I’ve been touting the talents of Japanese artist Hiroto Ohkubo and his InstincToy brand for several years now. Time and time again, InstincToy have pushed the boundaries of what a designer toy can be, not just in conceptualization but also execution.
Take for instance the Liquid figure, a piece that debuted in 2008 as a resin keychain charm and in 2011 as a vinyl cell phone strap character. Having received repeated requests for a rendition of Liquid that could stand on its own, a lesser creator would have simply added legs to the design or taken a similar “easy out.” Hiroto-san, on the other hand, took this request as a challenge. One that he rose to admirably with Liquid+Stage (2015).

My Impressions of Liquid+Stage

Hiroto-san carefully constructed the Stage element for Liquid, a base that the unaltered piece could be housed and displayed within. But what really makes this extraordinary is not only does it fit snuggly while remaining easily removable, but that you can alternately position Liquid within the Stage to resemble a geyser-like eruption.
Titled Liquid+Stage as a set, the first international offering was the extremely limited Golden Marsh version from the company’s 2016 Lucky Bag. But the design actually debuted in 2015, exclusive to various exhibitions and conventions. Those initial releases were the Nebula coloration and the Stardust edition (which is the one pictured throughout).
Both the Stardust and Nebula versions were inspired by the cosmos, with this one using a coating similar to ChromaFlair, the pigment used mainly in car paints that changes color depending on the light source and viewing angle. As applied to this vinyl figure, it creates the same color changing illusion.
InstincToy's Liquid+Stage - eye detail
While this paint certainly stands out, it’s really the uniqueness of every inch on this oozing form that captivates me. And, of course, the gem eyes are a stunning addition, especially how those on the Stage component’s toothy-grinned faces have complete heterochromia, or different colors for each of the eyes. It’s a small but memorable touch that strangely stays with the viewer.

Editions of Liquid+Stage [show]

For more information on InstincToy:
website | blog | instagram | facebook | twitter

Coarse & Amanda Visell's Last Days of Autumn Review
With the beginning of winter one month away, I viewed the Last Days of Autumn in-person for the first time. It was my birthday — Saturday, November 21st — and I was in Los Angeles for 2015's DesignerCon. The coarse studio and gallery opening was that night, exhibited within being the Last…
The Prelude, or: How I Learned to Stop Overthinking Art and Love Art Toys
The adventures of Mike & Nick had been a regular part of my life ever since we’d bonded one long night, discussing surreal and pop art with a soundtrack provided by Skinny Puppy playing in the background. I have many fond memories of our friendship, but this tale involves the…
Coarse & Amanda Visell's Last Days of Autumn
The Prelude, or: How I Learned to Stop Overthinking Art and Love Art Toys
tagged in InstincToy