The Gorillaz, the groundbreaking virtual band created by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, have not only pushed the boundaries of music but have also made a significant impact in the world of art and collectibles. One remarkable aspect of their artistic journey has been the creation of vinyl art toys that capture the essence of their iconic animated band members. In this visual tour, we will explore the evolution of Gorillaz vinyl art toys, taking a journey through the collection available on Superplastic and witnessing how these designs have evolved over the years.
The Birth of a Virtual Band
The Gorillaz burst onto the scene in 2001 with their self-titled debut album. Comprising four animated members—2D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle, and Russel Hobbs—the band immediately captured the imagination of music and art enthusiasts. To commemorate their arrival, the first set of vinyl art toys was released.
Phase 1 Gorillaz Toys
These early vinyl figures faithfully depicted the band members as they appeared during Phase 1. Each figure was a small, detailed replica, capturing the unique personalities of the characters. The attention to detail in their design, from 2D’s vacant expression to Murdoc’s devilish grin, made these toys a must-have for fans and collectors alike.
Demon Days and a Darker Aesthetic
As the Gorillaz’s music evolved with the release of “Demon Days” in 2005, so did the design of their vinyl art toys. Phase 2 saw a darker, more mature aesthetic for the band, and this was reflected in the toys.
Phase 2 Gorillaz Toys
The Phase 2 vinyl figures retained the incredible attention to detail but showcased the characters in their evolved appearances. Murdoc Niccals, for instance, was depicted with a more sinister look, reflecting the mood of the album. These toys demonstrated how the Gorillaz universe was a living, breathing entity, evolving alongside the music.
Phase 3: Plastic Beach and a Splash of Color
“Plastic Beach,” released in 2010, brought a change in scenery and style for the Gorillaz. This phase saw the band residing on a floating island made of plastic debris, and their vinyl art toys reflected this vibrant and colorful world.
The Phase 3 vinyl figures were a departure from the earlier monochromatic designs. They introduced a splash of color, reflecting the bright and eclectic visual aesthetic of “Plastic Beach.” These toys not only celebrated the band’s evolution but also showcased the diversity of their creative universe.
Phase 4: Humanz and Realism
“Humanz,” released in 2017, marked another evolution in the Gorillaz’s music and artistry. Phase 4 brought the band members closer to reality, both in their music and in the design of their vinyl art toys.
The Phase 4 vinyl figures showcased a more realistic approach to the characters, blurring the line between animation and reality. The attention to detail in their clothing, accessories, and facial expressions was remarkable. These toys captured the essence of the “Humanz” era, where the Gorillaz explored the human experience more deeply.
Phase 5: The Now Now and a Return to Animation
The Gorillaz’s journey continued with “The Now Now” in 2018, and Phase 5 marked a return to their animated roots. The vinyl art toys from this phase reflected the band members in their classic animated form.
The Phase 5 vinyl figures celebrated the beloved animated characters, capturing the nostalgia of the Gorillaz’s early days while incorporating elements of their contemporary style. These toys served as a reminder of the enduring appeal of the virtual band.
Phase 6: Song Machine and Beyond
The Gorillaz’s most recent phase, “Song Machine,” has seen them explore a new way of releasing music, one song at a time. The vinyl art toys from this phase are a testament to their ever-evolving creativity.
The Phase 6 vinyl figures continue to capture the essence of the Gorillaz’s music and visual style, with each release corresponding to a new “Song Machine” episode. These toys are a reflection of the band’s commitment to pushing boundaries and staying relevant in the ever-changing world of art and music.
The Influence of Fan Art and Customization
One remarkable aspect of the Gorillaz vinyl art toy collection is the influence of fan art and customization. Fans from around the world have taken these vinyl figures and transformed them into unique creations. From custom paint jobs to entirely new outfits, the Gorillaz vinyl art toys have become a canvas for fan expression. This symbiotic relationship between the band and its fanbase has resulted in a rich tapestry of creativity, where each customized toy tells a story of dedication and passion.
Limited Edition Releases
Collectors of Gorillaz vinyl art toys eagerly anticipate limited edition releases. These special editions often feature unique designs, exclusive accessories, or packaging that sets them apart from the standard releases. Limited edition Gorillaz toys have become prized possessions among collectors, as they not only celebrate the band’s music but also offer a tangible piece of Gorillaz history. Keeping an eye out for these rare releases has become a thrilling aspect of collecting Gorillaz vinyl art toys.
Collaborations with Artists and Designers
The Gorillaz have a history of collaborating with renowned artists and designers, and this extends to their vinyl art toy collection. Collaborative releases have resulted in vinyl figures that showcase the distinct styles and creative visions of guest artists. These collaborations not only expand the artistic horizons of the Gorillaz universe but also introduce collectors to new and exciting design concepts.
Gorillaz Vinyl Art Toys as Collectible Investments
Over the years, Gorillaz vinyl art toys have gained recognition as valuable collectibles. Rare and limited edition releases often appreciate in value over time, making them attractive investments for collectors. The demand for these toys continues to grow, with dedicated marketplaces and online communities focused on buying, selling, and trading Gorillaz vinyl art toys. For collectors, it’s not only a passion for the band’s music and art but also a savvy investment in the world of pop culture collectibles.
The Future of Gorillaz Vinyl Art Toys
As the Gorillaz continue to evolve creatively, their super plastic art toys are likely to follow suit. The future promises more exciting releases, collaborations, and innovations in design. Collectors and fans alike can look forward to an ever-expanding universe of Gorillaz vinyl art toys that celebrate the band’s enduring legacy and artistic evolution. As we embark on this journey through the Gorillaz vinyl art toy collection, it’s clear that these toys are not just inanimate objects; they are a reflection of the band’s dynamic and ever-changing world of music and art.
The journey through the Gorillaz’s vinyl art toy collection is a testament to the band’s enduring creativity and the ever-evolving nature of their art. From their humble beginnings in Phase 1 to the cutting-edge designs of Phase 6, the Gorillaz have continued to captivate audiences worldwide, both through their music and their collectible art.
As fans and collectors, we are fortunate to have witnessed the evolution of these vinyl art toys, each one a unique piece of the Gorillaz’s creative journey. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a newcomer to their world, the Gorillaz’s vinyl art toys offer a tangible connection to their music and artistry, making them a cherished addition to any collection.