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Monkey Business

By Margaret Lyons in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 17, 2004 3:05PM

2004_08_17.rotofugi.gifAfter we devoured the article about collectible toys in this week's New York Times Magazine, we knew the time had come to check out Rotofugi, the new store all the cool kids are talking about. We pass it on Chicago every day, and have to admit we were a little afraid of it being way too chic and subcultured for us to ever understand.

In the hopes of finding something tiny and explicitly rad, we hit Rotofugi with $10 to burn, not actually expecting to find anything under, say, $250. But luckily, we were totally wrong. Owners Kirby and Whitney Kerr were let us take three laps around the store before asking if we needed help--major points for not hovering or making us feel stupid for not knowing about "toy art." Both the Kerrs were gracious and patient, so fear not if you're as indecisive as we are, and there's one of every toy out of the box, so you can pick it up and, uh, play with it before you decide what to get. We wound up extremely pleased with (turn your speakers off) Boogie (part of the Soundspeaker series), but probably could have been just as happy with four or five other equally hip little tchotchkes.

2004_08_17.monkey.jpgWe have to admit: we are total suckers for things that are a) cute b) collectible c) not related to hamburgers and d) considered 'hip' but not pretentiously so. So you can understand why we had such good time at Rotofugi. Even if you're not looking to buy, it's still worth checking out the Monkey Show, an installment of the travelling exhibit of customized Fling the Monkey vinyl figures. The monkeys will be on display until August 29, and while those guys aren't for sale (although if they ever are, we call dibs on the sequin one), you can pick up a limited edition Rotofugi one.