If the traditional box of melted coconut patties, picture postcards and “I heart SOBE” t-shirts simply won’t impress the folks back home, check out the world of wonder that is KidRobot on Collins Avenue before you pack up your suitcases and head for the airport. Founded in California in 2002 when designer Paul Budnitz discovered a wave of edgy vinyl toys from China and Japan, the shop has evolved into a collector’s paradise with branches in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and London.
Fans of limited edition action figures, Japanese Anime, collectible sneakers and graffiti-art flock to the KidRobot stores and website to experience the curious intersection of fashion, cartoons, comics and music that fuels the company’s imaginative product mix. Budnitz and his friend Tristan Eaton collaborated on the now famous and best selling toy figures “Munny & Dunny” and also invited other young artists and illustrators to create characters for global distribution. By 2006, the artists helped inspire an exclusive, limited edition clothing line that was immediately snapped up by some of the most exclusive boutiques across the globe.
The iconic KidRobot characters fuelled a pop cultural explosion, inspiring features in glossy design publications and ultimately gaining spots in the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Museum. The South Beach shop attracts an international clientele who are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for the art toys, branded clothing and decorative figures. The store’s exciting mix of colorful tees, quirky plush characters, unique books and oddball objects makes for a pricey world of wonder for whimsical adults and the kids who love them. 638 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (305) 673-5807