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Toy Designers are People Too

Time for some much-needed props

By ANDREW KARDON     August 15, 2002

Toy designers get no respect. Well, it's not like they're spit on by people, but they just don't get the props they deserve. Not like other celebrities.

Movie stars have their following. As do authors and rock stars. Yeah, even drummers get groupies. And over in the comic book world, fans follow artists and writers wherever their books take them. But in the toy industry? Nah, you ain't finding too many celebs.

Okay, there's Todd McFarlane, but he really doesn't count since he made it huge as a comic book artist before creating McFarlane Toys. Besides Toddy, there's really only a couple of other big names that jump out for toy collectors: Digger the energetic leader of the asylum at Art Asylum, and Clayburn Moore the detailed sculptor who's brought BUFFY and THE X-FILES to life at Moore Action Collectibles. Beyond that, you don't see toy collectors racing to a figure to see if their favorite designer was involved.

Well it's about time toy companies started giving credit where credit is due. Sure, some companies (like Digger's Art Asylum) make sure to list everyone involved on a toy's packaging. But it'd be nice to see that as a standard on every toy hanging on a peg at the local store.

It's funny, movies have an enormous list of credits. Books list everyone involved, as do comics. Even albums have pretty detailed credits listing not just everyone involved, but what instruments they play and the 6,000 people they want to thank. So they all give credit and they all have huge fan followings. Is it a definite link? Probably not, but an interesting point, huh?

So next time you're at a comic or toy convention, make sure to ask a company exactly who worked on that particular toy. Show your interest and desire to see these sculptors get their names in lights. Heck, grab a pen (you still use those, right?) and jot off a quick note to the different toy companies asking for credits to be added to all future toy packaging. Who knows, we could all be at the start of a new revolution.


TOY TIDBITS

Look out, Barbie...

KYLIE IRELAND offers some sound advice.

you've got some serious competition. Shipping late October is Plastic Fantasy's ADULT SUPERSTARS SERIES 1. This line of action figures features poseable stars of the adult entertainment industry (see how classy we make it sound?), with individual accessories, display bases and removable clothing. And yes, these puppies are most definitely anatomically correct. The first wave includes figures of JENNA JAMESON, HOUSTON, MIDORI, NIKITA DENISE, JULIE MEADOWS and KYLIE IRELAND. Look for them in adult novelty stores and specialty toy shops everywhere.


Got game? If not, you will soon thanks to the new a Racing Champions Ertl brand called Joyride Studios. The company will be producing detailed action figures of popular video game characters. For starters, look for four figuresMEEMEE, BABY, GONGON and AIAIbased on SUPER MONKEY BALL and two figuresEDDIE and ELISEfrom the uber-popular snowboarding game SSX TRICKY. Figures will come packed with all sorts of neat extras including game codes, tips, tricks, cards and more. With partnerships including Sega, Nintendo and Electronic Arts, expect your favorite characters to get the plastic treatment soon.

G.I. JOE fans, rejoice! This winter sees the sexy-yet-deadly BARONESS get the mini-bust treatment from Palisades. Third in its series of Joe busts, this babe stands some 6 inches tall and features a kick-ass COBRA symbol as a base.

ON THE SHELVES


The BARONESS: bad never looked so good

Art Asylum beams into the STAR TREK toy universe with its first line of ENTERPRISE figures based on the show's pilot episode BROKEN BOW. Set your phasers on stun and warp over to your local toy shop to get your paws on CAPTAIN JONATHAN ARCHER, ENSIGN TRAVIS MAYWEATHER, SUB-COMMANDER T'POL, LT. MALCOLM REED, KLAANG KLINGON and SILIK THE SULIBAN.


Go Figure is our weekly Toys and Action Figure column.

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at feedback@cinescape.com.

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