In 2008, Aarting opened up a design competition using their Blankie template as the platform. They received nearly 190 design submissions from artists with varying backgrounds. Aarting opened up the voting to select a winning design, which would be produced as part of Series 1 – chosen by Aarting. The winner – Matucha - was also able to design the packaging for the line.
Blankie Series 1 consists of 12 designs from 12 different artists. The artists are from all around the globe. We received three blind boxes – yes it's a blind box series – and pulled designs by artists Menilla, Stor Dubine and PO!.
Series: Blankie Series 1
Artists: Menilla, Stor Dubine, PO!, Atomic 1970, Chupa & Cabra, Cvele, Igor Ventura, Jaoc, Jec, Matucha, McCoy, and Miss Shelby
Material: Rotocast Vinyl
Dimensions: 2.5” tall
Points of Articulation: 1 (neck)
The box art for this blind box line was designed by the contest winner – Matucha. I really like the chosen design, the Blankie figure flying in a plane. There's a weathered/aged look to the box art. You have a listing of the various designs you might pull on the sides of the box and a pamphlet that's included inside.
If you follow my reviews, it's not a surprise that I judge platform toys on a different scale – figuratively speaking. A lot has to go right in a blind box platform series for me to appreciate it. Not only do most of the designs have to be solid, but the platform needs to be attractive. And then the design and the platform need to mesh.
The Blankie platform is interesting. It has a large face area, where most of the design work is showcased. The top of the head flat. Its shelf butt would be the pride of many a rap video. And the T-Rex arms don't move...so don't try to twist them.
The three designs we received are from artists Menilla, Stor Dubine and PO! I would have liked it if Aarting included character names alongside the designers names, but it's not necessary.
The Menilla design – the little girl inside of the robot suit - is a little busy for me. There's a lot going on there. But I'm guessing it will appeal to Panda-Z collectors.
Stor Dubine's crying nun design is actually my favorite in Blankie Series 1. I love the use of religious imagery on the piece. And while this design is also a little busy, it doesn't distract from the focal point – the face.
The design by PO! looks almost minimalistic compared to the other two. It features only three colors and has a Shag feel to the design.
Quality-wise, the pad printing on the figures is pretty well done. I'm not seeing any obvious paint issues on any of the three figures. The Menilla figure rattles a little – there must be something broken off inside of her body. And watch out for the arms. They aren't supposed to move and will break off if you twist them.
OVERALL: Looking over the Blankie Series 1 designs, you'll realize that there are more hits than misses. I like it that these are all user-submitted designs and not the same rehashed characters from the usual handful of artists. The quality of the line is solid and they are priced under $10 for a blind box (kudos).
For wholesale inquiries, contact DKE Toys.
You can pick one up at the following:
Blankie Series 1 Grades
Figure Quality: 8/10
Fun Factor: 8/10
Stor Dubine: 9.0/10