Designer Toys, Art & Pop Culture

July Exhibit: Melissa Sue Stanley

We're hitting our summer stride and ready to bring you a bunch more awesome art, starting with a new exhibit we are really excited about! Chicago-based Melissa Sue Stanley is a wonderful multi-disciplinary artist, illustrator, and storyteller that we last showed in 2016, my how time flies!

Beginning Saturday, July 1 we'll have a new exhibit featuring a collection of all new creature sculptures from Melissa’s "Woolbeasts" narrative — Creatures You Might Meet on the Treehouse Trail. Don’t miss your chance to check out these beautiful hand-sculpted creatures featuring hand-knitted scarves, stitched wool satchels, and their travel accessories.


The creatures in the trees appear gentle — but every beast is wild, and even the softest has thorns hidden in its fur.

To help travelers navigate their way from the city to the sea, through the twisting wood and down into the dark valley, the Grimoire Council has commissioned the treehouse witch, Grisella, to produce a guidebook.

Grisella’s Woolbeast Wayguide (coming summer 2024) will contain everything you need to know about traveling the Treehouse Forest: maps through the different regions, tips for shopping and dining, how to avoid death and dismemberment, and what to do for a bit of fun on the road.

A zine-style collection of stories from Grisella’s Woolbeast Wayguide will be released as part of this exhibit.

Woolbeasts: Creatures You Might Meet on the Treehouse Trail
New Works by Melissa Sue Stanley
July 1-28, 2023
Open 10am-6pm Daily

Artist Reception — July 1, 6-8pm
featuring Music by DJ Sean Doe

Sign up for our Gallery Previews Email List at for first online access to this exhibit.

Nineteen Years and Counting

Ya know, sometimes you just gotta ✨ hype✨ yourself up a little — especially when someone says something this nice about you. We are fast approaching our 19th Anniversary on July 3rd and I just wanted to take a moment to reflect.
When Whitney and I started Rotofugi in 2004 we had no concept of our possible longevity. We had just fallen in love with this new "urban vinyl" art toy thing and crazily, wanted to own a store. It seemed like it would be fun. She would mind the store days when I was at work, and we'd be able to work together when I was not.
We were embraced by an eager bunch of toy & art collectors that we honestly only hoped existed, but the timing was right and just 3 months later I quit my job and haven't looked back.
There have been so many ups and downs, even a few times when I was sure we wouldn't make it. There were crazy times in San Diego & NYC doing conventions, releases with people lined down the block, amazing art exhibits and pop-up shops — and multiple toy projects with some of the best people in the business. There were also a lot of late nights & all nighters, runs to drop off packages at the post office at 3am, and just plain hard work. There was a flood, so many snowstorms, a few broken windows, and we've even been burglarized once...but we've made it so far.
Honestly, I'm not entirely sure how we did it...but I know we've had the best people working for and with us — many of which I consider family now. I do wish Whitney was here to see that we're still making people smile...but I know she'd be proud of what I and our little staff have managed to do over the last 5 years despite the challenges.
Thank you Chicago, thank you toy and art collectors around the globe, and most of all, thank *you* for continuing to support our weird little toy and art business. I don't know if we really deserve to be called "one of the gems of Chicago" or not, but I do hope to live up to that for as long as I am able.
Kirby Kerr
Gallery Director & Owner

June Exhibit: Charr Morita

We have, for the past few years, collaborated with Taipei-based gallery The Little Hut on several exhibitions, all wonderful artists that we might not have access to otherwise — and they have brought us another amazing collaboration.

Our June exhibit features Japanese artist Charr Morita — fresh off of collaborations with Adidas and uber hip streetwear brand VANDYTHPINK as well as a November 2022 solo exhibit at The Little Hut, Charr brings a playful aesthetic, bright colors, and enough fresh art to fill a small house for his first US based solo exhibition.

The exhibit is presented by The Little Hut and How2Work, producers of Charr's fabulous SK8 One-Chu vinyl figure, of which we will be releasing a new green with white ball cap version as part of the exhibit.

The SK8 One-Chu will be available first to attendees of the opening weekend of the exhibit, with an online release to follow early in the week after.

Be sure to sign up for the Gallery Previews List at for first online access to original art from this and future exhibits.

Your Happy Place
New Works by Charr Morita
June 10-July 9, 2023
Open 10am-6pm Daily

Sorry, no opening reception this month.

About the Artist

Charr Morita (B. 1988) is good at expressing his passion for skateboarding, streetwear and hip-hop culture through his unique illustrations — impressing with humorous, dynamic characters, and detailed fashion.

In his early career, Charr created art flyers and hosted group exhibitions during the day — and at night he performed live painting at clubs and underground events in Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto.

After the birth of his son, Charr returned to his hometown, Kagawa Prefecture Japan. Nevertheless, he has never withdrawn his artistic pursuits and has posted his artworks on SNS and Instagram daily since 2016. From 2021, he started expanding his career in hand-painted artworks, including brand collaborations in various countries.

