The Toy Maker - Chris Kong

Chris Kong, toy designer and founder of Made by Monsters & Garage Works Industries, is a pioneer in the vinyl toy industry. He has worked and collaborated with national companies and artists like Ron English, Vans and Disney.
 
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I have always had a fascination with action figures, comic books and cartoons. Since childhood, I’ve been in love with toys, each character is so different, they ignite creativity and allow you to dream. As an avid toy collector I have accumulated a crazy collection and Chris Kong’s pieces are among some of my favorites.
 
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Bart Grin
 
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Charlie Grin
 
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FrankenFink Blackout
 
I first met Chris Kong in Berlin during the Vans OTW tour. We later reconnected in New York City during the launch of the toy he produced for the Ron English and Chris Brown collaboration, “Dum English.” I'm a huge fan of Chris Kong’s work. He is a visionary who brings ideas to life. The fact that we clicked right away and that our relationship evolved into an instant connection, which led to a trip to the Made by Monster headquarters in Hong Kong was a mind blowing and very humbling experience in itself.
 
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Dum English
 
My Hong Kong trip was out of this world and Chris Kong was the ultimate tour guide. He took me through the streets of Hong Kong and brought me to all the exclusive spots to cop some rare Bape gear, Visvims and hard-to-find collectable toys. I had the chance to sit down with Chris Kong, Mos Def and Eugene Kan, Managing Editor of Hypebeast, and talk about culture, toys, and build on some ideas and projects; it was a priceless experience.
 
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There is definitely something being cooked up with the legendary Mr. Kong. (Stay tuned for Hong Kong Part II.) In the meantime, check out our interview with Chris Kong, his OTW video profile, and most importantly, be one of the first to cop his limited, hard-to-find in the states, vinyl toys right here at ycmc.com.
 
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Dum English
 
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Charlie Grin
 
What is your background in design?
I studied illustration, graphics and industrial design. I know information within different industries. So I like to combine them all together and create something new. I started creating furniture, then moved to skate boards, toys and then tried a little bit of apparel and shoe design.
 
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What inspires you? What is your creative process?
It can be a sound, a person walking by. I try to keep myself as neutral as possible. I always try to leave things very open, let it ride and see what happens.
 
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If you can create a toy out of any two characters who would they be?
I would mix west with east, ying and yang, a unique negative with a positive to bind together to create something that’s in a wider demographic so that people would understand more. That’s one of the keys with most of our toys it has to have a story behind it. So I would pick Mao and Mickey Mouse.
 
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Mouse Masked Murphy
 
What’s one of your favorite toys you have created so far?
The screaming hand is one of my favorites, my first toy. I collaborated with legendary skateboard artist Jim Phillips on the “Screaming Hand” graphic. The screaming hand is like a street icon technically. I say 80 to 90% of the artists they skate; it’s part of their lives. This imagery had to translate into a sculpture. It’s like a memorial piece.
 
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Check out OTW Video Profile on Chris Kong
 
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Photography By Set Free