Thursday, December 17, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, December 14, 2009

Last week I featured a toy from Galoob that flew under the controversy radar and highlighted some of the most shocking moments from the classic sci-fi/horror film Alien.  Toy history has had countless scenarios of recalls based on safety issues ranging from a baby doll that could "eat" but wound up eating a little girls hair-- nearly scalping her in the process, to an infamous Cylon Raider toy which fired tiny plastic missiles and nearly blinded a young boy, or even the lead-based paint controversy of recent years.  It's much "easier" for a toy to find itself immersed in controversy based on safety concerns.  Much more rare are the examples of toys that made headlines because they embody questionable subject matter.  Generally toys like this need to be targeted buy an individual or organization that carries enough weight to get the public to vote with their wallets.  In the case of the Freddy Krueger doll that I mentioned last week, a Christian advocacy group known as the National Federation for decency had parents boycotting toy stores which ultimately lead to the toys discontinuation in a surprising one week time span.

In the mid 90's toy maker Galoob boldly flew in the face of previous controversies and produced a handful of toys based on the 1979 sci-fi horror film Alien  This week I continue featuring these toys with a really nice model of the space craft Narcissus.  In the movie a commercial space towing vessel called the Nostromo landed on a remote planet after receiving a radio transmission.  Their efforts to investigate the transmission ultimately results in nearly the entire crew of the Nostromo being exterminated by a hostile parasitic alien organism.   Sigourney Weaver's character Ripley is the sole survivor-- but not before engaging in a final showdown with the alien in the Nostromo's escape craft-- a small vessel named the Narcissus.

I have to hand it to the toy designers at Galoob.  This toy thoughtfully recreates the classic final showdown between Ripley and the alien down to some very small details.  For example Ripley's cat "Jones" is finely rendered in a small carrier inside the detailed interior of this toy.  Jones the cat was the only other survivor of the alien attack and went on to be featured in the sequel.

There are many other details to enjoy so please investigate the Alien Action Fleet Narcissus in the Vehicles Gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities.

Full steam ahead...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, December 7, 2009

Throughout the history of toys there have only been a few that have been pulled off the toy store shelves because they represented something so scary and violent that parental advocacy groups rallied to have them removed.  Two examples are legendary: 20 years ago the wholesome and beloved toy company Matchbox released a doll of horror movie staple Freddy Krueger.  Strangely,  a toy of a gruesomely disfigured serial child killer attracted the attention of a Christian advocacy group that dubbed themselves The National Federation for Decency.  This group previously focused their efforts on such "dangerous" targets as TV's Three's Company and Charlie's Angels.  Long story short, the group was successful and the toy was ultimately removed from shelves in less than one week.  This of course instantly launched the toy into collectible toy history.  

Lets step back even further to 1979.  Ridley Scott had just released the classic Sci Fi horror film Alien.  Based on the success of Star Wars, toy company Kenner began development of a line of Alien toys that would include a large 12" doll of the creature and a full line of 3 3/4" figures.  The 12" doll was the first toy to make it to the shelves.  Stories are mixed on this example but many people say that kids were "afraid" of the Alien doll and in fairly short order the line was scrapped including the unreleased smaller figures.  The Alien doll may be one of the most sought after collectibles in toy history and boxed examples have been known fetch $500.

Some times it is not the toys that spark controversy that are noteworthy-- instead it is the ones that manage to fly under the radar.  Fifteen years later toy company Galoob had acquired the rights to the Alien line and released in limited numbers some really amazing toys and playsets in their Micro Machines and Action Fleet lines.  I already featured the APC vehicle as seen in the movie Aliens.  For the next two weeks I am going to feature two toys from Galoob that capture the horror of Ridley Scott's classic  film Alien in surprising detail.

The first example appears to be simply a statue of the alien's ghoulish head-- however when you open this toy up it reveals an entire playset that recreates some of the films most intense and frightening moments.  Amazingly the most shocking and bloody scene in Alien is depicted in this toy.  I am talking about the scene where the character Kane begins convulsing at the dinner table, and the larval stage of the alien suddenly erupts from his chest cavity leaving him dead and his ship mates splattered in blood.  How Galoob managed to release a toy that highlights this scene is a mystery to me.  It is even an "action feature".  By rotating a small knob on the back of the toy the chest burster spins and Kane's body moves around on the table.  Pretty cool.

