Designer toy series
The first designer toy series has been developed by Medicom Toys in 2001. They came up with a bear called Bearbrick and gave the opportunity to some artists to make a custom out of it. Off course the shape of the bear stayed the same but the original designs of the artists made everybody realize something special was going on. Medicom Toys had a very good marketing strategy and they decided to release the customs in blind boxes. That means the buyer did not know what custom he bought. Due to this the series became a huge collectors-item. A few years later people paying round $1300(!) to get the very first series.
Other companies liked the idea (and the money). Soon afterwards Kidrobot started their Dunny series, Play Imaginative their Trexi and Toy2R with their Qees. From today on designer toys series are still being produced and the number of toy manufacturers is growing.
Designer toys are about money and it would be naive to think otherwise. Nevertheless a lot of artistic pioneering customs have been released.