DKE Toys always bring the most irreverent and subversive exclusives to their convention stands and, for next month’s San Diego Comic-Con, they are taking it to the next level, especially for old school STAR WARS fans. They’ve charged their favourite artists to take some vintage Kenner Toys Salacious Crumb action figures and give them a DKE twist.
The popular toy retailer have landed themselves a veritable sail barge full of figures of the nasty little critter from STAR WARS‘ 1983’s RETURN OF THE JEDI and, featuring artwork from the likes of Mike Egan, Christian Clayton, Carlos Rameriez and Martha Rich, are offering them to SDCC attendees at $25 a pop with eleven designs up for grabs. The more dedicated out there can also pick up the whole batch of ‘Space Rat’ figures at $200 – a Jabba The Hutt-sized bargain.
“San Diego Comic Con is the largest event DKE Toys exhibits at. There are so many people and so much to see and so much “noise” that it’s really hard to stand out,” says DKE Toys Dov Kelemer. “We strive to create an experience in our booth that is unique and elevates artists.”
Fans can find the figures at the DKE booth #5045 – courtesy of the DKE Toys press release, here’s the promo cards for each of the designs, the artwork plus the artist bios. Because we’re nice like that.
Bio: Scott Campbell (Scott C) creates paintings, illustrations, comics, kid’s books and video games. He worked at Double Fine productions as Art Director on such games as the critically acclaimed Psychonauts and Brutal Legend. Alongside this career in games, he has published numerous comics and created paintings that have appeared in galleries and publications around the world. Some of his most notable projects include the GREAT SHOWDOWNS series, “Igloo Head and Tree Head” series for the Flight Anthology, Double Fine Action Comics, Hickee Comics, the children’s books If Dogs Run Free, XO OX: A Love Story, East Dragon, West Dragon, the Zombie In Love series, and HUG MACHINE. Splendid Life: The Art of Scott C collects much of his work over the past several years. Scott lives in Los Angeles.
Bio: Christian is an artist, painter, image maker and storyteller. Christian’s body of work includes his current individual studio practice and his shared Clayton Brothers collaborative that spanned 20 years: 1996-2016. His collaborative work has mounted ten solo exhibitions in galleries and museums in the US and Asia. Christian lectures nationally, in Europe and Asia. His work is in museums and foundations; public, corporate, and private collections around the world including the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum, and Saatchi Gallery. His work has been featured in publications such as Art In America, Juxtapoz Magazine, Flash Art, Hi-Fructose Magazine, American Illustration, Communication Arts, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the Huffington Post, The New Yorker and RollingStone. Clayton Brothers published their first artist monograph in 2003, titled, The Most Special Day of My Life, published by La Luz de Jesus, Los Angeles, CA and Last Gasp, San Francisco, CA. Christian lives and works in Los Angeles County with his wife and two sons.
Bio: Rob Clayton, graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena with honors. Utilizing skills learned over the past 20 years of teaching, Rob recently started exploring unconventional means of fabrication. The focus of his new body of work is pushing the ideas and concepts of narrative sculpture. Rob currently serves as a full time faculty member at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
Bio: Robbie is considered one of the country’s foremost satirical street poster artists. His work has been featured on “CBS This Morning”, “Charlie Rose” and in Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, the LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, People Magazine, Interview, and the Washington Post—which dubbed him, “America’s foremost street artist”. Most recently, his work has been collected by–and featured in exhibitions at–LACMA and MOCA in Los Angeles, the San Jose Museum of Art, and his beloved hometown favorite, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. He has authored three books: Art Attack: The Midnight Politics of a Guerrilla Poster Artist, 1992 (HarperCollins); Artburn, 2003 (Akashic Books), and Not Your Typical Political Animal, with wife Deborah Ross, 2009 (Art Attack Press). He currently splits his time between Los Angeles, CA and the Central California Coast.
Bio: Mike Egan is a Pittsburgh based artist who received a BFA at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2000. After graduating Mike attended mortuary school in Pittsburgh and worked as an embalmer. While being on call as an embalmer Mike used the down time to hone his artistic style. In 2006, a friend put together a gallery show in Pittsburgh and included his paintings. He sold three the opening night and has been working with galleries all over the U.S., Canada and the UK ever since.
