In case you can’t tell, I really have a great time attending and covering the Taipei Toy Festival. It’s not just the abundance of toys on display (and for sale…). The designers all really seem to enjoy being there, meeting their fans and networking with one another. Simone Legno of Tokidoki (you’ve probably seen his stuff on Lesportsac bags) was one of the biggest names there this year. He was scheduled for several autograph sessions and had lines of people waiting for him, but I saw him taking the time to carefully draw in a fan’s sketchbook. He was very absorbed in what he was doing.
I think that anecdote encapsulates the spirit of the festival. A lot of graphic designers and artists create toys as a side venture that they invest their own money into, and the prices they charge per figure is really not that much higher than its production cost. I don’t know what it’s like once you start talking about the larger toy producers/distributors, but most of the independent designers definitely do what they do out of love.
I also worked on a video last night featuring some interviews I conducted at the festival, but I ran into a technical hiccup called iMovie ’08. Boy, what an awful program! I totally agree with David Pogue’s assessment of it. That’s back on the drawing board and won’t be ready for another couple days (I’ll post pics of my latest acquisitions then, too), but for now, check out my article about the festival. (Click “view this page” if you want to see my story as it appeared in the newspaper).