Scenes From The Grand Opening Of The New ATAMA Shop at Mockingbird Station.

Josh Romero and Philip Sterling's ATAMA vinyl toy store has given new light to the old Kidrobot storefront at Mockingbird Station. Yup, the vinyl toy store that was formerly housed in the upstairs portion of Centre –Sterling's well-loved street wear boutique a little ways down the parking lot — now stands on its own.

And, from the looks of things, the move's been a worthwhile one thus far. On Saturday, ATAMA held its grand opening party — and, man, was it well-received.

For starters, the new ATAMA space is a little larger than the last space that held it, even if it might not have seemed that way on Saturday considering the huge crowd that turned out for the celebration. Both indoors and outside, people were squeezing by one another.

That much, perhaps, could've been expected. The new shop space is built like a sidewalk — it's long and narrow. Save for large events like the opening this past weekend, though, this much should prove a nice feature for the space. From a display standpoint, it's a rather ideal set-up: The store's large collection of exclusive vinyl toy works are arranged perfectly so that browsers can make their way from one end of the space to the other and take the whole thing in well. The back walls were lined with vinyl toys encased in glass. And the front walls, well, they're glass windows — the storefront, actually.

But those windows add a nice look-in aspect to the store. Folks just passing by the space are immediately enticed by vast offerings held just on the other side of the glass. On Saturday, this meant large groups of people passing by, then stopping in and, eventually, staying far longer than they could've imagined. Meanwhile, those who went so far as to plan on attending just sort of hung out. It made for some fairly charming interactions, too; new friends were made and great connections were sparked.

Perhaps even that should've been expected, too. The people on hand were, for the most part, some of Dallas' most prominent networkers in the Dallas streetwear and hip-hop circles. DJ Tony Schwa was in the house, keeping the good tunes and vibes flowing. Many other local creatives were just out and about and sharing their love for the shop.

A not-so-local creative even made a drop-in: Gary Baseman. The artist, described the Los Angeles Times as “adorably perverse,” and in town to offer a lecture at Lakewood Theater, so it only made sense for him to drop in at ATAMA with his Toby character in hand. Humble in appearance and more than happy to dish out a quick drawing or two in fans' sketchbooks, his arrival was a welcome, if surprising, one.

ATAMA, too, did its part to return some love to the artists on hand: Behind their checkout, a large wall space was dedicated to work from local artists; the front of the checkout, meanwhile, was beautifully painted up by locals Arturo Torres and Joonbug McIntosh. Their collaboration on the mural had been leaking into Instagram and other social networking feeds for the past week or so as Josh Romero and the crew put the final touches on the shop, but their early snaps hardly did their efforts just.

In all, everyone's efforts proved to make the event a total success. People weren't just standing around drinking free beer and eating free food. Well, sure, they were — but they were also buying product and truly supporting the shop.

And by the time it ended, everyone left with a glowing childish spirit shining bright inside of them.











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