My Mid-Century Modern Art Toys

I've decided to share my art toy collection. Some of them will look familiar from my post on mid-century modern art toys. And, as I mentioned, some of them definitely don't fit the mid-century modern look we're going for. But, I'm still going to find a way to integrate them into our decor so I can enjoy them on a daily basis.

I few notes before the pictures:
  1. You might think this is a big collection, but I assure you, compared to other art toy collectors, it's pretty small.
  2. The way I keep it small is by having a pretty strick "only one piece per artist" rule. I like the rule because it keeps my collection diverse and keeps me on the lookout for new artists. As you'll see below, I've broken this rule once and I'll explain why.
  3. There are a few non-art toys (eg toys you could find in a toy store) in my collection too. I just like them and think they're well designed and/or they're connectioned to some pop culture that I enjoy (Star Wars, etc)
  4. Most of these toys have sold out long ago, so if you do like one, you'll probably have to hit ebay or some other secondary market site to buy it.
So here's my collection, in no particular order. Hope you like it.

Blue Mr. Wiggles by Tara McPherson

Baby Eating Crocodile by Amanda Visell

Lulu by Camille Rose Garcia

Brown Sour by Brendan Monroe

Jeremiah the Innocent by Daniel Johnston

Captain Sturnbrau by Jon Paul Kaiser

Companion: Resting Place by Kaws

HMV Nadsat by Kaws
This is the one artist that I have two pieces from. Kaws is really hard to find in the States and usually extremely expensive on any secondary market. I found this Nadsat dispensor (essentially Japanese Pez) on our Honeymoon in Japan and picked it up because I never thought I'd be able to find another Kaws piece. Except I got a Resting Place Companion (above) a few months ago. It's not the most impressive piece in my collection, but I'll never get rid of it because of the Honeymoon tie.

Max from McFarland Toys

Mego World’s Greatest Superheros Hulk

Dunny by Michael Michael Motorcycle

Yellow Peleda Owl by Nathan Jurevicius

Nigel by Kathie Olivas

Pantone Kubrick

Pink & Green Supersize Me by Ron English

Blue Fatima by Sam Flores

Scurvy Nevil by Greg Simkins

Star Wars Stormtrooper Room Alarm

Super Teeter by Joe Ledbetter

Mystic Serpent by Todd Schorr

Yujin Human Dissection Model Gashapon Japanese capsule toys
Another purchase from our Tokyo honeymoon. These are toys that come in capsules, like you would find in American grocery stores. There are entire stores filled with those machines and various toys. I thought it was so weird/fantastic that these were actually a toy that I had to buy two. I got the liver and part of the spine.

Mighty Muggs Chewbacca

Simpsons Comic Book Guy Worst Episode Ever

American McGee’s Alice Caterpillar

Tigerlily by Tim Biskup

Possessed by Luke Chueh


  1. These are very interesting. Admittedly, I know nothing at all about art toys. Are several of these influenced by Japanese art/anime, even if they're not by Japanese designers...or is my lack of knowledge showing? (Tigerlily, Super Teeter, Nigel)

    1. That's actually extremely perceptive. Hong Kong and Japan are where most art toys are made - Japan especially because it has better production quality. So I think there's probably a bit of Japanese influence in a lot of art toy because artists will go over to see where things are made, or just for general interest. Plus, there's a big art toy culture in Japan so it wouldn't surprise me if that audience crept into the artists' heads while they were creating. Many artists have actually released Asia-exclusive toys.

  2. I am also in the camp of having no knowledge of these toys. Some of these are really strange, bordering on disturbing to be toys! Thanks for the exposure!

    1. I coined the phrase "creepy cute" a while back when someone was asking me what kind of stuff I collected. They're definitely for an adult audience. As a wink to collectors (and sometimes out of safety regulations) artists will put, "This is art, not a toy" or "This is art, don't give it to your kid" on the packaging. Thanks for checking out the collection.

  3. Great collection! I have always loved art toys, but I fear I would not have the same restraint as you! I do have some small tokidoki, Hello Kitty toys from Urban Outfitters, and Skelanimals figures from Target. That is all my budget will allow right now, unfortunately.

    I say display 'em with pride no matter what your decor style! If you like something why wouldn't you want to show it off?

    1. It's a slipper slop and those small toys and blind boxes are how it starts. You'll have an IKEA dresser full of toys in no time.

      And thanks. I can't wait to see how these guys look around the house.