Today we shine the TTC collectors Spotlight on collector/ customizer Kara Mason aka Kaymay! With an ever-growing collection Kara’s. The collection caught our eye and we had to share with the world. It may not be the biggest, but it is filled with classics as well as great releases.
First of all, Thank you for having us interview you and taking time out to answer all our questions and taking time out. You a have a wonderful house full of awesome toy/art we are digging your coordinated display.
How did you get into designer toys?
Long story short I was on a trip to Richmond, VA with my uber eclectic aunt and uncle, they took me all around town and we ended up at a random curio shop where I found an off-brand Munny, called a Moonsky. They were blind box style figures and I was able to bring three home with me. I kept these little critters well into college before I even recognized or identified my deep love for designer vinyl let alone realizing there was an entire dedicated community for it!
It wasn’t until last year (August 2018) that I somewhat accidentally purchased a small lot of 12 Dunny’s. I was hooked. I researched Kidrobot, Superplastic and a few other larger distributors before realizing this world was far larger than I could have imagined. And here I am, a year later, consumed by this community.
Is there a specific style you collect?
If you take a quick look at my Instagram (kaymaycreates) I think it’s blatantly obvious what I typically gravitate toward. I am immediately sold on anything that utilizes vibrant colours and I commend artists who make bold and somewhat risky palette choices.
My favourite pieces are usually character-based and moderately identifiable. I have a soft spot for nostalgic characters but I *do* subscribe to the idea that there’s a “correct” way to appropriate others work.
Does it matter to you if a piece is a resin or vinyl on a purchase?
I’ve never had any personal aversions to resin or vinyl and therefore have little preference. Most of the pieces in my collection are vinyl just by coincidence and the fact that resin is usually reserved for smaller runs, whereas vinyl is used for larger production pieces. Both processes are perfectly valid and used for different things.
You customise toys and we love them! Do you have a sneak peek at what’s to come?
I do dabble in the custom world! It’s both inspiring and taxing to exist amongst countless talented artists. I’m currently working on an 8” SpaceForce Janky I’m excited about!
What got you into customising?
My passion toward customizing came from a place of both envy and admiration for artists I saw effortlessly churning out designs left and right. I truly felt like I was missing out. It’s been a frustrating yet rewarding experience and I’m learning from literally every single project I work on.
What’s your go-to the platform right now?
My go-to platform is and may always be the classic Kidrobot Dunny. Something about those sweet little ears really lends nicely to an infinite amount of designs. The size, the proportions, and the articulation of the dunny are all perfectly thought out as a platform for me plus it symbolizes the epitome of a blind box figure.
If you could have a collaboration with any artist dead or alive who would it be?
I really sat on this question for a while…..without a doubt it would be Jason Freeny. He doesn’t only wow me with his obviously unique concepts, HE, from start to finish, kicks the execution of his concepts in the ass.
Many artists “lack” in certain areas (of course myself included) be it our sculpt is sloppy or our paint jobs aren’t perfect. Mister Freeny surpasses all doubt I have in this uber technically and computer-driven world. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that many respectable artists utilize tech in their designs and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Me being a purist, however, I can’t help but gawk at Freenys traditional approach to toy making. For that, I KNOW studio time with Jason would lead to so many lessons and learning opportunities.
We see you have some stunning tattoos, any designer toy retaliated tattoos?
No toy-related tattoos……..yet. I may or may not have a list of pieces I’d get tattooed on me in a heartbeat though hehehe.
Out of your collection, which 3 has the most personal meaning to you?
I love and hate this question. I hate it because, wow, how does one choose a favourite or even three? I love it because it really challenges me to look at my collection and ask myself WHY I like each piece. If I had a gun to my head and *had* to choose I’d pick my Jason Freeny Friendly Fire, Kaws Clean Slate, and my Gary Ham 20” stag dunny. Friendly fire because it’s one of my absolute favourite Mickey Mouse related pieces. Clean Slate because it feels like a personal representation of myself as a very tried mother. And my 20” stag dunny because well…..just look at her! She’s beautiful!
Does it matter if a piece is limited or not?
The run size usually doesn’t matter at all to me unless I’m spending a considerable amount of money on the piece. There are a number of factors I take into consideration before spending X amount on anything, and while run size DOES matter a varying degree to most collectors, a large or small run size wouldn’t deter me from picking up a piece I really loved.
We love your toy photography! What do you use to shoot?
Thank you! I use my iPhone 10s! Nothing fancy. Anyone can do it.
Where do you have the most collectables in your house?
My figures live all over my home but the bulk of them stay in the main living room for all of my guests and friends to see. I take great pride in my figures and I take every chance I can to talk about them.
I’ve introduced many of my friends and family to the designer world because of this outwardly loud love I have for it!
How often do you wipe down your collection?
I don’t have a set schedule of cleaning my figures only because I am constantly moving them around. I wear gloves when I handle them (to protect against nasty hand oils) which somewhat dusts them as I handle them. But if I notice they’re particularly dusty I’ll just pull the piece down and take care of it.
You have a little one, do you like him play with some of your designer toys?
My two-year-old son is just as passionate about my collection as I am…perhaps even more! Whenever I open a package he eagerly shuffles over to “help” me unbox it. I *usually* let him handle the piece once before I put them on the shelf (with some restrictions of course) and that subdues his insatiable need to touch touch touch. With that being said, I own three Kaws Bff bootlegs that are entirely his to do with as he pleases.
What do you look for in a designer toy?
The perfect art toy for ME consists of three main characteristics. Nostalgia- this comes in a number of forms, be it an appropriation of another beloved character or nods to a more comforting time. The vibrancy, most if not all of the pieces in my collection have poppy colours. And uniqueness or newness. I don’t own pieces that all look the same but rather are cohesive with one another. They must all be distinct and easily distinguished, yet balance together.
If you had to pick one Toy for the rest of your life what would it be and why? (I don’t ever wish that would ever happen to you )
If I HAD to choose a singular toy from my collection…I’d probably choose my Kaws Clean Slate. It holds the most sentimental value and the most fiscal value. Just seems logical 🙂
Could you give us a little tour around the house/collection
You should go follow KayMay on Instagram HERE and drop her a DM if you’re interested in purchasing any of Kara’s customs.
Thank you again, Kay for doing this interview and sharing your personal collection. We appreciate the time taken to answer all the questions and giving us a glimpse into your personal life. You have a wonderful collection and wonderful style, all the best for the future.