Book Review: We Love ‘We Are Indie Toys!’

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The slim volume that’s “We Are Indie Toys: Make Your Own Resin Characters” provides a welcome makers’ perspective to the art form, featuring interviews with resin toy artists and process photos and sketches of some of their creations.

Image via Harper Design

At 208 pages, “We Are Indie Toys” isn’t (and doesn’t set out to be) the work of note on the resin toy scene. Consider it more of a primer, with author Louis Boh providing brief bios for each of the 30 creators/teams featured within. Bou explains in the introduction that he hopes to make resin toy creation approachable for the book’s audience – and that he does, illustrating the varying levels of style and complexity, materials and creative approaches used in the scene.

Notably, Conge – like the other creators in “We Are Indie Toys” avoid being dogmatic. Perhaps Bou simply asked them a fairly straightforward question about their process, but each, in turn, plainly lays out the value of preparation – for instance, Jon Knox suggests small experiments that you don’t ultimately intend to fabricate.

What will be most evident to the reader is the current collision between digital and analogue processes, as the rush toward 3D fabrication meets the aspirations of creators who would prefer to hand-craft something unique.Bob Conge of Plaseebo, in discussing his own handcrafted process for his grotesquely detailed (and very cool) little monsters says that “I have an aversion to doing the same thing twice,” requiring him to vary his approach each time he sculpts over a basic cardboard, Styrofoam, and plastic.

Jon Knox, Image via Harper Design

The real value of “We Are Indie Toys” is that it succeeds in its mission – what average reader wouldn’t come away from the book without at least some ideas for their own resin figure? Can you sketch out your concept? Do you have access to a 3D printer or even wax or some bits of plastic? Thanks to this book, building resin toys could easily become your next obsession.

“We Are Indie Toys: Make Your Own Resin Characters” is now available from Harper Design.

[All images via Harper Design]

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