Check out this artist's pop culture-inspired bootleg toys

Published May 7, 2021, 11:05 AM

by John Legaspi

Bryan Antonio’s works feature local classics such as ‘Batang X’ and ‘Sineskwela’ and international ones from ‘Star Wars’ to the ‘Muppets’

Tomi chips, Yoda from ‘Star Wars,’ and ‘Batang X’ bootleg toys

Filipino artist Bryan Antonio is bringing nostalgia and a few giggles with his bootleg toys paying homage to local and international pop culture. According to the pop-surrealist artist, he started creating the toys in 2018, picking up inspiration from the wonders of his childhood.

Toys nowadays are more than just a child’s play thing. And Bryan’s works are proving to be more of a collector’s item. Kids from the ’80s and ’90s will surely be delighted by his tiny sculptures of characters from the era’s movies, TV shows, food products, and more.

His toys inspired by Dingdong mixed nuts, the show ‘Sineskwela,’ and Andok’s roasted chicken

The artist made toy sculpture versions of characters such as Kidlat from “Batang X,” Agatom from “Sineskwela,” and the undin from “Shake, Rattle, and Roll III.” He also brought to life icons from logos of food brands Tomi, Dingdong, and Andok’s. Of course, pop culture is best used for comedic puns. The talks about ayuda during the pandemic was the idea behind his “Walang Ayoda,” a Yoda-inspired “invisible” toy. Another is a turtle toy for telecommunications network Globe. While his police bootleg toy takes on a much deeper issue.

What’s more scary? Choose your toy!

Currently, Bryan has an ongoing exhibit at the Art for Space Gallery in Muntinlupa City. Dubbed as “Happy Together,” his fifth solo exhibit presents both of his Lowbrow paintings and bootleg toys. Vibrant and laughter-inducing, the exhibition is all about “having fun with various fantasy, comic-like, and science fiction-themed characters” like KR-8, Cyburg Greg, Ninja Froggy, Bangsy the Bangaw, all created by the artist.

Bryan Antonio and his ‘Happy Together’ artwork

“The title, ‘Happy Together,’ sparked the artist’s desire to portray positivity in his works for his viewers,” the gallery says. “He hopes to remind his viewers what matters most is that we spend our days enjoying the moments we are given with the people we have closest to our hearts.”

Check out more of Bryan’s works at @humblygram on Instagram.