CA Series 2: Novo Bonbon (Official Thread) Jul 12, 2010 0:29:00 GMT -5
Post by rusVan on Jul 12, 2010 0:29:00 GMT -5
Canadian Series 2 Novo Bonbons
In the Cheap Toy hobby is rare to find a collector who likes Series 1 and Series 2 equally. And there are some collectors who only collect Series 2 Cheap Toys. Some people are attracted to their rarity but I believe that, in the end, it’s the high quality nature of Series 2 Cheap Toys that makes these same hunters life long fans. Perhaps, it’s the hunt that attracts the collectors and then it’s the toys themselves that makes them believers.
I, however, am not one of those collectors. I’m apart of the group who prefers the depth of Series 1 and attracted to Series 1 widespread distribution to that of Series 2 limited, single-country release. However I, like many collectors, appreciate Series 2s just about as much as the first Series, and without a doubt respect the power they have in our hobby.
With only, under 150 known, Series 2s are simply very rare. In just about any other toyline, these would be considered Super Rare, but Cheap Toys have never had a big following at any given time. Once in collector’s hands, many decide to only trade them (and refuse to sell). This trend demonstrates the power and allure these toys have within the community. Many Series 2 toys are considered so great that each individual toy becomes a collection stand out and is treated to unprecedented attention in threads, such as in toy photography or in discussions, unlike some Series 1 Rares of equal rarity. Inotherwords, the label Novo Bonbon brings a higher level of respect even though it’s not always deserved (statistically).
One phenomenon concerning Novos is how many collectors seek to complete the coveted Series 2 Sculpt Set of 10. Unwritten law concerning this accomplishment is that all 4 colors should be present in the sculpt set. Most collectors never accomplish this goal, and usually get to the same few roadblocks, hard to find sculpts. Cost, however, is the biggest issue. Some Novo singles range near 400 dollars. Occasionally one will sell under 150 dollars, but usually they are damaged. Let’s first discuss the 4 colors, oops-5 colors, Series 2 comes in.
Novo Blue is the rarest color. Two sculpts in Novo Blue are 1 of 1s*! Novo Blue Cheap Toys rarely exceed the prices of the other colors, since most collectors aren’t aware of the statistics and most Cheap Toy collectors buy their toys on the basis of aesthetics and availably and more particularly: opportunity. A Series 2 collector hunting one sculpt, in a particular color, might wait 2 or 3 years or more before that toy shows up and then chances are other collectors have been waiting on the same one! No better example of this, with ANY sculpt, in Sunshine Yellow!
*Oddly though, Blue Dot is the most “common” Series 2.
The color of Gold and yellow has special effects on the human brain. It’s been proven. It’s been showed in psychological studies, but also through out history. Had Gold, you know-the precious metal-been…. say…..a brown color, but still AS RARE, would SO many prospectors traveled great distances, and wars been fought, and blood spilt, over Gold if it was a brown precious metal? No, of course not, lol. Yellow is a happy color, it is the lightest color in the spectrum, and brightens our world, it is a symbol of life’s energy source, and is even symbolizes God himself. So, obviously a Graffiti Petey for example, cast in both Light Peach and in Sunshine Yellow would create different values in aesthetics, thus different prices. But what triples this effect, is its rarity, the Novo Sunshine Yellow is known in under 40 examples.
Novo Red was once described as Neon Red in comparison to Series 1’s Neon Red Orange. In fact, if one was to create a color chain with these colors, the best hue flow might follow this pattern: Cinnamon, Light Red, Dark Red, Novo Red, Neon Red-Orange, Orange, Salmon… Novo Red is also slightly translucent, and this quality often surprises collectors who hold one for the first time, since Novo Reds look opaque in photography. Novo Red is closest to UK Cinnamon, since both as semi-translucent, float, and is red.
Novo Green’s brilliance is next to impossible to capture in photography. Photos tend to distort Novo Green flat, with pale fields of light green, surrounded by aqua. Only until the actual toy is held, can a Novo Green be fully appreciated(and the same can be said with Neon Yellow and Neon Red-Orange since the same distortion occurs). Novo Green has been mistaken for Aqua on occasion, in photography, such as in the usual poor, mug shot type of shots one might find on eBay listings by novices. One longtime collector refers to Novo Green as Forest Green. I also think of it as a tint of Emerald Green. Nonetheless, it’s a different color than most expect.
Novo Green has a variant; Series 2’s only known variant. This color varies from Blue-Green to Green-Blue, and usually has a “foggy” marbling. The argument whether this green was created with age or was originally cast is this fashion might not be solved. So far, variant Greens have fetched lower prices than regular Novo Greens and have always been viewed as inferior.
However, this trend is changing, thanks to me and several other collectors who are recognizing this as a special color. Recently a collector acquired Ali Gator in Green, Variant Green, and Blue and his photographs helped to illustrate the beautiful elements of Variant Green. Now, only a few more collectors are needed to declare this a new Series 2 color, raising the Master set from 40 to 50, and creating some Series 2 unknowns(since several sculpts have never been seen in this color). *more to come on this special color!
