Kaws Toys/Figures - What Are They?
KAWS figures or toys have a few bells and whistles compared to comparably expensive high-end action figures. The current toy line is produced by the Japanese toy company Medicom and is about 11 inches in size and is made of vinyl. KAWs did it in 2007 and followed in 2010 with a Stormtrooper version of Boba Fett and then again in 2011 with the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Designer toys, also known as art toys, are toys and collectibles made by artists and designers themselves or produced by small independent toy companies, typically in very limited quantities. Many skilled toy artists are taught by themselves, and creators often have little or no experience in the art of making or designing toys. The artist uses a variety of materials such as wood, plastic, resin, acrylic, metal or other materials.
There was a downside where people criticized them for being "art" and just high-priced toys. Whether Kaws toys or Kidrobot, the genre "Urban Vinyl Art Toys" has spread worldwide. Kaws can come in some large sizes, unlike your average vinyl toy. Nonetheless, Kaws figures are very popular!
Vinyl toys are particularly popular in the Japanese market, and many KAWS toys are highly sought-after today - for collectibles that fetch large sums at auction. Kaw's toys may have pushed open the doors of the art market, but who comes in next can only be guessed. Japanese artist and has become a celebrated figure in Asia, gaining recognition on the Western art markets.
Kaws, who is he?
Brian Donnelly, also known as Kaws the artist, is an American designer and artist. Born in Jersey City New Jersey, attending School of Visual Arts in New York City. He's most famous for his iconic figurines; they can be seen in museums, auctions or your favourite hypebeast instagram bro.
Brian does also create and release limited edition prints, but his Kaws Figures steal the attention away and it's what he's best known for. Kaws has received quite the artist boost when he collaborated with other big brands; Disney, Medicom and Uniqlo to name a few.
A limited edition Kaws x Bearbrick collab
For more on Bearbricks, visit our full guide on Bearbricks!
What is the value of Kaws Art?
According to famous auction house Christies, Kaws work can sell from as little as $15.00 to as much as $2.4 million. Kaws has got to be one of the most famous modern day artists today, his presence on social media is huge (especially when you compare him to your average recognized artist). Brian has been consistent with his style of art for years; his alias Kaws dates back to his highschool days.
Kaws figures, where to Buy/Sell them?
Do not, and I repeat ... DO NOT purchase Kaws Companions from Instagram, Ebay or any site where you aren't able to know 100% if what your buying is authentic. Kaws toys are the most replicated Art Designer Toy on the market, so the market is saturated with fakes.
Some have bought authentic Kaws Companions from both Ebay and Instagram, but I would advise against it. Go through an auction house or reputable dealer, below are a few places where authentic Kaws Figures are auctioned off.
Why Kaws Figures/Toys is so expensive?
Art is essentially valued at what others are willing to pay for it, just like any other commodity, such as Gold, Bitcoin and more. There's obviously a market for Kaws figures/toys, they're popular in a pop culture, celebs collect them and sneaker heads drool for them.
Short answer, Kaws Art is by no means "cheap", his larger pieces can fetch quite the price. Especially his limited edition collaborations (Disney, Uniqlo, and plush to name a few.
The cheapest would have to be the smallest sized Kaws Companion figures, measuring at 8 inches going for an avg price of $200 - $500. Assuming you don't choose one of the more rare sought out small Kaws figures. Oh, and your favourite celebrities LOVE to collect Kaws Figures. This adds to the scarcity of the various figurines.
In 2018, the sculptural works of KAWS entitled Companion Pass (part of the tenth edition) were sold out, and a new edition of the Companion Pass with the same artist will be released in 2019.
Artspace Auctions, where the seller can auction off the best of the sale to the highest bidder. Artspace may submit an offer for a limited number of KAWS products that are for sale at its auction house or may be purchased by the public through its website.
Artspace reserves the right and sole discretion, at its time, including at the time of auction, to reject or revoke goods offered by the seller or bids submitted by a buyer. Artspace is not obliged to provide an intermediary service between buyers and sellers through the use of Artspaces Auctions, nor is it responsible for the behaviour of buyers or sellers participating in it. The Functioning of Art Space An auction is intended and created as an alternative to the traditional auction business model for KAWS products and is subject to its own terms and conditions.
Sellers undertake to accept the reserve price set by them and to deliver the goods offered to the buyer who has placed such a high bid. All goods posted in Artspace Auctions that the Seller represents as goods posted by the Sellers represented shall be deemed to be goods offered and authorized by Artspace. Goods offered using the Seller's registration protocol may not be considered or offered for sale by anyone other than the Bidder. We are not obliged to offer goods and that the buyer is free from liens or encumbrances.
The vendors agree that Artspace Auctions will publish pictures and information on the goods offered by the vendor in English. Sellers are responsible for all other content they provide to the art space, such as photos, videos, descriptions and other related content. The vendors have agreed that we will reformat all content submitted by the vendors to best meet the needs and formatting of Artspaces A and its customers.
The vendors have granted Artspace the right to use the information listed in its sole discretion in other areas of the website.
KAWS 'own toys and collectibles regularly sell out instantly and end up in the hands of collectors, markets and even collector's shops around the world. These pieces have fluctuating prices and are often appreciated, but not only are they available to buy, they take the idea of collecting toys to a new level.
Are Kaws dolls a good investment?
I've been investing in art for a few years now and I've noticed the appreciation of Kaws figures over the years (despite not owning any). Art in general is a great investment long term; Kaws figures have appreciated in value over the years. Now will I say its a great investment? Well, no its longer term hold and selling art is not as liquid as your average investment. PS .. Not financial advice!
Most Expensive Kaws?
According to our favourite auction house Hertiage Auctions, the most expensive Kaws item they've sold was Companion-Bus Stop and it sold for $375,000.00 dollars. Not even close to the Kaws painting that sold at a record breaking $14.7 M in Hong Kong!
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- https://www.polygon.com/2017/5/26/15698056/kaws-companion-museum-of-modern-art 2
- https://www.artspace.com/magazine/news_events/conversation-piece/not-just-cause-5-great-reasons-to-collect-kaws-toys-55740 3
- https://juicestore.com/blogs/editorial/kaws-companion-toy-release-feature 4
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_toys 2