But enough of that, here are the Top 10 Designer Toys of 2006.

10. Bubi Au Yeung – Treeson

A bit of a random one here. It’s not often that you fall in love with a toy just because it’s cute, but Treeson was too cute even for a grumpy old sod like me to resist. An art toy in the truest sense? Not sure. A great design? Most definitely – the white version being the best by far. Maybe there are two camps: art toys and designer toys? Hmmmm…A column could be brewing.

Treeson

Available at: http://www.toytokyo.com

9. Orus – Mist

Whether or not you know lot about graffiti, you can appreciate Orus. The toy bears resemblance to Malus, with the big difference being Orus’s wild style arms. The arms just gave the figure a real sculptural feel.

orus.jpg

Available at: http://www.actiontoys.de

8. Brendan Monroe – Sours

Even with the bitter pill that was Android 8’s ComicCon price hike, these were what art toys are all about. Spot on translations of Brendan’s fine art into an ‘affordable’ vinyl format.

sour.jpg

Available at: http://www.android8.com

7. Bwana Spoons – Steven the Bat

Another one for the ‘so cute I could die’ category. Bwana’s going to be one to watch this next year. He’s set the bar sky high with Steven, but from the prototype sneak peeks of Killer he’s well up to the challenge. Anyone who can create a death metal colourway of a bat that comes with drum sticks is a genius.

steven.jpg

Available at: http://www.super7store.com

6. Sam Flores – Fatima

While a touch reminiscent of the knitted dolly that sits on top of a loo roll in your gran’s toilet, Fatima’s a lovely bit of vinyl. Four colourways, two of which you had more chance of winning the lottery than getting for retail, it was a classic art toy. Damn hard to get and a perfect representation of Sam’s work.

fatima.jpg

Available at: http://www.ningyoushi.com

5. Pete Fowler – Giant Snorse

Sometimes bigger is just better. Snorse is a prime example. A cracking blind box release that was great as it was. But Pete knew better. Why stop at a Shetland pony when you can have a stallion? Is it a toy? Or has it got to the size where it becomes as a proper sculpture? Sometimes these things get confusing.

snorse.jpg

Available at: http://www.ningyoushi.com

4. Tristan Eaton – Yo Momma

The boy who, some might say, made Kidrobot the success it is, left the fold and set up Thunderdog Studios. Yo Momma was his first – non platform – release and it set the tone for things to come. Some objected to its supposed racial undertones, Format loved it in all its cartoon glory.

yomomma.jpg

Available at: http://www.toyqube.com

3. KAWSxPushead Companion

Another one that originally came out in ’05, but to the OF edition was the best of the bunch and that was ’06. Anyways enough of the justifications, because with the current standard of vinyl coming out, this zombified young chap could well be in the top ten for the next ten years.

kawspus.jpg

Available at: http://www.tokyocube.com

2. Gary Baseman – Dunces

Copy Cat & Co were available at ComicCon in ’05, but they weren’t unleashed to the masses until this year. Unfortunately the delay saw them arrive to less of a fanfare than they deserved. And as intellectually challenged as the Dunces are, they’re proof you can’t have brains and beauty.

dunce.jpg

Available at: http://www.critterbox.com

1. Dissected Companion – KAWS

How do you improve on perfection? You dissect it of course. While plenty of people plum for the original companion as the seminal example of KAWS toy work, the 5YL always looked better to me — until the first dissected came along. The grey was cool too, while the black was a little too rave.

kawsdissect.jpg

Available at: http://www.tokyocube.com

Drunken Master

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12 comments

  1. what a shitty list. kaws sucks, sam flores’ toys looked better when they were on bobby’s world, and muttpop was the real star this year

  2. ya man, wack list.. that dunce is horendous, number 2? hahaha. MIST should be at least top 3. and the “giant snorse” shouldnt even be on the list.

  3. I find it amazing that people continue to call Tristan’s figure, “Yo Momma.” Big Tris himself calls it, “Your Momma” and it’s clearly printed on the box as such (more than once).

  4. DrunkenMaster says:

    It’s all subjective kids, so put the toys back in the pram.
    Saying the list blows ain’t much help in educating me about why I’m wrong. Although technically I can’t be wrong and neither can you. That’s the beauty of opinions. Crazy world we live in ain’t it?

    To me Muttpop look like action figures. But if they float your boat, more power to you. I think your taste sucks and you think mine does. Equality for all. Mono Kaws over Colour. Yep, guilty as charged. To me, it looks better. Simple as. And Snorse just rocks.

    So what would have up? There’s always room for healthy debate here. Enlighten me.

  5. “your momma” and “fatima” both look like action figures, except it looks like sam flores’ toy has a bad case of elephantitis. i don’t think your list is entirely wrong, but i definitely wouldn’t list kaws twice (especially for those toys), and i think there were other truly interesting figures produced: squbes, kozik’s “bird is the word,” and el panda (which looks too much like an action figure for you).

  6. DrunkenMaster says:

    Fair play. I hear your point on Fatima and Your Momma. I never liked the tiger baby for the elephantitis reason, but it works for me with Fatima – in his paintings and the toy. Squbes are cool don’t get me wrong. But the table sized one was truly interesting, the toy sized ones just lost something in the translation. Bird is the Word is a nice sculpt and interesting, but Mickey ears are a bit played out in my opinion. A bit of a contradiction there in that I rate Kaws work so much, but I just think he did more with it. And as I said the Muttpop stuff I can appreciate, but they just don’t inspire me. All that said it’s good we all disagree. It means the market’s varied and healthy. and touchwood will stay that way.

  7. good point this list being subjective, but my ultimate question is- was this list designed to exemplify the specifics and appeal of succesful toys to those interested in the toy scene? or was this concocted by a toy guru who was hoping at glorifying those toys that did not get the mass recognition that he/she believed they deserved? If so, then whatever- your list may be good to you but it does not apply to all denominations of toy collectors. boom shakalaka.

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