magic pony designer toys pharrell williams DX

Designer Toys as Contemporary Culture

Design Exchange, Feb 7 - May 25, 2014

This Is Not A Toy is the world's first exhibition featuring a collection of contemporary sculptures, figurines and artwork created by Takashi Murakami, KAWS, FriendsWithYou, Coarse, Michael Lau, Huck Gee, and many other artists from the world of designer toy culture.

In partnership with DesignExchange and curator John Wee Tom, Magic Pony helped create This Is Not a Toy - the world’s first ever large-scale exhibition dedicated to urban vinyl as contemporary art. With guest curator Pharrell Williams, the exhibition explored the conceptual toy – a form made solely as an expression of an aesthetic, concept or idea – as an art and design object as well as a contemporary cultural signifier. Visitors dived headfirst into the realm of designer toys within a fantastical, vibrant environment, filled with forms ranging from tiny trinkets to enormous free-standing pieces. The exhibition featured a collection of contemporary artwork by artists including KAWS, FriendsWithYou, Coarse, Huck Gee, and Frank Kozik - including “Simple Things”, the exclusive Takashi Murakami and Pharrell pop art collaboration that debuted at 2009 Art Basel.

Within This Is Not a Toy, Magic Pony has created Pon Pon Pony Jam, an installation offering perspectives on the appeal and significance of the Designer Toy movement and their role within contemporary art. We focused on six international artists who are pioneers in the world of Designer Toys - James Jarvis (UK), Devilrobots (JP), Nathan Jurevicius (AUS), Pete Fowler (UK), Junko Mizuno (JP) & Michael Lau (HK). Each of these creators formed a personal visual philosophy through character creation & an unconventional medium - the art toy. Presented as a series of natural history dioramas, viewers explored and observed the figures as specimens existing within the habitat of the artists imagination.

Magic Pony Pop-Up Shop & Events

We created a unique Magic Pony x DX pop-up shop featuring rare products and special exclusives by artists showcased within the This Is Not a Toy exhibition. We also co-produced monthly DX “This is Not a Work Party” events featuring Nails by Artists, guided exhibition tours, artist signings and the Lovebot designer toy launch. Magic Pony co-founder & gallerist Kristin Weckworth was both a guest speaker at COOL AND COLLECTED (a DX TALK dedicated to the art of collecting) and a guest writer in the This Is Not a Toy limited edition catalogue. 

Installation Photos

magic pony friendswithyou at DX

This Is Not a Toy: Exhibition Space (feat. KAWS)

Pon Pon Pony Jam by Steve Cober & Kristin Weckworth (Magic Pony)

FriendsWithYou, Doma Installation

Selected designer toys by KAWS & Medicom

kidrobot dunny collection
Kidrobot 3-Inch Dunny Showcase

AD-AT Installation, Bill McMullen 

Magic Pony Pop-Up Shop

This Is Not A Toy: Exhibition Catalogue

This Is Not A Toy: Exhibition Catalogue

Precious Things, Takashi Murakami & Pharrell Williams

Junko Mizuno (installation detail)

Eric So


This IS Not A Toy: Review , TheGridTO (excerpt)