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DESIGNER TOYS GLOSSARY

Art Toy: Toy designed by an artist or artist using original art that isn’t “from” anything (except the artist’s head). If you’ve seen the chracter before on TV, it’s not an art toy. Also known as a “Designer Toy”.

Blind Box: A toy that is sold in a sealed box, randomly packaged — you don’t know which of many possible toys are in the box.

Blind Chase: Originally, the Blind Chase figure was a limited edition toy created using extra space in a gang-mold during toy production. The extra figure was secretly mixed in with the regular toys, and “chased” after by collectors. 

Nowadays the term refers to any sought after rare toy mixed into a toy series. #JANKY may have several Blind Chase figures, with varying levels of rarity. Very rare figures may be traded or resold to collectors.

Designer Toy: See “Art Toy”, above.

Custom Toy: A one-of-a-kind toy hand-customized by an artist.

DYI Toy: Blank (unpainted) toy made for you to customize yourself.

Flip: Buying something retail, then reselling it on eBay for a profit. As in, “Yo, got me two pairs of Yeezys. One for mees, one to flip!”.

Flipper: Someone who who “flips” toys for fun or for a living, sometimes depriving fans of toys they really want. “He’s not down with the culture, he’s just a Flipper.” (See “Flip”, above.)

Golden Ticket: A rare ticket or other item thatis hidden in a blind box toy series. Whoever finds the Golden Ticket gets a special prize. A reference from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.

Injection Molded Toy: Plastic toys made using 2-piece steel molds and ABS plastics. Injection molded toys can usually be identified by a seam running down the middle of parts, where the mold was taken apart. Injection molds are expensive and may not be desirable for making limited edition toys for cost and/or aesthetic reasons. 

Limited Edition: Anything made in limited numbers. Editions may be quantity based (ie. just 100 or 5000 made) or time-based (available for a fixed period of time). Once a limited edition is sold out, it’s sold out forever.

Mass-Market Toy: Cheap plastic garbage, using characters often based on licensed characters from movies, TV, video games, cartoons, board games, action movies, sci-fi, etc. Mass-market toys rely on nostalgia to convince consumers to part with their money (see Nostalgia, below). Mass-market toys are not geniune Designer Toys, even though they may be marketed as such. Beware!

Nostalgia: Remembered as opposed to emodied experience. Art is never nostalgic. Supeplastic’s mission statement includes the phrase “Nostalgia is death”.

Rotocast Vinyl: Toy production process that uses liquid vinyl poured into circular copper molds. The mold is then spun, the vinyl cooled, and the molded toy or part removed. Rotocast vinyl toys have a classic feel, and usually don’t show visible mold lines (unlike Injection molded toys, see above).

Copper molds are inexpensive, which makes small-run designer toys possible. Superplastic is working with a company that makes non-toxic plasticizers made from citrus.

Sucklord: Controversial New York City-based superhero with a boombox who stars in his own movies, and makes toys in his basement in Chinatown.

Surprise Box:  A toy that is sold in a sealed box, randomly packaged — you don’t know which of many possible toys are in the box.

Street Artist: Someone who paints murals on walls with or without permission. May or may not be synonymous with “grafitti artist”.

Twelve-inch Figure: Posable figure that is a foot tall ie. GI Joe, Barbie, Brothersworker. Many of the original Designer Toys were repuposed 12-inch figures with custom-modeled heads, hands, and clothing.

Urban Vinyl: The original circa 1998 word for a vinyl art toy, originally invented by toy artists like Michael Lau and Eric So in Hong Kong, usually with a “street” theme.

Vinyl Toy: A toy made with rotocast vinyl. See “Rotocast Vinyl”., above.