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May 15, 2018

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Kidrobot & Ello Founder Paul Budnitz Launches New Designer Toy Company SUPERPLASTIC Today

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WELL-KNOWN ARTIST & ENTREPRENEUR RETURNS TO ART TOYS WITH  NEW JANKY TOY SERIES FEATURING 16 WORLD-FAMOUS ARTISTS — 


New York, NY — May 15, 2018 — Acclaimed artist & entrepreneur Paul Budnitz (Kidrobot, Ello, Budnitz Bicycles) launches his designer toy company Superplastic today, with new limited edition toys by renowned artists for sale today on Kickstarter.

Superplastic’s launch edition toys feature designs by 16 well-known artists including McBess, Camilla d’Errico, Jake Parker, Pete Fowler, Dalek, Ricardo Carvolo, Joe Ledbetter, El Grand Chamaco, Junko Mizuno, and many others.



Designer toys meld pop culture, street art, and fashion into limited edition works of art. Fans are well-known for lining up for hours — or days — for a new release.

“These aren’t just toys — they’re art,” says Budnitz. “With so much emphasis on digital culture, people are literally starved for something beautiful to hold in their hands.”

Superplastic begins selling JANKY today   a sneaker-obsessed anthropomorph that’s somewhere between cute and dark, nasty and nice. Prices range for $25 for a handful of 3-inch toys to $5,000 for an exclusive handmade 4-foot version.



The figure took 8 months to design, and is a collaboration between Budnitz and Superplastic art director Huck Gee, whose handmade toys sell for $50K and above. Both Budnitz and Gee are featured in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

“Where others see toys, Budnitz saw a medium for art,” says Gee. “Paul is as excited about creating experiences as products, and that’s what made art toy culture explode.”

Budnitz has been credited with launching the designer toy revolution when he opened his first Kidrobot store in New York City in 2004 (he left the company in 2012 to found Ello & Budnitz Bicycles). His return has been anticipated. The Superplastic home page began receiving tens of thousands of visits a day in late April, in anticipation of the Superplastic launch.

“The man is back! The man is back!”, tweeted XM Radio’s DJ Whookid, a longtime fan.



Other super limited-edition toys available on Kickstarter today include a giant sized 8” SuperJANKY entitled Ro-Mu-Lo by Mexican artist El Grand Chamaco; and Maximilian Cash by UK artist Pete Fowler, a psychedelic 9-inch tall vinyl toy with fangs, sneakers, a boombox, and a glowing blue skull. Both are limited to just 666 pieces.

Says Fowler, “Paul called and asked if I would make toys with him again. I was like — shit is oooonnnn!!

When Kickstarter approached Budnitz & Gee last fall about launching Superplastic on the popular crowdfunding platform, they jumped.

"This project is really going to resonate with our Kickstarter community, which loves to support the intersection of art and design," says Julio Terra, Director of Technology & Design for Kickstarter.

“We immediately saw Kickstarter as a brilliant new way for us to connect with our audience,” says Gee. “Of course, we decided to do crowdfunding a little differently.”

Once their basic $25K goal is reached, the team will unlock a range of fun challenges and exclusive stretch goals. Kickstarter backers get to launch toys into space, write a Haiku about their favorite toy, or get a JANKY tattoo. When all 35 challenges are completed, every single backer gets an extra JANKY toy for just one cent.

Partway through the campaign Superplastic will also unveil JANKYLAND, a 3-D rendered glitch-art mobile game where fans can play for free on iPhone & Android.

“In a world where most things are rebooted, repackaged and resold, everything Superplastic does is new and original,” says Budnitz. “It’s why our fans are so excited.”



LINKS

Superplastic on Kickstarter
Jankyland mobile games: iOS Android
Instagram: @superplastic
Facebook: superplastic

COMPLETE LIST OF JANKY SERIES 1 ARTISTS:

      Ricardo Carvolo (Spain)
      El Grand Chamaco (Mexico)
      Dalek (USA)
      Camilla D’Errico (Canada)
      Pete Fowler (UK)
      Huck Gee (USA)
      Mark Gmehling (Germany)
      Joe Ledbetter (USA)
      Jason Limon (USA)
      McBess (France)
      Junko Mizuno (Japan/USA)
      Dolly Oblong (Switzerland/Korea)
      Jake Parker (USA)
      Sket One (USA)
      Tado (UK)
      Bubi Au Yeung (Hong Kong)


ABOUT SUPERPLASTIC

Founded by artist and entrepreneur Paul Budnitz (Ello, Budnitz Bicycles, Kidrobot), Superplastic creates premium limited edition designer toy with artists worldwide. Its products are limited edition, so when they sell out, they’re gone forever. Huck Gee is head of art and production.

Key products include JANKY, a platform toy designed by Budnitz and Gee and customized by well-known artists worldwide, as well as larger limited edition vinyl figures.



ABOUT JANKY

JANKY is a toy series created by Superplastic founder Paul Budnitz and toy artist Huck Gee. Blank versions of the toy are given to well-known artists worldwide, whose customized limited editions are sold to customers and fans.

Most 3-inch JANKY toys come in a surprise box, so customers don’t know which toy they will get until they open the box. Some designs are secret, and others are super-rare. In addition, Superplastic also sells limited-edition 8-inch and 4-foot SuperJANKYs. Prices range from $25 to $5000.



ABOUT PAUL BUDNITZ

Besides founding Superplastic, artist and entrepreneur Paul Budnitz is well known as the founder of Kidrobot (which he left in 2012), Ello, and Budnitz Bicycles — as well as a half dozen other companies.

Budnitz has collaborated with hundreds of artists, including Shepard Fairy, Takashi Murakami, Frank Kozik, Tara McPherson, Swizz Beatz, Joe Ledbetter, Camilla D’Erricco, Ron English, Junko Mizuno, Joe Ledbetter, Gary Baseman, Seen, and many others. He has worked with brands including Visionaire, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, Karl Lagerfeld, Burton, Volkswagen, and Nike.

Budnitz’ designs appears in collections including the Museum of Modern Art and Cooper-Hewitt in New York City. Budnitz Bicycles was named City Bike of the Year by Bicycling Magazine in 2015.

Paul Budnitz lives in Burlington, Vermont and wears size 13 sneakers. He lectures on creativity worldwide.



ABOUT HUCK GEE

Superplastic head of art and production Huck Gee has been recognized as one of the world’s top custom toy artists since 2003.

Huck’s handmade toys sell for as much as $50,000, and appear in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Huck exhibits worldwide, races Japanese cars, and lives in San Francisco with his family and about a million toys.

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