Perhaps it’s the old disc jockey in me but I love doing contests and giveaways. It seems fitting that I incorporate that into the Toy Box. For this first contest of the new and improved Jim’s Toy Box I’m going to be giving away a FREE S-Type body as produced by ZICA and Castaway Toys.
I truly appreciate this revolutionary new body and it’s amazing possibilities. So much so that I put “me” where my mouth is. Little Buddy Jim is now outfitted with the new S-Type Body and I couldn’t be happier with the results. More possibility, flexibility and options. It also looks great as Robin the Boy Wonder!
“How do I win, Jim?” Boy am I glad you asked!
For the next two weeks to register to win all you have to do is tell me how you’re going to use this new S-Type body and promise to share a pic when your done. So what will you do? Create a custom from scratch? Swap out bodies with an existing figure? Something far more imaginative than my meager suggestions?
To enter email me your plan of action for this awesome action figure body to email@example.com. The contest will run from Sunday February 23, 2014 to Sunday March 8, 2014. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM CST for consideration. There is no cost to play. This S-Type body has been purchased by me and is in no way endorsed by ZICA Toys, Castaway Toys or the 8 Inch Super Store.
Some days it just seems like the world is not only on your shoulders but also your head and neck region too. I’ve been having one of those. Mountain after mountain, glitch after glitch, annoying humans… I’m sure you can all relate. But thankfully I have my toys and my toy pals.
While there have been some annoyances going on lately, when the burden gets so heavy I turn to my Toy Box and take a look inside. At the moment Sheldon Cooper from Bif Bang Pow and Entertainment Earth helps me smile a little. Then I get on facebook and a conversation begins between myself and my toy pal Tom Hagar about the possibilities of doing custom Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Mego style action figures. The wheels start turning.
8 and 12 inch versions of my all time favorite comedy team would be so much fun to have around the house, office, car, everywhere. I have a vintage two sided hand puppet that could be cast or 3D scanned and worked into separate heads. Hmmmm. And then use the S-Type bodies from Castaway / ZICA. And then create or have the very talented Anthony Durso create custom card backs, individuals and of course a two pack. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. And then seal ’em up in a clamshell for display. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. AND THEN (let’s dream really big shall we, get the lickeness / license rights and release them world wide! HMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!
Sure it’s just a pipe dream but still its a fun daydream that really took my mind off the pressures of the real world. Imagination. Conversation. Inspiration. They all happened thanks to my toy pals and real pal Tom.
Thanks buddy for helping me stop, dream and breath. At this juncture I shall take my own advice and order myself to : Now, Go Play!
This post comes on a Thursday morning and as such I got caught up in “throwback Thursday” mode. While I have no desire to share old pics of me rocking a mullet wearing a ’89 Batman shirt… OK maybe one:
OK, I promise to never do it again. Back to a better throwback… this time let’s go all the way back to 1976.
As America celebrated her Bicentennial, 1976 was also the year Jimmy Carter was elected the 39th President of the United States… NASA introduced the first space shuttle named of course in tribute to the Star Trek television show; The Enterprise . .. the ‘Rocky‘ series began… and more importantly Mego ruled the boys toy aisles. All of your favorite DC and Marvel super heroes were able to share in the 8 inch scale adventures of your imagination. Well, almost.
History shows us that there was one glowing omission. Professor Charles Xavier’s merry mutants were no where to be found. That problem was corrected thanks to the talented Mego customizer extraordinaire and a great Mego Museum pal of mine, Austin Hough.
In 2013 he came up with a customizing challenge for himself that is mind numbing in its scope. What he set out to do was create a new custom Mego figure for every week of the year. He actually exceeded that goal by quite a few extra dozen figures. Impressive is an understatement. (links coming soon)
One of the final results of his efforts were Professor X’s best… The X-Men as featured in this groundbreaking book:
Late last year (2013) Austin had contacted me about the project and asked me if I’d be willing to do some editing for him. Of course I said yes and am very proud to share these fantastic “What If?” spots with you. So join me now as we revisit a 1976 that would have been super sweet had Mego looked over at the comic rack.
BUT WAIT! There’s even a playset!
