A look at 2018 from a collectors point of view. What were the highlights? Which toys are my favorites? What are my hopes and wishes for 2019?
Year of the blind box toys
2018 was a good year for blind box toys. Three names pop up when I look at the most liked photos on my Instagram account: Kathie Olivas and Brandt Peters with ‘Dark Harbor’, Amanda Louise Spayd and Chris Ryniak with ‘Thimblestump Hollow’ and Doktor A with the ‘Mechtorians II’. These three series also happen to be my personal blind box favorites of 2018. The blind box series ‘Forest Fairies’ by Pucky is also on my list of favorites but sometimes choices have to be made so they are still on my wishlist. The last part of the year the blind box series just kept on coming. Almost impossible to keep up if you are a blind box collector, especially if you are a collector who wants all the series complete. But it is good to see so many blind box series other then Dunny series.
Year of the Cat
As a cat lady I did not mind seeing so many cat inspired toys hit the stores in 2018. Life is better with cats around you. To name a few of my favorites: ‘Stink Box’ by Jason Limon and Dead Zebra, ‘My home cat’ by Fluffy House and ‘Mini Ohnoko’ by K2Toy.
In 2018 the best color editions of toys were always store exclusives. As a collector I was not always happy with that. From a store owners point of view I can understand that it can be interesting. From a collectors point of view it can be a mayor pain. Especially when the stores selling the exclusives are not world wide friendly. Sometimes it is difficult to place an order because of the language barrier, sometimes there are no budget friendly shipping options available or they do not ship at all to a specific country. Most of the time the exclusives were always for Asian or US stores. There were (almost) no exclusives for European stores.
This year the biggest hunt for store exclusives came from Cardboard Spaceship, Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd with the ‘Thimblestump Hollow II’ series. A special color edition was store exclusives only. I have tried to complete the series but I missed out on two of them. Both because placing an order was complicated or was not clear.
Comeback of artists
For me a highlight was the comeback of some familiar names in 2018. New toys were available by Tara McPherson, Pete Fowler and Gary Baseman. It sparked my interest in their work again and did not only made me want to buy their new toys but also add some of the toys that they’ve made in the past to my collection.
Hopes and wishes for 2019
I wish there will be more international pop-up toy events this year. I think this is the way to go forward. I feel there is a whole continent with collectors who are most of the time being ignored right now. Pop-up events will make it easier for people to (re)connect with the toy community. Being able to buy toys in Europe is an important part of that.
Another wish of mine is a new all female artist mini figure series. Looking at what is happening in the world right now 2019 would be a perfect year to release such a series.
On a personal note I hope to be able to go to TOYCON UK this year. I also hope to improve my writing/photography skills and help to promote the wonderful world of art toys as much as I can.