Lily the Littlest Cannibal

TADO Designer Toy Launch and Signing Tonight @ Magic Pony

UK artist duo Mike and Katie of TADO (of Kid Robot collaboration fame), are set to launch their newest line of toy-art at Magic Pony. The new collection Lily The Littlest Cannibal is exclusive to the Toronto toy shop, and Magic Pony will host a signing and launch party tonight in celebration of TADO's new fine art exhibit.

If you're a fan of toy collectibles in any way shape or form, TADO is someone you should definitely know. I sat down with Mike and Katie yesterday to take a peek at the new collection surrounding the character Lily, and to find out how this "super design-duo" manages to crank out a show of this caliber in only 6 weeks.

TADO painting

There's something I've noticed among artists from places like Japan, Korea, and the UK... they like to get the job done. Mike and Katie (TADO) are self-professed graphic designers more than they are artists, and make great examples of how efficient artwork can also be incredibly detailed and well-designed. As I chatted with the two yesterday, it was clear that they don't suffer from many of the hang-ups of traditional fine artists; design element is the key, and whether the work is for commercial or personal purpose, neither Mike nor Katie feels that high quality requires years in the making.


The newest launch, Lily the Littlest Cannibal, is the first time TADO has worked within a fairly confined narrative to create a collection. The toys, paintings, plushies and even woodcarvings all work together to illustrate the story of Lily and her monster friends. Both cute and cunning, the collection is riddled with cute little reminders of the attention given to detail - for example, Lily is often chasing the moon when she is in Werewolf mode, hence the moon is often depicted making a hasty retreat.

Even more impressive than the exhibit itself is the nonchalance Katie and Mike take towards their creations. With several projects on the go at all times, collaborations with Kid Robot and other world famous designers, and mind-numbingly short turnaround times (this collection of 60 pieces? About 6 weeks!), it's amazingly refreshing to speak with artists who have talent, merit, and an efficient work ethic. TADO credits this to the difference in attitudes towards 'design art' overseas. Whereas in Canada artists tend to hear a lot of blow back from working in commercial/mass production, this was TADO's original purpose in the UK: graphic design. Without blinking at the criticism they may face as artists, Mike and Katie both agree that they love making commercial items and it can be very rewarding for a large company to take a 'risk' with your designs.

Tado wood

Lily the Littlest Cannibal is the newest line from TADO and features fine art mediums never before seen from the design duo. The exploration of new mediums does fantastic justice to their talent as artists, able to work on screen or on canvas - and even adding woodcarvings from a local friend of theirs in the UK. The show opens tonight at Magic Pony, with a signing from 6-7pm and party after. Fans can also purchase the new Lily the Littlest Cannibal toys which are being released at the opening - don't miss out! You can also see the exhibit for the next several weeks in the gallery.

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