There are far too many details, and other action features on this toy to mention here, so I suggest you step into the Dioramas Gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities and explore the Micro Machines Alien Transforming Playset.  Just remember, in space, no one can hear you scream...

Related Posts:
Alien Kubrick Space Jocky

Full steam ahead...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, November 30, 2009

This week is all about filling in and catching up.  Honestly the toy of the week almost fell off my radar-- but fear not!  I am committed to this experiment in cataloging my absurdly large toy collection and I am here with another toy.  But first I must get a little business out of the way.  Last week I launched a new exhibition at Coyote Point Museum.  The new exhibition, Tinkering, highlights the importance and beauty of mechanics, invention, and creative problem solving.  I will add another post with a few pictures of the exhibition but for now you can take a look at this article in The Mercury News about Tinkering or you can visit the CPM website for more information.

Last week I also visited Minnesota.  Of course the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities was founded there and many wonderful pieces are still there waiting to be brought to California.  I undertook a major sorting effort to weed out the riff raff.  In fact I have so many toys that I need to do a serious purging and this weekend I will be attempting to sell some 200 action figures, in original packages, that used to live in my parents attic!

By getting rid of all these toys it only allows me to increase my bandwidth to care for, and display, the real treasures of my collection which is what this blog is all about.  This blog is also about being thorough and accurate and in the interest of that I am taking today to fill out the vintage Stomper 4x4 collection in the vehicles gallery.  Because I have always been a fan of crawler based vehicles, and because the crawler Stomper vehicles tend to be more rare I am offering up two vintage Stomper construction vehicles from the mid 80's.  So take a look at these Stomper Construction Vehicles and educate yourself about the history of Stompers.

Full steam ahead...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, November 23, 2009

Ever since I was a kid I have admired toys that were nothing less than working models of real machinery.  I mentioned this before in my post on the scratch built railroad crane.  This is one of the aspect of the live steam hobby that is appealing.  Miniature steam engines can be made from the same materials as their full size counterparts-- in some cases replicating full size machines down to each individual nut and bolt.

Today's model is not steam-- instead I bring you a working model of an internal combustion engine.  This model is made in germany of CNC machined parts.  As a desktop curiosity this toy is one of the coolest things around.  It runs on butane or propane.  To run the engine you simply open a small gas valve and spin the flywheel.  The engine roars to life-- occasionally shooting small blue flames from the dual exhaust pipes.  It uses a piezo igniter to provide a charge to a miniature working spark plug.  To get a closer look at this miniature working piece of engineering set your throttle to full and visit the Maier Internal Combustion Engine in the Machinery Gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities.

Full steam ahead...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, November 16, 2009

Released over twenty years ago, the movie Aliens still stands as a benchmark in film making.  Made in a time when digital visual effects were not the go-to technology, the beautiful practical effects in the movie Aliens still stand up today.  Effects including creatures and vehicles were all done with extensive use of miniatures and animatronic puppets.  This combined with unparalleled art direction add up to a gritty and realistic look for the film that only contributes to the excitement of this classic action sci-fi thriller.
Director Jim Cameron drove the art direction in the film to create a believable world.  The military hardware in the film looks modern but still reflects the style of Vietnam war era technology.  Fitting for a movie where a well equipped squad of marines is essentially wiped out but a primitive foe.  The weapon and vehicle designs set a new standard for the science fiction genre and the designs are so pleasing that they remain the favorites of sci-fi geeks nearly a quarter of a century later.

This brings me to today's offering.  From my previous post on the Aliens Action Fleet APC I hinted that some of the most spectacular examples of Aliens toys come out of Japan.  Three years ago Aoshima released stunning die cast metal models of the Dropship and APC.  A close look at these vehicles will reveal details that might make nitpickers cringe.  This is an interesting artifact of having an accurate model of a movie vehicle in your hands.  For example, a close examination of the Dropship, which is a VTOL aircraft like a Harrier jump jet, and you see that the thrust nozzles are not centered on the aircraft.  This would make the Droship nose heavy and unstable.  This shows you that absolute perfection in engineering design is not critical for a successful movie vehicle.  To create something believable on the screen is an entirely different matter.  

