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Designers and their Toys

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Wednesday, 02 September, 2009

Content Why is it that so many of my peers collect designer toys? Probably the same reason I would. They look good as they're designed by people like us. They're undergone an exquisite production process and harbour attention to detail. That makes them desirable right? It also makes them expensive. Hell, we're working so we can afford it, and since they're so costly, they become exclusive. Limited edition. Not many of them in the world.

Taipei Toy Festival 1

However, though I buy the odd figure, I'm not a fanatic. It's nice to surround ourselves with a few things that we like and a designer toy is just like that vase of flowers, or the designer equivalent of your parent's little Lilliput Lane cottage sculpture. But I don't kid myself that any collector's item will turn into an investment, ripe for cashing when mature.

Taipei Toy Festival 2

When I experienced the Taipei Toy Fair in July, I loved it. There were so many toys and their designers and distribution companies with masses of vinyl to show. As a subculture, it was clear that even as a designer myself who has watched over the designer toy scene over the years, I'd hardly scratched the surface of the industry. I knew neither superstars nor supertoys, and which releases were exclusive or not.

Taipei Toy Festival 3

But what was clear was that there were so many styles to choose from, the designer toy market gives any creative a massive choice to suit their tastes. And I'd be naive to suggest that the market is only attractive to designers. There must be no other corner of the world outside of East Asia whose population embraces the cute and coolness of designer toy figures. I'm looking at you Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan!

But alas, while surrounded by such vinyl temptations in the East, there is only so much I can procure whilst traveling. So it is with some sheepishness that the most purchased vinyl I can reveal is the following. A simple key chain. A miniature version of the fully grown designer toy figure, Jaws Switch, from Coarse Toys. Enjoy!

Switch

More about the Taipei Toy Fair

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