Unkle 77 Toy
Designed by Ben Drury and based on the work of Futura2000, these figures were released in 1998 in two colours (Blue or Green/Olive), limited to 1000 each. Each figure came with accessories, a weapon, biohazard purification system, and a clear stand. The figure was based on prototypes which Ben Drury sculpted in 1997.
A customised figure was placed on eBay in 2018. It featured a new paint job as well as a signature by Futura, from when he was in Paris 2009 for the Agnès b. gallery Amazing Collective show "Etat des lieux".
The figures are extremely fragile and often break while being shipped.
In 1999 Futura was photographed by Chester Higgins Jr at the Recon store, which Futura co-owned. In the background the U77 figure can be seen on the shelf in silver, red, white, and black variations. It is assumed these were made for sale, but unclear how many were made or what they cost.
The figure was later revisited in 2017 for a collaboration between Unkle and Super7, seeing several new figures released under Unkle X Super7.
BRIT LABEL MO WAX UNVEILS TOY LINE By Jennifer Kabat. Rolling Stone Oct 29, 1998 page 23.
AT TWENTY-FOUR, JAMES LAVELLE HAS MANAGED TO LAUNCH one of the most innovative record labels in years; he's done remixes for Beck, Radiohead and others; and his group UNKLE (Lavelle and DJ Shadow) have just released the season's most anxiously anticipated record. But what Lavelle really wants to do is play with toys.
To coincide with the debut of UNKLE's Psyence Fiction, the London trip-/hip-hop impresario is introducing an UNKLE doll and a Money Mark figurine (modeled after the Beastie Boys' keyboardist). "It's just an extension of the whole creative journey," Lavelle says. "I don't want music to be the only outlet on Mo Wax." And, true to form, the toy nut - he wears a Boba Fett ring, and his offices are filled with Star Wars figurines isn't stopping there. This spring, Mo Wax Books (an imprint of London publishers Booth-Clibborn Editions) will publish a book on skateboard graphics, and it plans to do another on the New York graffiti artist Futura 2ooo, whose paintings inspired the UNKLE doll.
The dolls were created by head Mo Wax designer Ben Drury, who does all the label's artwork, and they are available in select record stores for around thirty dollars - if you can find one. The dolls have already become collectors' items - the company made only 3,000 of each model, and a thousand of each have been shipped to Japan.
Prototypes and Unreleased Merchandise -Unkle 77 Prototype
- Rock & Roll: On the Radio: The Flys "Got You (Where I Want You)". Heimlich, Adam. Rolling Stone; San Francisco, Calif. (Oct 29, 1998): 23.