That aside, the Aoshima Aliens toys are by far some of the most stunning models of movie vehicles you will ever see.  The Dropship is over a foot long and weighs in at over two pounds!  It has all the moving parts seen in the film.  As a companion piece, the APC is finely detailed and it stows neatly in the cargo bay of the Dropship.  To give a sense of scale, the vehicles each came with tiny detailed figures of the colonial marines.

This is not a toy to be missed, so stay frosty, move on into the Vehicles Gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities, and secure the area by checking out the Die Cast Metal Aliens Dropship and APC.

Full steam ahead...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, November 9, 2009

I still remember when my parents took me to see Back to the Future.  It was 1985.  I honestly had no clue what the movie was about.  I also had no clue what a Delorean was.  Well I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I remember wishing I could ride a skateboard the way Michael J Fox's character did, and I remember instantly realizing how cool Deloreans were. I also remember being excited at the prospect of a sequel.

Fast forward to 1989.  I was in eighth grade.  It had been four years since the first film and Robert Zemeckis was back at the helm for  Back to the Future II.  Boy was I excited.  In the end though I left disappointed.  Like many movie goers I did not expect to have a large "to be continued..." slapped in my face.  I felt like Universal pictures was nickel and diming me into seeing part three.  For me that was it.  I actually vowed not to see the third movie.  It was a vow I kept.  I didn't see the third movie for many years-- probably until the mid 90's when I watched it on video.  I didn't think much of it until a couple years ago.  For Christmas of 2006 I asked for the Trilogy set of films on DVD.  While watching the special features I learned that Zemeckis battled Universal to advertise the second movie as part of a continuing series.  Instead Universal said no and decided to market the movie as a complete film which left me and many other fans feeling ripped off.  Strangely after learning this I was ready to watch the entire series with a new attitude, and to my surprise, I really like the third movie.

The first film still is my favorite but it does place an emphasis on materialism with Marty's (Fox's character) ultimate goal to obtain a really cool Toyota 4x4 and get the girl.  The third movie is more of a relationship movie and we learn a lot more about the wild haired inventor of the time machine Doc Emmet Brown (Christopher Lloyd).  The movie takes a decidedly steampunk spin and in one of the great action sequences they attempt to push the Deloeran time machine up to speed on Railroad tracks under steam locomotive power.

Naturally, If I were to have a model of any movie vehicle it would be one that rides on R.R. tracks right?   Today I continue my series of movie vehicles and bring you a model of the Delorean time machine as seen in Back to the Future III.  I preformed extensive surgery on this model to convert it to run on standard 45mm "G" gauge track so it could be pushed by a live steam locomotive.  There are many fine details on this model so power your time circuits on, and gun it to 88 mph. into the Vehicles Gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities to check out the R.R. Delorean time machine.

Full steam ahead...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, November 2, 2009

If you were to think back, what would you vote for as the coolest movie vehicle of all time?  The Delorean time machine from Back to the Future?  How about the Ghost Busters' vintage ambulance also known as Ecto 1 ?  Or, for fans of the more obscure, maybe the giant twelve wheeled truck, known as the Landmaster, from Damnation Alley?  This month I begin a special series of toys, all representing famous movie vehicles.  These vehicles have captured movie goers imaginations and now the vehicles themselves are captured in miniature size in die cast metal and plastic.  On with the show...

The 2005 movie Batman Begins told us some important details about the caped crusader.  First of all, he was trained by ninjas in a secret compound in Asia, second of all he gets his cool toys from a defunct military technology division of his own company, and finally, all the whacked out bad guys he fights are the product of a hallucinogenic drug that was dispersed through the water supply of Gotham City.  OK, cool, now Batman is grounded in reality right?  In one scene in the movie he discovers a vehicle prototype under a tarp and takes it for a test spin.  The vehicle, called the Tumbler, looks like the bastard child of a stealth jet fighter and a military truck.
Historically batman drives a dragster like car that, while fast and powerful, actually makes very little sense for a vigilante crime fighter.  A military vehicle is a much more reasonable choice.  Batman Begins' production designer Nathan Crowley designed the Tumbler through an organic process of clay models and plastic model bashing.  The actual movie car is quite impressive.  It is capable of speeds over 100 mph. and was jumped 30 feet as part of the production.

