REVIEW: NTF’s B-KAWZ
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 . . .
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.