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FRESH MEAT: To Have or To Have Not…

Ladies & Gents,

SOMETHING has been bothering me. It’s been bugging me for awhile now, so I’m finally taking to the “BLOG-O-SPHERE” to air my grievances.

In February it was announced that the two toy companies Super 7 and Funko would be teaming up to release a series of 3.75 ” figures for their ReAction line. The design and sculpt of the figures would be an homage to the original Kenner Star Wars line from the late 70’s and early to mid 80’s. The real kicker, however, was that this line of figures pretty much includes every cool sci-fi cult movie and tv show franchise…EVER. Here’s a few from the list that highlight my favorites:

THE CROW

THE ROCKETEER

FIREFLY

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK

BACK TO THE FUTURE

To give you some perspective, when I was a kid I crafted my own Rocketeer figure out of a 3.75″ General Hawk G.I. Joe with homemade cardboard Rocketeer helmet. I also crafted a Crow figure out of a WWF Sting Wrestling figure which I still have. So can you imagine my inner child giddiness at the thought of an officially licensed Crow 3.75″ action figure?! AND a Rocketeer 3.75″ action figure?!! AND a Snake Plissken 3.75″ action figure?!? YES PLEASE!

So, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m still passionate about collecting action figures. Specifically 3 .75″ action figures (and even more specifically the Marvel Universe series). It’s one of my many passions…. and let me tell you something…I’m a passionate man….about my….passions………PASSIONS!

However, I was a bit dismayed when the preview pics of the figures were revealed on February 18th via Entertainment Earth. See below:

YEAH…

It really sucks when you build something epic in your mind, and when you lay eyes on the actual “thing”, it doesn’t quite match your mind crafted epic-ness…which is EXACTLY what happened here.

So herein lies the conflict; I’m grateful that these toys exist. And thinking back to the Kenner line design, yeah, they weren’t great. BUT from what I remember they seemed to be just a tad better representation of the characters than what is pictured above.

These franchises are pillars and influences in a lot of our lives and they’re ICONIC. Yet as an avid collector and from a design perspective I wanted these figures to be better. I wanted more articulation, I wanted a better sculpt, I wanted an ACTUAL 3.75″ representation of the characters. I appreciate giving credit to the Kenner series, but this is 2014, so lets respect the past, but give these franchises the 3.75″ figures they deserve! I understand as a business you have to be careful with something like this because there’s risk involved when venturing into new territory. But at the same time, these things will sell because let’s face it– THERE’S NOTHING ELSE OUT THERE LIKE THIS. 

So I digress, is it better to have a less than enthusiastic version of “something”? Or is better to have “nothing” and simply pine for the perfection my PASSION desires?…

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

SOUND OFF IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

A RARE LOOK: Untitled Pulp Sci-fi Personal Project Update II

Ladies & Gents,

So it’s been awhile since I’ve updated you all on this project (for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about click here for a refresher) and I’ve decided to share a bit of what I call an “Atmospheric Preview” with the help of Google+’s auto awesome feature. Check it out by clicking the image below:

ssp_20140311_

And it began…

There’s still more to come, so stay tuned, and PLEASE let me know what you think!

Sound off in the comments below!

FRESH MEAT: Speaking of Inspiration…

Ladies & Gents,

A little over a week ago I touched on artist/ vinyl toy designer Joe Ledbetter’s process.

Well, shortly after writing that post, I came upon this awesome piece on Core77 that highlighted a detailed 3D modeled science fiction book cover by sculptor Grant Louden. Louden also collaborated with the book covers original artist Colin Hay after providing him the initial sketches.

stardwellers-drawings1

Grant Louden’s Star Dweller Preliminary Sketches

stardwellers-drawings2

Grant Louden’s Star Dweller Preliminary Sketches

The other cool thing is that Louden documented the entire process in fastidious detail on his website in a 24 page build diary, and the result is…well…AMAZING!