I’d like to take this time to again thank Austin for allowing me to play in this fantastic “What if?” world he created. It’s projects like this that inspire me and remind me that it’s so important to stop and play from time to time. And with that said thanks for popping in for this throwback Thursday moment. Again I apologize for the mullet.
Now, Go Play! – Jim 02/06/14
P.S. That super sweet playset is just one example of the incredible work that is done and available to you from Mego Museum founder Scott Adams. Check ’em out HERE or by clicking the pic.
For those of you who are following the Toy Box on Facebook (or are on my own personal page) I’m pretty sure I drove you nuts all day yesterday with my never ending posting and reposting about my pal Vinny and the new episode of Toy Hunter that he was going to be on. I apologize for being a pest. However I don’t apologize for being excited for a friend to the point of being a spammer.
You may have asked and are still wondering; “Sweet lord, Jim why damage your pseudo-reputation in the blog-o-sphere? You got a stake in the show?” The simple answer is: “No”. I have absolutely no connections to either the Toy Hunter show or the Travel Channel. But what I do have is a cyber friendship with Mego Museum member Vinny0026 or as the rest of the less cool world knows him as Vincent Carnabuci.
“But you said he was your ‘pal’ ?!? So you mean to tell me you bugged me to death over a guy you don’ even really know? “. Sorta. I did and I do AND I’ll keep on doing it. Why? Lots of reasons, here’s 3:
1. I have learned over the years that real friendships do develop over the internet. Especially in particular in niche circles such as the forum over at the Mego Museum.
2. When you have a friend ‘do good’ don’t you want to join in the celebration? Of course you do. This is the “good news” type of story that people say they want to see on their evening news casts. Since “they” don’t tell those stories enough, I will and you should.
3. Vinny is a great guy with an impressive collection and some really neat custom pieces and he was getting to share and showcase them with a national television audience. Tell me you wouldn’t do the same for your car collector club, sewing circle or high school reunion pics.
Plus for those of you who did join me and all the other Mego fans and friends of Vinny, wasn’t it cool to see Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC fame loose his mind over the toys? Being a fan of Run DMC I enjoyed that a lot. He “gets it.” Take just a moment and reconnect with your childhood toys and you may just find that innocent, untainted version of you. In turn you’ll smile a lot more and stress out a little less.
What I appreciated even more was learning about D’s camp for foster kids. I always thought of him as a genuinely nice guy and now having learned about Camp Felix and the Felix Organization I really love this fellow.
The kicker here is that without Vinny’s toy collection being featured on the show and D wanting to show today’s kids (and adults) the magic of these “old toys”, odds are I never would have heard or learned about the Felix Organization and all the good they do. And you dear reader probably wouldn’t have either. Plus you wouldn’t have seen the incredible collection that my pal Vinny has amassed over the years.
See? The hubbub was totally worth all of that and more.
This is just too cool not to share. The maker of the little buddies version of me has most certainly improved her circle of friends 😉 Recently Dawn O’Connell created a little buddy of Stan Lee ( yes, THAT Stan Lee) and was afforded the opportunity to present it to him at the Portland Comic Con.
Take a look at more of the pics at the Little Buddies Action Figure Page on Facebook and then give in to your urge and order one for yourself and your favorite Best Buddy today!
In commemoration of the Robot Chicken crew debuting their RDC Comic special I thought this would be a great time to revisit the Retro Action line from Mattel. Or more importantly what didn’t come to pass and why now I’m getting a bit angry about it.
You see when word was released that Mattel was going to be bringing back the 8 inch Mego style action figures I was completely stoked. How cool was it for a long time lover of Mego World’s Greatest Super Heroes of which I obviously am, was finally going to get the figures that Mego never got around to. Hal Jordan green Lantern, The Flash, The Marian Manhunter and of course Superman’s #1 foe, Lex Luthor! Oh how my collectors heart and inner child was all a flutter. But then they dropped the hammer.
Long story short Mattel cancelled the line due to lack of retail and customer support. While I could go on a serious rant about that excuse I’ll just say this, everyone makes mistakes and Mattel you made plenty of them here so quit passing the buck on retailers and fans. It’s unbecoming of you as one of the leaders in the toy industry.
