SDCC Resin Review – DKE offerings Part 2

This is a continuation of the “Bootleg” style resin figures being offered at the DKE booth during 2014 Comic Con.

Let’s start with…..
Falcon Toys BUTT-FACE IN SPACE
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This figure sort of confuses me. I can’t really tell if I like it or not – Which isn’t necessarily a good thing or a bad thing. For one, it is ANOTHER Star Wars “Inspired” bootleg, which at this point in the game you know really turns me off. BUTT, (see what I did there?) it IS a really well done figure with original sculpting and a very good paint job.  The head is sculpted nicely, the pieces of the figure that are sourced really work well together, and the whole figure just works as one “unique” piece (I put quotes around Unique because, after all, it is obviously still Walrus Man *Side note* If you call him Pondo Baba your vintage toy card gets revoked)

The figure is well done, the paint job is great with the dry brushing and washes, and I am a sucker for the “Space helmet” look.  Also, I THINK there is magnetic articulation? Not sure on that though.

Ok, I have decided. I like this figure.

The cardback has really funny original artwork of a space bus full of kids mooning poor buttface.  At $65, I think this is the “deal” to be had at DKE’s booth.

Bombermat BOBA FATT and JANGO FATT

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Again – Just stop with Boba Fett.  Jango Fett too.  ANY FETT.  Unless you are Sucklord, you shouldn’t use these figures. It’s tired. It’s lazy. And unless it is a SPECTACULAR new way to portray LITERALLY EVERYONE’s favorite bounty hunter – leave it alone.

I get the shtick here. “Look, his name was FETT, and that sounds like FAT, so we made him FATT,” But I have to say, that’s not really an original enough concept to justify this in my book. And why is Boba Fett INSIDE of Jango??  He was cloned, not Birthed. And by the looks of it, Baby Boba is in the third trimester and ready to breach.  What. A. Mess.

Figure production itself seems fine. The paint seems ok, and the original sculpt on the fattened Mandalorian suit is admirable. But overall, this is a miss for me and again, rests too hard on Star Wars and Boba Fett.

The cardback is OK – Its not bad but its not great.  This figure should have an OUTLANDISHLY fat Fett on there. Like “Carbonite Block made of Gravy” style fat. Also, I don’t like it when the solid area behind the figure isn’t as large as the figure. It makes it look really poorly planned out. This area on the cardback looks like it was made for a figure about half as wide. (And no, I don’t think that was on purpose as a fat-joke.)

Manly Art C-3P-HO
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A follow up to Manly Art’s hot selling Pimp R2. Sigh. Another Star Wars bootleg.

To save time and not reiterate everything I have already said about Star Wars, Ill just go right into the figure. Its a C-3PO with Leia hair and “Boobs.”  If you are going to go through the trouble of making a female C-3PO, at least resculpt or use a robot torso that has a female shape. Why not use the torso of the McQuarrie concept 3PO which has a more slender, feminine sculpt to it?

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Again, this doesn’t feel that well thought out to me. It feels like an idea that got rushed to execution, and is relying on the “controversy”  of the Pimp R2 for sales.

Granted, I do like the clear pink cape.  Very Ho-ish.  And the cardback is nice. I don’t know if this is original art for this toy (If it is, BRAVO!) but the art is well done and the card feels vintage Star Wars.  Also, I like the “exploitation film” style of the “world” this figure comes from. I just wish the figure itself had a better execution.

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Retroband TOXIC TIMMY
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I’m going to once again end on a  high note. I really really like this mini figure. Great sculpt, great idea.  I can’t be 100% sure if this is entirely an original sculpt, but if it is, job well done!

The paint looks great, the casting looks good. Its a solid figure based on a license that doesn’t see a lot of art toy tributes. Also, I think using a “trading card” as a backer card for a mini figure is a really good idea. This is one of the few exclusives this year that looks like it could actually be a production figure. Good job!

Well that’s it for now! Back soon with more single figure reviews!

 

 

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SDCC Resin Review – DKE Toys offerings Edition PART 1

Hi All –

Been out for a while. Sorry.  Truth is, I got a major major flare up of Carpal Tunnel and couldn’t even type for about 10 days.  For my return to blogging, Im going to review several figures in one post;  The DKE “Bootleg” resin offering at this years San Diego Comic Con.  These will be shorter reviews per item than normal!

Killer Bootlegs X Mike Egan  MINI BONES
Egan

I love this figure!  Killer Bootlegs “shrunk” the now iconic Mike Egan BONES figure, cast it in resin, gave it an appropriate paint job, and stuck it on a cardback HAND PAINTED by Egan himself! Basically, 2 pieces of art in one here. There is really nothing I don’t like about this piece. If I were going to SDCC this year and was planning on taking home one piece from DKE, this *might* be it! Unique, very well executed, and a painting as a cardback. These are all wins.

