Quinn Corey: Found Objects to Pop Culture Action Figures

Words & Photos: Melissa Burman

Like any young boy who grew up watching television, toy advertisements made a big impact on Quinn Corey. Corey moved to San Francisco from the East Coast with his girlfriend, both artists now live in the Sunset district. Corey builds action figures using found object and used children’s toys. He finds most of his materials at SCRAP, a nonprofit donation based creative reuse center located in San Francisco’s Bayview district. SCRAP offers an ever changing selection of artist materials from glitter and toys to paper goods and fabric.

Corey uses his garage at home as his workshop where he mix and matches old toy parts and scraps of fabric to create his own action figures. Each character, like real toys on the market, has a complete dramatic back story be it villain or superhero. One action figure currently in Corey’s workshop is a buff ecstasy raver, originally a wrestler figurine, sporting blue leggings, yellow boots, neon shorts (hand sewn by Corey) and a child’s bracelet as a belt. The raver wears a blue crystal pointed hat and holds a water bottle in his jewel cuffed hand. Clearly Corey’s toy creations are pop culture commentary that take an aspect of modern life he finds funny and packages it in a playful art piece.

Once an action figure is complete, Corey sets his toy sculpture up in front of a backdrop that suits it’s story and takes promo photos mimicking those of exaggerated children’s toy commercials of the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Corey recalls that he was inspired as a child by the toy cabinet in Pee-wee’s Playhouse that held all the odd franken-toys that would come alive. He hopes to be able to recreate Pee-wee Herman’s toy cabinet someday.