Designer Toys, Art & Pop Culture

Super-Cali-Fragi-Listic Expi-Ali-Toy-ISH

Update: The exhibit is now viewable online and we're taking orders!

Super-Cali-Fragi-Listic Expi-Ali-Toy-Ish
Soft Vinyl Exhibit by Bombastic Plastic and Phobia Toys
December 4, 2021-January 2, 2022

Meet the Artist
Saturday, December 4, 10am-Noon

Back in March we tried something new...a mini exhibit of just vinyl figures by an independent producer/artist, Phobia Toys, on top of our normal monthly exhibit. We had so much fun that we're doing it again!

Indy vinyl, specifically sofubi-style productions, are one of the more interesting and vital parts of the designer toy world. Often driven by nothing more than a creative spirit and a passion for the artistic potential of toys, there are dozens if not hundreds of small toy producers making amazing stuff.

Starting December 4 we'll have Phobia Toys back, but we're expanding the circle a little. Ben (Phobia) has invited Neil Ewing, aka Bombastic Plastic, to join in the fun! Not only have they both produced and painted a bunch of their own figures, they've done some crossover collaborations and even some mashups with other toy producers.

Join us Saturday, December 4, 10am-Noon for an informal opening and first shot at the toys! Ben will be at the store to hang out and chat with anyone that has questions about his figures or independent vinyl production.

The exhibit continues through January 2nd, 2022 and the gallery is open for viewing at Rotofugi, 2780 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago or view online at (coming soon).

About the Artists

Phobia Toys is a small independent toy company based in Minneapolis, MN, focusing on finding a balance between the cute and grotesque through the soft vinyl toy medium. All toys are hand sculpted and painted by Ben Farnam in his South Minneapolis studio.

Ben often collaborates with some of his favorite toy artists: painting each other’s toys, mashing up different sculpts, and coming up with character combinations that make for fun and unusual soft vinyl toys. Phobia Toys provide collectors with quality soft vinyl toys that are strange, unique, and limited to very small runs.

Neil Ewing is a multimedia artist from south eastern Colorado. His art is focused on creating narrative, pulled from nostalgia and experience to create feelings of humor, joy and levity.

Since 2002, Neil has drawn comics, created toys, made music, and worked with many artists, brands and record labels. He currently runs Bombastic Plastic, a creative company that makes genre bending quirky collectibles and soft goods.

Posted Nov 30, 2021 by Kirby Kerr 0

Black Friday Exclusives

This Black Friday, instead of a boring sale, we're opening the doors an hour early and debuting two new limited edition exclusive releases!

Join us Friday, November 26 at 9am Central for the release of Midnight Moon Bat: Bat Sabbatical and Mad*L Citizen: Rotofugi Mad Ape! That's right, it's double Black Friday Exclusives going head to head!

Midnight Moon Bat — Bat Sabbatical
On the left, we've Midnight Moon Bat. Our exclusive version of the figure, designed by Nightly Made (Megan Mahfoud) and produced by Martian Toys, is decked out to rock! Megan's super cute bat has taken a little darker turn thanks to a new paint design by Brazilian artist Igor Ventura — and we are all in for this black metal girl (swoon)!

Take her home for $55. Limited edition of 150 figures, 4.5 inches tall.

On the right, we've got a special Rotofugi version of legendary toy designer Jeremy "Mad" Madl's new figure with UVD Toys, the Mad*L Citizen. We're absolutely loving this evolution of an early designer toy staple, the Mad*L. Our exclusive version is rocking a design inspired by a hoodie that Mad designed for us way back in 2005 when we were just a baby store. Figure and paint design by Mad, sculpt by Pixel Budah.

Get your own piece of Rotofugi history for just $50! Limited edition of 100 figures, 4 inches tall.

We'll have stock of both releases at the store at 2780 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago and online at beginning at 9am!


Posted Nov 23, 2021 by Kirby Kerr 0

November Exhibit: James 'Jimbot' Demski

Happy Electronic Memories
New Works by James 'Jimbot' Demski
November 20-December 12, 2021

Artist Reception
Saturday, November 20, 10am-Noon

For November's exhibit we've got something familiar, but also new. One of our long-time favorites and competing for having the most exhibits with us over the years (this will be his 6th solo exhibit in our gallery), Jimbot is back with a fresh body of work he's developed over the past year!

What's new, you ask? Well, for the first time Jimbot has prepared an exhibit of digitally created paintings. For previous exhibits we've mostly shown acrylic on wood or canvas pieces by Jimbot, but for this show we will be presenting a series of new limited edition prints based on his explorations of this new medium. For an artist that has built a career on working with a mix of acrylics, ink and dry transfer techniques it's a big jump to go 100% digital, but artistry knows no medium and Jimbot's voice shines through with this new technique.

Don't fear though, he's also made some of his charming wooden robots.

Join us Saturday, November 20, 10am-Noon for an informal reception, chat with Jimbot, and view/purchase the new works. Face coverings are required.

If you're unable to attend, we will also offer the new works via our Gallery Previews email list shortly after the opening. You can sign up at

Exhibit continues through December 12, 2021.

