126 Prince Street, 212-966-6688
“They’re Pop Art in the same way that Andy Warhol was,” Paul Budnitz says of the brilliant, sometimes bizarre creations that populate his store, Kidrobot. Only here, he says, “the canvas happens to be a toy”—if that’s the right word for something that looks like the love child of Tim Burton and a Powerpuff Girl. Huge in Asia yet relatively new to the U.S., these “urban vinyl action figures” are created by artists,sculptors, and designers; most are limited-edition. Budnitz began selling them in New York in September and has since introduced customers like Robin Williams and Christina Aguilera to specimens ranging from plush, $6 mini Gloomy Bears (think bloodthirsty teddies) to $500 Be@rbricks, which he describes as “Playmobil gone to hell.” They may not be cuddly, but cutting-edge rarely is.
Best Modern Toys
- Photo by Raymond Patrick
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).