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#a402 :: “B.O.B.” toy

March 24, 2009

Since my wife is a member of ASIFA we got passes to a pre-release screening of Monsters vs. Aliens tonight. Verdict: It’s no Kung Fu Panda or Bolt, but it’s got enough yuks and snappy design to make an honest buck, and I might even see it again. They were giving away McDonald’s toys in […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Miniature, Model, Toy | Comments (0)

#a388 :: Chinese traveling hare

March 10, 2009

Where is he going? What is he carrying? Why is he important? Chinese factory workers so beautifully aped the luster of carved coral with cast, burnished and “age”-dusted red plastic resin that I’m left wishing I had the answers to these questions. In lesser hands, he would have been a child’s plaything, a little knicknack […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Fetish, Miniature, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a373 :: Snowshoe hare

February 23, 2009

Two thumbsplats for eyes, slick back his ears, give him an immense tail, and now he’s some sort of steroidal racing bunny-ghost. My daughter’s latest class project calls for a creature endowed with camouflage. She made this – and several others like it – out of Super Sculpey. It’s so pure, I can almost envision […]

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#a369 :: Lucky lead pig

February 19, 2009

Once upon a time, his paint was perfect. You can see it on his good side – the bright and chipper eye facing the lucky shamrock dangling from his left jowls – that look that says fortune will smile on us both if you keep me close. Flip to the other side – the stem […]

Filed under: Artifact, Ephemera, Fetish, Miniature, My father's HLOs, symbol | Comments (0)

#a359 :: Silicone dolphin

February 8, 2009

If there’s a story behind this creature, my father will have to supply it. It arrived in a box of things he offered for photography, and it suggests nothing but a happy life aquatic, swimming through the dust in a drawer and surviving on pencil shavings until he’s required to dance on his tail, chatter […]

Filed under: Facsimile, Miniature, My father's HLOs, Objet, Toy | Comments (0)

#a344 :: Chrome-plastic miniature cutlery

January 24, 2009

This nation has bought into the culture of preciousness from the very first needlepoint sampler of the earliest Don’t Tread on Me flag. We can’t say we invented it- I think we can thank the Egyptians or the first culture that ever created chubby little fertility-goddess fetishes for that. But the U.S. has a by-God […]

Filed under: Adornment, Ephemera, Facsimile, Jetsam, Miniature, Tool | Comments (2)

#a326 :: Porcelain doll head

January 5, 2009

He was rendered in porcelain bisque, no bigger than the end of my thumb many, many decades ago. This angelic countenance stands ready to receive whatever whim, benediction or mad wish a child of 18XX might bestow upon him. If he had a body, it’s gone now. No matter. Capped with glazed curls, his smile […]

Filed under: Artifact, Facsimile, Miniature, Part, Toy | Comments (0)

#a320 :: Traveling Ganesha

December 30, 2008

He is the lord and destroyer of obstacles and like his brother, he came from San Francisco – indeed from another shop in the same block on Columbus Avenue. He is brass, barely 1.25 inches high, carrying his teapot and parasol on the road from here to there. He smiles benevolently, secure in some knowledge […]

Filed under: Artifact, Ephemera, Fetish, Microfiction, Miniature, symbol | Comments (0)

#a315 :: Z-card

December 25, 2008

Have I mentioned these? I got a motorcycle in my stocking this year. I picture myself cut about an inch tall from 1/8″-thick styrofoam, clad in teeny, tiny laminate leather, my shiny mug grinning. Flat helmet under my flat arm. Peace to all out there. I hope yours has been a warm and strengthening holiday. […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Miniature, Model, Objet, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a310 :: Blown glass Indian chief

December 20, 2008

We decorated the tree a couple days ago, and tonight we threw a massive Christmas party – I spent most of the day cooking ribs (27 racks) and gumbo (probably six or eight gallons) for 100 good friends, colleagues and family. It was a swell time. At the height of it, a toddler knocked a […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, Miniature, Model, symbol | Comments (0)

#a300 :: Homies grilled-corn vendor

December 10, 2008

Little plastic characters from barrio life, the Homies get as much flak as they get props. They were created by Mexican-American cartoonist David Gonzales, who clearly launched the collectible-toy phenomenon (120,000,000+ figurines sold) from a place of respect. Maybe I’m just a stupid white guy, but this vendor’s face and stance seem to radiate the […]

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#a295 :: Chocolate laptop

December 5, 2008

The company Christmas party went off tonight as it always does – a full-blown bash with excellent food and good company. The capper to the meal was a créme brulée in a little chocolate box, topped with this emblem cast in dark and white chocolate. I always choose the cruelest month to do my no-refined-sugar […]

Filed under: Edible, Ephemera, Miniature, Model, symbol | Comments (0)

