Wil, Sue and Cam Overton founded dinkybox way back in 2004 after falling in love with the (then) newly founded art form known “ART TOYS”. These highly collectable figures moved away from the traditional ceramic format, opting instead for the more contemporary material, vinyl. In those early days, two key names become linked with this ‘movement’, Paul Budnitz (USA) and Raymond Choy (Hong Kong). Both developed the idea of a blank figure that could be customised by established and emerging contemporary artists, illustrators and designers. Budnitz founded his company under the name of KIDROBOT with Choy taking the name TOY2R. Kidrobot are a leading brand in Art Toys and are best known for their ‘blank’ design, the DUNNY / MUNNY with TOY2R being best recognised for their blank design the QEE.
Kidrobot and Toy2R took the idea of inviting these contemporary artists, illustrators and designers (collectively known as designers) to customise their blank figures, turning the blanks into mini pieces of collectable art, giving birth to the term ‘Art Toys’. Both Badnitz and Choy developed their ideas further by creating themed series of mini figures consisting of approximately 20 character designs. Often a single designer may create the character designs for the entire series but more commonly, a collection of designers would work on a themed release.
Today fans and dedicated collectors focus on completing collections based on the work of a specific designer or on the completion of a specific series. Whichever collection is developed, it is good to know that these mini pieces of art are holding their popularity and are providing a platform for creatives to 'get their work out there' while entrusting this (and many future generations) with early twenty first century artwork which we look forward to seeing on the Antiques Roadshow, when we ourselves are in those Autumn years of retirement, just how awesome will that be - little zimmer frame happy dance :)