As many of you may be aware, I’m somewhat of a collector of one-of-a-kind (or limited production) custom toys. I’ve featured some of them in earlier posts, such as Creative People and Ugly Unicorn!
My collection tends to gravitate toward the unusual, which surround me when I sit at my desk.
In this image you see Gill standing proud in the back row with My Monster Pet left and Riblet the Bold right in the front row. These wonderful creations come from the mind and hands of Richard Page of UMEtoys fame. Richard seems to have a neverending supply of wonderful ideas floating in his head, which he puts down into his iPad with great skill. His favorites wind up in the form of resin cast figures, such as the ones that you see here.
Richard is probably best known for the Geekwoks line that he has cast into a large variety of extremely cute and adorable shapes. But to me, Richard is much more than an artist, as he is a true inspiration who always has a kind word and is an old-fashioned gent!
As you may remember from a prior post, I have a collection of art toys, some of which are small production runs or even custom one-of-a-kinds, and all of which are just simply fantastic! Today, I’d like to introduce you to another interesting creation: the Tube Dunny…
The Dunny is an art toy platform created by Kidrobot, which has been customized by many artists in very creative ways. In my mind, one of the finest custom Dunny creations is the Tubedunny created by VISEone. Above you see one of my photos of the Outland Red Tubedunny, which was a very limited run done for the Outland Designer Toy Store & Art Gallery in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The creative mind behind the Tubedunny is the German urban artist known as VISEeone, who is best known for his lowbrow custom designs of urban vinyl toys, as well as crossing over to influential design media like Notcot and Design You Trust.
His works – owned by international collectors – have been shown around the world.
VISEone started his creative path in the late 1990’s as a graffiti writer creating character designs. Due a musical career as a national booked hiphop DJ and producer with a major record deal he took a 10 years break from painting before he stepped back to his creative path in 2007 when he discovered the urban vinyl scene.
Since then he constantly created unique custom works on vinyl platform toys and released several limited editions of his iconic style.
VISEone is best known for his dripping style where he combines his graffiti roots and his love of lowbrow design. He also has a big passion for comics which influenced him heavily for his well known “Comic Stripped” custom series.
He belongs to the top designers in the urban vinyl scene and his works are all sold out and sought after.
A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of doing a quick photoshoot with VISEone and his then latest creation, the Mini Tube Monster (that’s a Zombie juice model in his hand). We did the photoshoot at New York Comic Con, where I set up a quick light couple of lights and created some cool images.
VISEone’s latest creative endeavors have been wildly successful sculptures that are often life-sized and sought after by collectors around the globe; a truly amazing artist!
It must be something entirely human to collect things; just because we like something and because we can. One thing that always grabs my eye is creativity, which certainly describes my collection of custom art toys.
Meet the Ugly Unicorn! This unique creation by Jon Malmstedt caught my eye a number of years back, as its whimsical nature is coupled with an imaginative design. Jon’s design has proven to be a great platform, as he has created many interesting variants with different base colors and amazing paint jobs, which make Jon’s work true pieces of art.
Jon has also done a significant number of collaborations with other artists, particularly in the Japanese art toy scene, as Jon has been living in Tokyo for quite a while. Jon has also created a number of other unique toys, including a new generation of the Ugly Unicorn, which I will feature at a later time.
As I mentioned, the base vinyl and paint jobs can be very interesting, such as the glow in the dark version that Jon created for one of his Halloween releases.
My collection is approaching 100 Ugly Unicorns, which include a significant number of very limited releases and several one of a kinds.
And I shouldn’t forget to mention that Jon is a great guy, as I have had the pleasure to meet him several times and go for a hike and a drink with him! Go check out his on-line store, as well, where he releases most of his work: Rampage Toys and Art, and tell him I sent you!
Both images were captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II and EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM lens. The top image was lit with studio lights, dialed in for 1/100 second, f6.3 and 100 ISO. The glow in the dark image was done with an 8 second, f/5.6 at 400 ISO exposure.
I only wanted Uncle Vernon standing by his own car (a Hudson) on a clear day, I got him and the car. I also got a bit of Aunt Mary’s laundry and Beau Jack, the dog, peeing on the fence, and a row of potted tuberous begonias on the porch and 78 trees and a million pebbles in the driveway and more. It’s a generous medium, photography. - Lee Friedlander