All art are toys, all toys are art!

Art toys started as something underground but today you can find art toys just about anywhere. 

Designer Toys, also called art toys, are toys and collectibles created by artists and designers that are either self-produced or made by small, independent toy companies, typically in very limited editions. Artists use a variety of materials, such as ABS plastic, vinyl, wood, metal, latex, plush, and resin. Creators often have backgrounds in graphic design, illustration, or fine art, but many accomplished toy artists are self-taught.

Urban vinyl is a type of designer toy, featuring action figures in particular which are usually made of vinyl. Although the term is sometimes used interchangeably with the term designer toy, it is more accurately used as a modifier: not all designer toys can be considered urban vinyl, while urban vinyl figures are necessarily designer toys, by virtue of how they are produced. Like designer toys in general, urban vinyl figures feature original designs, small production numbers, and are marketed to collectors, predominantly adults.

The Godfather of the Urban Vinyl game is Michael Lau. In the 1970s American toys flooded Hong Kong and Michael Lau was heavily influenced by Gi Joe figures. He later would use that inspiration to create figures of his own work. In the '90s Lau started creating his own figures developed from his personal art style. These figures were truly stand out featuring looks and styles that were popular in street culture. In my opinion, these figures hold their weight and are still completely relevant within today's culture, just timeless. 

many companies have taken up the phenomenon, without knowing it, you probably already know some of them : KIDROBOT, MEDICOM, and the most famous one FUNKO POP TOYS…