My first hands on exposure to the Kid Robot vinyl figures (or “dolls” as PHarrell likes to call ’em) was in 2003 when my buddy BoyKani hooked me with a Brooklyn Qee Monkey Cat Series 1 keychain for my birthday. I thought it was totally cool, and displayed it proudly in the home office (still in the package, I might add), but my desire to go bonkers and start a siiiiiiiick collection was still dormant. And even in 2004, when my pal Peter D was in town from Europe and his UK homey Sums had him in the KR shop picking up new stuff almost daily, I spent a ton of time browsing, but zero time buying. Then again in early 2005when James & Fi from Britian were staying with us, they showed back up at our pad maxed out with KR goodies. “We’re totally freakin’ out, mate. Dunny, Munny, Labbit…”, was all Fiona could say. I thought, “man, that’s pretty cool.”, but again, no urge to partake.
All that changed last summer though when I received an email from Cho’nuff saying that the Gorillaz were sitting front and center, in all their vinyl glory, in the Kid Robot store window. That did it. The wallet was pulled out, the plastic was swiped, and I became the proud owner of one of the (supposedly) limited edition sets of the Kid Robot Series 1 Gorillaz figures. Uh oh.
I went back into hiding for 6 months until Fiona got back in touch to beg and plead with me to go pick her up a set of the just released Series 2 Gorillaz. I was scared, but I agreed. When I arrived at the store, two things happened. First, a really cool Baseman Dunny had just been released, and it was only $30 (what a bargain!!). Second, there was a poster saying that Frank Kozik was going to be in the house, signing his new Bondage Edition Smorkin’ Labbit on Monday. I grabbed Fi’s stuff (and the Dunny) and headed home.
Monday rolled around and, although I was torn, I knew I had to head back to KR for the Kozik signing. I mean, Frank Kozik is a legendary rock and roll poster artist who I’ve admired for years, and to pass up an opportunity like the one I was being presented with just because I live in San Francisco and have access to all kinds of amazing artists would have been super lame.
So there I was, 6:45PM on a Monday nite, in line on Haight Street with 50 or so other Kid Robot geeks. But I felt good about it and lucky to be there. There were a few people who were there only to make a buck (as a quick Ebay search later proved), but for the most part everyone was anxiously waiting in line, excited to be the first to get their hands on this brand new Smorkin’ Labbit and even more stoked to get it signed by the man.
Finally it was my turn. I paid my $40, my Labbit was pulled out of its box, handed over to Kozik, and he did his deed… right where it counts. Nice.
I even got my picture taken with Kozik, and they put it up online in Kid Robot’s Bondage Labbit Signing Gallery. Supa sweet. Can you guess which one’s me?