Traveler, writer, reviewer, all-round observer. I like anything cool & fast, but occasionally sit at a cafe watching the world go by.
For the fifth year in a row at the NY Comic Con, Tenacious Toys returned with more products to fill your shelves with unique, limited edition, and artfully made toys, apparel, and accessories. As their website’s business motto states, they only stock products they really love, and this year, being the toy aficionados and collectors that they are, they had quite a collection!
The first stop I bolted toward, as I walked through the doors of NY Comic Con, was to their booth to buy a Furry Feline exclusive plush toy Bogie for Comics Crux’s very own, Jess – little did she know I read her post over a month ago about her wishing she was here to get her hands on one of these critters (hehe). I am proud to say that I was the first to buy this collectors item (only 10 were made) and had none other than Benjamin Kline autograph it. The Furry Feline / Tenacious Toys exclusive, was modeled after one of his bulldogs, Tiny.
I asked him if he’s been to the San Diego Comic Con. “It’s not cost-effective to move all my stuff out there. I live in Manhattan. Besides, for the record, San Diego’s Comic Con wont give me the time nor day, so even if I wanted to exhibit there, I couldn’t.” He turned toward an invisible camera and called out, “Hello San Diego! I would never exhibit with you, because you don’t even want to talk to me.”
He handed me a post card sized advertisement showing a list of all the names they’re displaying at their multi-booth area. This included Furry Feline Creatives, 4 The Luv of Toyz NY, Toykick, SubUrban Vinyl, Kris Dulfer of Kid Ink Industry, Playful Gorilla, Scott Tolleson of SPT, Dead Hand Toys, David Kraig, Jacob Jams, Carson Catlin of memakepretty.com, Pobber, and outsmART originals.
I asked Benny what his expectancy would be for this weekend. “I think it’s pretty obvious that the crowds are huge already after only an hour into the show. I’m expecting to sell maybe twice as much as last year. I’ve thought about it a lot more clearly through the whole year to plan things out to make sure things go smoothly.” I chimed in, “Practice makes perfect.” “Yeah, exactly!”
The day after I saw him, his Facebook posting read, “Holy crap guys yesterday was insane!”
This is no surprise. With quite a following already, crowds gathered toward their sub-categorized section of the floor called ‘The Block’. Along with NY Comic Con’s general magazine showing the weekend events, a smaller publication (brochure) was made exclusively for this section, which featured Tenacious Toys along with several other vendors.
Having started in 2004, Tenacious Toys has been around for 9 years. Mr. Kline and his wife stumbled across an 8″ bear at FAO Schwarz that was made in Hong Kong. They became interested in artistic toys and began looking for them on the internet to find out more about it. “What happened after that, happened very quickly. We went on to buying more toys, and selling on e-Bay, but then eventually put up our own website.”
My next question almost had him stumped, “What’s your favorite toy?”
“My favorite toy? That’s really hard! Even answering that question would mean alienating some of my friends. Most of my friends are now artists creating their own toys in the industry. I guess that would be like asking a parent which is your favorite child.”
“Well, one of the first artists I was really drawn to is Mario Martinez who is Mars-1. He makes these really cool alien, organic, other-worldly kinds of paintings, but he has some really cool toys out there too.”
I pointed toward the special plush he had displayed, “What can you tell us about your exclusive Furry Feline you have here?”
Benny smiled with pride, “The exclusive plush is by Furry Feline Creative. It’s name is Bogie, and is only $40. There’s only 10 of them ever made – handmade. Furry Feline is a husband and wife team, and everything is super-limited. I actually have their full line of their plushes. Bogie, I believe, is the first dog they ever made. It’s fashioned after my own dog, Tiny – a pit bull. And we’re very proud of that.”
On behalf of Comics Crux, hope to see you next year, Mr. Kline.