Rotofugi — 2780 N. Lincoln Ave. — Chicago — Open 10am-6pm Daily

About the Artist

James Demski is a Milwaukee-based artist also known by the moniker “Jimbot.” His art takes you into other worlds where the unusual can happen, beauty is around us, and your daydreams can become a reality. What exactly is happening is often left up to the viewer’s interpretations and how they view the clues left behind by the artist.  He creates these worlds to escape to, and for the viewers to enjoy. James uses acrylic paint, dry transfer letters, pencil and ink (and now also works digitally) to convey his thoughts, and wants the viewer to enjoy them as much as he enjoyed painting them.

This is Jimbot's sixth solo show at Rotofugi.

Posted Nov 05, 2021 by Kirby Kerr 0

October Exhibit: Cherry Moth Cake


New Works by Cherry Moth Cake
Nick and Lindsay DiFabbio
October 16-November 15, 2021

Artist Reception/Pop-Up Shop
October 16, 10am-1pm

We did our first October Cherry Moth Cake show back in, time flies! So much has changed in a few years, but one thing that remains a October the DiFabs will be back at Rotofugi!

This year will feature not only the usual new original artworks and merch, but also the debut of the Skully Ghost vinyl figure by Cherry Moth Cake x Squibbles Ink! Don't miss your chance to get your hands on the first release of this awesome new rendition of a CMC classic!

Opening day is Saturday, October 16th and Nick and Lindsay will be at the gallery from 10am until at least 1pm for an informal opening/artist reception and pop-up shop.

Please note that masks are required for entry to our space, and we request you be cognizant of distancing when possible. Currently our space has an occupancy limit of 50 people, including staff, and we will be enforcing that. In addition, we respectfully request that no one hangs out for an extended period of time after completing purchases...we want you to have time to chat with Nick and Lindsay and no one is going to get pushed out the door, but given the current circumstances having an extended indoor gathering isn't great for our guests or staff and we'd like you to help us keep everyone as safe as we can. Thanks for your understanding.

There will not be an online preview for this exhibit and online sales of the exhibit and merchandise will happen in the week following the exhibit. If you're unable to attend in person make sure you sign up for our Gallery Previews email list at for updates.

The exhibit is open for viewing daily 10am-6pm through November 15 at Rotofugi, 2780 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago and will be viewable at shortly after the opening of the exhibit.

Posted Sep 29, 2021 by Kirby Kerr 0

September Exhibit: Dehara Yukinori

UPDATE: September 17, 4:43pm

YES! As luck would have it, this afternoon we did receive one of the boxes for the Dehara exhibit scheduled to open tomorrow...and it was the one with the exhibit pieces!

We'll be opening the exhibit on time tomorrow and all exhibit pieces will be on display and available to purchase beginning at 10am (Saturday, September 18).

What didn't make it yet are (as yet unannounced) vinyl figures that will also be available. We'll update everyone when those arrive and we can get some photos prepared. Vinyl figures will be available first to attendees of the exhibit's opening weekend, and we'll announce details for online sales (if any remain) as soon as we can.

I'll be working on setting up the exhibit preview/lottery for those that can't attend in person tomorrow, so if you're interested, make sure you sign up for the email at

Thanks....Kirby (Rotofugi Gallery Director)

Kirby Kerr
Rotofugi Gallery Director

Japanese Salaryman Satoshi
New Works by Dehara Yukinori
September 18-October 10, 2021

With summer winding down we're pleased to be bringing you the final exhibit in our three-show run of all Japanese artists...and it's one we are personally very excited for.

Join us beginning Saturday, September 18 for "Japanese Salaryman Satoshi," a new figure exhibition by Dehara Yukinori, presented in conjunction with Paradise Toy.

For me, Dehara is the perfect combination of talented illustrator and sculptor, but also very much with a punk rock/outsider attitude. I can distinctly remember first seeing his works via his collaboration with Hong Kong-based toymakers Toy2R in 2006 and knowing I had a new art crush...and now, 15 years later, we are honored to be hosting an exhibition of his amazing sculptures. (Kirby Kerr, Rotofugi Gallery Director)

For this exhibit, works will be available first to attendees of the opening weekend, but we will take requests for purchase via our previews email list and conduct a lottery for remaining pieces after the opening weekend. Sign up at to receive an email when works are available to request.

The exhibit will be open for viewing at Rotofugi, 2780 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago beginning Saturday, September 18, 10am-6pm, however, we are being cautious and will not be holding an opening reception.

Japanese Salaryman Satoshi continues through October 10th or view online at

About the Artist

Dehara Yukinori is a Tokyo-based figure illustrator and sculptor. Born in 1974, Dehara produces approximately 300 new sculptures a year (and claims to also consume 300 liters of beer per year) that are exhibited in galleries in Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, NY, Los Angeles, Paris...and now, Chicago!

His books include the figure photo books Satoshi-kun's List Life and Jibakore, and the picture books Vegetable War and Satoshi-kun and Menta-kun. Cakes was broadcast on TV TOKYO and made into a DVD.

In addition to his fine art work, Dehara has worked on advertising and character design campaigns for clients like Nike, NEC, Tower Records, ASICS, Meiji, etc. and he is an active member of Menpe (Tokyo Men's Painter Association) with Mr. Nampei Kaneko with whom he has mounted multiple exhibits.

Posted Sep 13, 2021 by Kirby Kerr 0
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