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Ode to Design Toscano, the Weirdest Luxury Statue Purveyors in the Game

Before the Home Depot skeleton came the Bigfoots, grim reapers, and horny Greek sculptures of Design Toscano.
MF
New York, US
August 5, 2021, 7:50pm
skeleton dragon column statue
Composite by VICE Staff

“Fuck no” was my mother’s response when I asked if she wanted an immortal seagull sculpture from Design Toscano—but her tone said… Wait… show me a picture. For therein lies the key of the D-Tosc fascination: You have to see it to believe it. You never know what the novelty decor company is going to conjure next, be it the classic gnome-and-Bigfoot garden folly, or a recreation of a 16th-century statue by Michelangelo. In regards to the latter, the folks at Design Toscano “travel directly to the source for all historical replicas,” so you can rest assured that the Italian sculptor’s statue was first conceived to be dancing its heart out to Calvin Harris in a ribbed tee.

Design Toscano

The Dying Slave by Michelangelo Sculpture

But let me pump the brakes, in case you’re new to Design Toscano. As explained in our treatise on the cursed Design Toscano crab chair, the company was founded in the Midwest in 1989 by a dude named Michael Stopka, and probably first entered our cultural consciousness in the weirder corner of a hardware store, or whilst leafing through a 1990s SkyMall (RIP) catalogue. Design Toscano walked so the hot 12-foot-tall Home Depot skeleton could run:

You see, Design Toscano expands your cultural collateral. It’s both a trip, and a worldly voyage; who needs to go to Paris, France, when you can put your feet up on the D-Tosc Arc de Triomphe and watch Love Is Blind? Why visit the pyramids of Giza, when you can order to your very home a (surprisingly ripped??) statue of Anubis, or shelves built out of the columns of Luxor

Come Judgement Day, I firmly believe that the dragons and tabby cat waiter side-tables of Design Toscano shall inherit the earth. Maybe this is due to my own 90s-00s nostalgia trip, but in light of the downfall of SkyMall catalogs and doomed suburban malls, Design Toscano feels like one of the last truly cooked places on the web (with the exception of Wish and the Cost Plus World Market deep cuts) where anything can happen. It’s an inextricable part of yesteryear’s pop culture canon. 

Design Toscano has its own iconic categories, from Big Boy Statues to Gargoyles, but we thought we’d break them down a step further, whether you need a new chair for the D&D den, kitsch tiki bar accessories, naked Grecian statues to keep your guests on their toes, or a Big Mouth Billy Bass-worthy toilet paper dispenser...

You shred 

We’re still on the waitlist for the Home Depot skeleton, and also need a new throne for headbanging. Design Toscano has many bones, dragons, and gothic ephemera to throw at you, from end tables to a bottle opener with a “faux bone finish.” (Don’t you hate when a real hand slips in there?)

Design Toscano

Wide Skeleton Armchair

Design Toscano

Skeleton Hand of Destiny Bottle Opener

Design Toscano

Crusaders Helmet Gothic Trash Can

Design Toscano

Rampant Hydra Gothic Dragon Statue by artist Liam Manchester

Design Toscano

Dragon Figurine End Table

Design Toscano

Grim Reaper Illuminated Wall Sculpture

Are you Tom Hanks in 'Big'?

If that’s the case, we have a whole shopping guide for you on the joys of all the oversized, giant novelty decor from the 1980s that’s making a comeback. We envision this rubber duck poolside, or in your restroom. 

Design Toscano

Rubber Duck Figurine End Table

Flesh out the tiki bar

Trying to turn your home into a tropical cocktail paradise? A tiki bar always begets a slap of kitsch tchotkes, usually in the form of some inanimate wildlife. 

Design Toscano

Dockside Seagull

Design Toscano

Marlin Fish Cast Iron Bottle Opener (Set of 2)

Design Toscano

Polly in Paradise

Gifts for boomer dads

Merle is his name, and grilling in cargo shorts is his game. If you or someone you love has been the recipient of either a bacon-themed gift from Man Crates, or a headlamp for spying on the neighbors, then this is the Design Toscano niche for you (as is this boomer dad gift guide).   

Design Toscano

Reeling Trout Toilet Paper Holder

Design Toscano

Bear End Table

Bring 'The Birdcage' home

“Pour more olive oil on me, Hercules.” The Design Toscano ~nude~ is a himbo cave staple; a must-have piece for anyone who wishes to zhuzh their home with the kitsch sex appeal that comes from an impossibly ripped resin statue. 

Design Toscano

Hercules and Antaeus Statue

Design Toscano

Anatomical Decipher Nude Torso Wall Sculptures by Kaleb Marytn

Design Toscano

Hermitage Atlantes Glass-Topped Pedestal Table

You’re my chain-smoking aunt from Sarasota

How could we leave out Aunt Susan? The one who puts her Glory Years right up on that Grecian-inspired pedestal, beside a pack of Parliaments and the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel? Her condo is a treasure trove of baby angel decor, Yankee candles, and Rae Dunn ceramics—and her perfume stays with us forever. 

Design Toscano

Angel Wings Glass-top Sculptural Table

Design Toscano

The Twist Wall Sculpture

Design Toscano

Roman Doric Column Classical Fluted Statuary Pedestal

Eyeballs on overload yet? Give them a minimalist cleanse in the Japandi design aisle. 


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.