Vinyl Fantasy

A showcase of designer toys

By Pedro Mendes | Photographs by Steve Carty
May 11, 2005
Mars-1, Mario Martinez, USA (2004).

Mars-1, Mario Martinez, USA (2004).

Designer toys like Mars-1 — part of San Francisco-based painter Mario Martinez’s surreal “urban-gothic” figures — are a way for artists to extend their art beyond the gallery. Even the line between toy store and art gallery is blurring: the backroom of Toronto’s Magic Pony store is an exhibit space for monthly shows of toys, paintings and other unclassifiable art.

Though they’re pricey as playthings, “these toys are a new, affordable art market,” says Steve Cober, co-owner of Magic Pony.

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