by Zolton in New Products on Friday 22 December 2006

Well, it’s that time of year and dammit we’re in the mood for giving so we have one final treat for the year, a plush doll created for the launch of the new Beck album, The Information. Fittingly enough, the doll was created by Australian designer Beck Wheeler, who says she ‘listened constantly to the album while designing the toy. Music is always an important feature in my studio, and it was great to get asked to make a toy that responded to a musical muse. I’m a big fan of the new album’s ‘do it yourself’ aesthetic [It comes with a blank cover and a bunch of stickers that you can arrange however you want them]. I guess my original idea was to have a toy that worked in a similar way to the album. The first sketches I did were for a toy that had no face, and came with a bunch of button-on faces that could be swapped and changed. The design I settled for is of a toy that has a traditional looking bear face that can be removed to show the face of a four-eyed creature. I wanted to pay homage to the history of the ‘Teddy Bear’ [thanks to Theodore Roosevelt] but put it in the context of the current designer toy explosion. There are alot of disposable mass-made objects out there and I really wanted to make a toy that was almost obsessively handmade. I hand-printed all the fabric and used a mixture of hand and machine sewing to finish the toy. They were ridiculously time consuming and I really enjoyed the whole process’. He’s wearing a very stylish outfit. It’s quite a dapper toy huh? ‘Yep, he’s a stylish fella. The suit is actually drawn from one that Beck wears in a recent photo shoot’. How did the assignment come about? ‘I got an email from Becks promo team after they spotted my stuff on the Cool Hunting blog. The idea of designing a toy especially for the album had me drooling with excitement. What’s the latest with your own toy range? ‘My last range of toys is called ‘the Myxo Mob’ and are a series of bunnies that have myxomatosis and like scrabble, internet dating and Fleetwood Mac. This series was limited to an edition of 100, of which I have about 20 left. I plan to release a new range of toys in 2007, but the details are top secret. Shhhh. I have also written and illustrated a childrens book called How Absurd which should hit the shelves in May/June 2007′. We have three of these toys to give away. To be in with a chance of winning, leave a comment under this posting listing which contemporary of Beck you’d like to see as a plush toy and why. Entries close December 28th and the winners will be announced with a comment under this posting.

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