For me with the line being cancelled it was quite disheartening to see one gapping whole in my collection. There was no Robin to pal around with Batman. The house that Barbie built could crank out four different Green Lantern figures as exclusives (who really cares about Kyle Rayner anyway) but no other half of the Dynamic Duo? Stupid. Just stupid. Anyway the rumbling from the fans of this line went on a crusade to “Save the Retro’s” and one fine person started a petition that would hopefully change Mattel’s mind. In wanting to help the campaign I created the PSA you see below…
Well the petition didn’t go viral and even if it did I don’t believe it would have changed Mattel’s mind. In the end our best efforts could not make any difference or help one lonely Dark Knight. But that isn’t what angers me.
The anger comes from recent discoveries of “web exclusive “ Green Arrow’s showing up at discount chain stores around the country. While this had happened with Wave 2 of the original line up, to see this “Sold Out” hard to get, limited edition figure popping up for half the price Mattel was charging is just ludicrous to me as a fan. It also shows me that my suspicions of incompetence about Mattel execs who were in charge of the line were indeed correct. They simply didn’t know what they were doing with the line and fns are left cold.
In a world with real problems like war, starvation and poverty matters such as this are trivial for sure. However to dash the hopes of fans who were seriously enjoying what was happening from the company that made the “swell” toys is just crap. Period.
Why am I still ranting about this? Mainly because with the Robot Chicken crew’ new special coming out Sunday September 9th and the majority of the characters and costumes are from the Retro Action line I believe that interest for the toys will be hot. Which in a way is good for the dealers out there who are still sitting on cases of the figures. Finally they will get marketing support for the line. Had Mattel tied I with the Robot Chicken guys from the start things perhaps things wouldn’t have had to go south. And maybe the tears in Batman’s pupil-less eyes could have been of joy with the arrival of young ward Dick Grayson finally being able to stand by his side in the toy boxes of many collectors around the world.
With that said I’ll chill out and move on with my collecting and playing. Yep I’m taking my own orders in the fact that I shall Now, Go Play. – Jim 09/08/12
The story of how my Toy Box has become a playground where I’ve been able to reconnect with old friends and remind them how to play too.
One of the coolest things for me about the internet is the ability to reconnect with friends that you haven’t seen in years, and distance and time in the real world would never allow for the two of you to cross paths again. Such was the case with me and my pal Don Urgo.
I originally met Don in 1999 in Harrison, Arkansas. I was running movie theaters for Carmike Cinemas and Don was a pastor with a heart of gold and an entrepreneur’s spirit. Together the two of us paired up to raise funds for the fledgling women’s shelter in the area. That initial project helped us create a fast friendship that also gave life to our individual visions for more than simply what was around us.
As fate and life would have it, a few years after meeting Don headed back to his original hometown in New Jersey and I went back on he road “up and down the dial” in radio. Oh yeah, WKRP style baby! From time to time I would think about Don and some of the discussions we had on reaching for the stars if you will, but figured those days were long gone. And they very well could have been if not for that social media juggernaut that Zuckerburg built; facebook.
On one of those reflective nights where you find yourself being bombarded with memories from days gone by I got to thinking about Don again. Well this time I took a bit of a more proactive step and searched for him on facebook. Having a rather unique name it was very easy to find him and send a message to say ‘hi’ just for the heck of it. Let me tell ya, that was a very fortuitous couple of lines!
As fate would have it Don was now a SUCCESSFUL entrepreneur with his online drop ship business and was just getting ready to expand into something a little more personal. (Here’s the fortuitous part I was talking about) Don was going to release an energy drink, branded with his likeness, to help spark interest and buzz at a few clubs and restaurants that he was involved with in New Jersey and Florida. After seeing the things here at the Toy Box as well as some of my TV stuffs Don approached me to create a label for the drink. I did and I gotta tell ya, there is something really cool about seeing your work going from on screen pixels to a physical item being held in someone’s hand.