Bio: Alex Gross lives in Los Angeles, California. In 1990 he received a BFA with honors from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Since the, he has had ten solo exhibitions at various galleries and participated in dozens of museum and gallery exhibitions across the globe. His 2017 exhibition with Corey Helford Gallery was his most recent solo exhibition.
Bio: Peter Kuper’s illustrations and comics have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world including The New Yorker and MAD where he has written and illustrated SPY vs. SPY every issue since 1997.He is co-founder of World War 3 illustrated, a political comix magazine now in its 40th year of publication. He has published over two dozen books including The System, Diario de Oaxaca and Ruins which won the 2016 Eisner award.
Bio: Carlos Ramirez is a native to California and a Coachella based artist. Formerly known as one half of the collaborative artistic duo The Date Farmers. His work has been exhibited internationally at London’s P.O.W., Berlin’s Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, Jonathan Levine Projects in NYC and Marsea Goldberg’s New Image Art in Los Angeles. Ramirez creates paintings and assemblages in a broad range of compositions. Steeped in topics ranging from political to the Mexican American experience and in vibrant colors set against backdrops of street art to religious and popular iconography. Carlos’ work can also be found on short animated film projects like N.A.S.A.’s A Volta by Sam Spiegel, Max Joseph’s From Dream to Reality and on People to People the latest album cover art for Joe Jonas’ band DNCE.
Bio: Martha Rich is a Philadelphia-based artist working in both the commercial and fine art fields. Her work focuses on drawing, painting, using words, while being absurd and funny.
Rich’s commercial work has been used in music videos, magazines, on book covers, murals, products and more. Her paintings have been shown in galleries across the country and internationally.
Bio: Like many kids raised in the 70s, Mark was influenced at an early age by Star Wars and comic books. Unlike many kids, he grew up just a few miles from the Vegas strip, neon and glitz looming over the city. Mark’s fancy clients include The New Yorker, New York Times and Getty Publishing among others and is the co-creator of the book “Whatcha’ Mean, What’s A Zine?”, a creative guide to making self-published comics. Currently, you can find his paintings in Los Angeles at Vielmetter Gallery and in Texas at Webb Gallery. He graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California where he co-teaches illustration with his wife, artist Esther Pearl Watson. Home life includes their daughter Lili, an aspiring artist herself and a French Bulldog named Gherkin who is pretty creative at squeaky toy destruction.
Esther Pearl Watson
Bio: Watson is a painter and comic artist. She has an MFA from CalArts. Her paintings have exhibited worldwide, including Antonio Columbo Arte Contemporanea in Milan and Susanne Vielmetter LA Projects. Her award-winning comic, Unlovable, is published in Bust Magazine and with Fantagraphics. She has published Blood Lady Commandos with Vice online and Welcome to Crapland with Adult Swim online. She currently teaches at Art Center College of Design.
DKE Toys: Dov Kelemer & Sarah Jo Marks are Co-Founders of DKE Toys which was the largest independent wholesale distributor of designer toys, limited edition art objects, collectibles, and gifts in the world exclusively representing hundreds of artists, designers, and boutique manufacturers. As of February 1st, 2016 the wholesale distribution arm of the business was sold to Disburst Ltd.
Currently DKE Toys does about 4 conventions a year in which artists from all over the world create limited artist edition figures. Each piece is generally made out of hand poured resin and many are hand painted on custom printed (and sometimes hand drawn) card backs. Sometimes as many as 20 different artists participate in a given show. Many have commented that the DKE booth at these various shows look like a small art exhibition. While these figures are generally referred to as “bootlegs” they are far from pirated versions of mass marketed toys.
Each of these artists use transformative properties in their work to communicate ideas that are often political, parody, or commentary about the pop culture world we live in. Also please do not be confused by the word “toy”. These are works of art!!! Do not give to a child to play with. They will break, get ruined, and hurt your children physically and emotionally.
In addition Dov handles vendor relations and product development part time for Disburst as well as curates art shows, writes books, appraises and buys collections and toy closeouts of all shapes and sizes.