In March of 2019, I attended a fun event-thing called the Barbie 60th Anniversary Pop-Up Experience, which was just insane. Imagine being wedged into a crowded labyrinth of bright lights, neon colors, and every type of Barbie-branded doll in the universe, including Gender-Nonconforming Barbie and Dad-Bod Ken. Now, add little kids with their parents, and millennial Instagram-whores, and you’re got an idea of the scenario that I consider myself lucky to have survived with my sanity intact. Still: super fun!
While I saw literally hundreds of Barbies that day, the one that I will surely never forget is this Pink Mink Stole-draped plastic goddess known as the Andy Warhol Barbie. Here’s why: this Barbie (the third such doll produced in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation) is the definitive celebration of Warhol, drawing inspiration from the original Warhol Barbie portrait created by the artist in 1986. Barbie’s strapless gown features a sweetheart neckline and an overall print of the Warhol Barbie Portrait (you can see a few details of Barbie’s face on the dress if you look closely at the above photo). Beyond the fabulous Pink faux fur stole with blue lining, the doll’s accessories also include blue pumps accented with glitter inspired by Warhol’s technique of “diamond dust” crushed glass on canvas, earrings, necklace, ring and doll stand. Rad.
Sadly I could not capture details of the glittery shoes, as Andy Warhol Barbie was encased in a vitrine, to protect her from molestation. The statement to the left of Barbie’s face in the above photo reads as follows:
Andy Warhol made his mark by creating images of American icons. Barbie was added to the list when Warhol painted her in 1986. The first Barbie portrait was reportedly inspired by Warhol’s muse, Billy Boy, a jewelry designer and member of new York downtown scene in the 1980s, who owned a vast collection of Barbie dolls.
In this age of downloading all music purchases from the Internet, it’s easy to forget how much fun it can be to browse the weird, music-related shit that can be found in a good, old fashioned record store. I was wandering aimlessly in Rough Trade Records of Wiliamsburg, Brooklyn when I spotted this neato- thing that exists: a Residents Classic Eyeball Limited Edition Bobblehead! Yes, I just typed that.
The backstory, for those not in-the-know, is condensed as follows: The Residents are an American art collective best known for their avant-garde music and multimedia works. Since their first official release, Meet the Residents (1974), the group has released over sixty albums, numerous music videos and short films, three CD-ROM projects, and ten DVDs. Throughout its existence, the individual members have ostensibly attempted to operate under anonymity, preferring instead to have attention focused on their art output. In public, the group appears silent and costumed, often wearing eyeball helmets, top hats and tails — a long-lasting costume now recognized as its signature iconography. This figure, fabricated of high quality polyresin, and standing 7.5-inches tall, is available in an edition of just 1,000 hand-numbered units. You can get yours for just $26.99.
If you happen to be a fan of character-based, pop culture collectibles — which includes dozens of items encompassing such must-haves as enamel pins, plushies, art toys, limited edition / designer vinyl toys and action figures, monsters, model kits, art prints, novelties and seemingly endless subcategories of amazing swag — then the Five Points Festival, which took place in Greenpoint, Brooklyn over the weekend of June 2nd and 3rd, 2018 is the only place you want to be. There’s a lot to distill in this recap, so we are going to get right to it. If you weren’t at Five Points Fest, here is just some of what you missed!
You can’t really talk about Five Points Fest without at least mentioning Kidrobot, acknowledged worldwide as the premier manufacturer and retailer of limited edition art toys, signature apparel and lifestyle accessories. Their booth was crammed full of goodies like these pocket collectibles.
Andy Warhol Dunny Series 2
Andy Warhol Brillo Box Object Series
Post Continues, With Hundreds More Toys and Cool Things, After The Jump!
A mostly forgotten (if not widely-known) fact about me is that, in my high school years, my nickname was Wizard. The backstory on that takes way too long to talk about, but Wizard is nevertheless a word and a thing that has remained near and dear to my heart through the years. So, to come across a Pink Wizard: that is a pretty big deal! While Geoffrey and I were making the seen at this past weekend’s Five Points Festival in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, we came across this little guy in the booth for Sad Salesman, a collectible figure and toy company run by Eric Althin, who used to own the late great Bold Hype, one of our favorites among the Chelsea Art Galleries. We miss them so much, so it’s awesome to know that Eric is still making cool art and bringing it to the masses! Eric designs and sculpts all of Sad Salesman’s original characters!
Eric told me that The Wizard was the very first sculpture he sat down to make with the intention of it being a designer toy. “I made others following it,” he explained, “but after hearing feedback, it seemed to be everyone’s favorite. I crossed my fingers and went ahead and produced it as a limited edition vinyl toy, via Pretty In Plastic. I also wanted to have an even more “special edition” and had the factory make a translucent pink version!”
Created in a limited edition of just 70 pieces, the Pink Astral Wizard (so named for his powers of Astral Projection) is 9-inches tall, with a vinyl body and resin legs. He is giving you the side eye, because he knows all. Eric tells me that there are few of the Pink Astral Colorway Wizards remaining from sales at Five Points Fest, so if you weren’t able to make it out to Brooklyn, you can get yours now at This Link! And be sure to check out Sad Salesman’s other cool toys and figures while you are there!
Stay Tuned for our Spectacular Full Coverage Five Points Festival Coming Soon!
Being old enough to have watched the TV sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie in its first run, I certainly would have been overjoyed to have owned a Barbie Doll as cool as this one, based on the character played by the lovely Barbara Eden. Designed by Robert Best and release in November of 2010 (on Mattel’s Pink Label®!) the doll originally sold for $34.95. Not surprisingly, it is no longer available from Mattel, so good luck finding this great doll on eBay or collector’s sites.