This is his first solo exhibition hosted in the United States.

@charr.morita_ @thelittlehutco @how2workhk

#graphicdesigner #illustration #art #original #drawingart #charr #art #dog #hiphop #popart #sk8 #skateboard #hypebeastart

Hungry Hamster Invades Chicago

The Hungry Hamsters are invading Chicago this Saturday!

The Hungry Hamster is a representation of greed you see in everyday artists and its ecosystem. Each of them has a story to be told and hold on to a half-eaten "munchie," giving you a hint of the little desires they so wish for.

Conceived as both a digital and physical collectible, Hungry Hamster is the brainchild of Singapore-based creative Freddy Lim, along with Taketo Kobayashi, and Oasim Karmieh. The digital collectible release of 5,555 NFTs found the Hungry Hamster eating it's way into the hearts of fans in December, and now the vinyl figure is poised to chew it's way into the homes of a few hundred humans and begin it's global domination!

We've enlisted the help of 20 artists from Chicago and beyond to create custom versions and help celebrate the official release of the first two figures in the Hungry Hamster Art Toy Genesis Collection: the Original Hungry Hamster vinyl figure with it's trademark H logo munchie (edition of 300), plus the sick black and gold "An Evil Thought" version (edition of 200) with it's skull munchie.

Join us for the opening reception on Saturday, May 20, 6-8pm where you can meet Hungry Hamster Club founder and lead designer Freddy Lim who will be available to meet with fans and sign purchased figures — plus a special Deep House mix by Rotofugi Music Director Sean Doe! Free snacks and soft drinks, BYOB.

Custom Hamsters and vinyl figures will be available first to attendees of the opening reception of the exhibit, followed by an online release at early in the following week, with custom figures being available first to our Gallery Previews Email List members. You can sign up at

Participating Artists: Ali Six – Bombastic Plastic/Neil Ewing – The Bots – BRAIN KILLER – Steve Bravo – ChrisRWK – Don Mega Art – Elloo – Freddy Lim — JIMBOT – Jeremiah Ketner — Max Nagata – Netherland – Ocean Muerto – One-Eyed Girl – Owlberry Lane – Reno Msad – Revise CMW – Shawnimals – Mr. Walters

May 20-June 18, 2023
Open 10am-6pm Daily

Opening Reception
Saturday, May 20, 6-8pm
Meet Hungry Hamster Club Founder Freddy Lim
Special Deep House Music Mix by Sean Doe

UPDATE: Hungry Hamster vinyl figures are available now!

We're still working on listing the customs for sale online — sign up at to be notified when they are ready!

May Exhibit: CUPCO!? Returns!

Back in 2005 we were just a baby store and gallery, and we did some pretty cool handmade plush art shows, one curated by Bwana Spoons🤘, and another that was curated by Shawnimals❤️.

One of the coolest people we got to work with back then was Australian artist living in Tokyo that made the sweetest plush art dolls. CUPCO made super clean and super clever stuff that drew on pop culture and Luke's sometimes twisted (in a good way) sensibilities. His work always had a sort of a punk rock meets meticulous arts and crafts vibe (mixed with a bit of cute) that we absolutely adored.

Not too long after that, Luke collaborated with Red Magic and produced a really stellar set of CI Boys, one of the early blind box series to come out of Hong Kong (2007) — but the last time he graced our wall's was another Shawnimals production, 2008's Plushform show. Luke continued to evolve as an artist over the years, making some amazing work in plush, but also exploring other handmade styles — always with a cool pop sensibility. But for whatever reason we never reconnected, despite remaining big fans of what he did.

So when Luke reached out again when we were in the middle of setting our 2023 exhibit schedule and inquired about putting on another exhibit, we immediately said yes.

In the years since we last showed him, Luke has branched out from his handmade plush dolls and has recently been exploring both soft sculpture like the mannequin style head seen here, but also beading on non-traditional materials. The results are equal parts impressive and bizarre, but always interesting and we're so happy to bring you this new show.

Be sure to sign up for the Gallery Previews List at for first online access to this and future exhibits. We're not entirely sure yet if we'll get a "preview" out before this exhibit opens Saturday but we're working on it — stay tuned!

New Works by Cupco/Luke Temby
May 13-June 4, 2023
Open 10am-6pm Daily

Sorry, no opening reception this month. We'll be back shortly though with another exhibit this month that will have a reception — stay tuned.

About the Artist

CUPCO!? (aka XUPXO) is the brainchild of Australian artist Luke Temby. Born on the streets of Tokyo, CUPCO!? began as a street art project mixed with a proficiency in hand-made dolls and skateboarding. Over the years CUPCO!? has expanded into all kinds of media: exhibitions, illustration, animation, exquisite hand-made artworks and more.

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