Looking over my shoulder and waving 2018 a goodbye, remembering all the good and bad points of 2018 the good having a special place in my heart, whilst the lessons learned and hopefully overcome and continue to remember its just another hurdle in life and be thankful that we are alive and have the same interest in art toys, collectables, designer toys art, or whatever you want to call it. As tradition my own personal thoughts of being apart of The Toy Chronicle and memories of 2018 and what I predict in 2018. (please note these are just my own
The Toy Chronicle launched its own app back in 2017 and the extra functions have hit a couple of setbacks but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen in 2019. Our own app has surged increased traffic a people downloading it which brings smiles to our faces as it means all the time and effort plus money hasn’t gone to waste. So I must say first before you fall asleep reading (or trying to) read his ramble, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for the support, right down to the likes, shares, comments and a simple hi.
Travel always plays a huge part at TTC, with Gary hitting the West and little old me 2018 was a quiet one for me personally, due to personal issues and money so ToyCon UK and DesignerCon 2018 was my main focus thank god, I have Lai Yui Wai to cover some Asia conventions this year and other correspondents. 2018 was just like 2017 but on steroids as the vast amount of retailers popping up as well as galleries and consignment shops within a space of just one year was an eye-opener. Proof the scene is growing but then if you know what Asia cultures like, everything has a secondary market and hype bubble. Let’s just hope it lasts.
So, DesignerCon expanded! and I made a return DesignerCon, I was gobsmacked on how much it’s grown, I knew how big before I entered Dcon area when I got to see traffic signs signalling DesignerCon at the highway/ motorway. In a
This year Dcon made me realise how important ToyCon UK is and it shouldn’t grow that fast (but still not liking flooring and lighting at ToyCon’s venue, HA).
Changes in the scene
2018 was another year of conventions and pop- up shows increased to what seemed to me double the amount especially in China and Taiwan. Let us not forget the rise of Asian collectors/flipper for another year running. Double edge sword in my opinion. Seeing new collectors joining in the scene, new collectors and old collectors were spoilt for choice especially in the cute department (hands up, that’s ME) Releases after releases every day we saw a constant flow. It was even hard for me to keep up. Whilst western companies picking up licenced products the East has shaken up the scene for sure without the need for licenced products to thrive. By saying that, the East has its growing demand for designer toys/ art collectables or it could be the rise of the China collectors who are now addicted.
With the influx of money, the aftermarket sales have skyrocketed. Double edge sword, in my opinion, driving the hype is good but for the real collector, its gonna be an uphill battle to get something they want in their collection. But then it also could be a good thing, collectors in 2018 were spoilt for choice, plenty of unearthed gems as well as long-established toy platforms finally levelling out and much easier to get hold of and at a retail price due to the amount of choice out there.
The secondary market slow down? I have personally see many vinyls sitting at consignment stores and online too, but i’m pretty much betting it doesn’t mean the after market is taking a nose dive ill take a gamble saying that. If you guys know Asia theres a aftermarket for everything, from milk powder to potato chips/ Crisps so designer resell will always be in the air.
Sneaker scene beginning to be like the Designer Toy scene vice verser? With Complex Con and Culture Cartel giving both sets of collectors/flippers
One highlight in 2018 was old artists and brands getting back into the game/scene from the likes of
Did anyone see the increase of blind boxes? Ha, the tail-end of 2018 was blind box crazy and the 2018 Designer Toy Award Winners Unbox Industries showed the demand. Whilst on the subject of blind box releases, Pop Mart should be crowned blind box masters of 2018, with an endless licence from Kenny Wong, Pucky, Fluffy House, Toy Zero Plus etc just to name a few.
How can I not mention SuperPlastic right?
Seeing companies and artist like
2018 I saw a major dip in the bootleg style art toys which was a little disturbing (although some of you might beg to differ) I personally enjoyed the humour even if I didn’t collect those kinda art toys. What we did see was the trend of characters dressed in suits and DINO’s *COUGH pointing Ziqi Wu for setting the trend and others joining in on the action, Ha. Still, I can’t get enough of Dinos.
Following our first Designer Toy Awards win in 2015 and again in 2017 with our second DTA Best Blog win! We won the BEST MEDIA OUTLET. HUGE THANK YOU to all those that voted for us over the past few years. The Best Blog award is a toughie to win, going up against blogs that have been running a lot longer than us. Yet we are right up there with the best of them! It was a great honour to take down the BEST MEDIA. All the hard work and time spent on The Toy Chronicle was appreciated when you guys voted The Toy Chronicle as the blog of the year/ BEST MEDIA. Tears flowed when the notifications flooded The Toy Chronicle social media and Gary’s drunken messages (please excuse him). To be fair, I would like to dedicate this to all the media outlets, readers, supporters and the haters as you all play a part in the TTC. Its the only thing that drives me personally.
TTC started out as a hobby for me but in no time at all it became a part of my everyday life, most are plus points like gaining friendship, looking out for less known artist/customizers and helping hand in hand them be more established in the community. People who know me personally know I love to help others even if it’s not toy related.
The target for me this year is discovering even more hidden gems within the scene and helping less known artist blossom. Like 2018 I’ve been helping artist connect with companies making their dreams happen by making a production art collectable. Hopefully this year I can continue to help the artist make that connection. One main drive it watching artists grow (hopefully they don’t get a ego in the process, HA)
My target is to get better at editing videos, same as last year it will be on my agenda this year. With my “real job” finding time is pretty hard when most of my spear time goes to writing blogs and creating content for you guys but I promise I’ll find the time.
The RETURN to
This year will be the YEAR of the PIG so be ready for the onslaught of PIG designer toys! oink oink.
I’ve been working on exclusives, giveaways, first allocation, line skip and advance pre-orders/purchases with companies and artist for our VIP readers and subscribers so you guys will have the chance to own limited releases as well as exclusive content from well
More pop-up events! please please please, easier said then do I guess. Its a long shot but Mindzai and Woot Bear have pop-up swap shops occasionally. Let’s not forget SuperPlastic launch parties even in
I would love to see and sincerely hope artist and companies use FREE ways to publicise their own works, not just via blogs and Instagram. Why not use all platforms, send it off to various websites? start a Twitch YouTube channel, It’s FREE. No time? there’s always time if you really want it. Even
One can only wish companies have a smaller pre-order window or non-existent one. waiting a year plus with no updates and put their money where their mouth is and invest in something they truly believe in without having to use collectors capital to fund next projects. This has been an annoying issue from me personally, at least 2 companies have been doing this practice for a number of years and getting away with it. I may not be a businessman but to see collectors wait months and years leaves a sour taste.
This year I have chosen not to write for a long established company due to the fact they can’t decided what they want *COUGH *LEAK which kinda sucks as I have supported them from day one. Anyway I’m sure Gary and possible Pedro would, HA.
njoy collecting and appreciate what each individual collects without any fuss. Making new friends who have the same passion and appreciate the things in common, this year I hope to meet more readers and artists.
Remember to collect what appeals to you, be your own judge. It’s supposed to be a passion and fun. Have a Happy New Year and all the best and endless designer toys! Hope to meet you all sometime in the near future.
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I would like to thank my rock Lai Yui Wai and Pedro Correia plus Marianne Roosa, Amber Cunningham, Vanessa Fong, Tamara McAlpine, Farrah Orosco Peterson, Gary Ham, Theresa Hawkins, Rachel Pingel, A Toy a Day, Sarah Phillips Sal Binetti, Nicole Alexandra Harris, Reggie Booms, Tifa Dong, DesignToys Jang,West Kyle McGowan, Maddie M
This is my own personal recap, Gary and Pedro might have different views.
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