Diamond Previews Introduces Designer Toys Section In February

by Jay Cochran
January 24, 2007
Beginning with its February 2007 issue, Previews - Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly catalog for comic shop retailers and readers - will add a new section spotlighting one of the most vibrant emerging trends in pop-culture collectibles: Designer Toys, all designed or inspired by a broad range of contemporary artists.

In addition to the print catalog, the new section can be accessed online as a PDF via the Previews website at https://previews.diamondcomics.com/support/previews_docs/DesignerToys/Feb07DesignerToys.pdf

The new section will also include an Artist Spotlight each month featuring hot artists and their views on the Designer Toy Genre. In future issues, Previews will focus on the D.I.Y. (Do-It-Yourself) branch of Designer Vinyl, as well as offer limited edition exclusives from some of the biggest artists from around the globe.

"We anticipate the reception for these items to be overwhelming, seeing how this worldwide phenomenon continues to grow, crossing the lines between art, design, sports, music and entertainment," said Diamond Purchasing Director of New Business Development Kevin Winnik. "We are excited to work with such innovative and creative people and look forward to offering products that not only capture the imagination but explore what lies beyond."

Leading the section's debut will be two Previews Exclusive items: Joe Ledbetter's "Toxic Swamp Dog" Qee 8" Vinyl Figure (limited to just 504 pieces worldwide) from Toy2R; and Touma's "Baby Hellhound" 8" Black Version Plush (a variation on the famed artist's canine creation, limited to 500 pieces worldwide) from Play Imaginative.

The balance of the section contains equally diverse and unique items designed to attract discerning toy customers:

- In addition to Toy2R's Previews Exclusive, Joe Ledbetter's art also enlivens his 2.5" "Toxic Swamp" Series #2 Toys. The company also offers two new series of its Qee 2.5" figures, including "Spacebot" Series 1 & 2 toys designed by the artist Dalek, and the "Ox-Op" Series #3 toys with designs by Ledbetter, Gary Taxali, Junko Mizuno, Jeff Soto and many others. Toy2R is also soliciting Baby Qee 3" "Do-It-Yourself" Custom Angel Figures (which allows toy lovers to decorate their own blank figures) and 3.5" Devil Bear Vinyl Figures (featuring Devil versions of the Angel figures).

- Along with its Previews Exclusive, Play Imaginative unleashes a jet black version of the Dekoboko Boys Vinyl Figure Set, the first release of a new collaboration between two Japanese design collectives Devilrobots and Furi Furi. Play Imaginative also offers Series 3 of its popular Trexi Figures. These 3" canvas toys with articulated limbs and unique rotating heads that allow for multiple facial expressions have four brand-new heads Egg, Horn, Cat, and Square in rare and super-rare designs from artists and corporate brands alike, plus packaging art designed by Australian artist Jeremyville.

- From Dreamland Toyworks comes four Carl Jones' Hoodiez Vinyl Figures, 4"- 8" tall creations by one of the producers of the acclaimed Cartoon Network Adult Swim series The Boondocks, and the illustrator of Aaron McGruder's syndicated daily The Boondocks comic strip. Each character is limited in production to just 1,500 pieces; they are artworks that are not intended for children. Dreamland also treats horror lovers to the 8" "My Lil' Cthulhu" Vinyl Figure (created by Dork Tower creator John Kovalic and featuring two tiny victims that pull apart to show their insides) and a complementary Little Victims & Little Minions Vinyl Figure Set.

- Strangeco's MARS-1 "Invisible Plan" Mini-Figures brings a celebrated group of paintings of San Francisco artist MARS-1 to life as a set of 12 original, inter-dimensional beings cast in two color schemes. Strangeco also offers four Cactus Friends Vinyl Figures - Bastardino, Sabochan, Sandy and Polpettina - from the hot new art brand "tokidoki" created by Italian artist Simone Legno.

- Max Toy Company LLC offers Bwana Spoons' Edward the Gator Vinyl Figure, a 5.25" soft vinyl figure with a removable Butterfly Net, opening Shoulder Bag and articulation at the neck, arms, hands, legs and tail.

- Last year's Toy of the Year Awards Winner, Uglydolls follows up that success with three additions to its blockbuster line - Toodee, Big Toe and Ninja Ice Bat. Each is available as a 12" Plush, Clip-On, 7" Little Ugly, or 24" Plush.

The new section also offers designer toy enthusiasts a number of magazines dedicated to these new collectibles, and to related happenings in the worlds of art and pop-culture. These include such widely known publications as Juxtapoz (devoted to modern and underground art and style), Giant Robot (celebrating Asian and Asian-American pop-culture), Playtimes (examining the hottest urban vinyl toys and events), and Hi-Fructose Toysploitation (the critically acclaimed chronicle of "under-the-counter culture").

Readers will also find a host of books covering every facet of the designer toy/art toy trend in the new section, which offers volumes from Abrams, Harper Collins Publishers, Random House and Prestel Publishing this month.

All Designer Toys products offered in the February Previews are scheduled to ship beginning in April 2007. Please refer to the catalog for the Suggested Retail Prices of individual items.
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