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Hints and Spices was first established in 2010 by Adelaide designer Shane Haddy. Dedicated to producing work that evokes enjoyment through the medium of art toys. Ranging from one off sculptures to production pieces, Hints and Spices’ work have been on display in galleries and museums around the world.

As a relatively new art form, encompassing a broad range of styles and influences, art toys, in essence, are sculptures influenced by childhood toys. Hints and Spices follows the Japanese methods and practices of toy design commonly referred to as ‘sofubi’. 

‘Sofubi’ is a Japanese coined term for ‘soft vinyl’, a type of manufacturable plastic. Sofubi can be used to describe any soft vinyl product but colloquially, ‘Sofubi’ refers to vinyl toys made in Japan.

What mainly separates Japanese vinyl production as a medium is the skilled use of slush moulding techniques. An early plastics manufacturing method that is no longer in use for mass production. As this method requires a very hands-on, skilled approach, it is considered work of an artisan, akin to handmade pottery or blown glass production.  

Even though the design needs to adhere to Japanese slush moulding techniques, ‘sofubi’ is not a genre or style.  

For more information, feel free to contact Shane at [email protected]