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Friday Fun: When makeup and toys collide

In late 2007 Shu Uemura teamed up with Toy2R to sell Qee figures as a gift-with-purchase - buy a cleansing oil and get a free Qee!  Each one is color-coordinated  to a particular cleansing oil (the green is for the premium oil, pink for the fresh oil, orange for the enriched and yellow for the regular oil.)

Qees small pic

But what exactly ARE Qees, you ask?   They're usually small (2.5 inch) vinyl figures that can be displayed or put on key chains, taking the form of bears, dogs, cats, monkeys or bunnies.   According to the Toy2R website, the company is "breaking down the boundaries between product design, art and graphics" and "instilling contemporary designer art into the vinyl toy market."  Qees first debuted in 2001 and are sold in series based on a particular artist's design scheme.  The company also deals with other businesses - Qees have been produced for Adidas, Benetton, Starbucks and Target.  

The Shu Uemura Quees perfectly represent the oils in that they match the color to each one, and also the swirly pattern seen on all parts of the figure is reminiscent of how these somewhat viscous oils move and flow in their bottles.   As with Shu's collaboration with Genius Party (which I posted about earlier),  it's a puzzle as to why the company decided to use toys to promote their most iconic beauty product.  Most cosmetic companies include a small makeup pouch and/or other beauty items, but Shu chose...designer toys.  It's a strange but ingenious way to break the beauty industry mold.

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