R3viewed: San Diego Chueh Con The Real ’12 SDCC

Posted: July 19, 2012 in Art, Toys
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

From conventions past, I don’t think Luke Chueh has had as much to offer as he did at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.  With two toys, a print and his book “Bearing the Unbearable” Luke was running on all cylinders for the entire convention.

But was all the hype worth your hard earned cash?  Here are my thoughts on all of his releases.

Target

Overview:  Luke’s latest toy was released one year after seeing the prototype displayed at last year’s SDCC.  When compared to his “Black in White” release I was surprised to see it hit the shelves so quickly.  Adapted from his original painting, Target sports a vinyl toy bear and comes with a paint brush and can as accessories.  The toy then can be displayed with the weathered resin display wall that comes with the figure.  Luke took the time to “tag” each wall with a sketch of his bear with a crown that when viewed from the correct angle it looks as if the vinyl toy is wearing the crown.  Talking with Luke at the convention it looks like there are 3 color ways planned (SDCC White Bear Red paint, OG White Bear w/ black paint, and a Black Bear w/ Gold paint.  Although, No official word on the final two releases has been announced.)

The Good:  The first thing you notice about Target when you pick of the box is its weight.  The heft is not so much from the bear figure, but from the display wall.  The wall is solid resin and created to connect to future Target color ways.  The wall has a lot of texture and gives a feel that it has seen a lot of firing squad sessions.  It is solidly built so be careful placing it in your detolf or onto a glass shelf display (So you don’t break your case).  The sketch of the Bear on the wall was a great added touch by Luke.

The Bad:  If I have to pick one thing “bad” about the figure it is the feel of the bear itself.  The bear is hollow vinyl and is pretty light weight.  When compared to Possessed I feel it doesn’t have as good a mass to it.  My other thought could be the $140 price tag but once you have the figure in your hand I think you will change your mind.

The Verdict:  This was one of the pieces I looked forward to the most at SDCC and it exceeded my expectations.  Munky King did a great job producing it and Luke’s painting translated really well to the 3D environment.  It was one of the best releases at the convention and definitely worth the price tag.  If you are a Luke Chueh fan, pick this up! 

Manufacturer:  Munky King

Ed. Size: 250

Price: $140US

 Emo Bear Murderworld Mini 10-DOH

Overview: Based on the original Nintendo cartridge, Squid Kids Ink created the collectible 10-DOH figure and recently came out with a Blind Box mini version of its larger predecessor.  Luke teamed up with S.K.I. to create a special limited edition mini 10-DOH figure for SDCC with hand splattered red paint done by Luke himself.

The Good:  I grew up playing the NES so the nostalgia factor always gets to me.  It’s a cool little toy that stands about 3.5” tall. The added paint splatter was a cool touch and fits well into the scheme of the “game” Emo Bear Murderworld.  There is also a cool written piece where there is usually a warning sticker on the back of the cartridge.

The Bad: The game label design is pretty simple on the toy.  It’s a close up of the head of Luke’s bear with the title “Emo Bear Murderworld” written above it.  I would have liked to see a little more complicated label design but there is not a ton of room on the mini figure. 

The Verdict: The 10-DOH is not my favorite toy out there but it definitely has potential.  If the SKI crew can continue to work with some great artists it could have a bright future.  Although I am a Luke Chueh fan I was on the fence about this but since there was some added red paint splattered done by Luke I decided to pick it up.  With it being $20 it’s not a bad pick up and overall I am pretty happy with it, but if you decided to pass I wouldn’t hate you…Emo Bear might.

Manufacturer: Squid Kids Ink

Ed. Size: 100

Price: $20

Root Down

Overview:  Luke teamed up with Hi-Fructose to release his SDCC exclusive print.  The print depicts Luke’s Emo Bear, about to saw through his legs which are rooted into the ground as if they are tree trunks. 

The Good:  I really enjoyed the irony of the image because it was printed on wood, because the bear is trying to cut his tree trunk legs.  The quality of the printing was great.  Hi-Fructose did a great job producing the print.

The Bad: The print was a little small for my liking.  It was approx. 11”x14”.  I Normally like a little larger prints to be able to hang on my wall. 

The Verdict:  This is the one Chueh release I passed on.  Besides the fact that I have a bunch of prints in my collection that need to be framed, the image overall didn’t do anything for me.  It’s nice, but not one of my favorite Luke images and I had a budget for SDCC so I had to choose.

Manufacturer: Hi-Fructose

Ed. Size: 50

Price: $60

Bearing the Unbearable

Overview:  If you have been following Luke lately you know that he teamed up with Gallery 1988 and has been on a signing tour for his new art book.  Luke was one of the artists that helped solidify g1988 as a legit art gallery.  The book contains art work and commentary spanning Luke’s career.

The Good:  Jensen from g1988 wrote the foreword for the book, sharing his thoughts on how Luke’s career grew and affected the success of g1988.  From not selling his first painting to literally dodging bullets during one of his early shows you get a glimpse of how Luke’s career got started.  The photos of the artwork are fantastic as well. 

The Bad:  I am not sure how the book can be improved upon.  Maybe choose a different piece for the cover…It’s a book of Luke’s art, how can you go wrong?

The Verdict:  If you are a Luke Chueh or a pop art fan in general it’s a must have.  It’s the next best thing to owning a painting or print and putting it on your walls.  The galleries that were lucky enough to have a book signing each have an exclusive print by Luke.  So if you are in the market to buy the book and want a print as well, checallery 1988, Nucleus Gallery, Giant Robot to see what they have available.

Manufacturer: Gallery 1988

Price: $35

Overall Luke had a great showing at this year’s con.  He is a really humble guy and I am glad I am able to support his work.  I look forward to traveling to Chicago this fall for his next solo show at Rotofugi where he will J-Ryu will be having his first solo show as well.  Two great artists showing right next to each other!

 

Here are some pics of his releases.  So what did you all think of what luke had?

Sorry for the yellowish pics.  Poor lighting.  Root Down pic provided by Hi-Fructose

 

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