#a294 :: Ideal “Powermite” orbital sander

December 4, 2008

In 1969, the Ideal Toy company came out with a line of fully operational miniature powertools that plugged into battery supplies built into their small carrying cases. This “Powermite” sander is about three inches long by two inches tall and less than an inch wide, and came with little sheets of sandpaper, which clamped onto […]

Filed under: Artifact, Ephemera, Fetish, Found Object, Miniature, Tool, Toy | Comments (0)

#a281 :: Cupcake topper

November 21, 2008

More than 500 million human beings live in absolute poverty. Right now. Their lot is not changing. More than 15 million children die of hunger every year. Starve. To. Death. How many children is that? Numbers are pretty meaningless when you’re talking about entire nations of people, but do some math: Remember the faces of […]

Filed under: Art, Artifact, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Found Object, Jetsam, Miniature, Model, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a266 :: Yarn dolls

November 6, 2008

(A guest post by my 9-year-old son) Dolls made out of yarn with wire armature and very small marbles for eyes. Kind of like voodoo dolls, if you think about it. The types of figures: a zombie, a burgular, a devil,a spider, and a guy with some wierd hairdo. They’re not bendable or flexable, but […]

Filed under: Art, Miniature, symbol | Comments (0)

#a265 :: Baby Stripe

November 5, 2008

(A guest post by my 7-year-old daughter) I traded Baby Stripe to one of my friends named Dinah and Sammie.I gave them a little bear. First I asked Sammie the next day I asked Dinah and she agreed.So now I have a cute raccoon.

Filed under: Miniature, Toy | Comments (0)

#a259 :: Polly Pocket shoes & handbags

October 30, 2008

Tiny accessories for teensy simulacra, these silicone shoelets and bagettes piled up in my daughter’s room until her obsession with Polly Pocket wore off and she tired of them and moved onto a new obsession. At some point, she got it into her head that she could sell them on eBay. I think she’s more […]

Filed under: Fetish, Miniature, Model, Part, Toy | Comments (0)

#a253 :: Desk cleaning time

October 24, 2008

You own a lot of shit. You accumulate more of it every day. Sometimes, you have to pick through it to get your desk clean. And you make little piles. That might or might not be photographs of your life told in debris. And yet, you never seem to get rid of the things as […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Artifact, Blahg, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Found Object, Instrument, Jetsam, Life form, Miniature, Model, Objet, Part, symbol, Tool, Toy, weapon | Comments (0)

#a250 :: Big Bro Slig

October 21, 2008

In some lights, my 9-year-old son is my very heart dancing around outside my body, a handsome, smart, innocent, brave, funny, sensitive boy. In others, he’s a degenerate, unwashed, mouthbreathing game addict who would rather live a fantasy life through his hunched shoulders, twitching thumbs and unblinking bloodshot eyeballs than virtually anything else, including eating, […]

Filed under: Fetish, Miniature, Model, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a245 :: Jade torus

October 16, 2008

This lump of polished, lustrous stone – so fetishy I can’t even decide what to do with it yet – came my way for $2 at the swap meet last weekend. It has a wondrous weight and feel in the hand. And it’s made of this stuff which gives it a symbolic potency far deeper […]

Filed under: Adornment, Fetish, Miniature, Objet, symbol | Comments (0)

#a229 :: Marx mule deer

September 30, 2008

Back in 1969, the Louis Marx and Company was casting its “WILD ANIMALS” series in plastic. These beautiful little facsimile animals were hand-painted (in Taiwan, according to the garish and lush four-color offset-litho box) and turned them loose in the wilds of American family rooms. The box copy says (in all its unproofread glory): MULE […]

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#a226 :: Luke Skywalker Pez dispenser

September 27, 2008

I’d like to say I’ve had dreams of people pulling back my head to eat candy from my neck. I haven’t. But if I had, I’d choose this Star Wars specimen, one of the finest expressions of the Pez-maker’s art that I have ever seen. You?

Filed under: Ephemera, Fetish, Miniature, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a215 :: Bus

September 16, 2008

Parallel to the spine of the bus: LEYLAND ROYAL TIGER COACH MADE IN ENGLAND BY LESNEY (and then just beneath the engine compartment) #40 From my wife’s collection.

Filed under: Art, Facsimile, Fetish, Miniature, Model, Toy | Comments (0)

#a214 :: Miniature tempura

September 15, 2008

Tiny morsels of molded silicon, hand-daubed to an irresistible crunchylookingness. Only 900 yen. The linchpin to a successful front-window display in your 1:8-scale restaurant. From the same niche of Japanese collectibles culture as this

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#a170 :: Lead “Indian brave”

August 1, 2008

The micro-war between the races of earth still rages on in English toy shops and adult imaginations – even though most young Londoners have graduated to XBox, Flickr and Legomania. Most warriors wear meticulously handpainted uniforms. In the antiques stalls of Portobello Road they rest, weapons at the ready, medals ablaze in gold and polychrome, […]

Filed under: Found Object, Miniature, symbol, Tool | Comments (0)


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