This October at New York Comic Con, Parsons The New School for Design and Dudebox, the UK-based vinyl collectible company, debuted toy concepts by Parsons BFA Illustration students developed through a recent collaboration. Working either on computer or by hand, students created dozens of unique characters, complete with their own complex origin stories, likes and dislikes, and even smells. The winner’s toy was placed into production by Dudebox, in addition to receiving a cash prize. I caught up with Dudebox to discuss Comic Con, the four toys debuting there, and the winner of the contest.
Michael Tresca (MT): Please tell us a little about your company.
Dudebox (DB): Dudebox is a vinyl toy company started eighteen months ago to inspire to create. We love art and creativity and want to make it accessible to a wider audience. We used to make three dimensional bottles of bubble bath under licenses such as Star Wars twenty five years ago. After retiring, we decided we wanted to have another stab at the collectible business we love.
MT: Was this your first Comic Con?
DB: Yes it was. We visited last year to check it out, and loved exhibiting and sharing in the madness which is NYCC. We are exhibiting now at London Comic Con this coming weekend also at the Excel Centre which is smaller and quieter but none the less will be a new adventure for us.
MT: What products did you debut at Comic Con? What was your most popular product?
DB: We showed our new vinyl toy releases in our 8″ models of Franken, Eugene the Geek, Tapps Aff. We also showcased a limited edition toy designed by the renowned USA artist Ron English and also a limited edition toy by the founder of this business Pete Fowler from the UK. We were also able to show our work we did with Parsons the New School for Design, where we had formed a partnership with the Toy Design department. We ran a competition to produce the best marketable toy design on a 3″ model and a prize of $2,500 which we presented to Loren Kang from the USA. Her winning model of BOB was sold on our stand and actually was a real winner along with our other new models.
MT: What makes your product unique?
DB: We have limited editions of 150 to 300 pieces maximum per design and ensure that each item has a certificate of authentication and an article on the artist.
MT: What was your favorite aspect of Comic Con?
DB: The project we did with Parsons in NY, this was a highlight for us as a business to see the new artists items on display and the winning design for sale.
MT: Any new products coming out this year?
DB: Yes we have several new 8″ models leading up to Christmas all done by well know artists in the urban art scene.
MT: Where can we find out more about you online?
DB: You can look at our website on www.dudebox.com and look at our DBTV for information on our brand and company.
MT: Any other information you’d like to provide?
DB: We are looking to the USA for fans as this vinyl toy culture is huge there and that is where the whole industry started. We have visited Los Angeles and New York to search for new artists and established artists to add to our portfolio. Dudebox offers people the opportunity to collect unique affordable models for display that should increase in value and more importantly make the customers smile.
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