Today I have for your consideration a 1:18 scale model of the Batman Begins Tumbler in it's original military prototype camouflage paint scheme.  This toy was released primarily as a collectible item several months after the films theatrical release.  A regular black version was available first.  The black version is still quite easy to find on EBay for around $35  The camo version is considerably more rare.

Many of the details of the movie vehicle are featured on this toy, and I have included many notes about the actual movie vehicle, so roll into the Vehicles Gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities and take a close look at the many details of the Batman Begins Tumbler.

Full steam ahead...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Toy of the week, Monday, October 26, 2009

Sometimes the best toys are the ones you make yourself-- and I'm not talking about paper airplanes here.  Nine years ago I entered the live-steam hobby and it helped me cultivate an interest in toys that are nothing less than miniature working replicas of real machines.  In the past nine years I have amassed a pretty respectable collection of miniature machinery.  Many of these pieces are rare models that I purchased-- much like the tiny table saw.  An ever expanding area of my collection is made up of scratch built machines of my own design.  Some modelers enjoy creating an exact replica of a historic machine that actually existed.  For me the thrill comes from creating a credible model of a prototype that could have been.  Some times I will start with a concept drawing-- other times a vision of what the model should look like appears in my minds eye and I simply begin fabricating parts.

A few years ago I envisioned creating models of some small industrial equipment in large 1:12 scale.  Inspired by various pieces of mining equipment, none of these models replicate any specific piece of hardware.  Today I present a working model of a small railroad crane.  Cranes like this one would have been used around a maintenance shop for lifting heavy parts and pieces.  I built this hefty little piece in the same way that real crane would be built.  There is no glue or plastic parts.   This model is 100% crafted from metal parts-- primarily machined aluminum and steel, and everything is fastened together with miniature nuts and bolts.  The crane is also fully operational.

This is one of my favorite creations so I invite you to step into the Machinery gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities and check out the details of the scratch-built 1:12 scale railroad crane.

Full steam ahead...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Toy of the Week Monday, October 19, 2009

Hayo Miazaki is a legend in the animation community.  Pixar's John Lasseter called him "the greatest animation director living today."  His hand drawn feature animations transcend traditional and simplistic good and evil struggles featured in most movies.  Instead they feature wildly creative visions of internal and spiritual adventures.

Miazaki's film Howl's Moving Castle premiered in 2004 at the Venice film festival.  It went on to gross over $230,000.00, making it one of the most financially successful Japanese films in history.  Miyazaki's films are known for their incredible art direction and vastly imaginative depictions of alternate worlds.  In my opinion the star attraction of Howl's Moving Castle is the castle itself.  The castle looks like a monstrous assemblage of medieval structures held together by riveted iron plates.  It is powered by a steam belching, semi-magical, internal power plant and it wanders around the countryside using four stubby legs that look like gigantic mechanized feet from a claw-foot bathtub.

In 2007 I visited Miyazaki's museum in Japan.  Named after his animation studio, the Studio Gibli Museum is expertly art directed itself, and looks as though it was plucked from one of Miyazaki's movies.  Japanese are huge consumers-- I have never seen a more tchotchke driven society as modern Japan.  When my wife and I stepped into the Gibli Museum gift shop we decided to do as the locals do and bring home a few items that are more difficult to find outside of Japan.

Today I bring you this tiny but gorgeous metal model of Howl's Moving Castle.  Every detail of the castle is rendered on this pewter finished masterpiece, but there are some secret moving parts and surprise details on this little sculpture so I strongly suggest a trip into the Artifacts gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities to tour your way through the Howls Moving Castle Metal Sculpture.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Toy of the Week Monday, October 15, 2009

In the reserved and private culture of modern Japan there is one group of people, like brightly colored flowers in a barren desert, who stand in stark contrast with the bustling crowds of businesspeople. 

While most people on the streets of modern Japan simply keep to themselves, this group is boisterous and vivacious-- they smoke, they swear, and they approach random tourists to offer directions-- they are schoolgirls.  It could be claimed that schoolgirls should be a national symbol of Japan.  Any search online will yield thousands of results that sexualize Japanese schoolgirls, seeking to make money off of pedophiles and perverts around the world, however Japanese schoolgirls often fetishize themselves by rolling up their skirts at the waist.  This not only makes the skirts often absurdly short, but it makes the iconic pleated skirts flair outward.  The rest of the uniform has become iconic as well; from the sailor top and knee high socks to the tiny backpacks.  

Schoolgirl culture and fashion fascinates so many that it has spawned countless movies, comics and animations.  Perhaps one of the most famous is Battle Royale, a Japanese movie which depicts a group of teenage Japanese students who are sleep gassed on a field trip.  They awaken on an island only to discover that they are unwilling participants in a sadistic experiment which will force them to battle one and other to the death.

Today I present some vinyl statues that depict infamous sailor schoolgirls in the style of Japanese fantasy artist Shunya Yamashita.  Yamshita's illustrations feature seductive poses and alluring eyes.   The sculpting and paint is very well done on these toys so hitch up your skirt and grab your tiny back pack and go take notes on the Shunya Yamashita Vinyl Statues, found in the Figures gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Toy of the Week Monday, October 5, 2009

For thousands of children in the 1930's the top shelf toys in the local toy shop were tiny but fully functional live steam engines. Steam power became the life blood of industry for over 100 years. Showing up in europe in the early 1800's in the form of stationary pumping engines, steam power persisted until the late 1950's when massive, powerful, high speed locomotives ruled the rails.

Toy steam engines have been around as long as there were real steam engines. Made from cast iron, brass, stamped steel and pewter, these toys reflect the construction of their full size counterparts. While simplified, the operating principles of toy steam engines is identical to a real engine. The vast majority of toy steam engines produced in the United States are of the stationary configuration. Stationary engines being fixed to a board or base reflect the design of steam engines that were used in factories and mills around the world to power various machinery. When I was growing up in the 1980's I obtained my first live steam engine, a rare WWII era stationary model-- but it will have to be added to the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities later.

Today I bring you an even older engine complete with accessories. This engine was produced by the Weeden Mfg. Co. of New Bedford Massachusetts between 1935 and 1940. I purchased the engine in 2000 from an eBay vendor. It came with three accessory tools that can be run by belts from the flywheel of the steam engine. This is an attractive piece of industrial history so put on your engineers hat and high-ball it on into the Machinery gallery and take a closer look at the Weeden Live steam Engine and Accessories.

Full steam ahead...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Toy of the Week Monday, Sept 28, 2009

They are cute but prickly, meek yet menacing . Italian artist Simone Legno has created a world of cute and creepy characters. His characters are the equivalent of an adorable puppy bearing it's teeth and growling at you; you instinctively have the reaction "awwww, he's trying to be mean and scary". With different series of characters ranging from the sharp and prickly "Cactus Friends" to the bullet brandishing bovines of the "Moofia" and the cuddly but morbid, skeletal characters of "Til Death do us Part", Simone calls his world Tokidoki. A mysterious but sexy tattoo clad woman is often portrayed interacting with the world of cute characters. Tokidoki has become somewhat of a phenomenon, showing up on clothing, toys and designer hand bags. His work is popular enough that counterfeit products now appear in Asian street markets.

Today I bring you a hand full of Tokidoki vinyl figures. I made my first purchase of Tokidoki figures for a very specific purpose. I ordered a set of Cactus Pups in 2008 so I could use them as cake toppers for my wedding. Since then my wife and I have added a few additional figures to the collection. For a closer look, take a peek inside the figures gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities at the Tokidoki Vinyl Figures.

Full steam ahead...

To learn more about Tokidoki, visit the official website.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Toy of the Week Monday, Sept 21, 2009

When critics asked why the characters in Futurama looked identical to those from the Simpsons.  Matt Groening stated "it's the only way I know how to draw."  Futurama first aired in 1999 and chronicled the adventures of a 20th century pizza delivery boy who accidentally got cryogenically frozen and then revived in the 31st century.

As you would expect from Groening, Futurama portrays a sardonic and sarcastic view of the future.  One of the main characters is an alcoholic robot with the apt name Bender.

Today I bring you a limited release bender tin toy.  Sold in comic shops in 2000 This wind up walking robot came in retro packaging and has some interesting features-- it even came in a Gender Bender variant based on an episode where Bender took up a career as a cross dressing pro wrestler.

