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Click here Friends With You's Malfi, Smiling Malfi, and the Boy
by Jager

Who couldn't use a little extra luck, magic, or friendship? I'd have to say that everyone could. With some help from the happy and healthy plush from Friends With You, it's simple to add magic to your boring day. To me, no toy from the group is more magical than Malfi. There is something about the design and feel of these guys that just seems magical. No I haven't been into the sauce, it's true! Just hold one of these black and white beauties and you can feel it. Recently, friends Sam and Tury (the minds behind the art troupe) re-released Malfi in his original sad face as well as a Smiling Malfi, Super Malfi, and Naked Malfi. To round out the offering they added The Boy. Let's take a look at two of the Malfis and Boy.

Like I said, Malfi just seems magical. His form is tear dropped with a large round bottom that tapers up to his head. The arms are thin with bulbous fingerless hands. The design is simple, as are the colors used. On Malfi and Smiling Malfi (shown), there are only black, white, and red materials used. This simplicity gives us an easy attachment point to the design. We aren't bogged down with needless details, the only thing to "get" about these plush toys is that they are supposed to make you happy and bring you luck. …Or not. Malfi's tag warns that "He brings you great wealth, or double trouble. Good luck and be careful…." That's a bit foreboding, isn't it? But Smiling Malfi is all fun. "Smiling Malfi is the master of all tricks. Play with him and you will have fun forever!" That's a little more like it. This time out Malfi is a good bit smaller than the OG, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in cuddability (did I just make up a word?) The new extra touchable material used to make him is extra soft and more pliable. Before, Malfi was almost hard and too stiff to the hug. Now you can cuddle him with abandon! Seriously, the material used is a very nice, almost suede like material that adds so much to the character. I think it's worth mentioning how great these two look together. You get a ying-yang effect with the black and white coloring and the happy/sad motif.

Released at the same time as the new and improved Malfis was the Boy. This plush guy takes simplicity to the next level. A simple white form with large head, body, and tiny arms and legs are used for this toy's design. If you are familiar with Friends With You's installation pieces, most specifically the recent Cloud City then you have seen a life sized Boy walking around and playing. Now fans of their art (not that these plush aren't art) can have a toy to remind them of the show. The face is made of basic shapes (circles, triangle, and oval) with only red and blue materials used. To me, Boy is this simple so that we can imagine ourselves as him with ease. He has no race or discerning features to tie us to an idea. We can see ourselves in Boy because of this. This may be truer for the installation pieces than for this toy, but it's still evident. I was lucky enough to meet Sam and Tury (two really cool cats!) last Toy Fair at STRANGEco's party and they tag-teamed my boy's back. I am super stoked to have a one of a kind toy by this duo!

With the new series of toys Friends With You started bagging their plush. They come in an almost clear plastic bag covered in their trademark charms. I think this is a great idea since these are so nice. You don't want to buy a Malfi with a dirty belly, or one with the magic all rubbed off!

So there you have it: The newest magical, luck bringing plush from Friends With You. While Shoe Baca stands strong as my favorite plush by Friends With You, the Malfis have become the designers' trademark toy and for good reason. These are some of the more artsy plush available, and if the recent Pictoplasma conference in Berlin was any indication; FwY are going to be huge. Do yourself a favor and pick up a Malfi. You just might win the lottery or something with all the extra luck he'll bring.

Friends With You has a site that is fun and informative. You can check out some of their work, a gallery of their toys, and purchase the newest plush.

If you dug this article, you owe it to yourself to read some more. Check out our handy page with all our Designer Toy coverage (including a look at a few more Friends With You plushies!).

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Article ©2006 unless otherwise noted. All characters are property their original owners.

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