I thought I would take a second to give a look into my critique process. First of all, I do not critique works in progress. I wait until a piece has gone “public,” either going up for presale on Instagram, or having been written up on toy blogs like spankystokes.com. Also, I do not just critique resin, vinyl, or bootleg style toys. Sure, I may focus on resin and “bootlegs” more, but I am planning on expanding!
Here are my guidelines:
First I look at the figure overall:
How does the figure work together? Does it have good proportions? Does it lean because of bad casting or uneven legs? Does it’s design make “sense?” Is the figure something that should exist ie: is it a new creation, or is it a Walrus Man head on a Snake Eyes body?
Next I look at the pieces being used. How much of it is original sculpting vs. recycling of pieces? How many pieces are easily recognizable (ie: an obvious Skeletor head, or obvious Boba Fett torso, etc..) and how much of the figure is relying on those pieces. You can cast a Boba Fett figure in clear blue and call it “Spirit of Boba Fett” and someone will buy it. They are buying it because its Boba Fett, not because it’s Art. Have you created something “new?”
After the overview of the figure, I look at casting and paintwork. Is there articulation? Are there obvious casting lines? Has the figure been “finished” well? How many paint applications are there? Can I see brush strokes or obvious mistakes like overspray and sloppy line work? Do the color choices work together?
Is the figure carded, boxed, or bagged? Is the packaging clever or different in any way (Not that it needs to be, but I appreciate it when artists put time into packaging choices. A good example would be Killer Bootlegs Plexiglass cardbacks, or Falcon toys lenticular header card on his THEY LIVE figure) Is the artwork on the packaging well done? Is it new art, or a photoshop workup of existing art (a good example of a well done original art cardback is “The Crazies” or”Motel Hell” by Retroband toys )?
Finally, I look at how the piece fits together – Toy and cardback.
Sometimes I will also point out things I really like that stood out, or things I really don’t like, with reasoning why and what – if anything – could have been done differently to make the piece better in my eyes.
Every critique is going to be different obviously, but I hope this will serve as a base of standards in the future.