tis a question that non-toy collector friends (who've read about it somewhere or have seen me spend ridiculous amounts of $$$ on) ask me. so too non-designer-vinyl toy collectors (ie: fellow 1/6th action figure fans) and i admit, tis a hard "concept" to explain and to be understood by those who feel not for it ... yet ...
i mentioned "concept" becoz that's what i personally think/thought it is, on a metaphysical level (aren't i the smart brooding one, innit? *hurl*) - becoz it embodies a certain "spirit" and "ideal" of a toy, subversive of it's pre-determined value in the real world ("toys are for kids" and/or "toys are cheap") and of the tag "designer" attached it it, somehow imbuding it with a "special power" (common among many a branded-goods worldwide) which suddenly elevates it beyond that of mere mortal-toydom lining the department store-shelves of every other country and carton-boxes piled high in the store-rooms - a "exclusivity" whispered in it's packaging and availability ... which in a physical-state (based on what i normally can get me grubby hands on, innit? *bah*) equals (unfortunately for some) the prior-mentioned "availability" and "exclusivity", displayed on spacious shelves of "designer boutiques" and "specialist" toy-shops ... and that's just the brick'n'mortar variety, innit? whereas on the web, the ideal and identity is obvious. less is more in this instance ...
folks claim: "but there's hardly any articulation! the details are not as impressive as say, McFarlene's ... all the toy does is stand there! i can hardly play with the item! might as well be a plastic statue, what ..."
then i reckon, them "designer urban vinyls" aren't for them. a fair fact and no toy-elitist sentiment here whatsoever (as much as there are amongst some other genre of toys, im sure) becoz at the end of the toy-day, they are not the "target" for these toys. as much as i'd like to say: "designer vinyls are designed by designers" ~ so too are the "non-urban-vinyl" variety, aren't they? mayhap a "clearer" (if that can ever be the case) "definition" veers more towards a design derived from "urban street culture", as designed by personalities and artists associated with said culture ... altho not the conformists, which ironically is what some bigger brand companies are trying to adopt and adapt ... which i hope in time to come will not devalue "urban vinyls" (or at least the "ideal"), innit? but then again, that's just me blowing hot smoke and such, innit? *heh*
a coupla (or so) years on, when i rediscovered toys (more so "urban vinyl") and did more research, cruised and conquered ebay (*groan*) and recognized and remembered that vinyl which i held in my hands and let slip: Michael Lau's Fatback. and there i was trying desperately to secure the rest of his Crazy Children numbers#1-5 at a ridiculously inflated secondary-market price
and i don't even wanna go into the story of the KAWS' Companion figure ... *sigh*
anyways, deviations and memory-trippin' aside, here are what some others thoughts, takes and history-lessons on "the designer urban vinyl" phenomenon:
> ActionFigures's Urban Vinyl 101
> Confessions of a Toy Pusher : State of The Union
> All Other Toys (Article) Sucks
any other articles to recommend, anyone? :)
me? i just know they look absolutely incredible and i want them to fill my display shelves (if i had any space, that is) and that i can hardly afford them upfront. 'nuff said