Mr Blank Toys: No Toys 4 Us

San Diego Comic Con 2018 (July 19-22 @ San Diego Convention Center) is finally here this weekend!! Unfortunately I was not able to make the trip to CA for the event, but one of my pieces will be there in full force! The newest art-toy release from Mr Blank Toys is the “NO TOYS 4 US” figure being released by bootleg toy distributor DKE Toys (a major indie distributor who’s worked with the biggest artists and collectors in the bootleg art-toy scene, and has regular booths at some of the best designer toy conventions in the USA), as an exclusive releases at this upcoming San Diego Comic Con. This figure marks the end of an era for toy geeks everywhere with the closing of Toys R Us… Is this the end of the big box toy stores? Well maybe that’s good news for us indie toy makers!

Limited Edition, 4″ resin figure, carded on 6″x9″ backboard. I made 40 of these for the first run so if you would like to purchase one contact “DOV” at DKE Toys (dketoys@gmail.com) and he will put your name on the list so that you have one tagged for you before they go on sale to the public at the convention. I have a feeling this is going to be a very popular figure at SDCC, so I would get one before they sell out completely!

When I heard that Toys-R-Us was closing down, the first things I thought of was: “Oh No, What’s going to become of Geoffrey the Giraffe?” because Big Corporations never think of the little guys, the ones affected most by their mismanagement. I imagined Geoffrey might not be able to handle going from being number one in the hearts and minds of millions of toy loving children young and old… to suddenly losing everything. Jobless, penniless, and forced to the streets, destine to become a junkie sleeping in the dumpster behind the liquidated boarded-up toy store, flying a sign off the freeway exit, hitchhiking to the next town. Poor Geoffrey! Now I’ve certainly spent some time down on my luck and transient as an artist myself, so I can certainly sympathize with Geoffrey’s plight. I’ve slept on strangers couches or lived out of a nearly broke down school bus while trekking around the southeast USA as a traveling performance artist. I’ve had to eat at soup kitchens and do street busking performance art, gas jugging, and sign-flying for money just to get by. I’ve hitchhiked to New Orlean and survived off of selling street art and collecting tips… wanderlust certainly flows in my blood. Sideshow freaks, street performers, and musicians are my best friends, and I know some pretty crazy homeless people too! So this figure is dedicated to all those struggling, chewed up and spit out by the system, listless and wandering…

Check out these pics of the prototype sculpt:

At first I wasn’t sure how I was going to make the figure in a way that would fully get my idea across. I pulled out a shitty giraffe kids-meal toy, trying to figure out how to make it work, but it didn’t. When my eye caught sight of the Star Wars “Watto” figure (Star Wars Episode I, Hasbro 1998) I instantly knew that was the direction I had to take. I chopped up some “Count Dooku” legs (The Clone Wars Collection, Hasbro 2009) and stuck them to the bottom of the Watto body, then with a bunch of small detailed sculpting, and some arms from a “Mercenary Cpl. Lyle Wainfleet” figure (James Cameron’s Avatar, Mattel 2009). I ended up with a long-necked grumpy-faced giraffe figure in denum vest and dirty pants, who looked like he had seen some pretty rough days! Then with the addition of a simple cardboard sign that reads “Will Werk 4 Toys” it was a perfectly Hobo looking Geoffrey the Street Giraffe! Or simply titled: “No Toys 4 Us”.

The figure marks the sad end of an era for kids and toy collectors, yet a hopeful beginning for me. This is the beginnings of my own toy making endeavours. This will be the first solid run of figures (40 pcs.) that I’ve done to date, and I’m ecstatic that they have already been signed on to be a “2018 San Diego Comic Con Exclusive” release thru DKE Toys!!! (NOTE: if you would like to purchase one contact “DOV” at DKE Toys (dketoys@gmail.com) and he will put your name on the list so that you have one tagged for you before they go on sale to the public at the convention)

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