Urban Vinyl Daily decided to go there. That often revisited and never concluded conversation bubbles up from the pit of the internet to stir up trouble, drama, and resentments, once more. "What Are Designer Toys?"
Perhaps this time it will be different? Afraid not. They run the gambit of the conversation, Is it a toy? Is it art? Is it just a commodity? And even admit to the folly of going in circles trying to define what is and is not a Designer Toy.
Firstly, Go ahead and listen in HERE: LINK Experience the full gambit run of this discussion (if you haven't already), and then get back to this blog post as we respond to this age old question that has stumped us since ancient times, going on 6 or 7 months now...
As Ben and Travis discover, basically you can attempt to define the guidelines of what is a Designer Toy and then you can find all sorts of exceptions to those same guidelines. And yes there are even some things that are licensed, mass-produced, and in chain stores across the country, that could be considered a Designer Toy. Again, its a circular argument with no end in sight... (or is it?)
Now have some standards been set? Yes. We have a Designer Toy Magazine, and a Designer Toy Awards show. So the precedent has been set by those venues, and backed up by many a Designer Toy store owner, as to what we know is Designer Toys and what constitutes a niche art scene. And that is what I, Gavriel Discordia, would like to focus on here, as my contribution to this discussion.
We do know that without a doubt there is one standard to qualifying what is a Designer Toy. The Artist. No one is arguing against that single guideline. We all know that if there is no Artist named and pitched on the packaging for a toy it is not a Designer Toy. Designer Toys are not a certain kind of platform, or defined by edition size or other qualifying guideline. All of that is missing the point.
(Maybe one day the big box toy stores will learn this simple fact and become capable of directing the 'consumers' to take note of Artists and pitch those Artists to the public as 'rock stars'. And that is a doubtful possibility. Because we know they love their licensed properties, that seem to spring out of come CEOs head, with little to no regard for anything other than, making a quarterly report look good to the shareholders.)
Again, it is the Artist that matters to us in this scene. And that is where we need to redirect our attention as a scene...
Lets take this discussion to a whole other level entirely.
Lets go ahead and suspend this question of 'What is a Designer Toy?' altogether. After all, in asking that question, we are simply grasping at a shadow and loosing the substance. Lets explore what we should be focused on and readjust our reality tunnels appropriately.
Designer Toys are not about the toys. Yes you read that correctly, DESIGNER TOYS ARE NOT ABOUT THE TOYS.
Designer Toys are a Scene.
By not focusing on the toys themselves, but focusing on the
people involved, we will truly define what Designer Toys are all about. The Artists, the Designers, the Sculptors, the
Recasters, the Customizers and the die hard Collectors that make this
scene what it is today. The Dream Dreamers, and The Music
The Designer Toy Scene serves and an outlet for extremely talented individuals to reach the public with their creativity regardless of the typical financial and even legal barriers that keep creatives from being creative, in any way that they may find themselves possessed to be creative. Big-box-corporate-licensed-properties be damned! (Just don't rip off hard working indie artists on the scene, and you know who you are.)
The Designer Toy Scene is also just a small part of a larger DIY movement growing everyday and positioning the individual creative on the same level playing field as any big box store across the internet. Our ability to reach the public is no longer limited to who we can encounter in physical limits. And the Designer Toy Scene serves as a specified network through which Artist can reach each other, the Galleries and Stores that understand this new movement, and the public that is clamoring for these specialized creations.
In short. The Designer Toy Scene is a niche art collectible movement comprised of Artists of all kinds and the Collectors that love them.
Designer Toys are Us.