A selection of really cool stuff relating to legendary Montauk artist Andy Warhol “popped” up among the new toys and collectibles previewed at Toy Fair 2017 in Manhattan’s Jacob Javitz Center on Monday. Warhol kept a second home in Montauk, the now famous Eothen estate, which art collector Adam Lindemann bought for a record-breaking $50 million last year.
Looking to capitalize on Warhol’s enduring legacy, art toy and collectible company Kidrobot (now owned by NECA) rolled out some interesting new offerings at ToyFair, while also showing off some goodies that are available now.
Perhaps the most exciting new addition to Kidrobot’s Andy Warhol line is a limited edition collection of the artist’s iconic Polaroid prints. Warhol always carried his Polaroid instant camera with him and used it to take portraits of his famous friends, pictures of his daily life and really anything interesting or inspiring that he encountered. With packaging mimicking a box of Polaroid film, this set of 12 Polaroids prints includes a mix of mostly Warhol’s self-portraits and a few iconic objects, such as bananas and boxes of Brillo. The prints perfectly recreate the originals, down to the textured white frames, taken with his plastic Polaroid Big Shot camera during the 1970s and 80s, and each has his famous signature printed on the front. Hopefully the 12-picture pack, which retails for $20, will be the first in an ongoing series, because it’d be great to see some of his celebrity shots, especially those of famous Hamptons regulars like Truman Capote and Mick Jagger. Warhol’s Polaroids are something really special in a time when the bulk of photographs we see are ephemeral things that rarely move from their digital format into something physical. For the youngsters reading this: Polaroid pictures were one-off, instant shots that were developed in-camera and spit out the front—no negative or jpg file to create more copies later.
In addition to the Polaroid prints, Kidrobot displayed their second series of Andy Warhol themed Dunny vinyl figurines (pictured at top of page). These small blind-box toys—meaning you don’t know which one you’re getting until you open the package—use Kidrobot’s famous Dunny shape, which is a sort of simplified cartoon rabbit form, and each 3.5″ figurine features different imagery from Warhol’s extensive body of work. Among them are a red and blue Dunny with the artist’s Mao portrait, a Dunny completely covered in his “Flowers” motif, a white Dunny with a pattern of his yellow bananas, a red one with “Giant Size $1.57 each,” a yellow and light blue one with the Campbell’s Soup can, and another yellow Dunny with his red cow head peppered across its surface. They come in a case of 20 with Warhol’s multicolored camouflage pattern printed on the outside.
Though it’s still pending approval from the licensor, Kidrobot also displayed a blind box series of Brillo boxes, each containing a different Warhol-themed object. The actual objects were not on view, but a previous series of Campbell’s Soup cans contained such items as a miniature “Marilyn Monroe” canvas; a small, plastic Campbell’s Soup can in orange and blue; a cartoony vinyl figurine of Warhol himself; a plush banana; a plastic banana; a film camera like Warhol used; and more.
For those not interested in buying a bunch of blind packages to find a plush banana, Kidrobot also had a selection of Warhol plush items in various sizes, such as the banana made eternal on Velvet Underground’s Andy Warhol album, the artist’s “Gun” from 1981-82, Brillo boxes and, of course, Campbell’s Soup cans.
Finally, for the higher-end collector, Kidrobot showed a prototype of their miniature version of Warhol’s “Invisible Sculpture,” an experimental art piece he created at the Factory with Ronnie Cutrone, and later at NYC’s Area nightclub in 1985. The original piece was an empty pedestal lit with art lights and surrounded by alarms that would go off if someone approached the invisible art object Warhol envisioned upon it. This Kidrobot diorama is set a white box which can be securely closed featuring three track lights, the pedestal and wall label. The doors, one on each side of the box, have pockets—one containing what appears to be a brochure explaining the project, and the other with a clear plastic silhouette of the artist with his signature across the chest. It will wholesale for $250 and is due for release this spring (see photo below).
Look for more reports from Toy Fair 2017 coming soon.