Designer Toys, Art & Pop Culture

April Exhibit: Eli Libson

Creature Lab

Creature Lab
New Works by Eli Libson
April 18-May 10, 2020

Online Exhibit Launch
Saturday, April 18, 10am Central Time

As the need to be closed to the public continues we find ourselves doing things just a little differently. This coming Saturday, April 18th, we'll be launching a new exhibit...but entirely online (at least for now, more on that below).

For the last few years we've been selling some wonderful prints at our Chicago location by Minnesota-based artist Eli Libson. Drawn from his "Mysterious Creatures Field Guide," these prints are a colorful explosion of fantasy beasts rendered in a careful scientific illustration style. Eli was part of a small group exhibit of ours last summer with some wonderful pop culture paintings, but we've been wanting to visit his creature work more fully.

Fast forward to this month and we're quickly approaching a full exhibit of works from this series including several new larger paintings. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 precautions, we won't be having a traditional exhibit, but the show goes on, virtually!

Join us at on Saturday, April 18 at 10am Central Time to view the new works!

Sign up at for a reminder email.

Note: Our gallery in Chicago is closed to the public through April 30, 2020 by order of the governor of Illinois. While we expect that to be extended we are currently planning to hang this exhibit for in-person viewing if we are able to re-open on May 1. As such, works from this exhibit will be available for shipping either after the date the exhibit ends (May 10) or perhaps a little sooner if the shutdown is extended and we know for certain that we can't hang the exhibit for public viewing.

Posted Apr 13, 2020 by Kirby Kerr 0

Non-Essential Saturdays, A Proposal

For about the last decade there’s been a movement to support small retailers as shopping has moved online and to mega-businesses like Amazon, but now we face an even bigger hurdle to our survival: being “non-essential.”

I firmly support the closure of our store to the public during this time. The survival of our business is NOT more important than the health of even one person, but being “non-essential” during a pandemic doesn’t mean we aren’t essential to the communities we serve day in and day out.

I’m proposing, for the time being, that Saturdays will be “Non-Essential Saturdays” … it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but you get what I mean.

This Saturday, and every one until stores can re-open (however long that may be) give some love to the small “non-essential” retailers in your town that you’d be lost without and maybe, just maybe, they’ll still be there when the dust settles.

In short, please support the stores that are essential to YOU.

How do you support a business that is closed? It’s a fair question. Many of us operate both a physical retail location and an online store. But if the store you’d like to support doesn’t have online shopping, check their website or social media and see if they’re selling gift certificates or taking donations…or pick up the phone or write an email and see if you can help.

It’s not a perfect solution, but if YOU support the things you love, it will make a difference. Thank you.

Kirby Kerr
Owner/Gallery Director

Thanks to Eric Nakamura at Giant Robot for his Facebook post that provided the seed of this idea. Eric’s store in Los Angeles, like ours in Chicago, is currently closed to the public but continues to sell online.

PLEASE SHARE, and if you or anyone you know can help amplify this message we would appreciate it!

The Non-Essential Saturday graphic and slogan, “Please support the stores that are essential to you,” are shared with a CC0 License. You are free to use these elements to promote your business with no restrictions. Good luck and stay safe!

Posted Mar 27, 2020 by Kirby Kerr 2

Chicago Location Closed

Our Chicago location will be closed to comply with the Governor of Illinois' Stay at Home Order through May 31, 2020.

I know you’re being bombarded with people requesting your help right now, so I’ll keep this as brief as I can. We were not a healthy business before this happened. It’s been a hard few years and Rotofugi is the equivalent of someone living on payday loans. It’s not easy for me to admit that, but it’s the truth.

I intend to keep paying my staff their regular pay as long as I can, but that means we need revenue. So, if you have the means (trust me, I know that many of our customers and friends are also hurting right now) please shop online at and we will ship your order in a timely manner or have it available for curbside pickup (beginning May 1).*

Thank you and stay safe out there….

Kirby Kerr
Owner/Gallery Director

* We are currently packing and shipping orders on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and are available for curbside pickups those same days, 10:30am-4pm. Thank you for your patience!


-- Updated 4/29/2020, 3:32 pm Central Time
Posted Mar 20, 2020 by Kirby Kerr 0

Need a little blind box fun?

Are you staying home? Everything suggests that’s a good idea right now, so we’re offering FREE SHIPPING* for all blind box toy orders of $30 or more for the time being. 

Treat yourself to a little bit of blind box fun during these difficult times and you’ll also be supporting a small business that really needs your help.

No discount code needed, just shop at and add $30 or more worth of blind box toys to your cart and the shipping is on us.

* Orders shipping to US addresses only. If you add non-blind box items to your cart the regular shipping rates will apply, but you can place separate orders to get free shipping for a part of your order if you’d like.

Note: Right now our store in Chicago is closed to the public, and we are shipping orders on a modified schedule (every 2-3 days) so that our staff can minimize exposure. Thanks for your understanding.

Posted Mar 15, 2020 by Kirby Kerr 0

March Exhibit: Nellie Le

Get ready for a cute overload when our March exhibit featuring the works of LA-based artist and illustrator Nellie Le opens!

Born in 1986 and raised in the suburbs east of Los Angeles, Nellie grew up watching mid-century Disney shorts which had a huge influence on her work today. She works mostly in gouache and acrylic gouache in a color palette influenced by the colors of her childhood.

Nellie has worked under two more of our favorite artists, Amanda Visell and Michelle Valigura, and in fact it was at a party at their home where we first met Nellie a few years ago.

Come on out on March 21st for the opening reception to meet Nellie and help us welcome Spring with some colorful, fun art!


We have decided that it’s in everyones best interest if we cancel the opening reception for our new exhibit with Nellie Le that was scheduled for this coming Saturday. 

We will still be hanging the new exhibit and will have an online preview (sign up at for first notification) but having a gathering at this point seems a little irresponsible.

Our store and gallery in Chicago will remain open normal hours for the time being, but that may very well change as things develop. 11am-7pm Monday-Friday and 10am-6pm Saturday-Sunday.

We have an online store at and the option to either have items shipped or made available for in store pickup. Your support during this difficult time is certainly appreciated.

Play All Day
New Works by Nellie Le 
March 21-April 12, 2020

BYOB Opening Reception

Join us for the opening reception on Saturday, March 21, 7-10pm to check out the new works and enjoy music by DJ Sean Doe plus complimentary snacks and soft drinks (BYOB if you want to have alcohol). Nellie will be in attendance so stop by and meet the artist!

For BYOB, we are steps away from Beermiscuous, one of Chicago's best craft beer shops — 350 cold beers and ciders (over 200 local beers!) are available in a singles format, allowing you to create your own mix-and-match variety pack for the event!

Exhibit continues through April 12, 2020.

Sign up for gallery previews at for first chance to purchase artwork.

Posted Mar 05, 2020 by Kirby Kerr 0
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