This looks like an interesting trend to keep an eye on:
Lowbrow Art Hooks Adult Collectors
February 4, 2006
By SUSAN CARPENTER
LOS ANGELES TIMES
“Mark Troup readily admits he’s addicted, and not to the usual suspects. The objects that preoccupy his mind, shatter his impulse control and empty his wallet have names like Qees, Trexis and Dunnys. They are created by street artists such as Okkle, Honk and Da TeamBronx. They are known as “designer toys.”
In the four months since Troup got his first Panda-Z bear, the 37-year-old video game artist has gone thousands of dollars and 100 pieces deep into toy collectibles for adults.
…The result has been a collecting frenzy. Galleries and stores that showcase hyped-up new releases often draw crowds hours before opening and sell out shortly after unlocking their doors.”
UPDATE: The Story mentioned a Lava Bunny by Joe Ledbetter which retailed for $75 (although it was a limited run of 50) – it looks like an eBay auction of a number 47 ran up to US $635.00, with 23 bids which ended on Feb. 4, 2006.