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Court of the Dead

Feb 11, 2014

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RELOADED: Bomba Series 1 by MuerToys up now on Kickstarter

The Bomba figures, created by Matthew Ray, are very cute miniature resin bomb figures measuring 3.75" long. I see them as a natural progression of the cute weapons concepts of Frank Kozik (the Mini Bombs by Toy2R) and Mr. Shane Jessup (the blind-box keychain series by Kidrobot). And, I'm sure not coincidentally, they are shaped very much like a cartoony "Fat Man" bomb, which was the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

War sucks, and I love Japan, so I like the idea of shedding a bit of that stigma by flipping the bomb imagery around and repurposing it for something less morally offensive than nuclear war. To that end, the series includes several happy, brightly-colored designs.

At the same time, I feel one of the most effective designs in this series is the one that looks sad- it's called ShellShock, limited to just 100 pieces. This one reminds us of the horrors of war and the psychological battle that must rage inside one's head when carrying out a mission as heavy as the nuclear bombing missions. ShellShock is available at the $53 pledge level- it's handpainted, numbered and signed. 

ShellShock is just one of many designs available. See the rest here. There are lower-cost pledge levels such as a smaller $12 Mini Bomba keychain and a 3.75" DIY white Bomba for $18. All prices include domestic shipping. International backers have to pay a few bucks more.

I must say, examining these figures has gotten me to thinking more about these toys as a political and psychological statement, which gives them value above and beyond the aesthetic. They made me think. And that is something really valuable these days, especially with the big companies mentioned above pumping out vapid, superficial products with no deeper meaning.

These are ART toys, after all. I want to see the art in them. I want to feel something. I want the object to spur discussion. These Bomba figures do just that.


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