Miao Mixed

Photo by Rae Huo

Toys aren’t just for kids anymore. There’s a growing market nationally for limited-edition urban vinyl toys, specifically designed for teen and adult collectors. Some of the toys are cute, some creepy, some both at the same time, but they’re all definitely hipper than your average Happy Meal toy.

Local designer Sanford Mock, who goes by Zakka, has come out with his own collectible addition to the craze: a cheeky revamp of the traditional maneki neko lucky cat that he calls Miao (left), and a sidekick called Mousubi (shaped like a little musubi). “It’s such an iconic figure, so I thought it would be perfect for me to add my own twist to it,” he says.

Zakka wants other artists to add their twist to Miao, as well; he’s inviting a series of high-profile designers from the United States, Japan and Europe to create their own limited-edition versions of the cat. “I want to interact with other artists, see what kind of creativity they can bring to it,” he says.

First up is artist Simone Legno from the company Tokidoki, who is probably most widely known for his colorful work with LeSportSac. Legno’s take on the Miao goes on sale this month. If you’re feeling creative yourself, blank DIY versions of Miao are available at www.zakkamono.com.