KAWS figures or toys are designer art toys made by famous artists KAWS aka Brain Donnelly. They have a few bells and whistles compared to comparably expensive high-end action figures. Kaws Figures come in many sizes and are produced by the Japanese toy company Medicom.
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.
Kaws Toys/Figures - What Are They?
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 exactly?
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 hype beast 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. Many familar with Kaws figures, also collect Funko Pops.
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.
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.
KAWS figures 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!
Check out our guide on Bearbricks
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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
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