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Vinyl Toys: Invasion of the Color Snatchers

Vinyl Toys: Invasion of the Color Snatchers

People that have been in love with toys have likely been in love with them for a long time. That is the heart of many of today's premier vinyl designers, which may be the reason for the bold statements they make in both design and color. For those of you unfamiliar with this popular trend, you may be startled to find what an intense source of color and beauty the designer vinyl toy universe can offer.

Vinyl Toys
img by delarge

Designer vinyl started to pop up around 1990. It was coming from radically different sources: Some designers were classically trained in art and design, while others were self taught. My own personal discovery of designer vinyl started with Toy2r's Qee bears, around 1997. The 2" bear shaped toy with Mickey Mouse ears quickly became a ubiquitous symbol of designer vinyl, not to mention a great inspiration for artists everywhere. By taking something as simple as a toy and projecting art onto it, a new creation was born -- a highly accessible art form to people of all ages and backgrounds.

vinyl and plush toys
img by Andy Woo

The look quickly caught on and spread to other forms of toy art. "Designer plush" was true to the same artistic ideals as designer vinyl, but made use of the medium to make its own unique statement. One of the most popular plush designers is Friends with You, a Miami based company that is heavily inspired by Miami's strong design aesthetic. These toys have also become highly collectible and much sought after, making it cool to have a shelf of "stuffed animals" in the house again.

img by revlimit

The vinyl toy culture is flourishing more strongly than ever today, with popular websites such as Vinyl Pulse keeping fans up to date on the latest releases. The culture has also spawned a rabid custom fanbase, as many of the sculpts are sold in plain white and encourage you to customize to your heart's content. The creativity with use of color simply explodes here -- one can't help but feel as if this is the very core of the trend itself. It's exciting to see a culture fueled with such a passion for art and creativity, but the consistent use of vivid color is perhaps the most inspiring part of all.

Some Colorful Urban Art Toys

Designer Vinyl Toys
img by Sergio Recabarren

Uncle Leon Vinyl Toy
img by Andy Woo

img by claspingwalnut

new Baby Treesons toys
img by Andy Woo

Misery Girl: Cherry Girl (Limited Edition Vinyl Figure)
img by Lynt

custom painted_vinyl toy
img by smallandround

Two-faced dunnies
img by ffi

vinyl toy couple
img by Andy Woo

img by fabrico

img by Bigshot Toyworks

Tamo art toys
img by Andy Woo

img by ffi
Title img by Subkernel.

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Showing 1 - 28 of 28 Comments


these are soooo cool :D


Cool stuff. thanks for sharing


I think this is my favorite blog in a whole, so much wonderful color. and I love the Munny :D


I love this post! I have many of the vinyl toys at home, especially the smorkin' labbits (the picture by claspingwalnut) The colors are wonderful. This really made my day!


who doesn't love a blank dunny waiting the marks of a creative influence?


Great post! I think it is my favorite so far. I couldn't help myself but make some palettes inspired by it. i just HAD to!

ToylandExplosion of FunPlaytime!


Great post! Anyone interested in toys, designer-toys or designer-plush should also check out Dreamlets: http://www.dreamlets.com


A very inspiring invasion!

Sweaty Twerp
Omocha I
Omocha II
Omocha III


I received a munny as a going to college present over the summer but I have yet to customize it. I'm waiting for that perfect bit of inspiration to strike to dive in.

great article, loveeeee those vinyl toys.


I'm loving the creativity in these. I've come across a lot of examples during my searches for more work like mine (which is pretty different from this work) and it's so fun!



they're very cute, but i guess i just don't get it. why is the article called "Invasion of the Color Snatchers"?


soooooo lovely.i wanna get it.love it.


Ooo, where can we get ourselves some of those colourful little figurines?


Great post! I too would love to know where we can get these wonderful toys :)


Huh, I've never heard of these before. And, yes they do feature fantastic colors!


Oh, I love these dolls! Someday I'll have a toy army like in the top photo over my desk. :D

Toy Army

Colette Bennett

Hi all, I'm so happy everyone enjoyed the article. To buy these toys and many like them, check out sites like Kid Robot.com and MunkyKing.com. You can also check out Vinyl Pulse, the toy blog I mentioned above - they are likely to have many ads for retailers. Last but not least, I'm launching my own designer toy blog called Tomopop.com early next month, so if enjoy the culture come check us out!

Just Perfect Color

Too much fun! And not even high tach!


Don't collect them all!
Choose one of each color and have a rainbow on your desk!
or buy anyone of anything and paint them a color each.
(i'll send a pix of wat im tokin about)
IT'S GREAT, for colour lovers ovcurse.


If you love toys I hope you'll love this... KeyBotz (a Swedish vinyl toy concept) is launching in Autumn/Winter 2008. Check out the Facebook group!!! (And join (^_^))



Dreamagent 2

I am so in love with these creatures that I too have made some palettes & attached pictures if you want to see them.




Some of my own toys


Dreamagent 2

Attached above is one of the pictures I used with this palette



Right up our alley.. interested in great limited edition vinyl toys and other fun design oriented products? come check us out.. Artransmitte we're always on the look out for great colours and design ;)

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