After the drink label I followed up with a couple of posters to promote the beverage. This led to where we are today… the makings of Little Don…
Don had gotten such a kick out of what was happening with mini me and the Toy Box he wanted to see what a Little Buddy Don could do for his marketing. And while there is so much more to come in the near future, I can say now that this is going to be one of the most fun campaigns I’ve ever been privy too.
“Why exactly are you sharing all this frilly, fluffy, warm and cozy stuff with us Jim?” you ask? Because the whole thing boils down to one beautiful truth for me that I hope you too will grasp. My passion for toys and collectibles isn’t about escapism to a time gone by that will never be back. It’s about keeping that youthful mindset fresh and available when grown up life needs a break. I’m not saying everyone should sit on the floor for a couple of hours every day playing pretend with your toys, but what I am encouraging you is to find something be it old or new that reconnects you with the child like innocence that we were all born with that gets faded, jaded and scarred with age. Whether that’s an actual toy, or a DVD of your favorite movie or TV show or scheduling mandatory time to catch every single football game your favorite team plays, is irrelevant… just so long as its something that reminds you that life isn’t all about ‘adult stuff’. It’s about living, loving and laughing too.
By holding on to this belief and passion I’ve created a playground for myself where old friends were able to come and play at too. And while they (read Don) may have been caught up in the grown up world he’s now been able to loosen up a bit, sit back and smile at the Little Don sitting on his desk and let loose his imagination again to where he can share his passion with those that may also benefit from the playgrounds he creates.
So what about you; Do you still have a playground you can escape to? And if not, why not? Do yourself and he world a favor – Go Play! Jim 07/08/2012
Introduction –Regular visitors to my site are obviously familiar with Dawn O’Connell’s work with Little Buddies Action Figures thanks to Lil’ Buddy Jim serving as my spokes model. And while ‘mini-me’ is great I gotta tell ya dear reader, she’s getting even better!
Recently a friend contacted me about having a little buddy made of him to serve as a marketing tool in conjunction with the release of his exclusive line of energy drinks (you can learn more about that project from Don Urgo HERE). For me this was great news for two reasons 1.) I was going to get to work directly with Dawn again and 2.) I was going to have another Little Buddy other than myself to play with. Sweet lord did that sound terrible. Moving on.
Prior to Little Don arriving Dawn sent proof pictures and ‘wowza’ was I impressed! Not only had she nailed Don’s likeness but she had done it so much cleaner and sharper than before. Imagine how much more I was blown away when he arrived for picture day. Let’s break down some of the particulars that are spectacular leaps above her previous (and also very good) works. I love watching artists grow!
The first most noticeable change comes in the materials used. While I can’t tell you the exact modeling compound used I can easily tell you that it’s an improvement. Look at my mug next to Don’s and you can see the smoother / cleaner look. It also allows for more details to be captured. Another thing I must point out is that Dawn does do ‘in scale’ head sculpts but the Donfather wanted his Little Buddy to have the same comedic charm as yours truly.
The likeness easily goes without saying but one thing the casual observer can’t see is the really neat and nifty thing that Dawn has don with the neck plug.
Where mine has a modified Mego plug with the sculpting clay built up around it Little Don has a smooth, extended, straight neck that makes it much easier to change costumes or bodies.Speaking of which is another great improvement.
Dawn has also made a serious upgrade in this area too. Originally she was using Classic TV Toys generic bodies but as all of you regular readers and customizers know, the quality issues and too tight rubber bands can lead to all kinds of problems. This is no longer an issue because has upgraded to Dr. Mego bodies. This particular body is one of the new swivel bicep versions. (The Mego Museum / Plaid Stallions Brick Mantooth figure also features this latest body style.) As a side note one of the best things about this new body is that the shoulders are much more broad and manly looking if you will. No slouching from our hero now!
Oh no,no,no! Little Don looks even more magnificent in his multi-layered duds that are also worthy of a round of raving…
In this area we see not only improved skills in Dawns mini-tailoring abilities we also see she’s getting wiser in delegation. What I mean there is that the suit itself is a factory made item from CTVT. And in this area those folks shine quite well. Same goes for the shoes. Now let’s get down to the touches that a mass produced item isn’t necessarily going to be able to capture properly:
The overcoat – handmade by Dawn and fits perfectly over the other layers.
