Toyetica is published by Action Lab Entertainment with story and art by Marty LeGrow.
I want to start off by saying that this is an all-ages book (a.k.a. it’s aimed at a younger audience), but that doesn’t mean that adults can’t enjoy it too. One of the things I immediately liked about this series was that I didn’t have to try and put myself in a kid’s perspective to enjoy it. Like, you know how sometimes you watched a kids show and you’re like, “Man, this is really lame and boring,” but you can also see why a little kid would like it? Well, I didn’t have that thought and I didn’t feel like I had to look at it that way, I just read it and genuinely enjoyed it as my adult self.
Toyetica has many interesting and adorable characters, but the central one is Trixie Tangle, the younger sister of Traci Fitness Star, a famous toy model from the 80s and a name everyone at Dollington Academy knows. But Trixie doesn’t want to be like Traci, she wants to find her own theme, so when their special accessories sent to them from their parents arrive, Trixie is quite disappointed to find Traci’s old batons inside the box. She also isn’t doing so great with making friends, the skateboard fiasco in issue 1 has still left Minky feeling very annoyed with Trixie.
Is that what’s really bothering Minky, though? For a moment, she looks scared as Trixie talks about the winding key statue and what it means, before storming off in an angry huff, leaving Trixie and Polly totally confused. And what about finding Minky’s living-toy accessories abandoned in a bush with no Minky?
Like Trixie, Bunnard also receives an accessory from his parents that disappoints him. He and his sister, Unicole, come from a family of toy models with animal side-kicks, so, of course, Bunnard is sent a bunny, even though he begged them for a sword. Vince Charming, who isn’t disappointed but also doesn’t really care for the sword he received, offers Bunnard a trade: Bunnard’s bunny for Vince’s sword. He accepts without hesitation. Problem is, at Dollington, it’s all about perfecting your theme, so what is Bunnard going to do with a completely “bunny” look and a sword? And what will Vince, clearly a prince toy model, do with a bunny?
I am an adult and I absolutely love this series so far. It’s so cute and light, which is giving me a nice break from all the serious, dark, and depressing comics I usually read. While certain characters fall into their stereotypical “box”, such as Sweetina, the spoiled and destined to be the next big success princess model who is also very self-absorbed and rude, not all of these Bittles do the same. Many Bittles with their pre-determined themes are seeming like that isn’t what they want to be. Then we have Trixie, who has no theme at all and doesn’t find herself drawn to anything in particular. Which is what I like most about her being the main character. You are going to have expectations on you, you are going to have to decide what you want to do with your life one day, that’s life.
Maybe you fall into line with those expectations easily, but maybe you don’t want to follow those expectations, maybe when you’re 12 years old you don’t want to take that personality test in school that tells you what job you would be best at and should pursue when you’re older (if they still do that, I mean, I had to take that dumb test). I like that message. And maybe that’s just the message I’m getting because of my own experiences, but hey, it’s still there.
I am also really excited to see where this story will go. I’m excited to see how they compete and what these competitions will be comprised of, how these characters bond and grow, how they will change, and what kind of mystery is around the corner because it’s definitely coming. I don’t know what it is, but Minky’s reaction and the abandoned living-toys tell me that something is up.
OVERALL SCORE: 9 / 10
The complaint that I have doesn’t involve the story or they art (both are fabulous), it’s the lack of diversity. Here is this world that Marty LeGrow has created. Where this little people can be born with skin that is an unnatural color (like pink!), they can have real fantasy extremities (like unicorn horns), they can be ACTUAL mythical creatures (like a mermaid), but the majority of the characters are white. We see diverse characters running around in the background, but other than that we have like 4 actual, relevant characters who aren’t obviously white. And that could change, it’s only issue 2, but I’m just saying, it’s something I want to see.
Make sure you pick up a copy of Toyetica #2 from your local comic store!