If you understood that snippet from the lunch conversation with my fossil-hunting, DJ pal Michael Hernandez, we’ve got some trading to do. If not, never fear. There’s always room for conversion into the dark, dark world of Toy-spotting.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started: an extra garage for all the boxes you’ll “have” to save, the ability to assemble IKEA’s DETOLF display units at a rate of speed compensatory to your growing collection, lack of anything resembling buyer’s remorse, and, duh, a dealer. Preferably several.
Michael and I’d been meaning to visit a newish store called “We Are 1976″ on Henderson after hearing good things from others, so I decided to finally go ahead and scope it out yesterday afternoon with Russell and The Bell.
The inventory, unlike many stores that sell art toys and the like, was eclectic with a complimentary blend of local and international items. A large, repurposed cabinet by the entrance stopped us for some time as we browsed screenprinted flatstock within its drawers. I noticed copies of local artist Khalid Robertson’s book I’d just ordered online next to a truly nice, varied selection of other artists’ publications. Also available: Tyson Summers‘ circus punks, large prints by Tony Bones, pottery, handmade greeting cards, purses, unique baby items and children’s bento boxes, t-shirts, and many other fun things we enjoyed looking through.
The owner, who says he’s co-owned the store since November along with two other partners, was a really friendly guy, chatting with guests and friends alike as he worked and generally lent a warmness to the store’s already welcoming aesthetic. By that point, I was really just looking to buy anything out of appreciation, but when I found the Noferin figures on a top shelf, the deal was done. I only had to decide which one I was taking home that day.
Noferin, a couple who makes whimsical sustainable wooden toys after fictional characters from their paintings, isn’t the cup of tea you’ll find just anywhere. Their art is on the more sophisticated end of the niche, yet still appeals to people who collect popular vinyl and plush from companies like Kidrobot. Really excited about finding a store that stocks several types of Noferin toys, I narrowed my decision down to a colored first edition of Fanelli.
(For charming Fanelli photos, see Sandrine Escamilla’s fantastic collection.)
So obviously I’m going back to We Are 1976 because Fanelli will need cohorts. Plus, I’m gonna have to drag Michael up there ASAP. You should go, too. They’re open 7 days a week: 1902 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas, TX, 75206. Telephone: (214) 821-1976. If you can pull yourself away from Facebook for five seconds, visit them online at weare1976.com where you can read about the store’s workshops, gallery events, and more:
- This Friday, July 23rd at 8 p.m., We Are 1976 will host its first photography show with Jeremy Sharp;
- Saturday, August 7th from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., Paper Nerds will be conducting a paper marbling course (call for info and registration);
- August 8th, Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Mike Arreaga and Brian McCorquodale host a screenprinting workshop (call for info and registration);
- Felt tote making with recycled leather and other materials: Lizzy Wetzel on August 14th from 11 a.m. ’til 1 p.m.
***I also recommend the fairly priced boutique as an excellent gift store. A-hem. Gift. Store. As in: My birthday is next month, and there are lots of things inside that place I probably need for such an occasion, er, Russell.***