Designer Con 2011: The Other Vinyl
November 6, 2011
— beastlies, bughouse, Designer Con 2011, sawdust bear, vinyl art toys
Having missed Comic Con and Adult Con (intentional joke), I checked out the sixth annual Designer Con in Pasadena, California. Originally called the Vinyl Toy Network, “Designer” remains a wee misnomer as the 90 vendors are still largely collectible toy designers and manufactures. The show still proved fun and quirky. Where else can one meet Stinky Poo, Putrid Pal, and CO2 Monsters? Plus, seeing guys and girls wearing those ridiculous animal hood/tail thingees was stranger than any imagined creature.
The general theme of these adult designer toys is the yin/yang of the cute + grotesque. Many creative processes seemed to start from an original illustration, which manifests into portable mediums like plush, figurines, dolls, posters, pins, and t-shirts. Highly detailed, film studio level sculptures impressed me the most. Long live these independent, creative entrepreneurs. Sawdust Bear (grody monsters in science jars), Beastlies (adoro monsters), and BugHouse (funky home furnishings) won my Top Three.
Seeing artists directly illustrating a character in a fan’s sketch book made me wish for my sketch book.. for next year.