Wheaty Wheat's Mellow by Christopher Lee
Wheaty Wheat's newest toy is from the amazing imagination of Christopher Lee, and with it we're given another member of the artist's popular Urbanites. This is quite a large piece of vinyl, but by no means is he imposing. In fact he appears to be a bit timid. Mellow is known for his love of desserts and while the ingredients are often debated, what can't be questioned is the quality of this vinyl toy. Wheaty Wheat is known for their high standards of quality and this is no exception. While the design is fairly simple, the execution is fantastic.
Mellow can be seen walking the streets of the suburb where the Urbanites live and sadly many mistake his enormity for a mean attitude. Truth is, he's a lovable guy and would like nothing more than for you to smile and say hi. While the other Urbanites may have trouble excepting Mellow, you will be very willing to add him to your toy collection. It's undeniable how much character this toy has. Lee's work really fills out this 8 inch beast (yes it's a beast, not all beasts are mean). The eyes look so sad it's a little off putting. You just want to help him out in some way, or give him a nice hug like my wife did. As stated, this is a fairly simple design but that's not a bad thing. Simplicity is good, clean, and easy to relate to. Also, this isn't just a big lump of vinyl. There are details both painted and sculpted into the form. The eyes and arms both come out from the basic shape and the toes also break the straight edges. Also, it's worth noting that he leans slightly to his left and has a bit of a sag where he meets the ground. The added sag (or extra skin hanging over) adds weight to the character and gives him a little extra realism. The paint applications are consistent with no light spots or bleeds. Paint is used to highlight the edges of his arms especially well. Of course this is a hollow piece, but the vinyl used is nice and thick giving him a hefty feel without any noticeable blemishes in the form. Also, Mellow comes with a sweet gelatin mold. This is a great accessory with the plate being hard plastic and the gelatin being squishy. An odd choice in accessories, but it really works well and adds to the fun of the toy.
The original Mellow (which is featured more prominently in Lee's work) is a nice orange color. He's a really deep rich orange and limited to 660 pieces with a green gelatin mold. But there are three other colorways available: White, black, and orange flocked. The white "Marsh" Mellow is limited to 300 pieces and has excellent gray highlights. Plus, he comes with a s'more instead of gelatin! The black "Licorice and Love" variant is limited to 84 pieces and is the most limited of the variants. He comes with a pink gelatin mold which looks great with the black. And speaking of looking great, this big guy looks so very excellent with the Vintage Cleabus!! Finally, the orange flocked "Sherpa" mellow is limited to 180 pieces and comes with an orange gelatin mold. These are selling out fast so if you have the opportunity for a variant colorway, don't hesitate! I am absolutely in love with my Licorice and Love Mellow.
Mellow is probably the most recognizable character from the Urbanites, and it's sure to be a great addition to anyone's collection. It's always great to see large vinyl done well, and this is definitely that. I hope that Wheaty Wheat continues creating more and more of Lee's characters. His clean designs and their attention to detail are a match made in heaven.
Check out Wheaty Wheat's site for news on upcoming products and a great look at past projects.
Christopher Lee's site is super cool with a tone of info on the artist and his work. Plus you can buy some great prints to go with your toys, and if you look around enough you can find a few prototype shots of some more Urbanites!
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