FLYBOY Hebru Brantley mindstyle

Hebru Brantley Fly Boy Character Inspired By Tuskegee Airmen

If your at the SDCC this weekend you’ll be able to get an up close and personal look at the “Fly Boy” 18″ vinyl art toy figure created by Hebru Brantley! The MINDstyle release was last seen at the Shanghai Toy Show in April and now collectors in the states have a chance to get one for their collection. You can get this badboy for $350 at the Pop Life booth [#4845].

What we really like about this figure is the inspiration Hebru had when he came up with the character.

“Flyboy came out of characters of color within popular culture. I hate saying “popular culture,” but it’s really popular culture. I mean you look at cartoons. You’ve got animated sponges and ducks and birds and whatever, and it’s very rare to see a popular character within any medium that is African-American, Latino, even Asian.

What I wanted to do was create that, but in a space of high art and be able to have some historical context to that character. So I looked at the Tuskegee Airmen, who were fighter pilots in World War II. They flew successful missions and they never lost a person. But at that time black folks were treated far less than equal. For me, it was important to have that historical context to a character, not to just have one for the sake of needing one or wanting one.

As far as it being a kid, it wasn’t necessarily a plan from the outset to create a childlike character; when I create, a lot of times I don’t see kids. I really don’t. I just see them as people. There’s a sense of innocence there, but there’s also a sense of all the other things we go through. What a kid might go through on a playground in certain ways might parallel what a guy goes through in a boardroom in a job day to day.” —Hebru Brantley

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