Show and Tell: J*RYU's Sanctum Dunny - tomopop

Show and Tell: J*RYU's Sanctum Dunny

4:00 PM on 06.15.2012

Brian Szabelski


From back in March, you might remember that we posted a teaser of J*RYU's Sanctum Dunnys. Coincidentally, this weekend he's doing a Mega Munny painting session at Kidrobot Los Angeles, but these 12 guys are just as rare as the Mega Munny this weekend, special one-offs made for the Army of Snipers Little Lotus project that J*RYU was part of. 

One of the 12? Well, it's mine. And I'd like to show you guys all of the Sanctum Dunny's little secrets.


Tip: swipe to browse, use your arrow keys, or hover to pause

First, there's the box mine came in. It's a black, circular box, weathered a bit and made of a thin, lightweight wood. The heart shape on the front has J*RYU's name on it, just so you know who it's from.

Inside of that box is a fine, velvety black fabric, which is wrapped around something special ...

That, of course, would be the Sanctum Dunny. Standing 3 inches tall, the outward appearance gives off a look we're accustomed to seeing from Jesse. There's a wood-grained texture sculpted onto the surface, painted black, with chains wrapping around the ears and across the Dunny's face. Smack dab in the middle is a silver skull, as if this is some kind of pirate's treasure chest. It looks, as you might expect, even nicer up-close:

There's a bit of weathering at play here with the paint, intended to give it a bit of an antique, distressed look. That's not uncommon at all for a J*RYU piece, and it looks good here as well.

On the back side of the head, you can see that the chains do wrap all the way around the ears, as the wood pattern comes around the entire figure, creeping up like branches or tentacles along the backside of the Dunny head. The tail has been turned into a little tree branch nub, while the shoulders get the same wood-tone treatment (and are awfully pointy).

On the bottom side? Well, it's J*RYU's signature, of course! Also there is the year each one was made.

But perhaps you've noticed that the pattern changes from the front of the Dunny's face to its backside. Maybe you even see a seam. If you do, you're very observant, because there's a surprise inside:

I wasn't expecting to see an oni's face inside my Sanctum Dunny! Having known Jesse for a while, I know that he loves using mythological creatures in his work, too, so perhaps I should have seen it coming. The face is hand sculpted and painted. It's also ridiculously tiny, as it fits inside the Dunny's hollowed out head. Everything is held together by two magnets, allowing you to display it either open-faced like this or closed like in the header.

Now, my Dunny had one small problem: the magnet came unglued in shipping, but it didn't damage anything on the inside. I just have to (VERY CAREFULLY) glue it back to the proper place. I haven't done that quite yet as I want to set aside some time first to figure out how the magnet should be resting inside the head.

And here's a close-up so you can see some of the work on the face. It looks a lot better than my camera might allow it to, trust me!

Ultimately, that US$100 I plunked down months ago for the Kickstarter turned out to be a great investment, especially considering how much J*RYU pieces normally go for! Not only did I get a cool custom Dunny to add to my collection from an artist whose work I like, but I got to help out some kids in southeast Asia, too. So, in the end, I think everyone is a winner ... but I'm the one with the cool Dunny.

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Brian Szabelski
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