While I know that the name Johnny Draco sounds like a hard-rockin’ band member, it’s not. Or, at least, that’s not for the one we’ll be discussing today. Instead, our Johnny Draco’s job is that of senior concept designer at Kidrobot and the below-pictured Mr. Watt 5-inch tall Dunny is the first production release to bear his name.

A Brief History of Johnny Draco

So, naturally, you must first and foremost be wondering who exactly Johnny Draco is. Born as Johnny Miller to a military family stationed in central western Germany, it was a friend who would give him the nickname Draco that he’d employ throughout his professional artistic career.

And while he loved drawing since childhood, Draco would actually receive his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government from Atlanta, Georgia’s Morehouse College. But during his time there, he founded the t-shirt company L8RZ. And, shortly after graduating in 2014, Draco decided to focus on his passion, undertaking a graphic designer internship at Cupcake Mafia T’s.
Going on to do freelance design work for a plethora of companies, including Microsoft, Mishka, Adult Swim, and Toshiba, Draco also pursued his own original art. Obviously heavily influenced by KAWS‘ aesthetic, Draco’s works incorporate a nostalgic cartoon style in a countercultural manner, the bright colors and bold lines of which can still be seen in his output since joining Kidrobot in September of 2016.
Having helmed a variety of undertakings for the company, including t-shirt designs and creating exclusive release color schemes, Draco’s personal output began including uniquely hand-painted and even modified designer toy forms. But, as I said back when we began this review, the Mr. Watt Dunny is Draco’s first production designer toy.

My Impressions of Johnny Draco’s Mr. Watt Dunny

A beautiful repurposing of the Jason Freeny designed Half Ray Dunny (2017), which is where the quarter-cut exposure comes from, Draco’s Mr. Watt is a wonderfully direct concept. Brilliantly easy for anyone to immediately grasp, the narrative behind this piece is that a bolt of lightning has descended from the nighttime sky, striking a creature and illuminating his innards in a cartoonish manner.
While it’s easy to become distracted by Freeny’s immaculate anatomical aspect, Draco’s decorated exterior has quite the story to tell itself. Hidden in plain sight is Draco’s signature. Or, at least, a signature icon that he’s employed on his logo throughout the years: the three wrinkles at the eye. And this, along with the blushing circle next to it, are the only major facial derivations from Draco’s Beast character design.
Dating from around 2013, we can find a couple of examples of Draco’s Beast character. Covered in a light blue fur, this creation featured U-shaped closed eyes, a reddish oval nose, and triangular fangs hanging from a slightly smiling mouth. And all these aspects can be seen on Mr. Watt as well. And the Dunny form seems an especially appropriate place for Draco to reinterpret his Beast design, which had mitten-like hands reminiscent of that on the vinyl form.
Even this squirrel emerging from what appears to be a pocket harkens back to the Beast character, as the pair were the focus of the Nuts & the Beast digital illustration. And while this older Draco creation was typically depicted with a top hat, he appears to have evolved to have antlers atop his head.
I think the inclusion on the backside of an X-shape in bandages is a brilliant little touch, as it not only implies that Mr. Watt here is prone to injury but also becomes a sly reference to KAWS and his signature use of Xs over eyes and on the backs of hands. Though, if you think about it, bandages are a strange way to repair damage to a costume. Oh, yea, this exterior is apparently a costume, as you can see a zipper above the exposed buttocks. Which also explains the stitch marks adorning the side of his head.
Initially issued at November 2017’s DesignerCon, this regular color scheme is limited to an edition of 1000 pieces with an additional 200 piece, Kidrobot.com exclusive edition being released in a monotone, grayscale rendition. Available now, these Mr. Watt Dunny pieces can be acquired while supplies last from Kidrobot.com as well as art toy retailers worldwide.

Editions of the Mr. Watt Dunny [show]

For more information on Johnny Draco:
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