The story of a vinyl toy's creation


Hmmm, well that’s great, but there are many unanswered questions here. What are the prototypes made of - paper mache, clay, plaster, plastic, 3-D printed - what ?

The video shows the design process - brainstorming, rough sketches, more finished sketches, color schemes, naming, nearly completed concepts that got tossed(Tiki Bunny) - but the steps from the flat sketch to the dimensional prototypes are absent.

I think I would appreciate this more if instead of the caffeinated music, there was a voice over or subtitles describing the stages in the process.

This thing is not my “thing” - so I have no clue who this guy is. Is he a superstar or cult figure ? Who buys them, who sells them ? Is he a self contained unit - designer, fabricator, marketer or is he the person who is responsible for the concept and look but has to answer to a corporate interest about selling and marketing this item ?

I’m not trying to be snarky. I watched the video but all these other questions are bugging me,


Joe Ledbetter is a fantastic artist and a truly nice guy. I spent a morning with him at a friend’s house and he drew with my nine year old son. His art is rad, to boot!


I can’t watch the video right now but let me just say I love Ledbetter [more than Zepworser]*

Like I said I can’t watch the vid but as far as I know each manufacturer has their own technique and how you prepare a prototype depends on things like the finish, material, model complexity, size, etc. (like a Bearbrick is a smooth ABS type plastic where as a Qee is a soft vinyl you could use wood working tools to carve into).

As for who buys and sells them is that it started in Japan with kind of Hello Kitty-esq/Godzilla toys, which became popular with the hip-hop and graffiti culture which spread to America/Europe, which bled into more general hipster culture, and then onto the more mainstream (but it’s still relatively underground). If you’re interested there’s many many collector books, the best one I could think of is I Am Plastic: The Designer Toy Explosion by Paul Budnitz

*I am so so sorry about that. I need to hang myself.

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