Tompkins County Public Library

Monday, August 31, 2015

Exhibit of Rhino Toys created by Rich Tomasello opens Friday, August 28 at TCPL

Rhino Toys, a thought-provoking exhibit featuring hand-crafted toys designed to highlight current events and social issues opens at Tompkins County Public Library on Friday, August 28 and will be on display through the end of October.

Created by Buffalo-based artist and public school art teacher,
Rich Tomasello, Rhino Toys examines—through specially-designed toys reflecting traditional stereotypes and common media-messaging—issues of war, school shootings and social injustice.

Influenced by the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, Tomasello created a series of dark, ironic and absurd action figures presented under the fictional toy company brand, Rhino Toys.  The series includes customized toys—made from existing playthings—packaged in meticulously designed boxes, complete with guns, bullets, clips, body armor, grenades, gas masks and human targets.

Tomasello offers special workshop during Tom-Con

Teens are invited to explore the concepts behind the exhibit during an action figure-making workshop being held in conjunction with TCPL’s Saturday, August 29 Tomp-Con mini-comic convention.  Tomesello’s workshop will take place from noon to 1 p.m. and is open to participants ages 9 through 19. Attendees will be able to take home their personalized action figures.

For more information about Tom-Con go to For more information about Rhino Toys go to  For more information about Exhibits at TCPL go to

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