Welcome to the NuPenny Toy Store.
NuPenny is an itinerant toy store. On the surface, and viewed as a retail establishment or typical sales model, NuPenny seems fundamentally flawed in connecting with those who desire to take its products home. True enough. But on another level the store’s reason for being is as a realm of carefully manufactured objects of desire that have not (or perhaps cannot) find either their place or time in the world. The first appearance of this toy store installation was in Waterville, Maine in January of 2010. Four months later and without notice NuPenny closed in Waterville and moved to another town. The store continues to move from town to town and to different states across the United States.
There are a number of reasons why I created this body of work and continue to elaborate upon it. But most compelling for me is the exploration of the experiences of desire and longing. To explore these I set out to create a physical place and occurrence that appears as if in a dream - familiar and believable yet somehow out of our grasp - in the physical sense but also slightly out of reach of our collective memory. Because of this the door of the NuPenny store is always locked and all text has been rendered in Teletype punch-tape code. The toys are all original constructions of mine; none of the toys are or were vintage playthings, nor are any of them made from toy parts. All toys in my NuPenny store are manufactured from 20th century industrial, scientific and household flotsam and jetsam, and from scratch when necessary.
Conceptually each toy is my interpretation of a song lyric, poem or literary work that has affected me. By using the NuPenny/Teletype code card that is available on this site you can easily (though perhaps not quickly) read the ‘text’ on each toy, box and placard. More toys will occur, and arrive in the store over time, as I have the means to make them.
Finally, the slogan “I Love You,” as included in each NuPenny toy decal, box and related store signage, is quoted from the poem Prayer In The Strip Mall, Bangor, Maine by the poet Stuart Kestenbaum.
Please contact me via my personal website for more information.
Randy Regier, 2011.