Sputnik Ranch: A Refuge for Designer Toy Collectors
3029 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA
Finally, I found a place for designer toys in New Orleans! As a collector of these often tiny trinkets, I have been on the look out for someplace other than the Internet to buy these collectibles. However, difficulty defining what designer toys are remains a challenge to collectors and sellers like Gary, the owner of Sputnik Ranch. For a designer toy is not a toy, but a collectible piece of art. One of Gary’s goals is to educate people that art is not just in a museum, but exists in many forms that are affordable for anyone. The collectibles at Sputnik Ranch are affordable and attract people of all generations. Most designer toys are vinyl and come either in a large size (about 8 inches) or in blind box form (3 inches). Designer toys have similar shapes, but each are uniquely designed by up and coming, young artists. These artists include commercial artists to graffiti artists to professional artists. For example, all Dunnies have round bellies and bunny ears, but are graphically designed differently. Therefore each series release includes up to 40 varieties of the classic Dunny look available in blind box form. The best part of collecting blind box toys is you never know what you will get until you open it. Though you might end up with two copies of one design, the pleasure comes from discovering the toy for yourself. For others who like to collect but prefer something larger or want to know what they are buying, companies release certain versions, depending on the artist, in larger form.
Sputnik Ranch includes everything from these “toys” to Western wear to books. He also carries issues of Juxtapose, the magazine made for designer toy lovers. What links the items in this diverse store together is the idea that it is all art in one form or another. Gary started the store with his wife in hopes to bring to New Orleans the things he found and loved while traveling. Without a doubt he carries the largest variety and amount of designer toys in the city. He orders from Kid robot, Strange Co. and Play Imaginative, to name a few. His stock includes Dunny, Blow-up Dolls, Trexi, Mongers, and even Circus Punks. Gary and I share a special affinity for the Dunny series. In February he will be receiving a stock of the French Dunny series, a 8 inch Joe Ledbetter Dunny, and an 8 Inch Tristan Eden Dunny. Constantly receiving new inventory, Sputnik Ranch is the perfect stop for any designer toy collector or for anyone looking for cool gifts.