TACO BELL ripped off my DUNNY!

So, I just heard about this and I think it’s hilarious. Hilarious and sad. Taco Bell has a line of kids toys coming out that blatantly ripped off the Dunny toy that I designed for Kidrobot way back in 2004. It’s shameless.

This is not the first time I’ve seen a derivative Dunny design, but definitely the biggest, most mass market rip off yet.

The shame goes out to Mikko Meronen of Strottman International. Thanks guys.




Posted by TRISTANEATON  |  44 Comments  |  in Advertisement, Design, Fine Art


  1. anon 06/16/2010 8:15 pm

    well said cheesfries! they should just be honored that this little urban vinyl phenom has made it mainstream. Mikko has been making toys longer than KR…and he would probably be the first to admit he ripped it off. and by the way “mean”.. PVC is vinyl. Poly Vinyl Chloride.

  2. The Man 05/25/2010 4:09 pm

    Clearly ripped off…


    Is it just me, or do they look like condoms?!?!

  3. insante 04/15/2010 1:56 pm

    Wow, the dunny is a complete rip-off from the game Sam and Max (amongst others). Not exactly original any of it.

  4. jaime 03/10/2010 2:20 pm

    WOW! this is…SAD

  5. Quix 02/27/2010 5:29 pm

    I designed the flamejob Dunny (Judas) and would love to get my hands on his Flaming Bellhedz evil twin brother for my collection.
    Please let me know how I can have one shipped to Mexico.

    Thank you!

  6. Jeepers 02/13/2010 4:30 pm
  7. julia rothman 10/16/2009 9:11 am

    hi this is the real Julia Rothman. The comment above was not by me. I would never call someone those terrible things. Please take down that comment immediately as I am being misrepresented. Thank you. Julia

  8. mean 10/16/2009 6:24 am

    bellheadz are made of pvc. not vinyl. fail.

  9. romanowski 10/11/2009 4:11 pm


  10. deb 10/06/2009 11:34 am

    I cant understand why there are so many mean comments on this site. Seriously! Cant we critique without personal attacks? Am I the only one? Didnt your parents teach you any manners?

  11. Anonymous 09/23/2009 9:28 pm

    What a funny name, Thoughtprovoker. You certainly don’t live up to it.

    No haters here, just calling it like they see it. You, on the other hand, have nothing to contribute other than a tantrum. At least make an argument that’s better than “be on my side or you’re a hater”.

  12. thoughtprovoker 09/23/2009 6:59 pm

    wow..i’m embarrassed to have posted comments on the same topic as most of you.
    most of you must be on crack, and are the true definition of ‘haters’.
    last comment ever.

  13. cheesfries 09/23/2009 5:05 pm

    Give me a break. Tons of companies have put out similar shit (dunny, munny, mighty muggs, house of liu, headphonies, mez-its, futurama mini figs, mythos buddies, etc, etc, etc…) But when TACO BELL does it, it’s too mass market and you have to post on this site? You’re just a little whiny bitch who thinks “urban vinyl” is too underground for mainstream america. Guess what? Just cuz you call a fuckin toy “urban” doesnt make it cool, or hip hop, or give it “street cred”. It just makes you a toy snob who hangs out with grafitti fags that would rather tag a dumpster on a friday night than get laid. All the kid robot shit, and bellhedz, and every other urban vinyl toy is tired, and repetitive, and not edgy whatsoever. Go home.

  14. Kirvi 09/23/2009 4:07 pm

    I guess it is a good thing that this has been the only rip in, what, a week? Rippers FINALLY getting the message?

  15. Linda 09/23/2009 7:15 am

    prior to reading the comments, i thought that the Kid Robot image was the original ad, this post should definitely be edited for clarity.

  16. Tarquin 09/22/2009 8:41 pm

    It seems to be slightly unfortunate that the Taco Bell versions are actually a lot better than the originals. I think Tristan Easton should try and learn from this and maybe not give up the day job just yet…

  17. Abbi 09/22/2009 6:40 pm

    One of my design professors (who in no way supports plagarism but understands people will do it anyway…) said;
    “If you’re going to rip off a design, you better damn well make sure it’s much better than the original”.

    Sucks that TB is ripping off your ideas, but I gotta say, I prefer their execution (minus the stupid shaped heads) hands-down to yours.

