I’m always on the look out, perched atop my crow’s nest, scouring the seas for fine booty and when I discovered Hollywood Skullyz I thought I’d hit upon a new jewel for me treasure trove. Designed by Tabloid Hero, Hollywood Skullyz are a vinyl toy promising some pretty great things: Cool colourways, supposed customisability and snazzy box art all go to making up the Hollywood Skullyz package, something their makers would claim make them unique in the market. The Skullyz aren’t new by any means, hailing from all the way back in 2012 (before I was collecting toys properly), and I must admit that they had sailed past my spyglass upon first release. However, when surfing the seas over at Collect&Display, as I’m known to do, I discovered the Skullyz perched on their digital shelves, fresh as they were new. I saw the cool art (and super cheap price) and knew I had to have them so I put an order in and next thing you know here we are. So let’s take a look at these old dudes and see if we can’t figure out what’s what…
Before I introduce you to the toys, however, I thought I’d share this original press release I found for Skullyz, since, unlike most other toys, it seems Skullyz were pretty strongly marketed and expected to be “the next big thing”. Here’s what the makers had to say:
“Meet the Hollywood Skullyz. On a mission of peace, love, and palm trees to help bring on the happy for everyone!”
TABLOID HERO, a new name on the toy scene, is totally stoked to debut its HOLLYWOOD SKULLYZ, rad characters born in the hills of Hollywood. The collectible 2.5″ vinyl figure of the rockin’ Hollywood Skullyz mascot named “Coolz” is now available. Hollywood Skullyz live large!
And toy fans will find out the arms and heads are all interchangeable for tons of totally neat custom variations.”
Coming in 6 colourways, Skullyz do look great as a full set, and at just 2.5″ even a full complement of the 6 won’t take up too much space. The design of the printing is pretty great, using the peace sign as a skull motif is a clever design and the colourways are well chosen offering 3 pairs of contrasting colours (blue/pink, black/white and gold/silver) allowing collectors an alternative to buying the full set.
The actual body of the toys are pleasingly cast in vinyl, as are the heads, however the arms are slightly different. While the arms of the blue, pink, black and white Skullyz appear to be cast in a coloured vinyl the same as the body, the arms of the gold and silver Skullyz are painted with a rather sticky paint that has resulted in some rather unpleasant “sticking” on my silver one. This is a phenomenon I’ve encountered with some Dunnys in the past and I’d guess is due to manufacturing limitations, but it’s a shame that 2/6 Skullyz share this problem. I’d rather they’d all been the same one way or another.
One of the original claims by Skullyz was that the heads and arms are interchangeable allowing you to create your own designs, and while the arms and head do indeed come off easily, I honestly can’t see why you’d want to since the standard colourways look pretty great.
While you might not be looking for them right now, I’d jump straight in and say that actually Skullyz are a great addition to your collection simply because they look great and can be had dirt cheap. Right now, Collect&Display are selling the for just £5 each! Yes they may be old, they may be out of date, but I think they have an aesthetic charm that’s undeniable and you’d do a lot worse than picking up a set now.
Ok, so they didn’t catch on, and they’ll never be “valuable”, but as a collectible I think they are as attractive now as they would have been in 2012. If you like them, I’d say buy them now while you can but buy them for yourself, because you won’t be making anyone jealous with a set of Skullyz.
Interestingly, the box art and original press releases seem to allude to the range including other characters but, from the cursory googling I’ve endeavoured to do, it seems they never appeared, so this set of Coolz Skullyz (Coolz is this character’s name) might be the “full”range, and for me that adds another layer of interest- could there be many sets of Coolz Skullyz out there? I don’t know, but it’s fun to wonder.
The Skullyz are a bit of a mystery to me; what happened to all their promise? Did they take off, or didn’t they? Are they rare or not? Does the availability now, in 2015, signify a comeback or just that they flopped so terribly retailers are lumbered with overstock three years later? All these questions I’ll answer for myself in due time, but for now all you need to know is this: the Skullyz are a fun, attractive and cheap way to add to your collection without taking on a huge commitment and, quality issues aside, I’d reckon you could do a lot worse than heading online and picking up a set for yourself now.
If you liked this review feel free to leave a comment and follow my blog for more like this, and if you can’t resist the Skullyz, you can get them here.