i find it very sad & tragic that as people get older, they often lose their sense of play. take me out back and put me down like old yeller if i ever get tired of legos or playmobil, because TOYS ARE FOR EVERYBODY. admittedly, a busy box probably wouldn’t keep me busy for very long, but there are lots of toys out in the universe that are indeed “fun for the whole family”, as well as some very special toys that are just for grown ups.
a few years ago in japan (why don’t i live in tokyo?!), the boutique toy movement began. fine artists, graffiti artists, fashion designers, magazines… everyone was getting in on the action of creating these (primarily vinyl but also plastic, resin, & plush) action figures that were pop, and twisted, and beautiful, and commercial, and hilarious… and collectible. and a movement was born. they are these tiny works of art. usually in limited editions with special “hidden figures” amongst the blind box runs (i recently sold a $6 “hidden figure” dunny on ebay for $60). a nouveau alternative to baseball cards for the artsy set. collect them all! sell them! trade them! line them up and adore their loveliness (that’s usually what i do).
there are a number of stores out in the world that specialize in these guys (kid robot most famously, ningyoushi, my plastic heart, giant robot…), but my very very favorite of all (and where i do about 90% of my ordering) is rotofugi. their selection is outrageously impeccable, and in addition to being a toy store- they are also an art gallery, with a ton of limited edition prints for under $50. why buy a poster when you can buy affordable, beautiful, REAL ART.
true, there are some seriously expensive toys for the hardcore collector ($72 for spongebear up there!), but blind box toys are usually less than $10 a piece, which means kick ass stocking stuffers- or great little surprises for the people in your life that aren’t getting the full-boat xmas present experience.