Motorbot R2-DX
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I don’t get this figure. At all. It’s an R2-D2 with long arms and legs? This just isn’t clever to me, and feels lazy. It’s painfully obviously “Star Wars” and rests solely on that recognition. Even the cardback isn’t interesting.  Its just R2 outside of Jabba’s palace.  There is really no reason for this to be a figure.

The thing is, Motorbot can sculpt, and there is some cool / clever stuff on his instagram feed. I wish SOME of that made it’s way into this figure. SDCC should be your A-Game, and this feels like a last minute throw together. Hell, He could have opened R2’s dome and had one of his GHOULIE sculpts in there. That would have made it interesting!

Organic human arms and legs would have at least been funny – Like someone wearing an R2 unit. Or, some kind of humor in the cardback that gives the figure meaning or satire. I don’t know why DKE decided to make this an SDCC offering.

Here is an idea – A C-3PO with Power droid legs and Yoda arms.  Look out SDCC 2015!

Good For You Toys DJANGO UNCLONED
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OK people – We get it – but PLEASE STOP using Boba Fett in your bootlegs toys.  This trend has RUN ITS COURSE. At this point in the game, using a Fett shows A) lack of creativity and B) admittance that your figure cant sell on its own merits. “But Boba Fett is awesome and he is such a big part of my growing up.”  Ya, so is masturbation, but I don’t see a hundred fucking bootlegs with that theme.

That said, this does have a few things I like. The cardback is pretty cool, and the heading “He’s Fett up with Slavery” actually made me laugh.  Good For You toys obviously has a sense of humor – Just check out his Pulp Fiction bootleg – so I hope he continues to develop as a bootleg artist and moves away from the Star Wars (and especially FETT) Themes.

Broken Pigeon SPACECASE
Broken Pigeon

I met Broken Pigeon at SDCC last year and thought he was a really nice dude. I say this because, at the time, I didn’t really dig his resin style. But, having met (and liked) him, I kept an eye on his game and he has progressed a LOT over the past year. SPACECASE being his best release to date. Great choice in donor figures, awesome translucent blue resin, and good paint apps make this look like an actual 70’s “Space” action figure to me.

I hate to say it but the downside is the cardback. The backer just doesn’t fit the figure at all.  The figure is SUCH a great representation of 70’s space toys, I would have LOVED to have seen a backer that had the same 70’s retro vibe.

Killer Bootlegs DRACO KNUCKLEDUSTER
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I’m going to end part 1 on a very high note. Draco Knuckleduster is a “He topped himself” moment for Artist Killer Bootlegs.  Using an awesome and varied selection of donor parts, killer bootlegs has created a figure that is new and incredible looking. Not only is the figure itself spectacular, the details like the hand cut vinyl cape, the working telescoping translucent saber, and the water-slide chest decal really come  together to make a “complete” figure.  I will save the full praise for this until after I have my own in hand (hopefully) as this really does deserve a full review.

Anyone wanting to get into the bootleg game; Buy this figure, study it, and try to top it.  Set yourself a high bar of excellence, because this is a great example of what can be done by the right artist with the right tools.

The carback features custom artwork by up and coming artist Wizard Cleve. Again, this is a home run.  I love custom cardbacks, and the quality of the artwork here just adds to the overall presentation of this great piece. Im not kidding when I say a cardback can make or break a figure release, and this cardback really helps to compliment an already “killer” figure.

That’s it for part 1!  Ill review 5 more releases from DKE in the next few days!

 

 

 

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The Future Of This Blog

Hi All

I have gotten a few posts in – The “warm up” period.  Now that I am “in it” a little, I am going to sort of start “refining” how it works going forward.

For one, I am going to try and do 2 or 3 reviews a week.  The One per day I started with is too hard to keep up[ while also trying to thoughtfully critique.  The whole point of the blog is lost if I am rushing out posts just to get them done! (Plus, the last 2 weeks have been dead here since I had a work trip and it took a few days to get back on track)

Next, I am going to start a checklist style system for pieces – So I will be judging fairly across the board.  Things like “Quality Of Casting,”  “Creative use of recognizable parts” etc..  I’m working on that now!

I know the blog is young and doesn’t have much in the way of a following yet  (Although we did get a mention in passing on TOY BREAK!) and I like it like that for now – It gives me a chance to craft a system and promote when ready.

Thanks readers!

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Xanthos By The Sucklord

Xanthos – Suppressor Of Inspiration is the latest creation by The Sucklord. Anyone who is reading this blog is familiar with who Sucklord is, and why he is so important to the resin bootleg movement, so I am not going to get into all that. If you don’t know – Google him, and prepare for a crazy ride.

