By Jonathan Alexandratos
Colossal reported that the artist Tomohiro Yasui, artist and creator of Kami-Robo, has set his sights on plastic action figures. While these aren’t for mass market, Yasui’s artful creations would kill next to the Transformers and My Little Ponies on our toy shelves. I mean, check it out:
This Super Duckie came from these more typical ducks seen here:
Not into ducks? No problem. How about frogs?
A little basic surgery on a few of these cheap jumping frogs (reminiscent of some of the old Super Mario McDonald’s toys), and Yasui comes up with this:
Beyond the animal kingdom, Yasui has also made figures out of small, plastic hammers that look like they cost the least amount of tickets at a Chuck E. Cheese.
Seeing these pieces, I’m reminded just how much customizers and artists can expand our toy horizons. Whether it’s @LEK_custom_toys doing cell shading on Autobots and Decepticons on Instagram (something Hasbro would later do officially with their Walmart exclusives) or artists like Beau Dunn repurposing Barbies, creators like Yasui show us what’s possible. Of course, conversely, when their work does show up in stores on official products, I can’t help but worry that these original artists remain uncompensated for what toy corporations have translated into essentially free R&D. Given Yasui has a store for Kami-Robot, though, I hope we’ll see pieces like these sold there, if anywhere, so that the profits benefit their creator.
Special shout-out to Meredith Packer for making me aware of these delightful action figures!