Navigate / search

REVIEW: NTF’s B-KAWZ

NTF B KAWS 11

Background

The latest vinyl figure from Necessaries Toy Foundation is called B-KAWZ:

B-KAWZ there isn't enough shit at Comicon already. B-KAWZ you are not a very discerning toy collector. B-KAWZ absolutely everyone bastardizes everyone else. B-KAWZ art imitating art is still art, geddit?

Call it what you will, is it a blatant rip-off or a noble tribute? We at Necessaries Toy Foundation consider it a homage to two successful and very respected artists.

It is also commentary and parody.

Is it an original idea? We think it is, but only in an esoteric sense. In fact, it is a very original idea if you are a lateral thinker.

Appropriator? Perpetrator? Instigator?
It is what it is, and I yam what I yam.

B-KAWZ is a metaphor du jour. Merely this and nothing more . . .

NTF B KAWZ 04

The Facts



B-KAWZ: Appropriating the Appropriator
Manufacturer: Necessaries Toy Foundation
Material: Rotocast vinyl
Dimensions: 11” tall
Points of Articulation: Zero
Edition Size: 250 pieces (Gold Edition)
Pricing: $100.00
 

NTF B KAWZ 01
NTF B KAWZ 10

Packaging

The B-KAWZ vinyl figure comes packaged in a large box that features a dissected illustration of the character over the various side panels. (It’s not as elaborate as some of the recent releases from NTF.) On the inside, the figure is secured between a pair of snapping clear plastic trays.

NTF B KAWZ 03

Our Opinion

Since KAWS is ultimately known for “reworking” other artists’ creations (Mickey Mouse, Michelin Man, Pinocchio, The Smurfs, The Simpsons, etc), it’s ironic and fitting that someone did the same thing to him. Hence…Appropriating the Appropriator. It’s minimally transforming a pre-existing artwork that was minimally transformed by another artist from its original state. So even though it looks like a KAWS piece…it isn’t.

NTF B KAWZ 05

The B-KAWZ vinyl is essentially Popeye with a KAWS head, squishing a KAWS Bendy. If you’ve skipped ahead and checked out the final grades, you might be asking, “Why is this deserving of a 10/10 for originality?” Well, I’m trying to think of another time a production toy has made fun of an artist and their penchant for manipulating other artists’ works. Based on that…I think it’s a pretty original idea.

NTF B KAWZ 09

Also, it’s well produced. The B-KAWZ figure is actually made up of three individual pieces: the main figure, a pipe that fits into a hole near the mouth, and a smushed KAWS Bendy that perfectly fits his right shoe. While the solid gold colorway looks nice, I always like something with a little bit of paint. And paint can always change the overall grade – for better or worse.

NTF B KAWZ 02

This might be one of the first “designer” toys where there’s no discernable designer. We know the artist that B-KAWZ is attempting to imitate (KAWS)…and we know the artist that artist is attempting appropriate (E.C. Segar)…but I have a feeling that all of the people listed on the packaging - Two-Bit Johnny (idea); Narwhal Camaro and Rave Duress (sculpting); Nic Romancer (design) – are pseudonyms.

NTF B KAWZ 06

This is the 12th release from Necessaries Toy Foundation. And while collectors often have to wait more time for an NTF release than - say - a release from Kidrobot, oftentimes, this makes it feel a little more special. There wasn’t a ton of hype leading up to the release of the B-KAWZ vinyl, but I feel that it’s one of their smarter productions. And sometimes when art and/or toys make you think or laugh to yourself…that’s a good thing.

For wholesale inquiries, contact DKE Toys.

To pick one up, check out the following:

Not many shops have this guy in stock, so you might need to search the secondary market.

NTF B KAWZ Grades
NTF B KAWZ 12
NTF B KAWZ 07
NTF B KAWZ 08

B-KAWZ – Appropriating the Appropriator

B KAWS Gold 1

B-KAWZ - Appropriating the Appropriator is a parody of a parody of someone else's art.

B-KAWZ there isn't enough shit at Comicon already
B-KAWZ you are not a very discerning toy collector
B-KAWZ absolutely everyone bastardizes everyone else
B-KAWZ art imitating art is still art, geddit?

B KAWS Gold 2

Necessaries Toy Foundation considers B-KAWS an homage to two successful and very respected artists. Look for the 11" tall vinyl figure to begin hitting retailers soon. This Gold Edition is limited to a run of 250 pieces and should sell around $100.00.

For wholesale inquiries, contact DKE Toys.

B KAWS Gold 3

REVIEW: Sundae Girls – I Want Candy

NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 01

Background

The designer toy world has seen more than its' share of vaporware (or whatever the vinyl equivalent of it is called). Many thought that Fawn Gehweiler's Sundae Girls would never see the light of day - there was that July 17th 2006 post on the Necessaries Toy Foundation blog stating a release would be “Soon”. But we all should have learned that NTF and Long Gone John won't let collectors down.