Xanthos

Xanthos is the latest entry in the “Fates” series by Sucklord.  Others in this series include Tyros, Mordoros, Daemos, and Chronos.  It has been years since this series was added to by Sucklord, and his “older” fans will appreciate this return to form.

There is a lot going right for this figure.  Judging a Sucklord piece is hard, because as the father of a movement, he sort of gets a pass on a lot of elements that other artists don’t.  He deserves it. If you don’t know why – Again… Google.

The figure itself is pretty basic. A purple figure with a multi sided RPG die as a head. This is one of those instances where if a new artist on the scene did this, I would criticize the heck out of it. But, it’s Sucklord – And these figures are basically “one of his things.” And in that regard, this addition fits in perfectly with the rest of the series. Aesthetically, It’s simple. But in that simplicity, it IS Sucklord. This is the return to form that many of his fans have been waiting to see. It’s like going to see the Rolling Stones in concert, and all they sing are new songs they are working on. Sure, some might be good, but you really just want to hear “Paint it Black.”

The cardback is also a throwback to the early days of Sucklord.  The black printing on solid colored paper  (This time, metallic) reminds us of classic pieces like “The Creature” and “Afro Disiac.”

I see a bit of symbolism in this drop.  For one, the figure is subtitled “Suppressor Of Inspiration.” Wa all know Sucklord is an artist – Even though on any given day he will tell you he is just a con man or an asshole. Is there a hidden meaning here? Sucklord himself has admitted in interviews that he hit a rough patch – Overextending collaborations  (Myself being one of them), a few underperforming drops, and having to move studios after several years.  Is this a manifestation of a creative lull he has been feeling?  The cardback also hints at this – The base image is by Norman Rockwell, who is painting a self portrait. In the original, the “punchline” is that while looking at himself (looking goofy) in the mirror, he is painting a self portrait of who he thinks he is  (Look at the “inspiration” on the right….)

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Sucklord has replaced the self portrait image with Munch’s The Scream.

The Scream by Edvard Munch

Is Sucklord screaming out of artistic frustration, or just the frustrations of life in general? Is this how he sees himself – One way on the outside and tortured inside?  Am I just looking too deep into this???

It is very very hard to judge a Sucklord piece because his pieces are supposed to have that “So bad they are good” feel – Like when you buy a Star Wars bootleg figure in Chinatown.  Many have tried since Sucklord to use the “It’s bad on purpose” schtick, and time and time again Sucklord proves that really, it is much harder than it looks to make something so well, that it looks like you didn’t care at all.

Final thoughts on this: A great Sucklord figure, and a very welcome return to his roots.

Find Sucklord HERE

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They Live by Falcon Toys

They Live is probably one of my favorite Carpenter films. It ranks behind Halloween and The Thing, but I happen to like it more than Escape From New York. Today I am going to review the THEY LIVE tribute from Falcon Toys.

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This figure looks larger than 3 3/4 scale to me, but I cant find it’s size anywhere – So I’m going to assume its in the 5″ range. (UPDATE: Falcon Toys let me know they are 7.5″ – Impressive!)

Concept:

I’m always a fan of someone making toys of lesser known and lesser “used” properties (I can’t tell you how sick I am of seeing STAR WARS themed figures…..) So going after this semi-obscure horror gem is awesome.

Execution:

I like the stylized head. The Aliens in the film are – for the most part – structurally the same as humans, so adding the exaggerated facial features on this works, and gives it a very “early 90’s” action figure feel to me.  You can tell the figure is well cast by the detail left in the donor figures joints. So much that at first, I thought this was just a repaint of a production figure and that it was articulated.

I don’t know how I feel about molding heavily articulated figures like this and leaving the joints in the castings. On one side, it does do the job of making the resin figure look more toy like, but on the flip side, since it is unarticulated anyways, I think it would look overall cleaner to fill the joints and sculpt them to blend in with the rest of the figure. This really isn’t a negative yet, but I also see it moving into a trend where it will start getting done lazily. If your resin “Toy” is really a resin “statue,” why not make it look as finished as possible? (More on my toy vs. statue thoughts in an upcoming post)

The paint looks good and clean. This is not a simple paint job either. Little details like the bloodshot area of the eyes, and the painted gums add a lot to the figure. I also admire that Falcon Toys painted a red detail “spot” on the wrist joint area to help hide it a bit. I would have preferred that he filled that area in before casting though (see above)

Packaging:

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Now this is really a cool idea. The figure is bagged with a header card, which is a custom lenticular featuring today’s most popular celebrities. When you turn it, they turn into aliens.  The symbolism here is not lost on me, as celebrity worship culture disgusts me to no end. In 2014, people seem to be willing to “obey” a Kardashian in a similar way they did a big corporation in the 80’s when the film was released. Clever update on the concept. I also really like the addition of the glasses.I really love it when artists think outside of the box on this stuff and do add-on’s like this. As a collector, I am more inclined to buy a piece when I can tell the artist had fun doing it. You can just TELL in this piece that Falcon Toys really liked bringing these to life.

