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Toys

Plushies with Purpose

At a recent convention we came across the Creep Cat Toy Company — by their own description, “…founded by two independent LGBTQ+ artists with a passion for funky little creatures and a knack for design! We are a pair of artists who work mainly in craft and concept design and are trying our hand at turning our work into something larger.” Which is mainly a collection of interesting plush animal toys, often featuring species you don’t see very often — like hyenas long-legged maned wolves. The collection also includes their line of Pride Gators, designed to showcase the owner’s personality. “With each purchase from Creep Cat you are directly supporting small artists and helping us live out our dream!”.

image c. 2022 Creep Cat Toy Company

Monsters On Our Side… They Hope

Okay, follow along with this one: Panda Mony is an alternative toy company. One of there signature creations is a line of “cryptid” monsters called Alter Nation. Well now they have teamed up with Dark Horse Comics to bring us Alter Nation: They Hide Hybrids, a new full-color graphic novel. From Dark Horse: “The top-secret team of cryptid-heroes, GK Delta, are committed to protecting humanity from extraordinary threats.When you are all that stands between humanity and certain annihilation, you must be able to trust each other. So when Bomber betrays his brothers in arms, the team is forced to fight one of their own! What’s worse, what if he was right to leave?The team must confront their worst enemies while grappling with the fact that they may not be the heroes they think they are!” It’s written by Tim Seeley, illustrated by Mike Norton and Allan Passalaqua, and coming to stores this October.

image c. 2020 Dark Horse Comics

Does Stitch Know?

More stuff we found at WonderCon this year. Ohana Bears are the creation of “Hawaii’s own internationally renown award winning artist/designer: Bo Bergemann”. So says their web site. The cute Hawaiian bear art is available on various apparel, mugs, phone covers, and other products. And: They’re about to release a brand new plush toy based on their star character, Mahalo Bear.

image c. 2019 by Karin Bergemann

A Cat For Our Times

So Animation Magazine lead us to discover Krocchi the Street Cat, a new animated character brought to us by Nurue in Japan. Here’s what they say: “Krocchi is a tough cat who’s seen a lot, a new type of hero for children who teaches them to have a strong heart that never gives up, no matter how bad things get. Through this series children will learn creativity, and how to invent games with natural materials like grass and plants. And by dancing with Krocchi, they can have fun exercising too.” Besides the animated series for preschoolers, Nurue has also created a line of Krocchi artwork and plush toys.  Currently they’re seeking international distribution, and they’ve had some success in Asia.

image c. 2018 Nurue, Inc.

Play Is Serious Business

More illustrated books for young folks, this time from a well-known writer in Hollywood. Toy Academy is a new series from Scholastic Books, written by Brian Lynch and illustrated by Edwardian Taylor. “Welcome to Toy Academy: Where toys learn to play. This is where action figures train to battle, stuffed animals study the art of the hug, and collectibles practice standing very, very still. Though Grumbolt isn’t really any of those things, he’s determined to fit in. But when the Evil Toy Academy threatens to bring down his school, it’s up to Grumbolt to go where no good toy has gone before and prove he’s truly a great toy after all. This laugh-out-loud chapter book by the writer of Minions and a writer of The Secret Life of Pets is a classic in the making.” You heard it here!

image c. 2018 Scholastic Books

A Passion for Toys

Wow, what have we been missing? Turns out there’s an internet sensation named Johnny Wu (aka Sgt Bananas) who has made quite a name for himself with photography and stop-motion animation, featuring his impressive toy and action figure collection put together in some truly imaginative comic book style adventures. Now Mr. Wu has hooked up with comic book publisher Dynamite to bring us Ten Frames Per Second: An Articulated Adventure, a new full-color hardcover book highlighting some of Sgt Bananas’ best Instagram work. Outright Geekery has an article about it as well.

image c. 2018 Dynamite

They’re Not Destined For Pizza

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Fungisaurs.com is ready to get up and running. “What is a ‘Fungisaur’? Fungisaurs is the name we’ve given to our original dinosaur-mushroom hybrid species. We hope to inspired adventure, science education, and appreciation for nature.” And they are going at those goals from several angles all at once: Starting off with 8 different Fungisaur designs, they have toys, dedicated merchandise, an animated origin story, and even an augmented reality app all in the works.

image c. 2017 fungisaurs.com

Ponies of Darkness

Allan Gann made a name for himself as a crafter of custom plush toys for various organizations and individuals since 1999. Then in 2014, he expanded his vision with Midnight Mares, designed not only as a plush toy line but also as an animated series. Inspired by My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (obviously!), but Midnight Mares takes things in a darker and more grown-up oriented direction. Visit the official web site and you’ll see what we mean. Interestingly, Mr. Gann has retained the services of Duo Cartoonist to help create the animation. Duo Cartoonist is well-know as the creator of the Children of the Night animated short, which won a Special Ursa Major Award.

image c. 2017 MidnightMares.com

These Animals ROCK… If You Want Them To

[Just back from PAW-Con in Northern California, and STILL getting caught up on stuff from Stan Lee’s LA Comic Con!] Here’s a useful item with a Furry Fandom twist: My Audio Pet is “…a powerful Bluetooth speaker that enables you to listen to your favorite music, podcasts, or shows wherever you are. All My Audio Pets feature: Easy wireless connection to most smartphones, tablets, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices, a built-in mic for convenient hands-free option, and a rechargeable battery allows for portable tunes wherever you go.” Not to mention, they come in several cute animal designs — all with equally cute names like “Owl-capella”. Visit their web site to see all their current designs.

image c. 2017 myaudiopet.com