I was finally able to sit down and watch this new DVD recently, and I have to say I quite enjoyed it. At a runtime of about 45 minutes, it is full of clipped interviews from various influential figures in the street fashion and vinyl toy industry.
There is a lot with Hikaru Iwanaga, the founder of Bounty Hunter, which is fitting as it was his toy, the Kid Hunter, that essentially started the designer toy surge way back in 1997. There is a lot of interesting insight from the different interviews about their influences from overseas, old cartoons, etc.
I enjoyed seeing the bits with various collectors too... hearing why people like certain toys and why they collect the things they do. Seeing the sweet collections was nice too.
One thing that bothered me about the movie was not actually something with the movie, but rather with Frank Kozik's interview clips in the extra features about the "underground"... or in his opinion the lack thereof. I don't know exactly what to think about underground artwork, toys, etc., but in this clip, Frank says that if you are out there to sell toys then it is no longer underground.
Most likely, this comes down to semantics, but the thing that bothered me was the attitude about it all that came across in his interview. I'm no pie in the sky artsy guy bemoaning the death of the underground art world, but it seemed Frank's opinion is that it is all black or white. He said he has no trouble with Wal Mart and entities like that, and for some reason it felt a little disappointing to me. I'm not sure exactly why.
I will be the first to admit that what I do for a living (graphic design) is pretty much selling out artistically speaking, and I have no problem with someone wanting to make a living with their craft, but the attitude that Kozik seemed to express here is one of embracing the selling out and the lack of an underground. It's hard to explain for me, but it waters down Kozik's work to me... like there is less feeling put into the things he puts out maybe... like it cheapens it all in a way.
Shit, what do I know? I'm just a loser on a crappy blog who will most likely never make money on toys or art.
I'm not great at reviewing movies and stuff like that, but this little film serves as a great primer into vinyl toy collecting, design, etc., and I look forward to volume two.
Great job, guys!
On an aside, another thing I thought was awesome about this flick was seeing my Bounty Hunter photography in there! I don't like to toot my own horn, but I was really excited when Justin from the toypunks crew contacted me about the photography I display on this little blog. It was very cool sitting here watching the movie, seeing my photographs alongside the others with the punk music and interviews, and then seeing my name in the credits.
The toypunks guys were really cool and considerate in asking to use my photos, and this copy of the movie i watched was complimentary for their use. I am proud that these photos became a part of the project.