    BTW I’m just wondering how a person who creates Dunny artwork can’t even put together a decent comp of the ad?

    It’s like their floating around… in a bad, bad way.

  18. Abe 09/22/2009 6:13 am

    Thanks for the heads up! I really want to get all of those Bellheads.

  19. r. goodwin 09/21/2009 9:27 pm

    sorry, the only ones that are even remotely similar is the bunny and flaming version, and even then its weak at best. So you both used cliche’ tired themes…it happens.

  20. Anonymous 09/21/2009 8:52 pm

    Again, Kidrobot made this picture up to show similarities. Outside of this purposefully misleading picture there isn’t much similar. Hang your head in shame, Eaton, this was a shitty attempt to pump up a claim you knew was weak to begin with.

  21. Pay Attention! 09/21/2009 5:47 pm

    Actually, the bigger rip is the Kid Robot mock-up that imitates the Taco Bell ad! Hahaha, so much for the high road!

  22. Megan Fildes 09/21/2009 4:58 pm

    Wow, this is crazy blatant – the toys are placed in a similar fashion and the type treatment in close to identical. I know if I tried to pull something like that in one of my publications I’d probably have a couple people knocking down my door.

  23. Grow Up Maybe? 09/21/2009 4:52 pm

    Y’all should quit playing with toys. Then you wouldn’t get your undies all in a knot when something as trivial (and not copyright infringing, by the way) as this happens.

  24. upso 09/21/2009 4:27 pm

    it blows my mind that anyone would see this as anything but a rip

  25. ads 09/20/2009 8:08 pm

    there is also the fatcap which is a dunny from KR but they changed the head to a spraypaint cap with actually look more like the bellhedz.

  26. Doctor Foster 09/20/2009 5:42 pm

    All these platform toys are so basically alike, the differences so miniscule, that it’s just a bit lame to single any out as being a rip. The only thing that differentiates a ‘dunny’ from lots of these other toys are it’s ears. The ‘Bellend’ doesn’t have ears as far as I can see. And that flame paint-job is as corny as fuck…

  27. ads 09/20/2009 2:56 pm

    just a little info kids.

    dunnys are platform toys. the principal toy design was by TE but the designs are all different artist. the flame is hula+hula, the blue one is Eric Newman, the pink KOA, and bunny is Kathie Olivas.

    sure, these are inspired by eastern vinyl, but as an avid collector of both east and west vinyl, I can tell you that many platform toys are similar. but a dunny is a dunny, a ci-boy is a ci-boy and so on. Anyway, not only is this a platform rip but also a ripe of an individual artist’s design.

  28. Hockney 09/20/2009 7:38 am

    All this stuff is hardly so innovative and fresh in the first place. If you base your art on piling up a load of visual cliches on one another, what do you expect?

  29. Anonymous 09/20/2009 2:13 am

    dunno, i get the feeling there is probably someone in japan who’d be ticked off at both of them for stealing their chibi animal character designs

  30. Come On 09/19/2009 3:37 am

    Lets see, the painting on the blue and pink dolls look nothing like yours. The white doll is simply a character in a costume, which has been done to death by others. And the orange one is only similar to yours in the fact that they both have flames painted on them, and even then the flames are of vastly different style and placement. If it wasn’t for the fact that you ripped off the layout and style of the Taco Bell ad, the similarity would hardly be more noticeable than their similarity to the multitude of rubber ducks that are out there.

  31. rainey 09/19/2009 2:28 am

    Get over it and think about the kids that are getting exposed to urban vinyl toys for the first time. This is good for retail brands like KR and others. Get it? More interest = more sales = more dunnys and other figurines in demand! This will do nothing but net positive results for everyone. Taco Bell has done a great thing for the UV movement AND made some really cool toys for kids!

  32. Maria 09/18/2009 4:06 pm

    thoughtprovoker No no no. It’s bellhedz, with a z. Get with the hip taco now.

    As to Mr Eaton, using misleading evidence to a prove a point is a bit off putting and distracting. It was a clever but ultimately dishonest move on your part.

    Is it lame and lazy inspiration? Sure… Is it a case of a giant corporation (Yum!) jumping on the tail end of a trend that has been around for a few years now, one which they have obviously researched most thoroughly and then designed the most generic “urban” feeling things possible? Most definitely. But it’s not a legitimate case of infringement.

