Thursday, April 05, 2007

unbelievable. tattoo dunnies sold out in five minutes.

the dunny collection craze is getting out of control. this new series was sold out within five minutes of being posted on the kidrobot website.i could never bring myself to buy an entire case (although i could probably make at least $100 flipping it on ebay). or even a blind box. (dunnies come in "blind boxes," which means you don't know which one you get before you open it.) i don't like most dunny designs, and the ones that are rare (they're called "chases") aren't always the ones that appeal to me, so i have no incentive to keep buying boxes until i get one.

i didn't like any of the designs in the tattoo series. wait... okay, hold on. let me back up. how about a primer?

dunnies are art pieces/toys vaguely shaped like bunnies created by a company called kidrobot. kidrobot commissions well-known artists to paint designs over the blank dunnies, and then they are sold in limited quantities for around $6.95 each. some are more common - around 2,000 pieces - than others, and the rare ones - sometimes limited to 150 - are called "chases." you don't know what you're going to until when you open the box, and if you get a chase, they're more valuable than the common ones. some chases are going for $100 on ebay.

but they all go up in value as time passes by. even the common ones from 2005 are going for $20 on ebay.

anyway, it's sort of addictive, and it's less expensive than buying electronics or shoes! plus, it's always a bit exciting to grab an out of print dunny created by one of your favorite artists.

and now, an aside: i'm glad that the art world is experiencing a resurgence of pop art (i believe the term thrown around is "lowbrow art" or "pop surrealism"), because people like me used to avoid art galleries like the plague. fine art was something that 1% of the population "appreciated" (i put that in quotes, because i think it was more about impressing others in a small circle of people "in the know" rather than truly enjoying it), and the art world seemed snooty, hoity-toity, inaccessible and vacant. now a bunch of twenty and thirtysomethings who rose up from the world of graffiti, tattooing, comics, rock poster design, and commercial graphic design and animation are starting to see their creations displayed in art galleries, and their creations retain the whimsical, energetic and often twisted and kooky... and more importantly... FUN and unpretentious elements of their original craft. graffiti and tattoo artists are just as talented as "fine artists" but haven't traditionally been given "cred" in the art world. anyway, check out jonathan levine gallery and mccaig welles gallery. (of course, if you end up at exhibits in these galleries, you will get you share of hipsters who believe they "discovered" this art much like they "discovered" a "new" neighborhood in brooklyn and will sneer at anyone who doesn't appear as stuck up as they are. oh well, nothing is perfect.) and the cooper-hewitt national design museum is currently running a kidrobot exhibit.

psst. all dunnies ever made are listed here. and lest you think they're just for kids... here are a couple of designs that are, um... probably not intended for children.

update: if you missed the official sale, the flippers are already selling them on ebay, many at a ridiculous premium. speaking of which, the high bid for the punani and titties dunny is already over $100 with over two days to go.


Veronica said...

What the hell?

I'd never heard of these before...

emily2 said...

they've only been around for three years or so. although i've come across them before, they didn't really stick in my mind until i was re-introduced to them and had the time to read about them. i didn't realize they were the rage until recently either.

i mean, look at the pictures from 2004 of a customized dunny show opening. 5000 people attended. people came in from other states. i had no idea they existed back then, and some of the attendees look like they're in their 40s. so that gives me hope that i'm not completely immature!

Illustratorsam said...

I saw that! I was going to run out to my local comic store just ot pick up a couple blind boxes, but got too tired to do so. I went to the kid robot site and was stunned to see the whole lot's been sold!

I've just started collecting these buggers... it's like the Beanie Baby craze all over again! ;)

Sam said...

Umm...this is just the newest Beanie Baby, right? I mean, fundamentally, the absurdity of this is the same, right?

emily2 said...

i think i safely dodged the beanie baby craze. in fact, i barely remember it. i think the fundamental absurdity in paying three figures for a toy is the same.

Sam said...

There is a tattoo shop in my town with a case full of these Dunnys/Dunnies. Nobody buys them. I'm not entirely certain that they're for sale, but they might be. That's the nice thing about living in a smaller town. Although there's the occaisonal weirdo, things like Dunnies don't become overwhelmingly absurd.

Incidentally, the tattoo shop in question is fantastic. So next time you're in West Virginia looking for tattooing, give me a ring, and I'll send you to the place.

emily2 said...

buy a case and sell it on ebay. :)

people literally lined up to buy these things at the store in soho.