Art Whore

#AWTR – ‘DRWGco’ – The Assassin keshi – Keegan Kaya McGee Collab – Swirl Rubber Series of 30

  • Produced By = ‘DRWGco’ (Wales)
  • Figure Name = The Assassin (From the ongoing Secret Chiefs series)
  • Custom By = Keegan Kaya McGee (Did the header art, the included sticker and also picked the keshi colorway)
  • Release Details = DRWGco – The Assassin keshi – Keegan Kaya McGee Collab – Swirl Rubber Series of 30.
  • Material = Keshi (made in the UK)
  • Country of Production = UK (keshi production by ‘Tru Tek’)
  • Height = 6cm
  • Depth =  6cm (nose to rear hand)
  • Width =  5.25cm (foot to foot)
  • No of Parts = 1
  • Extras = Cardboard header + foil sticker
  • Released = January 2017
  • Sculpt Debut = September 2016
  • Release Price = $US 15
  • Genre = Keshi

Read the full review and pics after the jump…

Back Info

The Assassin keshi is designed by Welsh based 2 man art crew ‘DRWG co’ as part of their ongoing Secret Chiefs series. With the Assassin being the 3rd figure released as part of Wave 1.

As with all figures thus far released by ‘DRWG co’ it was produced by the king of the global DIY keshi scene – ‘Tru Tek’.

For this edition, American artist Keegan Kaya McGee was bought in to choose the colorway of the figure and also provide art for the header and included sticker.

(Pictures below the the MIB figure)

The Sculpt

Highly detailed, squat, chunky and cartoon like.

More detail than classic keshi such as Monster in My Pocket and M.U.S.C.L.E, yet not so detailed as to veer into Games Workshop model territory. It’s a great mid ground.

The sculpted details are exceptional and add a lot of personality: monks robe, sharp teeth, long elongated head tail, pointy ears, long hook nose, claws on its feet and bumpy, pimply skin.

The Assassin is posed mid prowl, knife behind back, and finger on mouth – you can practically here it whispering you to keep quiet, as it stalks it’s prey…

(Pictures below of the figure)

The Material

The figure is made out of rubber / keshi.

What is of major interest is that it isn’t factory produced. It’s all made by hand, DIY style by one man – Tru Tek.

The feel and quality of mass produced rubber / keshi is there. All that separates it from it’s mass market brothers is a very slightly noticeable seem line on the rear of the figure, a few bits of remaining flashing  and a very very strong chemical smell emanating from it.

As with all toys, we took a good long whiff as soon as we opened the package – and it quickly left our head spinning and eyes slightly watering… So be careful fellow toy sniffers!

We don’t really know what or how DIY keshi like this is made, but dear god it seems dangerous and unsafe – if the smell is anything to go by at least.

The Custom Work

The only real custom work of with the figure is the use of rubber / keshi. The Assassin, like most keshi, is unpainted.

The look of the swirled 2 color (hyper green + hyper pink) is beautiful. It really pops in hand and helps to bring out the details of the sculpt.

… with that said, we at ‘Art Whore’ are left scratching our heads as to how effective a fluro multi colored assassin would be at staying hidden… Maybe he also has invisibility powers?

(Pictures below of Keegan’s art for the included sticker + header)

Playability 

* Can they Stand = Yes
* Can they Sit = No
* Is it Easily Breakable = Not at all – keshi / rubber is very durable.
* Accessories = None

Overall these figures have standard keshi playability: a single piece, no moving limbs and the durability of rubber.

… Indeed, keshi are an interesting player in the art toy world. What saves them from being mere sculptures is their material. The fact they are made out of rubber and are thus highly durable tips them over into the world of toys, as opposed to sculpture.

(Picture below of the original prototype of the Assassin figure)

Flaw(s)?

It does have a very slightly visible seem line on the rear, and a few spots were the extra flashing / bits of rubber haven’t been removed – but that is to be expected in DIY keshi.

The toy is solid, heavy and beautiful.

It has the flaws that are expected in DIY keshi, and nothing more. Thus, for us, it’s perfect.

Another beautiful piece of keshi production from the master Tru Tek! HAIL!

(Photo below of the Assassin figure in the wild)

Summery

The Assassin keshi is beautiful.

The whole package is a work of art. The keshi, header, and sticker packaged together are innovative, interesting and an example of near perfect design.

However, we must state that the keshi itself isn’t really saying much… It is a wholly unique creation, with a lot of personality, yes – but it’s still a classic trope of fantasy: the elf / monster robed assassin. It’s not groundbreaking, it doesn’t make us think.

The whole package is art, that is undeniable – but when the keshi figure itself is looked at in isolation – it is more toy than art. A beautiful DIY indie designer toy yes. But fine art? We must say no.

With that all said, we love the figure and will continue to collect and lust after everything that ‘DRWGco’ releases.

They may not be art toys, but they are some of the best examples of designer toys you will ever see.

Well worth picking up!

(Pictures of some promo material for the Assassin figure)

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