Saturday, December 7, 2008 was Uglycon 3, the third annual convention for the fans, collectors and creators of all things Ugly. It was held at Giant Robot, an awesome designer toy store and exhibition space in the East Village.
Chances are if you're a nerd you've at least seen Uglydolls at your local comic store and at conventions, but you may not fully understand the level of fandom associated with these little guys. They have the distinction of being adored by both girls and boys, a mutual demographic most toy designers will tell you is simply preposterous. And of course adult collectors go nuts for them too, because there are tons of variations of scrounge up. All of these groups were well represented at UglyCon, and no one was shy about showing their enthusiasm for all of the new prints, toys, and dolls available at the show.
More pictures after the jump...
Handmade versions of the upcoming line of Uglys were available to purchase by raffle, and were displayed high the wall, presumably to avoid scenes by kids who couldn't control their fandom. Below there were paintings by Uglydoll artisan Sun-Min Kim. My favorite was Ox dressed a pirate, which is a very appropriate costume because, as one collector observed, Ox is "a little thief".
Creator David Horvath was on hand to sign anything fans wanted him to, and was extremely gracious about making sure everyone in line got an autograph. I insanely forgot to bring my Ox doll, but David was kind enough to give me a sketch on the back of one of the show postcards.
Huzzah! Here, Ox seems to have his pal Wedgehead on his mind (aw). As the good Mr. Horvath sketched, I mumbled that my Ox doll frequently helps to resolve disputes at my apartment (true), to which he replied "Yeah, he's good at that."
I thought the coolest part of the show were original posters and prints by David Horvath featuring the Uglycast. Horvath's unique voice for the Uglys (somewhere between LOL speak and Beavis and Butthead) is a big part of why they appeal to both fans of cuteness and weirdness. They're kind of dumb and a little mean, but ultimately adorable.
Babo seemed to be a major fan favorite. Heard lots of people squeaking out his catchphrase, "WHAT DAT?" These Babo Os look like something I might not want to eat.
Lots of Japan iconography on the prints, like this Yakitori house. Nom nom nom.
Some blank artists proof were on display, such as these casts for the Miny and Chocco toys, who got their start on designer candy bars. True story!
I am ashamed to say did literally all of these things in junior high, but to my credit it stopped there. Don't hurt me guys!
Here's a painting by Laszlo Horvath, David's brother. If I could have bought one painting at the show, it would have been this one.
My favorite of the new Uglys...everyone at the Con seemed to know all these new guys names, but I don't. Any fans want to help me out?
Lots more photos, including detail shots, at the Geekanerd Flickr. You may also want to check out the Giant Robot site, which I think will eventually have photos of the costume contest (that's right). And David Horvath has a very kind write-up on his UglyBlog. And for New York readers, this show will be up until the end of December (we've got a link on Weekanerd, in our sidebar), and I highly recommend it.