On Monday February 14th, we teamed up with Toy2R and Yoyamart to help launch Toy2R's new products in 2011. On display were the Kaiju Bossy Bear figures, the new 2-inch Domo Series, and the protos for Skelanimals Series 2... but the big draw was the launch of Toy2R's new low-priced 5-inch DIY platform, the Mini Qee! With seven different head shapes, the $15 Mini Qees are sure to be favorites with artists and toy customizers of all stripes.
To help promote the new Mini Qee platforms, Toy2R asked me to help curate a custom Mini Qee show which would be a one-night-only event happening at Yoyamart during Toy Fair 2011. Yoyamart has had a VERY long relationship with Toy2R, even longer than Tenacious Toys, so it was only natural that the wonderful, bright and open Yoyamart shop at 15 Gansevoort Street would be chosen for the event. (The event was dubbed "NYC Loves Qee" and from these pics you can definitely see that we do indeed love our Qees here in NYC!)
I picked 19 of the best artists I knew to customize the Bear shape of the Mini Qees- these Mini Qees, in fact, were some of the very first to come into the US. (Currently Yoyamart is the ONLY US shop to have ANY Mini Qees at all, so definitely hit them up if you are looking to get your hands on the platform. Most of the artists who attended walked out with their arms full of the new Mini Qees to work on at home!)
The artists we called upon were: NEMO, Mr. Munk, Ian Ziobrowski, Zam, Mr. Den, Nerviswr3k, Rsin, Matt Anderson, Bryan Allen Collins, LYS0L, Phetus, Jon Malmstedt of Rampage Toys, J*RYU, NREAZON, Grimsheep, Foox, Tony Depew, Dinky Cow and Southerndrawl. The custom work submitted to this show was nothing short of spectacular, and I'm not just saying that because we helped curate. Each piece was expertly executed, and on a short timeline to boot. Each of the artists mentioned above worked hard and created something wonderful, so my most heartfelt congratulations and gratitude is in order to each an every one of those ladies and gentlemen. (It should be noted that the Custom Toy Union curated some Mini Qee pieces, and Kevin Winnik curated even more pieces for this show.)
The party was a great success, thanks in no small part to Stephane, the perenially positive owner of Yoyamart; Kevin Winnik, head of Toy2RUSA; Matt Siegelbaum of Strongtree Images who shot all the pics in this post and many more; and of course all the artists who contributed work to this show to make it as strong as it was. We had dozens of artists show up; collectors, industry reps, the heads of companies, celebrities (see if you can spot any in the online gallery!)... champagne was enjoyed by all and it was a blast from start to finish!
Many retailers have already ordered the Mini Qees, and they will be showing up in other US shops eventually. For now, if you want one, you need to head to Yoyamart.
There are many more amazing pictures of this show: pics of the customs as well as people shots. I urge you to go check out the public gallery on Strongtree Images- you can share your favorite pics on Facebook, embed them into your blogs, tweet them... go nuts!
I'd like to thank Kevin Winnik for asking me to help curate; this was a really fun project and I enjoyed it a lot. I'm looking forward to curating more toy shows in the future.