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Vinyl Japanese Toys

Updated on November 14, 2008

Vinyl Japanese Toys - A Collector's Dream!


Vinyl Japanese Toys are all the rage right now . So why have they become so in fashion?

Modern terms like urban vinyl are used to describe designer toys, depicting action figures made from vinyl.

Although the term is sometimes used to describe a designer toy , and yet not all such toys can be referred to as urban vinyl, but due to the way these toys are produced urban vinyl figures are in reality designer toys.

Vinyl Japanese toys are uniquely created, small production numbers ,and marketed to discerning collectors.

The urban vinyl trend was first, thought to have been initiated by the celebrated artist Michael Lau of Hong Kong, who began creating vinyl Japanese toys in the late 1990's.

The distinguished Japanese designer of vinyl figures Takashi Murakami, work has been featured in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo and in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Famous throughout the art world Murakami's work is always much in demand.

Stefan Edis, a Chicago art collector is reputed to have paid an astonishing $567500 for a life-size fibreglass cartoon figure entitled Missko2. And Francois Pinault the famous Chriistie's auction house owner paid around $1.5 million for Tongarikun, another fibreglass figure standig some 30 feet tall it is said. and four accompanying fibreglass mushroom figures, that were part of an installation at Rockefeller Center.

The most famous of the Murakami's acquisitions was that of the Lonesome Cowboy which sold for $15.2 million in May 2008 at a Sotheby's auction.

Urban vinyl toy figures are primarily designed by musicians,illustrators and graffiti artists living in urban areas especiially in Japan and Hong Kong. North America (especially the United States), and Europe.

An offshoot of the hip-hop and youth-centric popular culture, urban vinyl represents real-life figures from Asian and American culture , particularly artists who perform in a hip-hop or related styles .

Another unique feature is that a VInyl Japanes toy may be designed by a single artist,including elements such as the shape, colthing and painting, or one artist may create a sculpt for a figure and another artist may apply paint and other finishing details.

Some pieces are notably a collaborative effort, with sometimes as many as 12 different artists contributing to the final design.

Urban vinyl is commonly designated as either Japanese or Eastern Vinyl, including anything designed and produced in Asia or Australia, or as Western Vinyl if designed and produced in America and Europe.

Collector's avidly seek out these Vinyl Japanese Toys as sometimes rare pieces can fetchr hundreds if not thousand of dollars making them much sought-after.

As with the term Designer toys these extremely collectible figures are produced in limited editions as few as 50 or as many as 2000 pieces may be available and a must for the savvy collector.


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