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Click to see!Interview with David Horvath and Sun Min Kim
by Jager

This year at Toy Fair UglyDoll co-creators David Horvath and Sun Min Kim were gracious enough to chat with Jager and share some info on the UglyDolls, some non-Ugly projects, and their thoughts on the Designer Toy industry. First off, congratulations! Both on your recent marriage and winning Specialty Toy of the Year. That's quite an honor.

Click to see!David Horvath: Thanks. Yeah, it was quite a surprise. We went to the ceremony just to see what it was all about and then they announced our name. We couldn't believe it. It's great. Now, a good many of people are mourning the retirement of Target. Why did you decide to do that?

David Horvath:Well, he's not really retired. He's on a 1,000 year vacation. So I guess it will be a while before we see him again... We sent him on his vacation so we could focus on the quality of our other UglyDolls. And variants. We'll have more variants coming out and also some new UglyDolls.

MPb: How many can we expect to see?

David:Four this year and four next.

MPb: So does that mean you'll be, sending more on vacation?

David: Eventually, we'll have to. But I can't say who just yet.

MPb: So Bop and Beep is the first of the new Uglies. Why the shift in design? He's so different: more angular, two sided...

Bop and BeepDavid: Actually, Bop and Beep is an older design. They were created right after Ice Bat but we decided to hold off on it and push the simpler designs first, like Babo. Also, Bop and Beep isn't one character. It's actually two different guys standing back to back very closely. They don't really trust the others and are watching out for one another.

MPb: Sun Min, people are clamoring for a Spider Boom vinyl. Is there any chance we'll see one?

Sun Min: Maybe in a year we'll have a vinyl Spider Boom. But this year at San Diego ComicCon there will be a plush and her babies.

ChocoMPb: Can you tell us a little more about Choco and Minty?

David:Choco and Minty were originally for the Yoyamart chocolate bars. They were sort of the mascots. They used to work in the factory helping to make the chocolate, but they lost their jobs. It's fun to us that you can actually buy the bar that they helped make. But since they were fired, there won't be any more bars. The vinyls came from that. These toys are actually our last goodbye to Designer [vinyl]. From there we'll solely focus on the UglyDolls. We really wanted to get these right, go out with a bang.

MintyMPb: Besides the plush and vinyl toys, what's cooking in the UglyDoll world?

David: We have some published material coming out. There will be an UglyDoll card game, a How to Draw book which we had a lot of fun with. There are all these steps on how to draw an UglyDoll and the last step says something like, "Take all that and throw it away. How can someone tell you how to draw? Draw it the way you like." There will also be a 64 page "storybook for the kid in you" and journals.

MPb: Will the storybook be aimed at children?

David: The book could be for children, but it's not necessarily aimed at them. There will be jokes and subtle things that adults will get but the kids might miss. We wanted this to be enjoyable on multiple levels. All of the publications will go together in a way to tell the UglyDoll story little by little. We don't want to define the characters too much. We like how the fans have taken them as their own family and created stories of their own.

MPb: This year at Toy Fair, the Designer Toy aisle is bigger than ever. Is that exciting to you, or does it make you a little worried that the idea will be over done and become stale?

David: We think it's great. We hope more people start to produce toys they love. But it's more than just the products. Look at all the little shops that have opened up in order to sell these smaller toy runs. We love that. We hope that the toy companies resist the big retailer. The big companies are coming, resist as long as possible! We want to see more mom-and-pop shops open to sell more artist based toys.

MPb: Well, thanks for taking a moment to talk with me. I wish you luck this year and a happy marriage.

David:Thanks, it was our pleasure.

The newest two UglyDolls were on display in their booth: Chuckanucka and Moxy. They got a lot of attention from the visitors! Visit our coverage of the Ugly Dolls at Toy Fair (be sure to click on the photo gallery too), and swing by our complete listing of Designer toys coverage.

This article is ©2006 and may not be reprinted without permission.

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