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Arts, City

camiondepompier: Playing with Art

Posted by Kim / August 21, 2007

20070821_camiondepompier1.jpgThis past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the city’s newest (and only!) art toy stores, camiondepompier. I had to admit to owner Olivier Petitpas that I knew very little about this phenomenon, but he was more than happy to introduce me to the fantastic, amusing and adorable world of art toys (or, designer toys).

So here’s the story on these cute and creative toys: inspired by graffiti, underground comics and skate culture, these figurines are designed and painted by what seems to be quite a large group of different designers and artists, and usually in limited editions. As I was told, these are not toys to be played with, but to be collected and put on display (though I could hardly resist making a couple of the toys prance across the counters, seemingly much to Olivier’s dismay).

20070821_camiondepompier2.jpgThe basic idea is that a basic shape for the figurine(called a platform toy) is painted by a whole bunch of designers, which include such artists as Joe Ledbetter and Gary Baseman. There are various shapes for these toys as well, such as Quees, Kidrobot’s Munnys (not yet available here), and Singapore’s Trexis. Camiondepompier sells a nice variety of many of these, plus others. And in what was to me a novel twist, you can purchase blind boxes, where you don’t know what toy will come out.
20070821_camiondepompier3.jpgIf cuddly is more your thing, camiondepompier also carries plush art toys, such as the insanely adorable Friends With You and Uglydolls. I now want to adorn my bed with these fellows, as I giggled every time I looked at one.
20070821_camiondepompier8.jpgI had an awesome time perusing the store, and spent much of the time laughing at the creativity of many of the creations, like the
Fashion Victims line, where each figurine is dressed in very recognizable patterns (and the Vuitton toy mysteriously pulled from the set). For the more x-rated among you, there’s a little princess-nymph with gigantic jiggly boobs. A small figurine in a blind box is between $10 and $13, which brings the thrill of the unknown, as well as a toy, into your life, and $15 gets you a toy of your choosing. 20070821_camiondepompier5.jpgAnything here would make a perfect gift for that person who has everything, yourself included. At the very least, visit camiondepompier, as it’s a whole world of novel and adorable amusement and it’s simply fun to just check out.

The space will soon also hold Pittoresque Library, filled with music and literature related to world pop culture. It will function as any library would, which is a great step away from typical book or music stores. Definitely something that's worth checking out come September.

317 Ontario Est, #1

Sun - Mon : Closed
Tue - Wed : 11am – 6pm
Thu - Fri : 11am – 9pm
Sat : 11am – 6pm



camiondepompier / August 21, 2007 at 12:37 pm
Thanks a lot for the article!

Just a few corrections (probably all due to my incoherent rambling - the interview was done late on Thursday, after ten long hours spent at the store...):

-We open at noon on Saturday, not eleven.

-"Quees" are actually "Qees".

-"Art toys" are roughly divided between "platforms" (such as the Qees, Munnys and Trexis), which indeed share the same physical shape but with different colour designs, and unique pieces, which somtimes come in different colour schemes, but nowhere close to the extent that platform toys do.

-Playing with the toys is fiiiine. I only wince when kids play with the fragile 100$+ toys on display! ;)

I intend to write some sort of introduction to the world of art toys on the site ( Check the site once in a while!

Thanks again,
Cleo / August 23, 2007 at 10:23 am
Hey Kim!
It's super that Montreal has a "toy" store such as this one, a toy store that is different from all the others where it's a repetition of the same old-same old. We'll make sure to go visit Olivier.

Thanks for being here Kim, to give us the valuable information about our town and the places to visit.
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