The final location in our grand circle tour of Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, Calif., sits a bit farther away from JapanLA, Munky King, and Kidrobot. If you are into the toy show scene, there is no doubt you have heard of it. The store is none other than Toy Art Gallery!
Right when you walk into Toy Art Gallery (or TAG, for short), you are greeted by two massive Qee figures on tiered platform displays that are situated in the center of the front part of the store. I was struck by the sheer amount of shininess that the majority of the store's merchandise gave off.
The bottom part of the tiered display has items that are perhaps more mainstream and eye-catching (note: I said "perhaps") to the average customer walking down the street. One of the displays has vinyl figures like Doktor A's Humphrey Mooncalf and some of Andrew Bell's works. The other has a variety of things including a set of Shawnimals Ninja Town blind boxes.
On the right side of the store, the wall is lined with a large display cabinet full of custom figures, many of which appear to draw inspiration from Japanese culture. Seeing the Half-Baked Old Snake figure by Rohby totally made my day.
Next to the big display case is a nook (or is it cranny?) with a bunch of kaiju figures hanging from the wall as well as being displayed on a nearby shelf. I didn't have anything to display the scale but some of these monsters are pretty dang big and my camera does not do justice to some of the more neon color schemes.
On the left wall of the store, parallel to the right side's display cabinet of custom figures, is another display cabinet. This one is an odd mix of dreamlike fairy dolls and dioramas, nightmarish I-dunno-what-the-hell-these-are figures, and cute animal statues (check out the two Pecan Pals at both ends of the case in the last shot).
Next to the party mix display cabinet (and sort of parallel to the kaiju stuff) was where the plushes and general cute things are kept. This should be no big shocker, but, this was my favorite part of Toy Art Gallery. I was especially pleased to see the Ochaken and Rody plushes, along with some Gloomy Bear stuff that was more than the typical offerings.
The bigger figures and/or figures made of metal are located on the way towards the back of the store. I mentioned before that some of the kaiju figures are big but ThreeA/Ashley Wood's Heavy Bramble (shown in the first photo of this cluster) makes them look like Polly Pockets in comparison.
All of the apparel, wall artwork, and art publications are found in the back. From what I could tell, a majority of the art on display is made by artists who also work with toys. The T-shirts and hats are all of very good quality and have some designs you won't find at Old Navy or Hot Topic.
And thus ends our walkthrough of Toy Art Gallery, the final destination on our Melrose Avenue tour — Tomopop Style! Please wait until your article has come to a full and complete stop before exiting.
And for those of you who want a proper summation: Toy Art Gallery is one of the big spots to go for toys of the higher end persuasion. There is almost always an artist's showcase on display. I had unfortunately come on one of the odd days when the store was between shows but you can bet I will be back to see a TAG show in the future. I added it to my bucket list.
IF YOU GO:
Toy Art Gallery
7571 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Saturday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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