The following is a section I cut and pasted from my own “History of Cheap Toys”
Series 2, like the first, was produced, manufactured, and distributed in Hong Kong by the Candy Novelty Company. Theories suggest that Topps feared another lawsuit (1987, Series 10) which lead them into producing Series 2 Cheap Toys under another company’s name: Novo Bonbon. “Novo Bonbon” is French for Novelty Candy! The company name “Novo Bonbon” did not exist, or at least did not sell any products under this banner, until the CT Series 2 release. Many mysteries surround the Novo release; although, in the grand scheme of things, this must have been a minor detail considering the Candy Novelty Inc. were to be designing, manufacturing, and distributing Topps Cheap Toys (and all of Topps Candy and Toy products) anyway!
Berserk Kirk, Catty Kathy, Les Vegas, Picky Mickey, Distorted Dot, Fishy Phyllis, Still Jill, Mouth Phil, Ali Gator, and Galloping Glen were all transformed into mini figures for this Series 2 release. The choice of characters still baffles many collectors, such as Picky Mickey for example. The great, bust-style, Bony Tony was bypassed for bust-style Mouth Phil. No Garbage Pail Kids characters from the popular first 2 sets were used, only characters from the third and forth. On one hand, the design team showed bravery in their decisions and as artists, such as in their insight to create a sculpt of grim Still Jill. Series 2 is successful in part to their electing these unlikely candidates. Another perspective is that the artists might have wanted to take on GPK characters that could be improved upon ‘in the round’.
The Series 2 introduced a whole new set of 10 GPK characters in 4 colors. These sculpts were cast in 4 Base Colors: Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green ( another variant green plastic exists for this Series, a marbled Green-Blue). It is believed that Series 2 only had one print run, which might explain why the series never progressed from the 4 original base colors. The plastic used in Series 2 is much harder than the first series and allows the toys to float, which helps collectors id them. The 4 colors used in Series 2 are also more brilliant with a deep saturation than those used in USA Cheap Toys. For example, Novo Red, or Series 2 Red, is best described as Neon Red or Electric Red, due to its high saturation and slight translucence. Novo Yellow, or Series 2 Yellow, is exclusively and affectionately referred to as “Sunshine Yellow” in the hobby, and best describes the color. Also, there are 40 toys in a Series 2 Master Set. Considering the Green Variant, though only 5 examples are known, there are 50 in a Master Set. Series 2 have no copyrights and variants within sculpts are extremely rare to nonexistent. This suggests that Series 2 was manufactured within a short time, and in a controlled environment. Thus, no factory errors in this release are known.
The Novo sculpts employ a different style and must have been sculpted by a different designer. Most collectors conclude this theory as fact. The biggest style differences are in texture and form. Series 2 demonstrate exceptional form and the pieces have elements that jut from all sides 3-D, such as tails and arms. The textures used in the designs are of a different technique and different tool, such as the bumpy nature of the character’s yarn hair. Series 2 sculpts are often praised for their height and volume which is slightly higher than thicker than Series 1 toys. This is a matter of personal preference, much like a lot of the information in this document, but is worth noting due to the consensus.
The weaknesses of the sculpts lie not in their composition but in ‘character’ of the characters. This is quite the opposite critique given to Series 1 sculpts. Here, the artist seemed to forget the spirit of the ‘kids’ he interpreted. The artist interpreted the form but not the heart. For example, look at the expression or lack of in Galloping Glen, and compare his spirit in the toy design to that of the original sticker art. Several Series 2 sculpts are fully successful in form and expression, such as the tour-de-force Distorted Dot. Humorous is how Distorted Dot is often at the bottom of Favorite Series 2 Sculpts polls. Such is the nature and joy of Art.
Series 2 came in similar garbage baggies, but with new printed label. Series 2 baggies are of the bluish green variety first introduced in the Series 1 Canadian release. Packs are also more translucent, but not as extreme as the Series 1 Canadian packs. Each toy also came with a newly designed, but similar, checklist featuring red line drawn characters. Instead of Crummy Candy, Series 2 Cheap Toys came with Garbage Can-dy (another popular Topps product, also made by the Candy Novelty Inc.) was used for this release. This candy change was probably well received considering the overwhelming dislike for chalkiness of Crummy Candy compared to Garbage Can-dy which has been a kid favorite for over 4 decades now.
Perhaps, the most interesting variation in Cheap Toys is the Series 1 sculpts cast in Series 2 plastic. Three collectors have stepped forward and remembered finding only one or two of these per Series 2 box. A few recalled thinking it strange that the toy could not be found on the Series 2 checklist!
To this day 16 Novo Series 1 Cheap Toys have been discovered. The general term used in the toy collecting hobby is “Super-Rares”. Novo Series 1s are GPK’s Super-Rares. The most hopeful of the Novo discoveries is that 3 of the 16 known figures are the same sculpt in the same color: Yellow Leaky Lindsay. The other 13 Novo S1s are completely different. Novo S1s have been found in all 4 colors, unless counting the Green-Blue Variant.