A new series of collectible One Piece figures arrives, designed by Michael Lau, an artist known by many as the “Godfather of Designer Toys.”
one piece He has teamed up with renowned Hong Kong-based artist Michael Lau to launch a series of collectible designer figures.
The official one piece Twitter account (@Eiichiro_Staff) announced this news in a recent post, which also included images of the Luffy, Zoro, and Chopper Figures that comprise the first set. While the post does not specify what the figures are made out of, they appear to be crafted using the same vinyl material that Lau is credited for popularizing within the designer toy community. The figures are available now exclusively in the Hong Kong region.
Michael Lau is a professional art designer who has collaborated with iconic brands like Puma, Nike and Fendi. In addition to his work as a painter and sculptor, Lau is also known for his innovative approach to toy design. He broke into the market in the 1990s with the Gardener series, which took G.I. Joe figures and presented them with street culture style designs. His future projects of him also drew influence from street culture, leading Lau to become particularly well-known in the Asian hip-hop and skateboarding communities. Pertinently, Lau is credited as the first artist to make collectible figures out of vinyl, which led to his affectionate title of him as the “Godfather of Designer Toys.”
One Piece’s Pop Culture Impact
Lau’s team-up with one piece closes off a year filled with high-profile merchandise releases for One Piece, which has collaborated with brands such as Bandai, Uniqlo, Vans and Lush to release toys, apparel and bath products inspired by the hit series. Back in July, Salon Bake & Tea and Cake.JP even released pastry versions of Luffy’s Gum-Gum fruit and Nico Robin’s Hana-Hana fruit, which sold for about 13,000 yen (roughly $100) and 4,400 yen (roughly $32), respectively. This degree of outside collaboration is not surprising, considering that one piece is one of the most popular manga series of all time, with over 516.6 million copies sold as of November 2022. The franchise’s latest film, One Piece Film: Red, recently debuted to overwhelming financial success in several countries, including the United States, China and Saudi Arabia.
One Piece’s influence continues to expand beyond the world of manga and anime. Recently, Shueisha Games announced that one piece was breaking into the tabletop gaming market with a new “manga board game” titled Live Rushwhich becomes available worldwide starting Dec. 19. ILCA (Yakuza 0, NieR: Automata) is also developing a new one piece RPG in celebration of the franchise’s 25th anniversary. This RPG, titled One Piece Odyssey, is an open-world adventure that will allow players to explore the vast world of Eiichiro Oda’s beloved series. The game launches worldwide on Jan. 13, 2023.
The one piece anime is available to stream on Hulu and Crunchyroll. The manga is available in English from VIZ Media.