About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Friday, December 8, 2017

D is for Deforms

If I'm a bit snobby about Action Figures it's because A) I have neither the income nor the space to collect them and B) I'm too old to have had them as a kid, so haven't made the emotional connection with them that leads to collecting as an adult, if investment isn't the driver, and it shouldn't be, this stuff is not rare!

However, the point is my snobbery around Action Figures is cursory and half in jest, but my feelings for these are not printable! Deforms and super-deforms . . . what the very, actual, fuck?

You want to make some toy figures, right? You get some sculptors in, have them talk to the CAD guys, send the whole product of their creative co-operation to the CAM guys, they programme the pantograph milling machines, meanwhile you purchase a lorry-load of vinyl pellets, cost up-front, have the engravers clean-up the tools . . . and spend a week churning this shite into the warehouse! You sir - are nuts.

A waste of an opportunity to make normal figures, that's what deforms are all about!

DC's Justice League, these are both deforms and simple action figures, having three or four points of articulation, and with three figures per pack and a single piece of a forth, you have to buy all of them the make the missing figure . . . that used to be called racketeering!

Another thing about 'Deforms' is that there is no consistency to the genre, some are big-heads, some have stumpy legs, others have giant hands, these have steroidal shoulders, some are funny (haha) looking, others are cross-over (Star Wars - Angry Birds), yet others are pretending to be cars or spaceships, I don't mind all sorts including cartoon characters, but deforms manage to be everything, yet nothing.

Marvel's much-loved gang (not by me I've decided that if I'm anything: I'm a DC man!) get it in the neck from Hasbro under the resurected/old Playskool label, I'm sure the bean-counters at Marvel are grinning all the way to the bank, but it's not progress! These have a big-hand meme, we saw a similar non-articulated 'Spidey' last time we looked as superheroes here.

Ohhhhgod's bodkins and lawks-a-lardey . . . there's play-sets as well, it doesn't rain but it pours this shite! This is like a scaled-up Micro Machines play set! And yes, I can see, it's aimed at little kids, but - to me - that just makes it worse! There's a moral cynicism involved, no?

Back to DC and to prove I'm not ungrateful to Brian Berke who sent-in the above shots, I took these shelfies myself, in WHSmith, where there's currently a part-work for DC characters (Batman and the DC Super Friends), now, choices, choices . . . they are £5.99 . . . each issue . . . or you can find a pink (for 'girly girls'!) Kinder egg and get a realistic figurine for 59p? You shouldn't need to think about this one!

And - just to prove what a hypocrite I am - if this was the bendy toy it half looks like, I'd have no problem with it, but it's not; it's a wasted lump-of-shite-moulding that doesn't look anatomically like the known character!

This one (also from Brian) is going for the Japanese Astro Boy look we were studying the other day, and while it's called a 'super deform' doesn't look that deformed to me, just a robot version of a human character.

Of more interest is that A) the main artwork-logo bears a striking resemblance to the Skylanders range of Electronic toys, while B) the wacky language points to those Wild West sets Peter Evans sent to the blog; "The Excellence Design", "Collect it All!" and "High Speed Soldiers" being all odd phraseology?

It also has the for-Arabic/Middle Eastern market consumer panels of those other sets . . . but no bag of chalky sweets! And - following a comment on those earlier superhero posts - looks to be of the same tinny plastic type and vaguely similar press-together construction as the horses from those sets?

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