To see both versions of this unusual modern tin toy, zap into the robots gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities and scan the Futurama Bender tin toys.

Full steam ahead...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bushido and Fabrication, Japanese sword making, epilogue.

A tool for a modern urban samurai-- that was my idea for a continuation of my Japanese sword projects.  Fabricating the tanto fittings was rewarding and I guess I just didn't quite get it out of my system.  I chose a subject of my next project based on the fact that I like the design of modern tanto point blades.  One company has done more to popularize Japanese style tanto knives than any other: Cold Steel.

Designed by a martial arts expert in California and manufactured in Japan, Cold Steel tantos are almost legendary in the cutlery world.  They resemble a miniature katana, having a simple, graceful curve and a sword-like point.  They come in a variety of sizes and styles.  The larger models being available in laminated steel, inspired by the folded steel used in traditional Japanese sword making.  The smallest model-- simply called the Mini Tanto, was discontinued some years ago.  I managed to score a few of these on eBay.  The earlier models had brass fittings.  The later models had stainless fittings and a tsuba style guard.

Here are some pics of the two styles of Mini Tantos in stock form:
As I mentioned before, I had an idea to blend some more traditional Japanese design elements with a modern tanto design.  I modified the stock fittings by forging and soldering copper collars onto the brass parts of a Cold Steel mini tanto.  I also added silk tsuka ito in a gold brown color.  This is similar to the color of ito on Japanese WWII swords.

Here are some pictures of the custom knife, and a stock one for comparison:
Like any of my projects I may return to Japanese sword making but, for now, I am feeling like this demon has been exorcised and it is time to move back to other projects-- hmm, I think some live steam engines are calling me...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Toy of the Week Monday, Sept 14, 2009

With astonishing imagery and special effects, the 1927 movie Metropolis showed us an Art Deco World where machines reach through urban society like veins.  The movies workers, who operate the gargantuan machines that keep the city alive, struggle against the elite caste of city leaders.

Metropolis portrayed stunning images of Art Deco style blended with mechanical and industrial design.  Indeed this movie was a forerunner to a stylistic offshoot of Art Deco known as Streamline Moderne.  The style would not reach it's peak until ten years after the films release.  Streamlining was partially a byproduct of mass production and mechanization.  The style's horizontal lines and rounded shapes facilitated easy mass production.  Streamlining continued into the fifties in the United States and influenced everything from radios to restaurants.

Today I am deviating from robots, vehicles, and action figures and presenting one of my prized industrial artifacts.  This industrial counter, known as a Productimeter, was salvaged from an abandoned gear factory in the Midwest.  It was mounted atop a gigantic lathe that was the size of a small bus.  The Productimeter is a hefty device.  As you advance it's count, by pulling the bullet shaped lever, it's internal ratchet mechanism returns a satisfying clunk.  It is a fine example of Streamline Moderne style and it wears an authentic patina of hard use in an industrial setting.

To get a closer look, head on over to the Artifacts gallery of the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities and check out the Productimeter.

Full steam ahead...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Toy of the Week Monday, Sept 7, 2009

Twenty years ago no one could imagine that there would be a world where wealthy urban hipsters would wander in to galleries that display action figures like fine pieces of art.  They would scrutinize them carefully and select the toy that best suited their aesthetic sensibilities.  Welcome to the world of Designer Toys.  Designer Toys first appeared in the late 1990's.  Professional artists and designers began creating the pieces, which are then put into production.  Typically, production is limited to as few as 2, or as many as 2000 pieces.    The toys are made from a variety of materials such as resin, wood and metal-- but vinyl is the most common.  This spawned the term Urban Vinyl, which many use interchangeably with the term Designer Toys.

There are many Designer Toys that will ultimately make their way into the Cabinet of Curious Frivolities.  Today I bring you Hazmapo Tri-Yella, an example created by a pair of Oregon based artists in 2004.  Tri-Yella is inspired by Cold War era radiation suits.  There were three basic sculptures in the first series and two repaints of each, for a total of six styles.  You can visit the artists website and veiw the styles that are currently available.  

To take a closer look, suit up and stroll into the Figures gallery and peruse the pics of Hazmapo Tri-Yella.

Full steam ahead...