My shoes are so boring. I need a new pair with attitude. I also need some designer toys since I didn’t get enough plastic to play with when I was a kid.
That’s why I give you Tim Tsui. His toys beat Barbie any day.
Tim Tsui is an internationally renowned toy designer/illustrator from Hong Kong.
As a kid he loved plastic action figures like GI JOE and all kinds of war toys. Later on he got into hiphop and urban culture, but he always asked himself why there were no figures and collector items based on street culture. He decided to create his own. Some existing toys from MEDICOM was a great inspiration, especially the 12’’ BATHING APE by James Lavelle and NIGO. Tim created some 6″ characters for a Japanese Toy fair and got a lot of good reviews. He decided to continue and create some more series. He explains:
“At that time, the HK and Japan toy markets were flooded with human-styled figures and I wanted to change it slightly and make something more unique. That’s why I changed my toys into more of an Ape-style, holding a spraycan. I’m a big fan of graffiti as well because I feel that it is an international language that everyone can appreciate, even if you can’t read the words, you can still admire the colors and style. I think that the art toy market is a little bit like this and that’s why I chose to incorporate graffiti as an element; to try and show how my work could be appreciated internationally.”
From 2002 he has launched various series of vinyl designer figurines. His influences are movies, such as Kill Bill, Diablo videogame, Hiphop, Eminem, Hero: Xmen and all aspects of street life.
Tim Tsui has also created the ultimate streetwear. He teamed up with Li-Ning on a sneaker, celebrating the brand’s 20th anniversary. Under the “Make a Change” slogan, Tim Tsui turned their low top 001 silhouette into a high top sneaker and gave the tongue the face of one of his characters. The outer sole features the graphics of the artist.
The result: The Tim Tsui x Li-Ning Sneaker.
Here are som detailed images: