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By Mathew McKee
March 26, 2007
Do you remember STIKFAS? I don’t. In fact, I had never heard of them until last week. I walked into my store after my day off and we had a brand new section full of an awesome new product: STIKFAS. They looked a lot like the poseable artist figures that we sell, except smaller and… different. The difference was that STIKFAS come with accessories that allow you to customize them however you want, depending on which set you get. I was so blown away by these STIKFAS that I decided on the spot that I needed to find out more about them (I also couldn’t resist picking one up when I got off of work that night). After some research I found out they have been around for about 6 years, and they are even cooler than I thought, and extremely popular. I know, I know, those of you that were involved in the initial craze when they first came out are probably wondering what hole I’ve had my head in. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you, but somehow I have been totally oblivious to this phenomenon until now. Once I realized how great STIKFAS were I decided I should write this week’s column about them. So, without further ado: STIKFASmania!
STIKFAS were designed and created in Singapore and were first available online in 2001. In 2002, when Stikfas Pte. Ltd. got a distribution deal with Hasbro, things really started to take off. They became one of the most popular toys on the market, winning several awards. In 2003 STIKFAS exploded into Japan as a result of a distribution deal with one of Japan’s largest toy distributors, Tomy Direct Co. Stikfas Pte. Ltd. ended their deal with Hasbro in 2004. By that time there was already a very large following in Japan, and in 2005 Hobby Japan, a Japanese hobby magazine, published the first STIKFAS oriented book. This comprehensive book contained information about their products as well as the people involved in the company. There is still an extensive fan culture for STIKFAS. This culture includes online comics as well as stop motion movies. Currently, in North America, Stikfas Pte., Ltd. products are distributed by Saizon Company. Saizon also distributes Coolrockets, which are statues of retro/toy looking rockets.
Stikfas Pte, Ltd. has over 80 products in the STIKFAS line. There are five different levels of sets within the standard line and three specialty series. The biggest sets are the mega sets, and they are the most expensive. These sets include a dune buggy with figure, a robot vehicle, and various groups of people, including a band and a rescue team. The Deluxe is the second most expensive. These sets are all a figure and something the figure can ride. My favorite of these is the Female Warrior with Dragon. The middle set is by far the largest set containing just above 40 figures. This set is the set that really blew me away. This set has so many different figures to choose from. One of my favorites is the Samurai Warrior. This figure comes with armor, a bow and arrows, two swords, a spear thing, a crossbow, and a clan flag, as well as stickers. Some of them, like the superhero and the villain figures come with enough body parts and accessories to build two figures out of one pack. A few of the other figures in this set are the safari with cat, extreme sports boy, the rock star, the fairy, the robot, and the phantom or ghost/skeleton. The last two sets are the cheapo easy sets. First is the lite set, which consists of ninjas and sports figures. These figures are cheaper than the standard set, and don’t come with as many accessories. The cheapest set is just a single figure. In this set there are three different colors of females and 12 different colors of males. Three of the males are generation two figures, which means that they have an extra point of articulation at each elbow and each knee.
The specialty sets are pretty cool as well. The best is the dinosaur skeleton set. This set allows you to construct four different dinosaur skeletons: tyrannosaurus, pterodactyl, triceratops, and brontosaurus. They assemble in the similar snap together method and come with directions. The other two specialty sets are mbears and cuboyds. The mbears are exactly what they sound like, teddy bear STIKFAS. The cuboyds are cubic versions of the STIKFAS. They were designed specifically for fans that like to paint their figures as well as those that like to add clay to them and put them in stop motion movies. Stikfas Pte., Ltd. recently came out with a new line of toys called Kootikooti. This series features small skateboard shaped rubber pieces that are used for a “pogs”-like game that some of you might recognize as the game “erasers” that you used to play as a kid.
As you can see STIKFAS have been a phenomenon for quite some time now. Hopefully this episode of ramblings has introduced these wonderful figures to those of you that missed them before. As for those of you that already know about them I can only hope that I have rekindled the passion you felt for STIKFAS when you first met them. If you still aren’t convinced of the awesomeness of the STIKFAS check them out yourself at http://www.stikfas.com/ . Well, adios until next time.