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Meltdown Comics Closing April 1st

More sad news from the land of toys and comics and comedy. Meltdown Comics will be closing down beginning on April 1st 2018. The Los Angeles nerd-Mecca landmark has been ground zero for so much in the art world. While I unfortunately lost touch with Gaston in recent years, you can see how much Plastic and Plush was influenced by him and Meltdown. Just look back through our archives at everything Meltdown-related. They were one of the first galleries that we regularly covered, 10-plus years ago. In addition to comic books, art, and toys, the Comics in Meltdown's name could also be a reference to the number of comedians that made the back room their home away from home.

So, after 25 years, we say goodbye to Meltdown Comics - one of the originators.

The State of the Toy World

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you might not have seen that Toys “R” Us is going out of business (at least in the United States). One of the same players behind the downfall of Kay-Bee Toys, Bain Capital (yes, the one founded by Mitt Romney) has plunged their second leading toy store into insolvency. There is some talk about Amazon purchasing some of the stores, as well as rumors of KB Toys coming back from the dead. But I can’t imagine either of those options coming to fruition.

Growing up in the 1980’s, specialized big-box type toy stores will always have a fond place in my heart. But online giants like Amazon (and even Wal-Mart and Target) have robbed that immersive experience from this latest generation of kids.

I feel this is indicative of the entire toy industry as a whole. No one wants to take chances. Toy companies over-saturate the aisles were certain big name licenses. They’ve (I’m looking at you Hasbro) even gone towards crowd-funding projects. I understand why the artist trying to release his/her small run piece would decide to use this route, but it just seems lazy from a company like Hasbro (do some research, guys).

Previous to the Great Recession, online designer toy boutiques were thriving. Small, upstart toy companies were producing amazing pieces from artists most folks had never heard of. Heck, this site even used to have a plethora of advertisers. The recession ended all of that for a lot of people. 

Maybe it’s just that every 10 or so years, something has to shake up the toy industry. It’s cyclical. Gone are the days of the 80’s, where toy companies generated a large portion of television entertainment for use to sell them their toys the cartoons were based on. Welcome to the land of licensed toys from the latest box office hit/flop. And goodbye creativity.

H&M: Against Graffiti & Street Art

We often receive random press releases for all sorts of art-related causes, merchandise, disputes, etc. But I thought this would be one that would be of interest to readers. Personally, I'm a little torn over this. If street art is done illegally and anonymously on another person's property. Who is the owner of the art?

This week, fashion retailer H&M filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in New York, allegedly asking the court to essentially rule that any and all unsanctioned or illegal artwork, such as street art and graffiti, should be devoid of copyright protection and can be used by any brand or corporation, without any payment or even needing the artist's permission. This action taken by H&M is a full out assault on artists' rights and we must raise our voices. This could render millions of murals and important pieces of artwork worldwide completely unprotected and available for corporate use, without any payment or permission needed whatsoever.

We must not allow this company to use our artwork and appropriate our culture to sell their products, for their own financial gains, while at the same time allow them to devalue and delegitimize our artwork, our culture, and everything we work for.

This all began when H&M was caught using REVOK's artwork in an advertising campaign without permission. When REVOK asked them to stop, they responded by threatening him with criminal charges and filed this lawsuit declaring that all artists of unsanctioned artwork should be unprotected and have no rights whatsoever.

More Yummy World….

Yeah...I get it. I'm getting older, and maybe I just don't understand what the kids in the "art scene" consider trendy and hip. But I just don't get Kidrobot's Yummy World. (They did release a new array of plush Yummy World characters, retailing at $5.99 and $14.99 depending on the piece) Throw a pair of eyes and a smile on a bagel and voila! I guess if I were a huge waffle fan, I'd maybe pick up a waffle Yummy World plush...although I'd likely prefer an actual waffle that I could eat and wouldn't tease me with its lack of edibleness.