I installed one of the Digg Labs screen savers and have committed to myself that, upon return to the computer, I must click and read at least two interesting headlines / articles. Here is one that makes me glad I installed the screen saver: Vinyl Toys: Invasion of the Color Snatchers
The author showcases some of her favorite vinyl toys and the photos are as cool as the actual toys... cool enough that it makes me want to buy a few of these, until I realize that: 1) they cost a freaking fortune (>$100 for the good ones) 2) I once bought one and Manny bit his legs off within two weeks
Of course Wikipedia has a huge article on designer toys and how they are different than designer vinyl and plush... way beyond me:
Designer toys is a term used to describe toys and other collectibles that are produced in limited editions (as few as 50 or as many as 2000 pieces) and created by artists and designers. Designer toys employ a variety of materials; plastic and vinyl are most common, although wood and metal are occasionally used. The term also encompasses plush, cloth dolls and latex. Creators of designer toys usually have backgrounds in graphic design, illustration or self-described low-brow art; some are classically trained in art and design, while others are self-taught. Designer toys first appeared in the 1990s and are a flourishing industry.
Urban vinyl is a type of designer toy, featuring action figures in particular which are usually made of vinyl. Although the term is sometimes used interchangeably with the term designer toy, it is more accurately used as a modifier: not all designer toys can be considered urban vinyl, while urban vinyl figures are necessarily designer toys, by virtue of the way in which they are produced. Like designer toys in general, urban vinyl figures feature original designs, small production numbers, and are highly sought-after by collectors, predominantly adults.