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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view ChrisMorrow's profile
    Posted June 25, 2009 by
    san diego, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Action figure collecting (with kung fu grip)

    More from ChrisMorrow

    Dunny Toy Collection


    Dunny is an action figure made of soft, smooth vinyl. Dunny was created to be customized in a broad variety of styles by diverse artists working in different mediums.


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    Founded by designer Paul Budnitz in 2002, Kidrobot is the world’s premier creator and retailer of limited edition art toys and apparel. The products sold at Kidrobot merge urban street trends and pop art to produce limited edition, collectible toys and apparel. Many Kidrobot products feature unique collaborations with famous artists from backgrounds of graffiti, fine art, industrial design, graphic design,illustration and music.


    The toys sold at Kidrobot are the centerpieces of a new movement with its own culture, rivalries, and heroes called the "urban" or "designer" toy movement. This movement was born in 1997 when designer Michael Lau showed up at a Hong Kong toy show with a handful of GI-Joe's he'd customized into hip-hop street fashion figures. Things exploded from there and artists from Hong Kong and Japan began making their own limited-edition toys. Over the past several years, urban toys have made their way to the USA & Europe and also inspired some Western artists to design toys. Many artists from both the West and East have gained celebrity status and huge followings, some examples being Michael Lau (HK), Devilrobots (JP), TILT (FR), Frank Kozik, Joe Ledbetter, and Tristan Eaton (USA).


    Many of the toys sold at Kidrobot are extremely rare and collectible and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Urban toy artists may choose to create a series of only a few hundred pieces (or less!), so once a toy is gone, it's gone forever. Kidrobot toys retail from about $4 to $400, and many appreciate in value over time.


    Urban Journalist Jesse Hernandez opened up his collection to CNN.


    Photos by:  Chris Morrow

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