A vinyl toy maven I am not. But some things I find irresistible. It takes extreme will power not to drop a wad every time I get out to California and visit Kid Robot or when I stop in at Red Hot Robot here in Phoenix. Because I know that embracing the designer toy world whole-heartedly would be a slippery slope, I usually reserve my purchases of this type to gifts. Often the folks I give to don’t really understand what they’re getting, but who cares? I had fun buying. This month, however, I decided to pick something up for myself.
WHO: Bossy Bear
WHAT: David Horvath Bossy Bear vinyl
WHERE: Red Hot Robot
WHY: Because Bossy satisfied my craving for more Horvath vinyl. A few years ago my wife and I decided to get the whole set of Ugly Doll vinyls. (I say "whole set" but I do not have Ugly Dog. Unfortunately.) We proudly have them displayed on the shelves above our TV. They get lots of attention! Whereas there have been a bunch of new plush Ugly Dolls there doesn’t seem to be any desire to make new vinyls. Yes, the mini Ugly Doll "action figures" have recently come out but they just don’t cut it for me. Now, although I only keep track of new designer toys peripherically I was aware of Bossy Bear. Then I noticed recently that more characters from Bossy’s world would see a vinyl incarnation. Hmmm. Around this time a friend got me a gift certificate to Phoenix’s local designer toy store, Red Hot Robot. The deal was sealed. I rushed over and picked up Bossy Bear.
Once I became aware that there were more characters in Bossy’s world I needed to find out where these characters are coming from. I quickly discovered that there are a couple Bossy Bear children’s books: Bossy Bear and Just Like Bossy Bear. I tracked them down in my local Borders. I found the stories hilarious. The School Library Journal gives Bossy Bear this praise:
“Vibrant colors, a clean layout, and small bits of text just begging for a dramatic delivery
make this picture book a natural for read-alouds.”
So who is coming next? Bossy’s best friend Turtle has just come out. I haven’t got him yet but it won’t be long. Crocadoca is due out sometime in April. There are also some variants for those so inclined. There has been some glow-in-the-dark Turtles and there will be a Turtle with crown. Some different color Bossy Bears are on the way, too. This could definitely turn into a superlative line if David Horvath cranks out a few more of the fun characters found in his book.
I find that David Horvath’s creations have just the right amount of quirky personality to suit my tastes. So I’ll continue to keep an aloof eye on the vinyl world. But that’s all I can afford. Main stream action figure collectors think their world is hard. I’ve gotten glimpses of what being a designer toy collector entails. Not for the feint of heart or of pocket.