(Note: Reposting with interview added.) When we first laid eyes on Yum Yum’s hilarious vinyl toys, we couldn’t stop laughing. With cool characters that range from a kick-ass, karate-wielding granny to an action hero with a fondness for chickens, they all make you want to stop and come up with your own crazy story behind them. We were able to catch up with the brilliant minds of Yum Yum to ask them a few questions. First, enjoy their wonderful and whimsical collection and then read an exclusive interview with Beth Algieri, the Director of Design and Animation at Yum Yum as she talks about their soon-to-be-released toys and how social media has helped them build a growing and passionate community.
Can you give me a brief paragraph about Yum Yum? We are a design studio founded by two directors who love character design, animation and storytelling. What ever we do, we make it really good, and we make stuff for people to enjoy. We started working together in 2007. We discovered that we had this ability to realise all the crazy stories and wonderful characters that were in our heads and bring them to life. This seemed to be a really fun thing to do as a job. We have had the amazing opportunity to hang out and work with really talented directors, agency creatives and designers along the way. How did you come up with these creative designer toys? What’s the creative process like? We love collecting toys so we decided we would design a series of our own. The ideas come from a mixture of things, it could be from a film, a song or just walking down the busy streets of London and spotting an inspiring individual which will trigger a character idea in our heads. I will start designing the characters, objects and scenes, with paper and pencil. Once we are both happy with the designs Jonny will start the modelling them, using the drawings as a reference. Where and when will they be sold? Some nice people have been in touch asking to retail them in their shops. We will keep you updated as to where they will be sold soon. Who are the toys aimed at? Who is your target market? They are aimed at whoever would like to own something that makes them smile. Are the toys inspired by people in real life? Some design are inspired by characters in films, for example the action hero holding the chicken is inspired by Bruce Willis crossed with Arnie. The Kung Fu Granny was inspired by an article we read in the Newspaper about a Granny who scared off some thieves by jumping into a Kung Fu stance. Other characters like the Hotdog, Cactus and Octopus were designed because they were something we would like to have on our shelves and simply because they are some of our favourite things to draw. How has the internet helped spread the word about your work? All the work we do is for our friends and fans to enjoy. We always keep that in mind when were are designing characters or writing treatments. Blogs, and communities are great because they enable us to reach our followers easily, show our animations to new people and generally make people laugh who we could not normally reach. The best thing is the feedback, hearing comments and seeing who is enjoying what we do the most. What are some of your favorite, inspirational or design/art sites? Hmmm… that’s a tough question, there are so many to choose from. Ffffound is definitely one of our favorites, also Home Sweet Home is super nice. We look at Motionographer so we can keep up to date with the latest in the world of animation. Oh and My Modern Metropolis is totally awesome of course : ) For an extra fun treat, watch this short video by Yum Yum. It’s hilarious. Thanks for the interview, Beth, we can’t wait for your vinyl toys! Yum Yum