NYCC 2012 – Parsons + Dudebox collaborate on limited edition toy competition
This October at New York Comic Con, Parsons The New School for Design and Dudebox, the UK-based vinyl collectible company, will debut toy concepts by Parsons BFA Illustration students developed through a recent collaboration. Working either on computer or by hand, students created dozens of unique characters, complete with their own complex origin stories, likes and dislikes, and even smells. Parsons and Dudebox have narrowed down the field to four finalists, whose work will be presented at New York Comic Con. The winner, who will have his or her toy placed into production by Dudebox, in addition to receiving a cash prize, will be announced at a press event at the Dudebox booth, #2915, on October 11 at 6:30pm.
The four finalists are as follows:
- “Mr. Sir” by Anastasia Lonkin, is a proper-looking gentleman, with a monocle and smartly waxed moustache, who enjoys tea and biscuits as much as Red Bull and Doritos.
- “Bob,” by Loren Kang, is a sailor from Planet Pepp who is rendered in simple black, white, and red, and has two faces, one on each side of his head, which help him express his emotions.
- “Glam Greaser,” by Katrina Richter, looks like a character from an outer-space production of Grease with her leopard jacket and kerchief. She likes to rock out with her band, The Knuckle Sandwiches.
- “The Rallin,” by Cindy Tan, is a shy, gentle creature who grazes on plastic at the edges of landfills and whose scales – intricately designed overlapping triangles hand-painted by Tan — change color depending on its diet.
The collaboration with Dudebox was part of an Illustration Concepts course in the BFA Illustration program at Parsons taught by illustrator and faculty member Caty Bartholomew. Here, students focus on their individual development as an artist by realizing a concept that solves a presented challenge in a unique and original way. In this instance, the challenge was creating a commercially viable character design.
Dudebox was founded with a mission to both foster and facilitate enthusiasm for vinyl toy culture. Its business model has an emphasis on co-creation, and Dudebox works with its designers to develop their ideas. It also emphasizes ownership; each artist receives a royalty fee from the sale of his or her product. The Dudebox team encouraged students to think not just about the visual appeal of the character design, but also the story behind the character. Students were asked to write a character biography to give their design a world to exist in. the finalists were selected based upon the quality of their character designs, the expression of their stories and the suitability to turn the design into a production piece.