    And I will also say this, with much respect for your creation and business; over the years, judging from the kidrobot complete Dunny collection page, some Dunny paint jobs have bordered on lazy inspiration as well.

    That said, your toy is successful and one of the first things that pops up when one googles urban vinyl” or even “vinyl toys.” You guys have an awesome product run. No one’s gonna mistake these two concepts. If they do, most likely, they weren’t going to buy a custom designed toy in the first place. You have every right to be annoyed at where this trend has gone, but as someone who seems well versed in pop culture, I also doubt you are surprised.

  33. M 09/18/2009 2:09 am

    The Dunny itself is a total rip-off!!!! I mean, come on!!!!

  34. Anonymous 09/17/2009 10:36 pm

    i Think its pretty lazy personally, bu the real kicker is that strott. is located on the floor above me.

  35. Anon 09/17/2009 4:46 pm

    Firstly, regarding the shape of the vinyl toys, there’s a ton of big head small body vinyl toys out there, check vinyl pulse or any other vinyl site. Vinyl toy lines usually have a pretty nondescript body shape with a gimmick (bunny ears, ‘bell heads’) and then gets a jillion paint jobs.

    As for the paint jobs, there is no rip whatsoever. Yes, Taco Bell and the Dunny have your incredibly common and typical ‘flame’ paint job, but the actual art was not lifted from the Dunny, it’s completely new art, which happens to be flame-themed. All the other examples in your deceptive side by side also show no direct lifting, just themes that are used in both (vinyl toy wearing zip-up disguise, how original, etc).

    Did they check out the Dunnys and use them for ‘ideas’ for paint jobs for their line? More than likely. But it’s not a rip.

  36. Marvin 09/17/2009 12:16 pm

    It’s hard to know how original the ‘originals’ were. They look kind of generic to me. All this stuff was ripped from Japan in the first place wasn’t it?

  37. hR 09/17/2009 1:46 am

    This post is pretty deceptive. Your case would be better made had you not retroactively made a mock-up of the Taco Bell ad.

  38. Chris Spade 09/16/2009 8:28 pm

    Wow. Clear rips. The only one that can be considered “slightly original” is the one on the right. But at that point who cares”?

    But not shocking that a corporate giant like taco bell is going to rip something like that off. But still a clear rip nonetheless.

  39. LM 09/16/2009 5:47 pm

    Those look sort of similar, but since the actual image posted is a Photoshop, uh, really, they could’ve got the inspiration from anywhere, especially for that unoriginal flame paint job. That and the bunny suit one are the only ones that look even vaguely similar. And wow, that hideous pink one Taco Bell made is, well, hideous.

  40. Artraged 09/16/2009 3:27 pm

    LMAO!!! Wow, and to say I worked for a shitty company like taco bell before!

  41. Anon 09/16/2009 5:20 am

    …wouldn’t be too difficult to paint up a limited edition set of these “BELLHEDZ” as nipples and dickheads, either. Those would probably sell.

  42. Anon 09/16/2009 5:12 am

    Funny, I always thought the DUNNY doll was taken from Radiohead’s “Crying Minotaur” mascot. It’s called co-opting, I think. If I were an overpaid hipster, I’d be inwardly thrilled to have my subversive product setting the tone for a mainstream company on the order of Taco Bell. If you’re really upset, go make some talking chihuahua dolls with squeeze-out diarrhea or something.

  43. Anonymous 09/16/2009 12:53 am

    It should be said that the kidrobot promo picture is a fake to show the similarities between the two products. I was under the impression Taco Bell ripped off everything from the toy to the promo picture.

    I feel a little conflicted in this that on one hand it’s obvious Taco Bell heavily “borrowed” but on the other hand if I were a kid and got one of these I’d definitely want to know where to get more. The adult in me is shaking my head but the kid in me is screaming I WANT TO COLLECT THEM ALL. THEM ALLLLLLLLLLL

  44. thoughtprovoker 09/16/2009 12:20 am

    haha…bellheads? damn, they were lost for a concept hey?

    shameful they would even try. Many people still don’t know what DUNNYs are…but they’ve been around long enough.

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