Written by | Exclusive Shoot, Partners & Collaborators

Inspired by our conversation with Tenacious Toys, we’re taking the opportunity to have a closer look at the rising popularity of Art Toys which we ourselves at Exclu are huge fans of particularly the vast offerings from the various platforms operating in the space such as Kidrobot and Funko LLC.

The Rise Of Vinyl
A look into the rising popularity of Vinyl based Art Toys

Just one of the myriad of Iron Man based Funko Pop Vinyl Bobbleheads from the Exclu Collection.


Just one of the myriad of Iron Man based Funko Pop Vinyl Bobbleheads from the Exclu Collection


The toy photography community as a whole entity is made up of so many various areas from articulation based licensed figures, statues and macquettes and most recently Vinyl toys. Often heavily stylised, vinyl figures have been growing in popularity in the last few years to the point that they are one of the most widespread forms of toys in the market.

One such company that is leading the charge is Funko LLC with their vast and ever expanding range of Pop Vinyl bobble-heads which we ourselves are addicted to collecting (Over 120 and counting in the Exclu Collection). At the core of this success is their ability to appeal to the inner collector in all toy enthusiasts whether it be collecting all the characters from your favourite film or license or the chase and grail’s you’ve always wanted to get your hands on and thats without mentioning the exclusive’s that keeps people hooked – ourselves very much included.


Funko Pop Vinyl Resistance Rey as captured by photographer Matt Heywood @heywoodpop

This has led to the increase in community photographers turning their attention to vinyl based art toys to create some incredible shots that are able to highlight the stylised characteristics of the figures as opposed to the articulation and pose-ability that we are used to with traditional shoots using Black series or Marvel legends as subjects. Whilst pose-ability isn’t something attributed to art toys they still remain immensely popular and well received due to their ability to condense our favourite characters into a small desk-friendly collectible

The other side of the Vinyl movement is the Art Toy genre which is largely pioneered by KidRobot that puts the artist at the focus of the products as opposed to large global licenses at the forefront of mass market vinyl products from Funko. Its this unique relationship between the artist and the end figure that makes the Art Toy world so very unique and diverse with every artist having their own style and vision that allows for a myriad of figures.

Buck Wethers 8" Dunny by Amanda Visell

An example of the work carried out by Kid Robot in association with independent artists as in this case – Buck Wethers 8″ Dunny by Amanda Visell


The other end of the scale of offerings from Kid Robot that connects us to mass market brands such as in their hugely popular Simpsons line

Kid Robot is one of the best examples of a platform that does just this by collaborating with a wealth of different stylised artists but also major licenses like Simpsons and South Park thus creating an environment that is as accommodating as possible to a large range of collectors. Ultimately Vinyl art toys are a vast vast world of unique and exciting products each tailored by their artists visions.

As previously mentioned , Funko LLC has so far had the largest presence of the vinyl makers within our Photography community and I personally believe that its largely down to the fact that they bridge the gap between the articulation based mass-market toy photography and the art based vinyl movement. They allow us to still connect with our favourite well known characters from the largest licenses but do so in a heavily stylised package that is often great value for money.


January Word Of The Month Finalist by photographer Alvin Ramirez

In a nutshell the vinyl art toy community is enjoying a period of amazing popularity and interest with both mass market and niche platforms servicing collectors every needs. As a showcasing platform we love to see the variety on show in the toy community and we’d love to see more photographers embracing this genre to shine a light on the many various artists who are conveying their own visions and creative style through the medium of toys.

Our collaborator this week is Tenacious Toys and you can catch our interview with them right here. A huge range of Vinyl offerings can be found on their site from Kid Robot figures to Funko Pops and Dorbz so be sure to head over and check out the full range available






Last modified: March 15, 2017

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