Posted by Miranda July 27, 2011

One of the biggest and most exciting parts of putting together the Designer Toy Awards, was dreaming up and manufacturing the actual physical award. We knew from the outset that we wanted it to be a substantial piece that not only encapsulated the character driven nature of the designer toy scene but also stood on its own as a desirable art object. Because we truly are celebrating the growth and longevity of the scene, it made perfect sense to us to approach Clutter's first cover artist Pete Fowler. Pete has been instrumental in creating and driving the art toy space with amazing character based Monsters, really helping to bring together art and toys and blurring the illustration / main stream media / toy line. We were so happy that Pete was excited to take part. We pretty much gave him an open brief to work within. Nothing more helpful than saying "Make something iconic that represents the toy scenes artistic expression". We really didn't know what we wanted, other than something large and awesome. So after some late night (post pub) skype sessions Pete got out his pencils and started sketching.

Our first thought was to produce the whole award in metal, and for a while we explored that route. The main problem with doing that it required us stripping back the design in order to keep to a minimum amount of molds. Horns and arms that were not molded to the figure because out of the question, and to make something large enough to take on an Oscar was way out of an acceptable price range.

Pete's First Sketch idea.


To fit a metal mold sculpt we pushed the legs together, moved one arm so it was fully sculpted into the figure and tried to change the shape of the horns so we could still keep them. We all sat down to discuss this direction and something really wasn't jelling for us. We weren't happy with the restrictions we were coming up against and the design was losing what we loved about Pete's work - it needed Fowlering up!


Right around this time we received an email from Luke Rock over at Lulubell toys. He told us about his new venture with Julie B from Pretty in Plastic - Cherry Vinyl, and asked if there was any way they could get involved in the DTA's. We were so happy to be able to consider production within the USA and work with people who we admire and produce quality work time and time again.

With Feed back from Luke and Julie we went back to Pete and asked for a Fowler masterpiece with no restrictions. Producing the figures in resin meant that we could have a much more complicated mold, keep the size we really wanted and still make them weighty so they feel like a substantial object.



Pete kicked it out of the park, and created this Monster-inspired version of the award "The Toy King".  We couldn't be more happy with the design, or thankful to Pete for getting behind us!

Technology allowed us to co-ordinate designing the award in the UK, produce it in NYC and sculpt and manufacture it in California, all within a 3 month time span. The amazing Julie B sculpted and produced all 22 awards in less than 6 weeks. She went above and beyond to select the perfect elements from bases, to plaques to the felt on the bottom. She is a self confessed perfectionist and it really shows in her work.

Throughout the process Julie B. kept us informed with awesome production shots, so exciting to see it come together. We couldn't wait for the big reveal!

The award really exceeded our expectation, we can't thank everyone involved enough. They all went above and beyond to produce this amazingly shiny jewel.

Long live the King!!!

More images here


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leftClutter is a FREE monthly print publication covering all things Designer Toy and Sub-Culture art. Founded in 2004 in the good old United Kingdom, Clutter moved to NYC in 2009 where it continues to grow. Pick up a copy here.

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