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Andy BTP looks back at 2018

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 oppions and nothing to do with Gary, Pedro and Lai)

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.

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TRAVEL

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 nutshell I loved meeting artist/collectors/brands and putting faces to names but it was far too big for its own good and I didn’t like L.A Anaheim location, its good if you like Disney. Just not my cup of tea to be honest. But saying that its just early days and teething problems for the new location (Sorry I haven’t had time to write a recap of Dcon) Please don’t get me wrong, Dcon is the biggest by far, I personally like more intimate conventions and if you’ve never experanced Dcon then its a MUST go.

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). ToyZero plus, JT Studio, Silvia Tampi, Fluffy House just to name a few, giving me the rights to represent their company at ToyCon has to be another highlight and shows how much TTC has grown in the last few years.

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 hypebeasts and Designer Toys into a melting pot. Medicom going hardcore with [email protected]’s and V.A.G series having a foothold on Hypebeast radars and the never-ending rise of KAWS bringing new collectors into our world could be a good thing. At least Ron English is enjoying the ride or at least I’m guessing he’s GRINNING. The reason why I said sneaker scene beginning to be like the Designer Toy, is the rise of collaborations!

One highlight in 2018 was old artists and brands getting back into the game/scene from the likes of adfunture, ToyQube, How2work, Paul Budnitz with Superplastic just to name a few. The young guns, ToyZero Plus, Kidult Toys, Popmart, 1983 Toys just to name a few pushing and unearthing new artists and giving 2D artist a production was all plus points in my opinion. Giving collectors worldwide a taste of artists unknown to some and spreading the art worldwide.

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? Ill hold up my hand and say I wasn’t a fan of the platform but I was wowed on the marketing aspect and some of my favourite artists involved I did actually back the Kickstarter campaign. Wowed because the team behind the marketing set the level really high like a well oiled team even until the launch of series one.

Seeing companies and artist like ToyZero Plus who’s been giving an opportunity to artists to have a vinyl platform and growing each day is one of the highlights of 2018 for me. Opening my eyes to lesser-known artists and wanting to explore their work in much more depth. Unbox Industries continues to dominate by releasing insane high-quality products so much so we can’t keep up, Ha.

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.

WINNER

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. Big THANK YOU and I love you all.

2019

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 Thailand Toy Expo! I have already booked my flight tickets to Thailand for the Expo and I can’t wait to return, one of the best Conventions in Asia (plus food, people and massage) and heading to Hong Kong too. I’ve planned some behind the scenes exclusives so stay tuned.

This year will be the YEAR of the PIG so be ready for the onslaught of PIG designer toys! oink oink.

EXPANSION

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 know brands and new upcoming artists! Stay tuned for more info on this. Trust me its’ been a year in the making and it will be worth it.

HOPE

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 UK! these events make the scene stronger and closer and with the help of vairous designer toy groups we can all get involved somehow.

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 a like, share, comment works wonders to social media feeds. Extend your horizons.

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.

Westen Designer Toy companies making a impact in Asia would be good to see in 2019. Already ToyQube, various artists making a dent in the Asia scene which has paved the way for others to follow.

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.

COMMENT, LOVE, LIKE and SHARE posts, it helps a lot not just for The Toy Chronicle think about the others. It’s FREE.

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 PingelA Toy a Day, Sarah Phillips Sal Binetti, Nicole Alexandra Harris, Reggie Booms, Tifa Dong, DesignToys Jang,West Kyle McGowan, Maddie Madwolfie Madelon Rietveld, Edward Low for taking time out and supporting The Toy Chronicle by sharing and caring. last but not least if you subscribe to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thetoychronicle/ “Top Fan” reader expect some FREE big prizes in 2019.

This is my own personal recap, Gary and Pedro might have different views.

If you want to get your Designer Toy news first, you should look to download our new TTC Mobile App. Designer Toy news direct to your smartphone. No dealing with social media algorithms.

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2 Comments

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  1. Love TTC and all of you for what you do! I for one really appreciate you taking your personal time to keep us all up to date with toys , artists and releases.

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TTC Founder

Written by Andy

A Yellow guy with bad English who's a chef by trade but addicted to toys and art. Instagram nutter rambling food addict who likes to take photos of everything I eat (most Asians do right?) Please don't class me as a journalist or blogger, more on the lines of talent scout and always backs the little guy.

Instagram ( BigToyPoo)
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I am that one dickhead too.

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