Janel Laban
Jun 2, 2006

Rotofugi is a toy shop full of truly unusual toys. A visit to Rotofugi sparks ideas and discussion like seeing a good gallery show.

Owned by husband and wife Kirby and Whitney Kerr, the shop presents designer toys as an art work that is limited, collectible and purchasable. The site says: "We specialize in urban vinyl toys, minis, capsule toys, plush and wearables. We firmly believe that toys are an art form..."

In keeping with the gallery atomosphere, there are special shows from time to time. Tonight brings the opening (6.2.06 from 7-11pm) of "Teddy Troops Invasion!!!" a show of 40 identical vinyl bears customized by 40 Chicago Artists. The work will be shown through July 23. If you are inspired by the show you can buy a blank "Teddy Troop" to diy for $60.

Toys range from ultra kawaii to super scary, all created in the name of good design, coolness, and a sense of humor. Prices also run the gamut from under $10. on up. "Frozen Solid Security Monkey" (left) by David Horvath (designer of the beloved in my home Uglydolls) is three inches tall and has changeable expressions ($13.).

The toy collection pictured at the top is part of "Series 2 Qee" by various artists such as Yumiko Kayukawa, Baseman, Tara Mc Pherson and Buffmonster. They are blind packaged, so it is a surprise as to which cutie you'll get ($7.95). See, collecting art at Rotofugi is fun!

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