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Dunny Series 20XX: Part 1 in a series

5:00 PM on 04.16.2012 // Brian Szabelski

If Kidrobot has gotten flack for its blind-boxed Dunny series, one of the major sources of discontent (along with the ever-rising price) was that they kept going back to the same artists over and over again for their series. There was an increasing need for fresh blood, so to speak, and for a while, there were plenty of folks not satisfied with the status quo, including yours truly.

With Dunny Series 2011, some new names got into the mix, but that got me wondering: what would it be like if Kidrobot released a series featuring artists they had yet to work with in a blind-boxed Dunny release? Who would make the cut? What would it be like?

That manifested itself into a second question: who would I like to see in a Dunny series that hasn't made the cut so far? And from that came the idea for Dunny Series 20XX, a hypothetical look at one collector's fantasy Dunny series. Hit the jump and I'll explain the method behind how I came up with everything, as well as reveal the first four artists featured.

or this feature, twenty artists were selected. Five of the twenty artists selected are artists that might not be names in the custom vinyl community, but are artists from "outside" that community that I'd love to see tackle a Dunny just to add a bit of change to things. The rules for selection were simple:

1.) No artist featured in Dunny Series 20XX may have released an official Kidrobot 3-inch Dunny previously, be it part of a series or as an individual piece.

2.) That's it.

Unfortunately, due to poor timing on my part, one of my original 20 selections -- Chauskoskis (a.k.a. Walter Jacott) -- released a 3-inch Dunny last month. That, of course, eliminated Walter from consideration for the feature and meant I had to go dig around and find a replacement. So first off, congrats to Walter on being recognized for his work ... and sorry I had to bump you off the list.

Add in a random sorting of names, and the five-part series is ready to begin right ... aboooooooooooout ... now:

I was tempted to simply point to Gary Ham's award-winning custom Munny for the Munnyworld contest, Drummy, and just leave it at that, but that wouldn't be fair. He might not go as complex as, say, Kronk's Wingnut character from Dunny Series 2011, but the simple look of Gary's creations really appeal to me. You can see the various basic shapes that go into his designs and how they all mesh together to create something that stands out.

Gary's already done work with DYZplastic's Android series and has churned out releases like the awesome Hermees. I think it's only a matter of time before Gary Ham ends up in a Kidrobot Dunny series ... so better to play prophet now and look smart in the future, right?

... Okay, that's not the only reason why. If the Android series has proven anything, it's that Gary Ham can take the same basic platform and find new, wonderful ways to work with it. I'd love to see what he can do with the Dunny.

Kidrobot's most recent King of the Boards is another logical choice for future Dunny releases and another favorite artist of mine. Known for his attention to detail and texture, J*RYU's creations frequently dip into the world of fantasy or the mythical. Yet at the same time, they have this unique, antique feel to them, and while a 3-inch production Dunny might not be able to capture all of the magic, I feel as though it could grab enough of it to be something special. After all, J*RYU has a way of working with platforms to create something you might not have expected, so who's to say he can't work his magic again here?

It didn't take long for Yosiell Lorenzo to make his mark in the vinyl world. One of the scene's rising stars, Yosiell has recently spent time working on his Sicklings resin series, its actually his recent illustration work and his Project Detonate projects that drew my attention to including him on the list. The explosion of color in some of his Project Detonate customs is eye-catching (along with the fact that some of Yosiell's customs look sweet enough to eat), while his more recent illustrations keep some of that design, but in a more somber tone. Either style would work well as part of this series, namely the more somber work that might provide an opposite to the brighter, happier works of Gary Ham and others to be revealed.

The first "outside" artist to make the cut comes from Japan, and to fans of kaiju, Gargamel need no introduction. One of the leaders of the neo-kaiju movement, they've spent the better part of the last decade pushing the boundaries of what a vinyl figure can be.

But why pick Gargamel when they are known for their kaiju? It has less to do with the fact that Kidrobot has opened up the Dunny platform and is allowing a bit more leeway in the sculpting: it is the fact that their designs are often creative and rarely duplicated, and that the Gargamel crew are talented traditional artists in their own right. I have no doubt they could do the same with the Dunny platform, which at times has desperately needed that push into more exciting paths.

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Brian Szabelski, Editor-in-Chief
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Brian Szabelski is Tomopop's Editor-in-Chief, stuck with an ever-growing collection of figures and toys. When he's not posting on Tomopop, he can usually be found working on any number of project... more   |   staff directory

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