The picture below is a box of a vinyl toy called Dunny. It is a collectible figure similar to the Japanese "Gashapon". These toys are what they call "Designer Toys" because popular grapic artists/designers are commissioned to design the toys with their own distinct style. Dunnies are made by the company Kidrobot.
The side shows the designs, and its probability ratio to determine how rare the design is.
I started collecting them last summer, around march I guess. I've always been fascinated with vinyl toys because of their cool designs. I started buying some when I visited a special store here in Manila which sells almost all kinds of designer toys from abroad.
This is already the Fifth Series of the 3-inch Dunny, although they released some other lines, like the French (which was the first series I bought) and Azteca. The Dunny also comes in 8-inch and even 20 inch varities. They come in identical boxes so you can't tell which toy is inside. And the toy is wrapped in foil bags so that scanning machines can't detect it too. The company makes sure that buyers can't cheat. Thing is, some designs are so rare that the price goes way up, and die-hard (and RICH) collectors are ready to spend that much just to acquire that special figure. Is that similar to Jap Gashapon, or even statues/PVC models?
Here is the first one I opened, and I think this is the first time that the figure is wrapped in plastic inside the foil bag.
The first three designs I got from the Fifth Series.
Some figures come with their own accessories.
The pink pirate has a sword, the ice cream serves as a hat =)
It also comes with a sticker. Collectors are also hunting the Golden Ticket which entitles you to claim a rare figure for free. Which can also be converted to mega bucks if you decide to sell it.
Here is my incomplete French Dunny series collection. This hobby can cause serious injuries to your pocket. There is a big tendency to get the same toy more than once. It's a good thing if the store (or another collector) can offer you to swap with a figure you don't have yet. You can also buy an entire boxed set which has 25 individual Dunny boxes. It is exciting to choose a random box, then hope that the foil bag contains a special figure or the golden ticket. There are so many good designer toys other than the cute Dunny, and they are also pretty pricey.
Dunny Series 5 mainpage: http://www.kidrobot.com/2008/ds5/