The scarf – again perfect scale and a brilliant touch.
The hat – Custom sculpted / made to fit Don’s head snuggly without fear of damage to either the hat or head.
The vest – Yep a vest! Don’s a three-piece suit guy s what you gonna do? This layer is actually the most impressive in execution mainly because she was able to create it and add it to the ensemble without bulking up Little Don too much.
And finally the icing on the cake – the rose boutonniere –
Not only is this a neat custom piece, it’s a perfect accessory that pulls the whole thing together. To see this up close is stunning. Again Dawn’s detail work is spectacular and the signature of a true artist.
“I’m blown away. There’s a little version of me right there!” Those are the words of Don Urgo himself and they perfectly sum up my feelings as well. Having experienced the joy that comes from receiving a Little Buddy from Dawn and now having shared that experience I’m telling you dear reader there is no other product / good/ or service on the site that I can recommend higher. Dawn’s efforts are art… exciting… beautiful… elaborate… spectacular and the most important part… FUN!
Another reason I felt so inclined to write this follow up article to the original one from a couple years back was also to show you in the audience what you SHOULD expect from a custom figure maker. As of late a lot of companies have been promoting custom action figures that look like you but their quality is drastically lower than what your gonna get from Dawn at an even higher price. Those other folks use 3D printing techniques that are ‘okay’ when all the elements are in place perfectly (generic head is the right size and shape, base profile photos are perfectly positioned and lit). But like all things artistic and custom the details are what will make or break the end result. Everything I’ve seen in regards to those printed heads is far from impressive and get only a mildly passing grade when the ‘perfect storm’ of elements are present. Especially considering the money your going to have to shell out.
When it comes to your custom pieces such as this, whether they be for a gift, personal vanity, marketing or just because you have just always wanted to be Superman, hold out for the best. It is indeed Quality over Quantity and I can cyber-stand before you today and proclaim loudly from the rooftops that your Little Buddy from Dawn O’ Connell will in fact be the best of the best. And that’s basing my latest opinion ‘right now’… imagine how even more spectacular her work will be when you make your order!
Scroll to the bottom to see NEW pics of the subject and his doppelgangers as well as a very nice and appreciated video shout out from the main man!
Custom Secret Squirrel: You know the “Bleh, Bleh” Guy!
Introduction – Greetings gang! In this entry I get the distinct pleasure in introducing you to two separate but equally cool things. The first is my pal Gar Ghoul who is the host of “Horrible Horror” on the web and has been for the past six years. Each week Gar brings you a complete line up of fun and merriment consisting of music, fun and funny banter, lots of “bleh, bleh’s” and of course, a horrible movie. Add to all of that the online broadcasting platform allows you to chat directly with Gar and other members of the audience in real time.
To those who haven’t tried it out yet the best way I can describe the experience is like, being able to talk in the movie theater but no pimply-faced usher is going to try and kick you out for disruptive behavior. Or better yet, its like a movie with subtitles that actually salvage an otherwise crappy movie. Check it out for yourselves Saturday nights at 8PM Eastern / 7PM Central (the rest of you can figure out your own time zones, I’ve got an article to right)..
The second really cool thing that I am introducing to you today is the art of custom figure making known as ‘kit-bashing’. This my friends is an ancient Chinese secret that very few are tuned into. Okay that’s not really true. Kit-bash customizing is actually a fun and relatively easy way to create action figures of characters that have never been produced, using existing parts and pieces in a configuration that captures your heroes in 3 Dimensional form. And the best part is that for this particular 3D art form you don’t need stupid glasses that cost you an extra two bucks and that they expect you to give back at the end of the feature. Sorry about that. But that really does get on my nerves. Back o the fun stuff.
What it is
Now that I have introduced you to our subject I’d like to share with you some of the insider tips I used to create this custom “Gar Ghoul” 8 inch, classic Mego style action figure that may inspire you to have your own arts and crafts fun day.
