Profile: James Jarvis

The toy collecting world has been captivated by James Jarvis ever since the 1998 release of Martin - the first potato-headed ambassador to spring fully formed from his cartoon universe. Since then the cast of characters has expanded steadily, adding the likes of Lars, The Bearded Prophet and now the mysterious Mr Vortigern, all the while gaining a huge following.

Despite the obvious charm of his PVC pals, Jarvis is reluctant to wear the badge of character designer. Instead, citing a firm commitment to the principles of modernism, he roots the appeal of his creations in the consistency of the world they come from. "I'm a cartoonist," he says, "I like drawing little worlds, and the toys are just one manifestation of that."

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