Qee

Qee [kee] are a collection of designer toys created by Hong Kong-based company Toy2R, which was founded by Raymond Choy in 1995. Qee figures vary in their design. The original Qee has a body that resembles an extremely simplified human form, somewhat similar in appearance to Playmobil or LEGO figures, though distinctively round and squat.

Depending on its theme, a figure may have the head of a bear with asymmetrical ears called a ‘BearBearQ’; a cat called ‘KitCatQ’; a dog called ‘DoggyQ’; a monkey called ‘MonQ’; or a rabbit called ‘Bunee.’

The Toyer Qee has the same body type as the original, but a head that resembles a cartoon skull. The Knuckle Bear Qee was created by Japanese character designer Touma, and resembles a graffiti-style caricature of an anthropomorphized bear. The Qee Egg simply resembles an anthropomorphized egg. The standard size is 2.5″ high, and these figures are packaged with an optional keychain attachment. There are also 1.5″, 8″, 16″, “36”, and 60″ Qees. Additionally, Toy2R produces Blank Platform DIY; these figures may be of any Qee design, but are packaged unpainted.

The casual observer may note similarities between Qees and the Kubrick and Be@rbrick figures created by Japanese toy company MediCom. However, closer observation reveals that Qees differ not only in size, but in their overall aesthetic. Relative to MediCom, Toy2R releases very few licensed designs, such as figures based on characters from films, comic books, or other intellectual properties.

Exceptions to this are Qees created for Adidas, Benetton, BenQ, BMW, Christian Lacroix, Dark Horse Comics, Devo, DKNY, Mitsubishi, MTV, Nokia, SanDisk, Samsung, Sony, Starbucks, Swatch, Target, V.S.O.P. and Xbox 360, as well as a figure created in conjunction with tokidoki for LeSportsac, in which the figure is a design element of a women’s travel bag. There are currently five series of Qees, and an anticipated total of 1500 2.5″ figures. Notable Qees include those by Tim Biskup, Shepard Fairey, Doze Green, Frank Kozik, Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO, and Jason Freeny.

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