Final Model

Final Model

He even MacGuyver’d a homemade vacuum forming unit in order to craft the correct shapes for the model!

MacGuyver'd Vaccuum Forming Unit

MacGuyver’d Vaccuum Forming Unit

For me, THIS is how it’s done. This is the DEFINITION of inspiration. Go on. Look it up…in the dictionary. It’s there….

It’s not there…

Anyway, you may remember one of my projects I’m developing from a previous post (which you can see here), which is definitely along the same lines of what Mr. Louden created. This is the definition of inspiration and my hope is that my project turns out half as good as this…

But what do YOU folks think? Sound off in the comments below!

FRESH MEAT: Joe Ledbetter’s Designing a Vinyl Toy: The Chaos Bunnies

Ladies & Gents,

In the world of graphic design, you often draw inspiration from other designers doing awesome and amazing things. For awhile now I’ve been considering venturing into the realm of vinyl toys, simply because I have a special appreciation/love for action figures. In fact, I’ve even enrolled into a cool Skillshare class from Kid Robot founder Paul Budnitz to explore the culture further!

And on occasion, when you have a new found interest/obsession with something, it’s kind of funny when you happen upon a cool article via BOING BOING that highlights a video made by vinyl toy designer Joe Ledbetter. It’s a 9 minute look at his complete design process, and it’s really interesting to see how initial sketches lead to a final toy.

Check out vid below:

Cool, right?!!!

For me it’s always nice to see another designers process, because it feels like you’re getting a sneak peek into their mind and how they create. As much as I’m a fan of the final outcome, I find that the journey is just as (if not more) satisfying.

Those are my .02¢. How about yours? Feel free to share in the comments below!

FINAL CUT: Sea Turtle Tattoo

Ladies & Gents,

So, as promised, here’s the final version of the Sea Turtle Tattoo project.

I’m happy to say the client was extremely pleased with the final outcome, as this project was extremely personal and meaningful to them.

So please keep that in mind if you feel the need to leave comments =)

turtle_tattoo_final

Turtle!

A RARE LOOK: Untitled Pulp Sci-fi Personal Project

Ladies & Gents,

First off, I want to thank fans and friends alike for the “Likes” on Facebook. It is very much appreciated!

Secondly, I wanted to draw attention to a particular and peculiar affliction I suffer from.

It’s in regards to this IDEA I’ve conjured up which also has been mulling and gestating in my brain for the past year. Some of you may know the feeling: that itch that can’t be scratched, which continually nags you, laughs at you and then tops it off with obscene gestures. No? You don’t sympathize? Well, lemme tell ya,  It’s a MADDENING feeling – the NEED to have an idea EXTRACTED out of your MIND!!

Now for a taste of what’s to come. I’ve done some simple research with friends and colleagues by asking the following question:

When you hear the phrase TENTACLE MONSTER - what comes to mind?

Most came back with Cthulu, which wasn’t isn’t exactly what I was shooting for, but at least it was something to draw inspiration from.

With that said, let me lay down the following scenario:

Imagine exploring an alien planet. Maybe you crash landed there, or maybe you’re there with a particular purpose in mind. Whatever the case, imagine that upon venturing out on this planet, you’re suddenly thrust into the air by unseen, strong tentacles. SOMETHING was lurking and hunting beneath the surface, and now it has YOU. As you gaze down at your impending fate you see this:

Tentacle Monster!

Tentacle Monster!

Tentacle Monster Too!

So my intention is to create a real and dimensional diorama of this situation based on the sketches above, then photograph it and process the final images in Photoshop. I’ve drawn most of my inspiration from old sci-fi pulp comics like Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers etc. (If you’re interested, check out my Design Inspiration and Reference I Dig board on Pinterest here.) And while some have commented that the designs are very Maude Lebowski-ish in nature (which was I assure you was NOT my intention…but I see their point) I’ll be sure to remedy that “issue” in the final build of the creature.

So I hope you guys dig it, and I plan on doing some more Rare Looks once I start building it out further.