At $75, this figure REALLY REALLY touches the upper limit of what a bagged figure should sell for, but to me the lenticular and the glasses more than make up for not being carded.  Overall, This is a very cool resin figure and I’m thrilled with the header card innovation! The resin scene needs more like this.

More Falcon Toys HERE

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Batman ’89 Joker by Healeymade

David Healey is widely considered to be one of the fathers of the modern resin movement.  He and Sucklord were the Yin and Yang of the resin scene for years, while Sucklord took the avenue of “Shitty, but you will but it anyways,”  Healey has gained a reputation for flawless castings and factory quality paint applications. His latest Joker tribute is no exception.

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Let me preface this review – Healey has a LOT of dedicated followers. Check his instagram feed for thousands of comments like “Perfect” “flawless” “need” and “You are a God” etc…  I am not one of those people. I don’t own any of his work personally and honestly, I did not always like his style (He has won me over though) .  However, I always admired his clean execution and beautiful color choices, even in works that I otherwise might not have enjoyed.

I say this because I am about to drop a heap of praise on this figure.

This is an excellent resin figure. It is large at 5.5 inches, uses a base figure that no one else has used  (Even the line itself has seldom – if in fact ever – been used by anyone other than Dave) and it really successfully turns “One thing into another.”

The color palate is fantastic in this figure – Which I can’t fully credit to Healey since it’s based on the iconic 1989 Joker- but as anyone who follows Healey’s work knows, the guy knows color.  Little details like the light purple accents on the white shoes also really impress me. A less experienced (or patient) artist might have just painted them solid white, or light purple.

The paint quality is amazing – No thin visible thin spots or brush strokes.  As with a  lot of Healey’s painted figures, they look like they were done with factory paint masks.

Healey is known for his high standard of resin casting. He doesn’t release figures that aren’t essentially perfect. While I don’t have one in hand, you can tell that this figure is no different.

Final thoughts on this: It is just an awesome figure. The concept is funny, original in inspiration and source material, and very well executed.  All that’s missing is that fancy artist hat!

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Find info on Healey HERE

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Cyborg Junkies by Broken Pigeon / AWOL One

This latest release from Broken Pigeon is interesting to me.  The “Cyborg Junkie” character isn’t new – In fact Broken Pigeon and I were both in the “Toys Are Us” show over a year ago, and he displayed a version of it there. This however, is an updated and better executed version than the previous incarnations.

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There are some really good things going on here.  The figure uses mostly fresh parts. I don’t know where they are sourced from, or if they are sculpted for this figure – And that is a big plus in the “Making something new out of the old” bootleging game.

Proportionately, everything seems to work – although it LOOKS like the figures left leg (robo-leg)  is shorter than the right, causing a slight lean. That may be the photography though. If it is actually in the figure, that seems like a mistake to me and something that should have been fixed before molding.

Color wise, I like the choices. The red shirt and brown pants work well with the skin tone. I also really like the contrast between the glossy green resin skin and the matte clothing.

Even though I generally like this figure, there are a few things that I don’t like. Though minor, some of the paint application is a little inconsistent. There are spots where the paint from the shirt is on the skin, etc.  Granted, I know its hard to get good coverage on resin, so it’s a minor issue and probably something not many people would notice or care about. Normally a matte or gloss clear coat would hide most of that – But I don’t think it would be worth doing that and screwing up the Matte / gloss contrast this figure has that is so good.

Also – The face. This face looks like it has a lot of detail and character. But being cast is gloss dark resin, a lot of that is lost. I would have loved to see this figure cast in this same green with a  drybrushed highlight pass, or cast in a lighter green with a dark wash. Just something to bring out that cool face a bit more.

Lastly, the figures left (non robot) hand has always bugged me.  The fist is so small that – when cast in dark – it almost disappears and makes that arm look kind of like a stumpy tentacle.

The Cardback

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Just a quick note on the cardback. The art, while not my personal taste, fit’s this piece well. The proportions of the junkie in the drawing are a little “Charlie Brown” to me, but it makes me laugh and the concept of a Cyborg who is also a junkie is pretty funny in the first place.  I am a fan of Pigeon’s vintage photo based cardbacks, but I don’t think that would have worked in this case.

I should also note that this figure comes with a digital music download. I love it when artist integrate something cool like that into their work, so good job there!

Overall I think this is a good piece, and an example of Broken Pigeon’s growth as an artist in the bootleg game. Keep up the good work!

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Info on Broken Pigeon

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