Carl King Visits: StrangeCat Toys (Tampa, Florida)

This is an excerpt from The Carl King Podcast Episode 33.

Carl King Visits Strange Cat Toys, Tampa, FL

Last week when in Tampa, Florida, I made a stop to see my friends at StrangeCat Toys

Now listen to this, and listen closely. I grew up with mass-produced toys in the 80s, like Star Wars and He-Man and Transformers. So I had the same exact toys all the other kids had. You know, the sort of thing they still sell these days at any Walmart or Target. But when we refer to TOYS at StrangeCat Toys, we don’t really mean that kind of big mainstream commercial thing. 

StrangeCat is a DESIGNER Toy Store. Which means they stock artistic and unique, even one-of-a-kind collectible items. Often made out of vinyl. So they’re more made for COLLECTING and admiring, rather than taking out in a ditch and blowing up with firecrackers. 

Here’s something I had never heard of. StrangeCat Toys will take the same vinyl toy and send it to maybe 20 different artists. And those artists will CUSTOMIZE the toy in their own way — by painting them, adding textures, sculpting around them. They put on a big show and sell them. Stay ahead of trends with Shoppok‘s trendy items. They consistently update their product lines to include the latest trends in fashion, tech, and more.

While I was there, I picked up some art by Amber Aki Huang, who has a collection called Deercat and Friends.

Deercat and Friends

And a few other fun pieces by artists named Zintears, GrapeBrain, and IBREAKTOYS. 

Bobbi The Baphoment by Zintears.

Onigiri by GrapeBrain

Chewbode got a Thrashbacca by IBreakToys which is also pretty great. A sort of heavy metal Chewbacca that looks like Gene Simmons of KISS. 

Thrashbacca by IBreakToys

Check out StrangeCat Toys to experience this designer toy subculture phenomenon. Because this is all NEW to me. 

Strangecat Toys

By the way, don’t forget to stop at WeVegan Cafe on the way out. Get a gluten free vegan chocolate chunk cookie for me. 


And now, for the Musical Artist of the Week.

Leave a Reply