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REVIEW: DIY Zukie

DIY Zukie 05

Background

Alison Perez, who also goes by the name Miss Zukie, has released her first production vinyl. The DIY Zukie is based on her handmade resin figures of the same name. You've likely seen them stuck in bottles or small, plexiglass cubes as a part of a custom diorama.

And here is how Alison describes the Zukies:

Zukies are mysterious characters that do not talk; they have thought bubbles and facial expressions. Zukies are about color. In my life color has always been a way to express feelings. i want people to understand that using the vocal fold for communicating is not necessary. Nonverbal behavior increases the bond between people and is an intimate way of communicating with each other. Zukies intend to generate emotions through their visual thoughts and thats how they create that bond with us.

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The Facts

DIY Zukie
Manufacturer: Multiways Industrial Limited
Artist: Alison Perez
Material: Rotocast Vinyl
Dimensions: 3.75” tall
Points of Articulation: 1 (Neck)
Pricing: $9.95

DIY Zukie 01

Packaging

The black, white and gray themed box features a boatload of tiny illustrated Zukies alongside the Zukie logo. There are larger illustrations, which closer resemble the toy, on the sides of the box.

The Zukie website mentions that you can not only customize the vinyl, but you can customize the box as well – color the little white Zukies with some markers.

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Our Opinion

I've always said that the most difficult toy to critique is a DIY blank. You need to both look at the design as well as imagine what an artist can do with that design. A simple design can look amazing with some production paint...similarly, a complex sculpt could fall flat as a DIY variant.

The Zukies started out as handmade resin toys. And artist Alison Perez has made sure that this vinyl production piece is a good reproduction of those original designs. Although there is a major difference...the handmade pieces have an asymmetrical (handmade) look to them, while the DIY Zukie is clean and smooth.

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With so many mini figure platforms out there, it's tough to stand out from the pack. And while I'm still not entirely sure whether the Zukies do, I like the character design. Why? It's the portly physique. It will be interesting to see what artists produce using the DIY Zukie platform.

Another thing to like is the price. At only $9.95, it's around the same price as blind box figures that are half its size. Of course, the big question is “will there be any other Zukies joining the DIY version?”

You can purchase one at the following:

Zukie Shop: $9.95

DIY Zukie Grades
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Little House Designs’ YO! Custom Contest

NintenYO

Edgar Pasten and Little House Designs is holding a contest featuring his new character - YO!

THE DETAILS:

You can pick up a blank figure for $22.00...although follow this link for a special Plastic and Plush price of $18.00.

The contest officially began on May 10th 2012. Artists will have a little over a month to customize and photograph their customized pieces. The photographs, once approved, will be posted within 12 hours of being sent in at the following sites:

www.3CoconutMonkey.com
www.LittleHouseDesigns.net
www.angrykoalagear.com

The photographs will be judged and the field will be narrowed to the top 30 by August 30th 2012. Top 30 will be invited to display their creations in person at this years Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo. There will be cash prizes, including a $250.00 grand prize.

NintenYO Custom TurboPistola

Veggie Burger Bunny

Veggie Burger Bunny

If you're a vegetarian, Joe Ledbetter and The Loyal Subjects has you covered. The 12" tall, stackable Veggie Burger Bunny, exclusive to Kidrobot, is limited to a run of only 40 pieces. Swap out that hamburger meat for a tasty veggie burger. These wood collectibles can be purchased for $300.00.

JLed will be at Kidrobot LA on Friday, June 1st 2012 between 6:00PM and 8:00PM with a limited amount of Veggie Burger Bunnies. The remaining pieces can be purchased at Kidrobot retail locations on June 7th 2012.

REVIEW: Uglydolls – Softy

Uglydolls Softy 01

Background

With Pretty Ugly expanding the world of Uglydolls into various licensed realms, and Sun-Min + David working on an upcoming feature film, it would have been easy to neglect the classic Uglydoll plush series. Luckily, we're still getting fun, new Uglydoll characters such as one of their most recent releases - Softy.

You can totally count on Softy! Softy is made out of love. Need something done in a huge hurry? Softy knows a whole bunch of other folks willing to help! Math test got you down? That’s easy! Softy has six fingers! That should be plenty! Mega personal problems? Man, Softy is all over that! See? Out of snacks? Oh…oh Softy won’t be able to hold the tears back….please hold Softy.

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The Facts

Softy
Series: Uglydolls
Manufacturer: Pretty Ugly
Artist: Sun-Min Kim and David Horvath
Material: Plush
Dimensions: 12” tall
Pricing: $20.00

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Tag

You'll get the traditional Uglydoll green swing tag featuring an illustrated version of Softy sitting on both the front and inside panels. You'll also see the above reprinted character background story on the inside panel.

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Our Opinion

There have been a number of Uglydolls released over the years. So every time I see a new character, I want to look back to compare and contrast. They're a fairly basic design, so you'd think there would be a lot of overlap in design or color choice...right?

Well, I found a few Uglys that had a very similar shade of blue, but none with Softy's ears. I didn't check out the arms or legs, but I'm fairly certain there has to be something close to that size and positioning out there. I like the combination of a blue body and green teeth. But really...who wants green teeth? I guess if they're on an Uglydoll, it's fine.

For some reason, I'm finding myself wanting to see more tans, browns and grays coming from the Uglyverse. (Luckily for me, there will be a gray Uglydoll released later this year)

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One thing that I've always wanted to survey folks about is whether you buy a specific Uglydoll because of the character design or because of the color? I tend to lean towards design, but I can see how someone would purchase an Uglydoll as part of a room décor.

As far as Softy is concerned, I think he's a solid addition to this year's lineup...but I don't think he will break into the Uglydoll Hall of Fame (Wage, Babo, Jeero, Ice-Bat – all first ballot Hall of Famers).

You can purchase one at the following:

Uglydolls.com: $20.00

Uglydolls Softy Grades

Yum Yum – Making things to make you happy…

YumYum Group

Yum Yum has opened the pre-order for their set of five (nearly 5-inch tall) toys: Cactus, Popcorn, Granny, Hot Dog and Zombie. With a shipping date expected in August 2012, the complete set is available for a special pre-order price of £60 plus shipping (it ended up running me about $120 with shipping). After August, they will be £75 plus shipping.

**Editor's Note: I can't post about these without mentioning the similarity to James Jarvis' or Will Sweeney's works. These characters just look great. I know I'm not the only one who can't wait to see them released. But they are super limited, so I'd suggest a pre-order.**

Stegoforest Last Chance

stegoforest

Jesse Narens will be retiring his Stegoforest resin figure this evening (May 25th 2012). They won't be made again, however there are a few out there available at various retailers. If you would like to purchase a resin Stegoforest and mini Battle Damaged Acorn Warrior in the color of your choice before they are gone, you can do so here for $75.00.