Designer Toys 101: What is an Artist Series?

If you are new to this column, it is truly meant to be read from the beginning to the most recent.
Please start with the first installment, "What are Designer Toys?"

There are some terms that are slightly more difficult to understand, and not because they regard a complex matter but rather that they are ill-defined; the term Artist Series is one of them, as — depending on the person — it can actually refer to one of several things. In the hope of helping you grasp the overall concept, I'll explain all the interpretations that I'm aware of.

The most frequently used version of this term is meant to describe a released series of Designer Toys by a singular artist, such as:
The above pictured Dunny series has the single platform completely designed by Huck Gee, allowing his vision to be seen through the whole as well as separate parts. It gets more convoluted in that some people think the term strictly applies to production release items while others broaden it to encompass a series of customs meant to be considered as a whole series as well. Some even place the requirement that the base platform designed can't be done by the same artist who designed them, since the platform itself is their vision.

But then others also use the term to express a series that has multiple artists designing the pieces, such as:
The reasoning being that it is the vision of the artists reinterpreting the platform that the whole is being sold on the strength of. And, once again, there exists the production only or inclusion of a custom series dispute. In the end, regardless of the details, it is meant to express a series of multiple designs that are meant to be taken as a whole rather than individually, due to the design provided by one or more artists. While this remains a rather vague identifier, the context of the specific series being referenced will hopefully lend you a clue as to how the speaker is interpreting this rather broad term.

Next Week: What is a Custom Trade Circle?

The Designer Toys used in this week's column were:
The "Gold Life" Dunny Series, designed by Huck Gee and released by Kidrobot, 2011.
The Jibibuts "Artist Collection," designed by 64 Colors, Andrea Kang, Anna Chambers, Bubi Au Yeung, Buff Monster, Leo Hillier, Martin Hsu, Nathan Jurevicius, Noferin, Peskimo, Squink and Tado and self-released by Noferin, 2012.

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