Reaching the halfway point in our journey through the unexplored territories of the Wild Ones, the dense foliage gives way to a patch of barren wasteland, a pit of bubbling, colorful ooze at its center. Dredging themselves up from the muck, nightmarish creatures bred in this miasma of pop culture reveal themselves. But in order to properly unmask these frightfully humorous beasts, who are part of Kidrobot‘s first Dunny series of 2018, we must first learn of their creator, the man known as Kronk.

So who is Kronk?

While Kris Hewitt was born and bred in South Africa’s Cape Town area in 1982, it could be argued that his Kronk persona was birthed out of tragedy twenty years later. Experiencing a near-fatal motorcycle accident through no fault of his own, Hewitt realized the fragility of life and his need to waste no time accomplishing all he wanted. And just two years later, he graduated cum laude from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology with a degree in graphic design. Though employment at both the now-defunct Lunch advertising agency and Am I Collective creative group appear on his resume, the true home of Hewitt’s smart, stylish, and subversive concepts is the semi-fictional Studio Kronk. Pioneering projects for major soft drink companies, cellular network giants, and global sportswear brands, Kronk’s artistry also attracted the attention of Kidrobot, who released his Gingerman Dunny in 2007. And the following decade saw him create dozens of factory-made art toy designs, including the above-pictured Killjoy Dunny (2011), his own Lovebirds wedding favors (2012), Totem FatCap (2012), and, most recently, his contributions to the Wild Ones series.

Kronk’s Wild Ones Dunnys

Hype Death Now

Featuring a skeletal face and a body cloaked in black cloth, a Grim Reaper aesthetic underpins Kronk’s Hype Death Now design. But its emoji-tipped popping eyeballs, lolling tongue, and colorful beads of salivation and sweat denote a more modern terror: the “Hype Beast”. A term used to personify those that religiously follow the site Hypebeast and its ilk, known for promoting a sneaker and lifestyle brand culture of coolness, Kronk’s creation is decked out in mockeries of all the so-called “best” gear. Covered in a stoicly sad rendition of A Bathing Ape‘s Shark Hoodie, its backside is emblazoned with a stylistically simple jest of Nike‘s Swoosh logo that proclaims itself to be “HYPE”. Even Hype Death Now‘s sneakers, with their winged side detailing, are likely a poke at ɑdidɑsJS Wings collaborations with Jeremy Scott. Smartly designed so that its head is still capable of rotating at the neck, its cartoonish tongue used as a third point of standing support, the truly lucky collector might encounter the Hype Death Then variant. And though its grayscale appearance, this secondary color scheme grants one pause, its retro coloration implying that hype is not a new trend.

Dare Devil

Adorned in the likeness of Evel Knievel‘s iconic leather jumpsuit, Kronk’s Dare Devil is a demonically twisted rendition of the famed daredevil stunt performer. With cavernous maw exposed through its helmet’s visor area, Knievel’s well-known decoration of the number one, often accented with “Harley-Davidson” or “Evel” written along its base, is replaced here with the number two, the word “evil” embellishing its bottom, creating the auditory jest of “too evil”. Featuring pointed horns engulfed in flame on its Dunny ears, perhaps eluding to Knievel’s famous rides through walls of fire, one of the them is wrapped in thick blocks of white, appearing like bandages holding broken body parts together. Surely a reference to Knievel’s knack for suffering injuries throughout his career, resulting in the Guinness World Records granting him the title of “Most broken bones in a lifetime“, this is accentuated on Kronk’s Dare Devil through hash mark scuffs and a bandaged crack in his helmet. Even Dare Devil‘s cape, with its frayed bottom and stitched tear, mocks Knievel’s “Color Me ‘Lucky'” slogan by turning the last word into “Unlucky”. And there is a potentially self-reflective aspect to this beast, with Kronk manifesting and thus facing his own nearly-fatal motorcycling demons.

Click Here to Acquire the Wild Ones Dunny Series from Kidrobot, or Click Here to Find a Kidrobot Retailer to Order it from.

For more information on Kronk:
website | instagram | behance | twitter | facebook | flickr

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