Toys are us. Whatever your age, gender, or ethnicity – each of us has an object that we will forever associate with the days of our childhood. Whether it’s a rock or a majestic Barbie castle, it doesn’t really matter. These physical objects have powerful emotions rooted in their material whatever it is. Chasing that emotion, but making it a tad more sophisticated is set designer extraordinaire Gary Card. Teaming up with a toy production company Unbox Industries, Card has imagined a psychedelic universe of Breakfast Boys – a limited edition run of two figures each coming in a run of 20. Hand-cast in resin, the figurines fall somewhere between a toy and a sculpture, reflecting on the design signatures of the London-based creative. These are actually a visual continuation of Happy Breakfast, a zine he launched in 2017. Now, the characters went from 2D to 3D, living their nu-rave technicolour realities. The collection is currently exclusively available in Dover Street Market London, with a dedicated installation in the space. However, those yearning for their own bit of Gary Card toys that happen to be on a different continent have something to look forward to as well. Dover Street Markets in LA, NY, Singapore and Tokyo will all get their moment to shine, as the installation will be travelling to all those locations in the coming weeks. For more info, stay tuned into each of their Instagram accounts as fans will be updated through posts on there.
In celebration of this colourful launch, we asked Gary Card to select 10 of his favourite toys. Taken from his personal archives along with some even more personal anecdotes, the serial lover of colour purple is bringing his world into ours. This is the toy story according to Mister Card.
1. This is Morris, he’s a ‘my pet monster’, a beloved 1980s toy brand. I have had him since I was about four years old. I was a sickly child and was always ill – at one point I needed an operation on my nose to help me breathe easier. So, my mum bought me this guy to be my companion in the hospital. I have had him ever since. Mum would have no doubt picked him because he is purple – I was and always have been obsessed with purple.
2. This is Toxie, he is a Toxic Crusader. This was my all-time favourite toy line and have been a huge inspiration to me over the years. They were so gross – check out how 1990s he is with those colours! What separated them from other toy lines was the level of detail that went into each figure. Each splattered with neon paint too, they are gorgeously grotesque. Incidentally the guy who sculpted this and all of the Toxic crusaders is now sculpting a figure for my next project. David Arshawsky is a genius.
3. This is Galvatron, my favourite villain Transformer. In the movie he was entirely purple and I was always really annoyed that for the toy they decided to make him this drab grey. Did they think that purple was too girly for a macho robot? Who knows, I still love him though.
4. This is Mayor McCheese. I have to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of McDonald’s, however, on my first trip to New York in 2002 I fell in love with this figure of him. Look at that suit and the purple sash! So dapper in his purple top hat with the proportion of that huge head… Actually that awesome head makes him very top heavy and almost impossible to keep stood up.
5. This is Eddie Table, a character designed by one of my favourite illustrators Dave Cooper. Once again, it’s the exaggerated proportions that I love, those gigantic black eyes and tiny feet! I usually wedge him between a couple of books to keep him up right.
6. This is Mr Rotten Donuts, he was designed by Japanese illustrator Tetsunori Tawaraya. One of the cool things about starting to design toys is sometimes I get gifted insane editions like this guy. The wonderful people at Unbox Industries (who I’ve partnered with to manufacture the Breakfast Boys series for DSM) gave me this guy when I went to visit their studio in Hong Kong.
7. This is purple Batman – he’s purple. I’m not really sentimental about this one, I just think he’s really cool. Batman is already kinda gay but this purple edition cranks his gay factor up to 100. So cute! Great likeness of Michael Keaton too.
8. I love Gundam. Sometimes I go on Pinterest to do research and end up staring at pictures of Gundams for an hour. I just think they are so beautiful, sexy almost, no? I found this one in Tokyo, he came in thousands of pieces with no instructions. I almost had a nervous breakdown putting him together, he’s so fragile that if you so much as breathe near him he falls apart.
9. This is burning baby Godzilla, not sure why he’s burning, but that’s his name. I was at Comic Con a few years ago and spotted him in a vintage toy section– I instantly fell in love. He’s also a money box.
10. This is… Errr – okay, if I’m honest I have no idea who this dude is, but I just think he’s so gorgeous! That colour combo is so me! I would totally wear that outfit. I found this guy in a toy market in Kowloon. They take toys very seriously over there, I haggled like a boss to procure him.