Tourism Malaysia

ToyRebels: Toys with a Twist

August 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Having long been a stopover between East and West, Malaysia has always been open to influence from both regions. Malaysian thrive by embracing these various influences, and many of the things we do, say and eat often have roots in faraway lands. In Malaysia, even children learn about different places and cultures at a young age, although they might not realise it. How? Through what they watch on television.

A full sized Iron Man costume, with a ToyRebels exclusive painting

The fun thing about growing up in a country like Malaysia, especially in the last 30 years has to be the variety of television entertainment, especially for children. Not having a booming film or animation industry during that time, Malaysia resorted to bringing in cartoons from abroad. Generations of children have grown up with the antics of the Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Loony Toons courtesy of Warner Bros., the entire cast of Hannah Barbara cartoons, and of course, the lovely fairy tales of Disney. But Malaysia did not only look West for entertainment, and so people here are also fond fans of Japanese anime and characters such as Doraemon and Ultraman are so popular that they are used in merchandising of various everyday products.

The downside of growing up here though, was some of the toys of the cartoons shown were not as readily available as they were in their native lands. Toys were indeed available here in Malaysia, but children had to rely on relatives or friends who holidayed abroad to get their hands on a rare collectible or something really special. Then in the 1980s, hobby shops sprung up, but most required customers to pre order and the selection of toys on offer was limited to what network the shop had. It was rather unfortunate that most of these hobby shops are no longer operating.

A replica of Magneto’s helmet

So what’s a Malaysian to do when you want to get your hands on some toys these days? The answer is simple. Talk to the ToyRebels. With a tagline of Fiction Meets Reality, this online retail store offers a mindboggling range of collectibles and action figures. And if you want that hard to get item, just contact them with your request and if it is out there, they will be able to get it for you. One of the more interesting things about ToyRebels is the really exclusive items that appeal to adult collectors, such as replicas of items used in major movies. These range from the weapons and armour used in Lord of the Rings trilogy, the deadly but cool gadgets used by the Predator in its hunt for humans and aliens, and of course, Star Wars stuff, artefacts from a galaxy far, far away. Items such as these are not your typical Toys R Us products and usually cost several thousands of ringgit.

A painting done by ToyRebels of Captain America that poses an intriguing question

But ToyRebels are not just about toys it seems, the people behind ToyRebels are also firm believers that comics and cartoons are part of the art world. ToyRebels have also initiated a fledgling art project that combines toys and traditional art to form specialty mix media works of art. These works serve as a way of provoking debate about the role of toys in our society and are quite eyecatching too!

ToyRebels can be found at

An exclusive painting done by ToyRebels incorporating an exclusive replica of the palladium core reactor

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