Name of Toy Line: Mini Squishy
Production Company: Arbito
Years of Production: 2011
Countries/Regions Available: Worldwide via Internet
Figure Trade Markings: Arbito
Approximate # of Figures: 4 sculpts, 3 colorways (but possibly more)
Arbito is an artist/illustrator/designer living in Seattle. Born and raised in Washington State, Arbito’s work has been exhibited globally from Spain to England, Australia to New york. Currently he’s experimenting with resin sculpture but is also recognized for his west coast proto-hippie style acrylic paintings and drawings. (Source: Arbito.com)I don't know what prompted Arbito to create a line of mini figures, but I'm certainly glad he did. He chose four of his typically larger creations - Patty Power, Cosmic Hobo, Seeker, and Hobo's Van - and shrunk them into deliciously smelly (literally) and squishy minis. Indeed, each of the 3 colorways comes with a corresponding scent: Pink is Cherry scented, Yellow is Popcorn scented, and Green is Watermelon scented! It's a really fun concept and works really well.
The figures are cast in a delightfully squishy resin, the likes of which I've never seen. I love it. While harder resins work great for customizing, I'd take this soft, squishy resin for my mini figures any day. If you've ever handled Japanese keshi, the texture is comparable.
Currently, I've only got the yellow and green colorways in my possession. I'll snatch up a pink at the first opportunity. On to the pics; let's start by looking at the packaging. It's the standard baggy with header card used with most independent minis.
The header card is made of a nice, thick card stock, and the artwork bright, fun, and colorful.
Alright, let's get up close and personal with the figures, starting with the yellow, popcorn-scented Seeker.
The sculpt is simple and elegant with nice flowing lines, making it really nice to look at. I also managed to get my hands on a Blue Seeker made of a hard, light weight resin with no scent. I'm not sure of the story behind this piece, but I'm incredibly thrilled to have it.
And green, watermelon-scented Patty Power, who appears to be made of hamburger patties. (Hm, would have liked to meet a girl like her in high school...)
Like the Seeker, Patty has very nice lines (grrr, baby). I especially like the nubby feet which may have been specially sculpted for the mini figure version of Mrs. Power.
Finally, a comparison shot with a Bad Eggz Bunch figure. The elegant, minimalist Seeker sculpt almost makes the BEB sculpt look too busy!
Wow, between these beauties and the Gargamel Pocket Kaiju, it looks like the future of non-articulated, mono-colored, mini figures is quite bright indeed. To say I'm excited for the future is an understatement. I certainly hope this line of Mini Squishy figures is successful for Arbito, and that he's encouraged to translate future creations into mini masterpieces as well!
(Super very special thanks to Nama Niku for graciously acquiring these pieces for me at SDCC 2011.)
The Arbito Online Store