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In 1982 I changed careers and began  working as a sales representative for several toy companies as an independent contractor. This was a time when the Toy Industry was changing from a dominant male run business from the permanent showrooms on 5th Avenue to temporary spaces at the Jacob Javits. It makes me feel old when I see the Toy Building, which was the Mecca of the industry, is now condos, there seems to be more women at the shows than men, Mattel’s offices are now a Home Depot  and everything is done in temporary spaces.  The toy biz moves on…

At that time my largest line was International Playthings who was considered very progressive in the fact they hired women in their sales staff.  Working in California I did not realize this was a big deal until that first trip to New York Toy Fair. There were a few token women at market as receptionists and then there were the models…The Toy Building was actually two adjoining buildings that had a bridge walk across to connect them. That first week of the two week market,  Crayola Crayon had curvaceous women costumed in leotards and pointy hats the colors of an 8 pack of crayons each handed  out her own color stationed on the bridge. Then there was the Tonka Truck showroom that had models that looked like they were NFL cheerleaders with hard hats on that would give the buyers (men) a tour of the showroom.  There were very few women buyers, which was not the case in my stores in California but I was told by one of my buyers that she did not feel comfortable in the male dominant NY so her husband only went. Wow! have times changed. 

When I walk NY Toy Fair now there are huge blocks of booths that on corridoned off to create little showroom kingdoms. There still are the models dressed in costume but the costumes are more likely to be characters complete with a big head!  I noticed how there seemed to be as many if not more women on the sales floor as men. The funny thing  is  I took my daughter ,who is a design student in NY, with me and she was disappointed because there were “so many old men in suits” she thought it would be a wild bunch of adults that liked to play. I think there are a lot of us “crazy kids” in the toy business still but it is a business none the less … a business that is forever changing!

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The Offering” was inspired by the Twilight Series of books and by my desire to express more of an “edge” to my work said Marilyn Radzat at interview. “I wanted this piece to speak of the moment of realization….the moment of becoming a vampire, and the emotional moment of quenching one’s first “thirst”.One would feel a new awareness, perhaps a sadness and longing for what is now no longer the life she was used to living.  I think it would be a very poignant moment as she recognizes and offers the first drop of what represents her new eternal life. ”

The vibrant mosaic that is revealed under her gown is representative of the deep well of intensity of her being.  While her purple gown is somber, there are hints of her recklessness offered in her headpiece shards. It is only when you peek at the hidden underside of her being that you can imagine the power and intesity of her emotions.  

 This is a one of a kind piece.  Hand sculpted in ProSculpt clay, she is hand painted and costumed in antique silk velvet from the early 1900’s and adorned with shell points, Swarovski rhinestones and Italian mirrored mosaic tiles. Piece can be found on www.artoftoys.com

ByGreg Chase

How you can hold New Orleans French Quarter in the palm of your hand.

This incredible piece is the 2 1/8” marble creation of artist Greg Chase. It captures the swirl of activity that is Bourbon Street. This piece is a very complex interpretation of the French Quarter that includes a restaurant scene, a karaoke bar, a jazz club, and an inner court yard complete with its own ghost. The inside has a wall of flowers, a garden, a ghost, and a painting. The top has a balcony full of people and iron railings. The bottom is a water scene with skulls. All this in only 2 1/8 inch sphere. The viewer must be prepared when experiencing this marvel…bring a penlight and a magnifier and be amazed at the details. This is truly a ONE OF A KIND masterpiece.  Go to www.artoftoys.com for more info.

A new website, Art Of Toys, was launched this week in Sacramento, CA on Monday August 23rd, 2010 that is devoted to promoting artists and master craftsmen that create art in the form of toys. Included on site are one of a kind works of art, production designed art and vintage toys. This unique concept creates a place where the “art” of artists and toy designers can be displayed, appreciated and sold as art. To offer information about the art and artists while creating an environment for the collector to explore and appreciate TOYS as ART thus expanding their knowledge and collections.

Opening artists include Harry Allen, Marca Castillo-dolls, Greg Chase- marbles, Deanna Chase- jewelry, Jon Greene-Chesnik Kaleidoscopes, Ilona Hindt-felt sculptures, Sheryl Koch-kaleidoscopes, T. Oliver Kopian-Creatures Delight,  Marilyn Radzat-NIADA doll artist, Takashi Tsunoda-Piperoids,  David Weeks-woodwork.  All the artists are leaders in their own mediums with “toys” as a theme that links them together. Bios of the artists can be found on the site along with information about their work. Artists are showing one of a kind pieces as well as production pieces.

Education about art, collecting, vintage toys and related information and links are provided in blog section for collectors to share.  Provenance paperwork and related information is included with all pieces to enable collector to document their collection for the future.

Vintage toys include toys from all eras and types of play from Marx windups, Disney, Iwin, Hubley, Dinky, GI Joe, Frozen Charlottes just to name a few. All the vintage toys at some time in history were made for children but we no longer deem lead soldiers, tin windups or bisque dolls toys for today’s safety standards so the vintage toys on the site are now collectables for adults.

Check out a fun website for the young at heart at www.artoftoys.com and learn about these wonderful artists and their unusual works of art.

Contact for additional information or photos:                                                                                                                                                                              TerriRehg,GalleryOwner                                                                                                                                 terri@artoftoys.com

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