The New York Times recently labelled Bootleg Toys’ collecting as ‘an art form born of nostalgia.’
G.I. Joe soldiers, plastic Master of the Universe barbarians and Star Wars figurines, and all sorts of other comic books and horror movies’ characters were the usual 1980s teen bedroom’s staples and they have, in recent years, become as collectable as highly valued pieces of art work.
In fact, the ongoing discussion as to whether these iconic items should be seen as artwork or simply as vintage toys, is somewhat of a delicate matter as many see the skill, production and dedication involved in producing these items comparable to those invested in the making of art.
Well-established and up-and-coming artists alike have, in recent years, added their own views on the subject by producing new pieces, packaging and all, not only to reminisce about their childhoods but also to elevate the appreciation of these toys to incredibly thoughtful pieces of art.
What once was the supremacy of large toy companies has now become the realm of artisans and artists who will spend countless hours designing, moulding, casting and packaging plastic and resin collectible figurines that not only make us recall our 70s and 80s childhoods but also bring about contemporary, esoteric, philosophical and political statements.
T.O.Y, Totems of Youth shows a selection of both classic and new pieces produced by Ryan Callanan as well as pieces by the godfathers of toy collecting such as Ron English, Anthony Lister, Frank Kozik, Suckadelic or Trap Toys, to name a few.
All pieces available for sale by Ryan Callanan can be seen below. All other pieces both by Ryan and other toy-making artists can be seen at our gallery from April 6th until April 18th.
April 6th - 18th, 2019
Showcasing original toys by: