Mustoy: A One-of-a-kind Doll
Story By: Angel Tak and Lara Kim Editor: Christopher Shin Web Designer: Gordon Kim
Mustoy is a company that has gotten very popular in Korea in a very short amount of time. It is a cafe in Hongdae that sells little porcelain dolls where customers can draw on with permanent markers. In korean, “mu” means empty, or blank. The name “Mu”stoy basically represents a blank toy where people can fill up with their own creations. This type of art is called “art toys”. There are many companies that have sell art toys, but this particular one has been very popular. Mustoy has had a success in a relatively short amount of time, and to find out some more about this company, we interviewed the founder of Mustoy, Kim Hak-hyun (김학현).
Mr. Kim had originally started out as a CF director, and art toys had been fairly popular when Mr. Kim started his business. However, there were none where one could make various changes throughout the process of drawing. When Mr. Kim travelled to China to study, he saw a person drawing on a porcelain tile, which is how he learned that one could erase permanent marker stains on porcelain with alcohol. Mr. Kim got inspired from this experience of merely watching Chinese artist ,which led to the creation of his successful company. Mustoy became the first art toy that people could erase on, and this became a big reason as to why it became so popular. Mustoy is for common people, and it is available to everyone, even if they are not an artist. It is common for people to make mistakes when drawing, especially if they are not an art major, and the ability to erase on Mustoys made it more approachable for the common people.
There are many types of Mustoys, such as a Muskky, which is a boy like figure, His name comes from Mus and lucky, for he is believed to bring luck. The girl figure in Mustoy is named Musppy, from the combination of Mus and happy. These two were originally the only types of Mustoys, but now, there are more Mustoys that are available such as the Muspet, or the Mustile. These characters were designed to be vague enough so that people could use their imagination a lot to create various different designs. Now there are merchandise that are sold from Mustoy too. These range from key chains and magnets to accessories too. There are also decorations for mustoys such as wings, or hats. Just like this, Mr. Kim keeps on improving the original Mustoy which is how he attracts his customers.
Mustoy is continuing to expand, will do so in the future too. Now, Mustoy is available at schools too, where learning students can enlarge their creativity, and express it on the little dolls. Mr. Kim Hak-hyun has had great success with his creativity, and by doing his work, he is opening up more minds to be more creative and unique. Mustoy is a small, simple doll that can do so much and it’s work has paid off with the many faces that Mr. Kim meets in his store every day.