Back in February of this year, The Toy Chronicle were happy to reveal that The Bots were working in collaboration with our pals at Urban Vinyl Daily to produce their first production vinyl figure – Luna! Ten months later we are proud to announce that Luna has landed at TTC HQ in all her glorious vinyl glory! Luna is simply delightful.
There are three original colourway of Luna available. Kickstarter Exclusive Green (which TTC received above). Original Purple and a Retail Blue colourway (see below).
Let’s take a closer look at the KS Exclusive Luna, shall we? Luna stands at around 6inches tall from foot to the highest branch and has a length of 9 1/2 inches from branch tip to branch tip. The paint job with the Luna we received is rather good. The sculpt by David Arshawsky is fantastic. Noticeably, Luna is surprisingly light on her feet, and there is a slight wobble/lean forward at times. We don’t envisage any issues with this if Luna is placed on a suitably sturdy surface.
We’re going to take a wee small break from our Luna review to grab a few words with The Bots and get their thoughts on their latest release…
Thanks for taking the time to speak with The Toy Chronicle. First up, tell us all about The Bots? Who are you guys, what are your backgrounds?
We are Jenn and Tony Bot, a husband and wife duo of Fort Thomas, Kentucky, who specialise in art toys, miniature sculpts, and character development. We have been customising toys since 2010, but have worked together on a variety of art-related projects for the past 15 years. We are best known for our fun vibrant characters and grumpy monsters.
Choosing to focus on Media Informatics in college, we have never had a day of formal art training in our lives. Becoming full-time artists was never the plan, as the things we often made together were more of a hobby. But here we are, almost 500 customs later, and couldn’t be happier.
Right now the hottest toy in the Designer Toy community is The Bots recently Kickstarter-funded ‘Luna’. Tell us about how Luna came about?
Luna came to life in our sketchbook a few years ago but eventually made her debut as a print at our solo show, Monstrosity. At the time, her appearance was significantly different than the Luna that was eventually produced, but it always seemed to be one of those designs that had the potential to be something more. Following Monstrosity, and during one of their seemingly daily conversations, Tony and Travis laid out a plan of how to bring Luna to life.
As for doing it via Kickstarter, that decision was solely based on the idea that we wanted to let the collectors ultimately decide whether the toy deserved to be on their shelves. And for us, it was do-or-die. We knew that it would be a turning point in our business. Honestly, we have never had a true gauge of our popularity, but Travis and Ben insisted that we were primed to have a production toy.
The toy itself represents more to us than we would ever be able to convey. For it to be funded by the collectors, and essentially have it become the collectors’ toy, is an amazing feeling.
Luna has started to arrive in people’s homes, and ours arrived at TTC HQ this weekend too. We love Luna. Luna is a well sculpted vinyl art toy. Luna is packaged really well. Great box. You guys must be so proud of how Luna turned out, right?
We are thrilled! Luna was truly a labour of love and we learned so much throughout the creation process. To see the response from all the collectors and fans as Luna made it to their homes really made all the hard work worth it. It has also been nice to take a breather and actually enjoy the project for a change. At this point, we have been working with Luna on a daily basis for 18 months and dealt with excitement and disappointment through all stages of the project. To make it to the finish line and to have them in hand was a surreal moment. As artists who are constantly critiquing our own work and getting critiques in return by others, there are very few things that we would have done differently with the piece and that alone speaks volumes to how great of an experience making Luna was.
What’s next for The Bots now you have your first production vinyl figure out in the wild? Any secret plans you can tell The Toy Chronicle?
The ideas and plans we have, seem to be endless these days. The real challenge we face is putting a value on the things we really want to do versus what we realistically have time to do. We often sit together and talk about what we have hiding in our sketchbooks, discuss blue sky ideas, and map out the coming years. And then a new opportunity will come our way and we toss everything out the window and just go along for the ride.
As it stands right now, we recently funded another prototype with UVD Toys for a potential future plush project. We have also brought in some additional writing talent to start mapping out a story based on Luna that we’ve had swimming around in our brains for a bit. And then we’ve been curating a custom Luna group show opening at Rotofugi in May and planning our next solo show also taking place at Rotofugi in July.
Not to mention, the few things we can’t talk about yet! (TTC – The Bots are probably referring to the recently announced The Dunny Show by Kidrobot x Designer Toy Awards Dunny Mini-Series which The Bots are part of, dropping in 2017).
Do The Bots collect Designer Toys themselves?
When we first found Designer Toys we spent a fortune on anything and everything we could get our hands on. It was all so exciting and new! One of the first toys we owned was Jam Factory‘s Droplet, so we hold him responsible for the madness that ensued. Nowadays, as surely happens with all collectors, we curate what we purchase a little better. We like to support the newcomers and continue to support our favourite artists, but the buying frenzy has tapered off a bit.
Is there a particular artist or company that The Bots would like to collaborate with?
As we have built our business we’ve had the opportunity and pleasure to work with so many different artists and companies. We’ve been the big name on some projects, we have been ‘the small’ on others, and because of that, we realise how important every opportunity is. To single out just one person or one company we would like to work with would be ridiculously hard. If you are someone who wants to make something cool, make an impact, or take a chance on a crazy idea, we are always game. But to answer your question…Disney!
Back to Luna, we really love the box artwork that came with Luna. Real cutesy on the front. A lovely story of Luna on the rear. Also a shout-out to The Toy Chronicle and the other guys that made Luna possible on the underside of the box. We have absolutely loved supporting The Bots by talking about Luna’s journey this past year.
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Thank you to The Bots for their time with the interview questions! Very much appreciated! So with The Bots releasing Luna, and their forthcoming participation in The Dunny Show, 2017 looks very bright for these guys – and we couldn’t be happier! To celebrate we are going to give away one of the Kickstarter Exclusive Green versions of Luna. You’ll be able to enter via Instagram, Twitter & Facebook. Please share & enter over the course of the next five days. Luna is a wonderful piece of Designer Vinyl, and will look awesome in your collections. Don’t forget you can purchase the Retail Blue Edition of Luna too. You can click on the below image, or click HERE for more details.