As many of you dear readers know, we at Art Whore love toys of all type, indeed we view them as one of the highest forms of art. And like most art, toys can be split up into genres – with the obvious ones being related to intent of creation and sale method. They are: (i) mass market toys (like your ‘GI Joe’ and ‘He Man’), (ii) your bootlegs and knockoffs (think of the off brand toys you often find in cheap discount shops), and (iii) art-toys. Whilst the first two categories are self explanatory, art toys are a bit more elusive. And to that regard we previously published – in 2016 – a primer guide to art toys titled ‘What Exactly Are Art Toys And How Can We Critique Them?‘. Take the time know to read it to get up to speed if you need!
…Well one form of toy that straddles all three of the above categories are Soft Vinyl Toys – a type of toy genre relating purely to medium, in this case toys made up of soft vinyl plastic. For an example, think of your classic duck-style-bath-toy.
Soft vinyl can, is and has been used to make mass market toys, bootlegs / knock-offs and art toys all over the globe since the 1950’s or so – when plastic replaced metal as the go-to-medium for toys. Indeed soft vinyl is a very versatile medium and can be used on a craft or industrial scale. However, it usually needs a factory of some sort and is thus less DIY than some other toy mediums like resin.
Well one thing we have noticed as a result of being part of the global toy scene for a few years now is that people are really invested in Soft Vinyl Toys. People have very strong, emotional feelings about them. This can and has led to everything from fights, to marriages, loss of friendship, anger, fractured communities, theft, dubious commercial practices, travel, bankruptcy, tattoos, conventions, bootlegging and a whole lot more!
Well, one major issue we have noticed is a lack of a central text for the Soft Vinyl Toy Scene. A document or treatise outlining how to approach Soft Vinyl Toys. Some rules. A guide. Something we can all refer to as a starting point.
Hell, Judeo-Christianity has the 10 Commandments, so why not some Soft Vinyl Toy Commandments too? People are invested in Soft Vinyl Toys as seriously as any religious fanatic – so why not treat them both the same? Namely with some line-in-the-sand / pick-a-side / binary-opposite rules. Some… ** drum roll ** Commandments!
So, for edification, humor, to generate discussion and force our subjective opinion upon the masses, we thought it best to write down once and for all the The Soft Vinyl Toy Commandments….
Consider them sent straight from God. Or in this case, Godzilla.
Read them, below:
(i) Thou Must Not Use ‘Sofubi’ In Vein
‘Sofubi’ is a sacred word. It can only be used when referring to made-in-Japan Soft Vinyl Toys.
All other Soft Vinyl Toys are just that – Soft Vinyl Toys. They are not “Sofubi.”
(ii) Thou Must Sculpt Using Hands, Not Machines
The sculpt of a toy is its soul, which it is granted by its sculptor through the Holy transmutation of manual labour.
Digital sculpts are made by corrupted machines that are soulless – toys made using them will also be soulless. They will not be Sacred.
For this reason a human hand is needed to imbibe the nascent Soft Vinyl Toy with a soul.
(iii) Thou Must Note All Production Details
Soft Vinyl Toys are Sacred objects, however; they are also products to be eventually consumed spiritually by the faithful.
To protect their aura and spiritual well-being, the faithful need to know what the contents of their Soft Vinyl Toy sacrament are before imbibing.
For this reason – Soft Vinyl Toys should be labelled like food products, noting:
– country of manufacture
– date of creation
– manufacturer’s name
– designer’s name
– sculptor’s name
– the materials used
…to not do so, is a sin.
(iv) Thou Must Not Use Excessive Packaging
Intricate packaging takes up more space in the homes of the Soft Vinyl faithful that could be filled with Sacred toys – for this reason, it is sinful.
Intricate packaging also increases the cost of a toy, sapping away money that could be spent on more toys – this too is sinful.
For these reasons, Soft Vinyl Toys are only suitable as a Sacred sacrament to the faithful when packaged in a bag with header.
(v) Needing Soft Vinyl is a Sin
Whilst Soft Vinyl Toys are Sacred, they are not needed.
Indeed the truly Holy aspects of life are in true needs: Physical goods such food, air and water – and more elusive ones such as love, family and respect.
One must not feel a need to own a new toy as it debases the truly Holy.
Thus feeling a need for Soft Vinyl Toys – as opposed to mere passing want or desire – is a sin.
(vi) Thou Must Not Flip
Flipping is the act of buying Soft Vinyl Toys purely to quickly re-sell them at a profit.
This is a sin as it turns the sacred Soft Vinyl Toy into a mere item of secular commercial speculation like shares – Turning the Sacred, into the profane.
In this way, Flipping is a sin.
(vii) Thou Must Play With Their Toys
Soft Vinyl Toys have souls and are to be played with and loved, not kept chained and caged in a box.
Keeping Soft Vinyl Toys in their packaging deprives them of an existence, of a soul and is therefore sinful.
(viii) To Horde Soft Vinyl Toys Is a Sin
Soft Vinyl Toys are sacred objects to be loved and treasured – not simply horded like everyday objects of late era capitalism.
To horde soft vinyl, as opposed to collecting, is thus a sin.
(iv) Forsaking the Soft Vinyl Toy Community is a Sin
We are a community of fans, artists, writers, photographers, shop owners, curators and more.
We are also a family.
Get involved instead of mindlessly consuming Soft Vinyl Toys – Take photos, write reviews, paint, sculpt, interview people, discuss, trade. Do something!
To not do so is a sin.
(x) Have Fun and Be Nice to Artists, Manufacturers and Fellow Collectors
We are grown adults paying high prices for dolls.
Always remember this.
To forget is a sin.
(Article art by Lewis P Morley.)