Usugrow burst onto the Japanese art scene in the early '90s with his concert posters for punk and hardcore shows. Since then, he's been creating tattoo-inspired work, heavily featuring skulls, flowers, and calligraphic elements. His claim to fame in the designer toy scene is the Rebel Ink, first introduced in 2009. The 7 inch sculpture depicted a skinny, slouchy guy clad in baggy jeans with just a skull for a head. The feature that adds the most character is Rebel Ink's bandana, a callback to Usugrow's hardcore roots. Interestingly, the bandanna is tied to a fountain pen and a brush, creating an X. After producing the first handful of Rebel Ink figures, Usugrow began to add tattoos to their stomachs, foreheads, and backs. The tattoos varied from skeletal priests to praying hands. The figure was cast in all sorts of colors, including solids, transparent colors, metallics, and even some lamé and marbled casts. Between the colors and the tattoos, there have been tons of variants of the Rebel Ink, so it shouldn't bee surprising that some collectors try to obtain every variant. This also makes it's pretty difficult to find the exact model you're looking for.
If you're interested in picking up a Rebel Ink, expect to pay upwards of $100 with the price increasing based on the color, finish, condition, tattoos, and hang tag packaging. While solid colored pieces can be had for just $100, metallic ones in good condition can run for double that. And pieces from 2009 can cost over $300. But let's be honest; any of these colorways are worthy additions to a sofubi collection.
Check out previous #TBT entries here
Monday, February 4, 2019 - 10:16amThe result of an awesome collaboration between American Gross and Nicholas Fung, these hand-dyed sofubi monsters are as gruesome as they are beautiful.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 11:04pmWe are excited to be releasing the first run of hand-painted Penetrator-X figures, hand painted by American Gross!
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 8:00amFive Points Festival Fall exclusive drops from some of your favorite sofubi and vinyl artists!! including special releases from: Mutant Vinyl Hardcore, Kikkake Toys, Rampage Toys, and more. Art, toys, and beer, what could go wrong?!