First, the character that Gar ‘is’ really lends itself easily to the custom Mego treatment. To me Horror Hosts (the name is a proper noun, show some respect) are cool on so many levels. A few of those being that 1.) They’re great entertainers, 2.) There’s not a terrible amount of money in it (if any really) so these guys and gals are doing it for the love and for the artistry and 3.) The characters created are like real life cartoon characters, super heroes, movie monsters come to life etc… It’s those reasons that toys of the characters are a natural fit.
*editors note – for more on Horror Hosts from today and days gone by check out the fantastic archive created by Corpse S. Chris at
Three others that I would like to also recommend (I could go on but for the sake of time I’ll narrow it down to just three)… Ormon Grimsby…Dr. Gangrine and MeTV’s very own Svenghoulie.
Back to the custom…
The Gar custom consists of two parts – the packaging and the figure itself. I list the packaging first in this case because honestly my customizing skills ain’t what they used to be so the packaging is crucial to the final products effectiveness.
If the old saying “imitation is the greatest form of flattery” is true than you folks at Bif Bang Pow should be blushing brighter than a red, ripe tomato. For the packaging I used Adobe Photoshop, stills captured from the Horrible Horror show(Thanks Tammy) and the layout is a direct copy of the one used on the later issued Venture Bros action figures. The outer shell was recycled from a EMCE Toys/ Diamond Select Star Trek action figure. *astute readers will notice that the name on the card art says “Secret Squirrel” … to learn about why that is come on over to the Horrible Horror facebook page and find out why.
The figure is actually really simple. The base used is the Companion character from the Space 1999 series of figures released by Classic TV Toys. The only thing I really had to do was slap a little black and white paint on and “WAH LAH!” instant Gar Ghoul. The nose of the base figure was the real deal maker actually. It looked just similar enough to help add to the overall likeness needs.
Now the bigger question some of you may be asking;
“Why do I care?”
The main one being that the art of kit bashing is a great way to make some really neat gifts for those you love. The creations could also be used for unique marketing promotions or simply just for fun!. And while you can customize and kit bash pretty much any toy line out there, something about the Mego style just seems to mesh better with the final products “fun factor”. So what are you waiting for? Pick a subject, gather your supplies and get to creating! You can even work on it while watching “Horrible Horror with Gar Ghoul”, Saturday nights at 8PM EST / 7 PM CST on Vaughn TV!
Now, Go Play! – Jim 6/30/2012 (Updated 02/05/2014)
There comes a time in a collectors life that an item comes on the block that brings out the most intense desire of “must have” determination to acquire a particular item. These moments actually come and go considering that times and tastes change however in this instance this particular flutter found in my hoarders heart was so profound that I had no choice but to give in or risk having those flutters carry me all the way to South America for the winter. “What could possibly cause such a stir in a normally mild manner dork such as yourself, Jim?” you ask. Keep reading fellows and girls and find out more about this latest, unique and one of the more exciting acquisitions that has actually taking a spot in the Toy Box as well as on the reading shelf and inside my now ignited imagination.
Point #1. What it is.
Julius Destructus: A custom rendering of Tim Baron’s creation by the artist himself.
Point #2. Where it came from.
Tim offered up a very small run of these handmade Classic Style action figures on the Mego Museum Forums; Marketplace Thread at the end of October 2011.
Point #3. The Good.
The head sculpt is very impressive to me not just because it is a dead on likeness but more
importantly because it really captures the art style. And while I’m no artist by any stretch of the imagination I do appreciate good art when I see it. The way Tim captured his gritty, heavily detailed artwork in 3 Dimensions is very impressive. I’ve got more on that in a few.
Another thing I really appreciate about what Tim has done here is that he has done a more than fine job in giving Julius the Mego treatment in a way that I’m sure would have passed Marty Abrams approval for what makes a Mego. The black oven mitt Mego style gloves are an especially great aspect of this styling. Anyone can paint hands to match a gauntlet to look like a glove, but only a Mego can get the same basic effect and also be able to snatch cookies out of the oven.
Also Tim’s use of a simple white “V” line to bring out costume detail is very much appreciated. It’s amazing how a couple of well placed lines can do so much. And of course I
would be remiss to not mention the wonderfully crafted skull belt buckle. IN this piece Tim has once again translated his 2D style perfectly in 3D. Love it!
Point #4. The Bad.
There is no bad. Only good. Move along.
Point #5. Why I like it.
I love this figure for many different reasons and it’s my pleasure to share all of them with you! J
1.) First off the character and story of Julius Destructus is brilliant. Thanks to the graphic novel “The life and times of Julius Destructus” by Tim with scripting duties provided by the incredibly talented Ben Avery the life that is breathed into these pages is awesome. While those of you who have remained plugged into the comic book / graphic novel world, stories and art such as this will not come as a surprise to you (though you will find some wonderful, “Nice! I like how they did that” moments) for those such as myself who are in and out of same said world you will be treated to one heck of an adventure. Get the book here.
2.) Those who are members or visitors of the Customs Forum at the Mego Museum are already privy to this next impressive point: Julius here is Tim’s first foray into sculpting, casting and painting. And while the final product in and of itself is impressive the message in between the lines to me is something that I think is even more impressive.
When I look at this most impressive figure I not only see the character but I also feel the passion the creator has for the creation. There is something magical going on here folks. You see it’s one thing to create a character, another to draw a character, and a totally higher level of talent to express the characters thoughts, feelings and emotions through the written word. And now Tim has shown exactly how important this character is to him. In this 8-inch form we find that the creator has a true knowledge of the character that you can’t simply ‘crank out’. The level of details and nuances in the head sculpt and paint applications in this 3-D rendering in my opinion shows that Tim Baron and his creation are on a level that goes much deeper than a simple drawing on a sketch pad. Another big stand out factor for me is that Tim has shown the world (by example) that a ‘great and terrible dream’* can come true.
3.) I also appreciate the fact that with this effort Tim has given me a great platform to point out another fun and fascinating aspect about Mego and Mego-like figure collecting, and that my friends is the ability to create your own character in this perfect 8 inch scale. In a part by part break down here’s how you can begin to make your own custom figure:
The body and belt is from the guy who I will always credit as the leader in the resurrection of all this Mego style goodness, Dr. Mego himself Paul Clarke www.drmego.com The good doctor is also responsible for the super cool Commander X line of figures for Jay Piscopo’s “Capt’n Eli comics character and all of his variations. Those are still available by the way at www.captneli.com
The suit, boots and oven mitts are from the folks at Classic TV Toys. www.classictvtoys.com While these guys get a bad rap from me for their figures (look for the Mad Monster reviews) they actually do a pretty good job when it comes to their accessories.
The resealable clamshell (which is super sweet by the way, it means you can play with it and then put it back on the card kids!) comes from Castaway toys. www.castawaytoys.com These guys are another great source for parts and pieces as well as some other really cool vintage Mego items at insanely low prices.
The head of course could be yours too; that is so long as you could beg Tim to make you one. These were a limited run but who knows? Tim may get the itch again and need to scratch it… or even better some wise publisher sees what I see in Julius and pays Tim a million dollars to mass market the book and this fellow. (I’m rooting for ya Tim!)
*The Great and Terrible Dream’ was the first compilation of Tim’s work he released in graphic novel form in 2009
Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.
Why you should:
Unless he makes more or the buyers of the original release decide to part with theirs, you can’t. Sorry about that.
Why you shouldn’t:
Why you should pretty much covers this one too.
Passion. Talent. Entertainment. Fun. Four words that go a long way in describing what Tim Baron has created here in his Julius Destructus 8 inch Classic Style Action Figure. And while it is true that there are no more available at this writing, the tale of Julius is still available at www.juliuscomic.com . I do highly recommend the book because I promise you the time spent reading this very impressive graphic novel and studying the masterful pen strokes that creates this world will leave you with a since of contentment that only comes from quality entertainment. Plus if we move some books, Tim may get inspired to crank out some more of these excellent figures or even better, he may decide to churn out some of his other characters. But be warned, if he does go the route of the latter I will be throwing elbows all the way to the checkout to ensure I get mine. Now – Order the book and Go Play! – Jim 11/06/11
Jim Bumgardner is a 20 year veteran of the broadcast industry and currently serves as the news director for television station TKO 8 in Harrison, Arkansas. Jim is the father of two the husband of one and firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com
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