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I have known Paul Kaiju for years now. We met in California at a doll event years ago and have kept in touch through toys. He has since  skyrocketed to vinyl toy fame, but I consider him a friend and he remains an insanely creative inspiration of mine.

He literally has a stable full of amazing original characters, but Mr. REE might be my favorite of his creations. REE is an incredible changeable puzzle of a boy/plant/monster. He has been released in a variety of vinyl colors and paint applications, but what makes him truly remarkable are his variety of optional parts. Paul has designed interchangeable torsos, masks, shoes, and hand parts to turn Mr. REE into a root monster, fungus boxer, space explorer, or a rabbit with exposed guts. I have 3 REEs of my own now and I still have not tried every combination.

I find it especially delightful that REE stripped of his accessories is just a little (space? robot?) boy(?). Since his bunny mask is by and far my favorite, I was inspired to make him a fluffy suit to wear with it. I made one out of pink fur, slightly over sized like his mask. I shared the results online and soon after, Paul and I planned a collaboration. We talked parts and paint colors and I sourced fur and made myself a proper pattern. Even though they are just shy of 4" tall, each suit is carefully made so that REE can still have his full range of motion for adventuring. We settled on a run of 15 REEs which Paul has painted, and which I have assembled and dressed in fluffy suits in one of three colors: white, pink, or pastel swirl. He will come with his basic parts, plus his bunny and root parts.

I think that Mr.REE is a benchmark of what vinyl toys can be -- both nostalgic and brand new at the same time. An intricate art piece which extends an invitation to play. I am excited to send this version out into the world and grateful to Paul for making him in the first place.

Fluffbun Mr. REE will be available in my shop on Sunday, 10/18 at 9PM EST.


 

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    Kat Caro is an artist living in a tiny house in Philadelphia filled with boys and dolls.

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