The first of the three previewed Sundae Girls (they were called Candy Girls back in '06) is named I Want Candy. Sculpted by Dave Pressler, and based on Fawn's artwork, this is the 9th figure sculpt to be released by Necessaries Toy Foundation.

NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 07

The Facts

I Want Candy
Series: Sundae Girls
Manufacturer: Necessaries Toy Foundation
Artist: Fawn Gehweiler
Sculpted by: Dave Pressler
Material: Rotocast Vinyl
Dimensions: 14” tall
Points of Articulation: 6 (neck, arms, waist, knees - at the socks)
Edition Size: 500 pieces
Pricing: $68.95

NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 03

Packaging

The box packaging features a large illustration of the “I Want Candy” character from Fawn Gehweiler on the front. The entire box is designed in a pink theme (much like the doll itself). Inside, the figure is secured between a pair of plastic trays.

NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 02

Our Opinion

If there are two things that Necessaries Toy Foundation is known for, it would be: 1. They make very large vinyl figures, and 2. They sort of work on their own schedule. With that said, they do eventually produce the toys they show off...as we see with the 6 year gap between preview and release.

NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 12

Of course, the first question you're likely to ask is “Was it worth the wait?” I'd respond that after six years, you're probably not still sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for a toy to be released. But fans of Fawn Gehweiler's art and fans of big-eyed girls with pink hair will definitely like this piece.

I don't think it perfectly captured the illustrated basis for the vinyl, which is shown on the box's lid. But that's not entirely an awful thing. The figure stands alone very well (figuratively and literally...although we'll get to that). I'd say that the vinyl I Want Candy is about 70% correct when comparing to the illustrated version. (That would mainly stem from her hairstyle and the positioning of her eyes)

NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 10

So let's look at production quality. Again, this is a 14” tall rotocast vinyl figure. And while it stands fine now, over time, because of heat, sunlight, etc., you might need to start using a doll stand to prevent her falling over. (Remember the Camille Rose Garcia vinyl dolls from NTF) I did notice on this specific piece that one leg is slightly longer than the other, although it didn't impact balance or posing.

NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 09

The paint work is slightly above average for a figure of this size and price. The work on the face, especially around the eyes, is really well done. And I like that NTF duplicated the illustrated look by tinting her elbows and knees in pink. The only paint issue I noticed was a yellow discoloration on the front of her shirt.

NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 16

Some other notables I want to point out are that the lollipop is indeed removable from her hand. And the skirt for the I Want Candy vinyl is made of pliable plastic and can be twisted around. For a 14” tall vinyl figure that's less than $70, I think if you like the character...you'll be happy with I Want Candy. (By the way...show of hands...who think this looks just like Holly Stanway, creator of the Caveys?)

For wholesale inquiries, contact DKE Toys.

You can pick one up at the following:

Tainted Visions: $68.95

NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy Grades
NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 17
NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 15
NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 14
NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 13
NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 11
NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 08
NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 06
NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 05
NTF Sundae Girls I Want Candy 04

NTF + Fawn = Sundae Girls – I Want Candy

NTF Fawn Sundae 1

Six years after unveiling Fawn Gehweiler's first vinyl toy, Necessaries Toy Foundation is ready to release the Sundae Girls. I Want Candy is the first of the Fawn's three Sundae Girls figures sculpted by Dave Pressler. Like everything NTF, this figure is big - standing nearly 14 inches tall with 5 points of articulation.

The figure is a limited edition of 500 figures. Look for I Want Candy to retail around $69.00. For wholesale inquiries, contact DKE Toys

NTF Fawn Sundae 2

REVIEW: The Black Doll

NTF Black Doll 08
NTF Black Doll 09

Background

A life-long friend of Edward Gorey's made The Black Doll for him in 1942. Gorey visited her while she was making it, and upon seeing it insisted on keeping it in its unfinished state, lacking a face, arms and clothing. In spite of her objection, Edward Gorey prevailed. It may be the first recorded instance of Gorey's enduring dedication to engaging the imagination. The incomplete Black Doll has remained a recurring enigma for almost 70 years appearing in many of Gorey's books and drawings as well as being the subject of his silent screenplay. This is the first time The Black Doll has been produced for Edward Gorey's devoted following.

Apparently, the project took several years to complete. Since Edward Gorey passed away in 2000, Necessaries Toy Foundation had to deal with his estate. Also, they wanted to get the production of this piece absolutely perfect. Long Gone John of NTF calls the release of The Black Doll “possibly (his) proudest moment with Necessaries Toy Foundation”.

NTF Black Doll 05

The Facts



Edward Gorey's The Black Doll
Manufacturer: Necessaries Toy Foundation
Artist: Edward Gorey
Prototype: Purple Flavor (Shane Geil and Jenifer Vidaurreta)
Material: Plush - Felt
Dimensions: 13.5” tall
Edition Size: 2,000 pieces
Pricing: $45.00

NTF Black Doll 01

Packaging

For years now, Necessaries Toy Foundation has been producing some of the best packaging in the vinyl toy universe. But with their first plush release, they've produced what could be considered the best plush packaging ever.

The large rectangular box features an illustration of the Black Doll on the top, with illustrated scenes on each end. There's also the above rewritten background story on the side of the lid.

Inside, the plush sits on a bed of red shredded paper. There is also a postcard-sized insert that details some of the Black Doll production information and character history.

NTF Black Doll 04

Our Opinion

My first thought when seeing The Black Doll was “Oh...that's it?” The plush looks very simple. It's just a body, head and two legs. The legs are stitched on to the body, and The Black Doll is, well, completely black. There is the white vinyl transfer Edward Gorey signature on one of The Black Doll's legs.

NTF Black Doll 11

Even though the design is simple, Necessaries Toy Foundation made sure they had plush experts (Purple Flavor) involved with the project. And more importantly, all of the materials used are of high quality and the stitching is near perfect. That's key because The Black Doll is very asymmetrical (as you can see when looking at the illustrated version).

So why does The Black Doll plush run $45? A lot of that is due to the presentation. The packaging tells a story. If The Black Doll was simply tagged, I'd say it's a $15 piece. But NTF knows that a lot of collectors like a well-presented toy. And if there's anything that Necessaries is well-known for, it's their packaging acumen.

NTF Black Doll 06

This piece will appeal to fans of Edward Gorey's illustrated books and gothic artwork . Since this is the first collectible toy that I have ever seen from the late artist, I feel that his hardcore fan base will ultimately want to own a Black Doll plush. But the simpleness of the plush and beautiful packaging might appeal to your ordinary plush collector.

For wholesale inquiries, contact DKE Toys.

You can pick one up at:

GoreyStore.com: $45.00

NTF Black Doll Grades
NTF Black Doll 02
NTF Black Doll 03
NTF Black Doll 07
NTF Black Doll 10
NTF Black Doll 12

NTF + Edward Gorey – The Black Doll

NTF The Black Doll

Necessaries Toy Foundation, in conjunction with the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, will release The Black Doll. The 13" tall doll will be a limited edition of 2,000 pieces. Look for these to begin hitting retailers at around $45.00 each. For wholesale inquiries, contact DKE Toys.

And for more information, Annie Owens of Hi-Fructose has written up a great background story on the doll:

A life-long friend of Edward Gorey's made The Black Doll for him in 1942. Gorey visited her while she was making it, and upon seeing it insisted on keeping it in it's unfinished state, lacking a face, arms and clothing. In spite of her objection, Gorey prevailed. It may be the first recorded instance of Gorey's enduring dedication to engaging the imagination.

The incomplete Black Doll has remained a recurring enigma for almost 70 years appearing in many of Gorey's books and drawings as well as being the subject of his silent screenplay. This is the first time The Black Doll has been produced for Edward Gorey's devoted following.

Antoinette the Sympathy Girl

ant symp

Necessaries Toy Foundation has released this great new colorway of the long sold out 2002 Sympathy for the Records Industry logo figurine - Antoinette the Sympathy Girl. This 16" tall rotocast vinyl figure is based on Pablo's art and sculpted by Nathan Cabrera.

This variant of Antoinette is limited to a run of 300 pieces worldwide. Look for this figure to retail around $40. For wholesale inquiries, contact DKE Toys.

REVIEW: Mark Ryden’s YHWH

IMG_8579

Background

Mark Ryden is one of the most popular contributors to the lowbrow art scene. And since there is such crossover between the designer toy world and lowbrow art, for years, collectors have been clamoring for some sort of original Ryden art toy. And after three years, a pair of manufacturers and dozens of prototypes, we have our first (and probably only) Mark Ryden vinyl figure.

Teaming up with Long Gone John and Necessaries Toy Foundation, Ryden has released one of the most anticipated pieces of this year - YHWH. Based on the painting of the same name, the large pink vinyl figure has his fans in a frenzy.

IMG_8578
IMG_8584
IMG_8585
IMG_8588

The Facts



YHWH
Manufacturer: Necessaries Toy Foundation
Artist: Mark Ryden
Material: Rotocast Vinyl
Height: 17”
Points of Articulation: Zero
Edition Size: 2,000 pieces (numbered on the bottom and box)

Read more

Mark Ryden and NTF’s YHWH

SYMPATHYVOL11

Hi Fructose and Brian McCarty dropped a bombshell on us. But it's a good kind of bombshell. Long Gone John and his Necessaries Toy Foundation are back (had they ever left?) and previewing their upcoming Mark Ryden piece - YHWH. Based on Ryden's painting of the same name, this amazing figure is bound to be one of our personal favorites.

Yhwhpaint

While the pictured - pink - vinyl will be the standard edition, there are plans for two special edition versions (black - 80 pieces and white - 80 pieces). Look for these to be released in the summer of 2009. And for more information about the figure and the photoshoot, check out the Hi-Fructose blog.

RYDENBOX