Jeremyville and Buff Monster Get Fungal
Travis Cain used to design toys professionally before he left to pursue other opportunities. But it's still a form he believes in. "As kids we all had toys and loved toys and I just love the idea of the form of toy but having it be a little more collectable, like a piece of art," he says. "Like a little mini sculpture." That's why even though he's not doing it every day, he still found time to create Fun Gus, an anthropomorphic mushroom with a great attitude. "I thought of Fun Gus a couple years ago and it’s just been something that I’ve been working on continuously as I’ve had time," he says. "He comes purely from the idea that 'fungus' could be split into two words." When it came time to produce the toy, he wanted to get a few more hands on the project.
Enter Jeremyville and Buff Monster, along with Frank Kozik. Jeremyville and Buff Monster have become famous for their darkly whimsical takes on the more playful world that Fun Gus inhabits. There were obvious choices when it came for Travis to find collaborators. In fact, Travis never designed a "basic" Fun Gus. There's no official design for the character, so when these three artists came to give their takes on Fun Gus, it was an exploration for everyone.
"I love [Jeremyville's] characters, they're weird but fun and cute at the same time," says Travis. "And I just love the worlds that he creates. I thought that his style would be perfect for Fun Gus." Jeremyville’s Fun Gus is a freckled, wide-eyed, green dude sporting a teeshirt that says “Sprout Up!”
One relationship led to the other when Jeremyville helped bring on Buff Monster. "I’ve been a huge fan of [Buff Monster's] work for a while," says Travis. "He’s designed a lot of toys so he’s really well known in that world. Actually Jeremy, introduced me to Buff Monster." Buff Monster’s Fun Gus, called “Pink Power,” is a cycloptic powder pink guy with buckteeth and a drippy painted head. He wears a teeshirt featuring a similarly bucktoothed, cycloptic monster who is a little less polite.
Both Jeremyville and Buff Monster’s designs for Fun Gus will be available to the public as Travis gets closer to launching the toys. He’s putting together a Kickstarter campaign that will feature rewards that include the standard Jeremyville, Buff Monster, and Frank Kozik Fun Guses, as well as special edition version available only to Kickstarter supporters.
We’ll let you know when the Kickstarter campaign goes live so anyone can grab their very own Fun Gus. If you want, you can sign up to be notified when the Kickstarter campaign is ready at www.heyfungus.com.