Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Star Wars: Can't beat the rap ...

I suspect this is the first of a few Mighty Muggs posts.

If you're not familiar with the little (mostly) vinyl U.S. cash-in for this collectable craze, Mighty Muggs are a line of toys from Hasbro, and have several lines including Star Wars, Marvel comic books, and Indiana Jones, with G.I.Joe and Transformers on their way.

These things are wicked detailed, solid, and the quality control tends to be a little higher than some of the other Hasbro offerings.

This particular gag came about when an errant NERF® bullet at work ended up behind Han and Chewbacca. That, and though Chewie allegedly hangs with Han because of a blood debt duty (ahem, or some such thing), I always suspected the elder Wookie actually wants to look after his young, eager, gross-in-a-cute-way, hairless monkey pet.

These two Muggs are from the Star Wars Wave 1 line, so I'm sure there are some upset collectors seeing these things unboxed. But hey, toys were meant to be played with.

My favorite details? On Chewbacca, it's the nose and nails. On Solo, it's the single curly chest hair; and the red strip on the pants (some of the main line action figures have even forgotten the stripe; I'm a sucker for attention to detail).

And while he'll be the first to say it takes a ton of people to bring Mighty Muggs successfully to market, the designer and artist behind them is Chris Hicks -- a really talented, nice guy. I am amazed by his diversity of design, using the same form factor.

The fonts I used for this post are from Blambot Comic Fonts and Lettering.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Captain America, McCain, and Obama

This may not be the smartest way to make a return to this blog, but dammit, it's topical.

I'm just tired of this round's political ugliness and transparent side-stepping of issues, and felt it might be time for a purist arbiter to weigh in.

I've had this idea for a gag in mind since the Republican and Democratic candidates for the presidency were announced, but didn't think I'd be able to get toys of the candidates. When I saw Jailbreak Toys was going to produce figures for Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, I jumped at the chance for what may be the world's first toy-propped presidential race editorial.

The gag's been long-delayed, thanks (I think) to Jailbreak's massive swing to the Obama camp, so much so that their company site is now all about him. That made it easy to order the Obama figure, but the McCain figure -- while their own product -- was nowhere to be found. I Finally got it from the excellent folks, and while I'm glad to finally get the gag out the door, it's only got a few days worth of legs.

More irritating is the quality of the McCain and Obama figures. Besides being gunked with sticky crap out of the box, they've each got one wicked loose arm, which made posing them a beast. Worse, they don't bend at the waste -- so no sitting option, they gotta stand or lie down, which complicated the gag quite a bit (I use poseability in hips and knees quite a bit to cheat scale between actors).

So, they're good for the gag, but probably won't have much life in my collection.

The Captain America is the standard version for which I previously used a variant. The sculpt was made by the excellent (and affable) Dave Cortez. The Red Skull is also from this same "Marvel Face-Off" double set, and was sculpted very nicely by Phil Ramirez.

The flag is from the Marvel Select World War II Ultimate Captain America (a cool-looking, but minimally poseable sculpt).

The fonts (Badaboom and Letter-O-Matic) are from Blambot Comic Fonts and Lettering.

Product picts for the political figs are below. The Red Skull is going to be in an upcoming gag, so I'll save personal product picts until then. If you can't wait, check out picts at

(As an ironic aside, a boatload of the Obama figures were sold by Jailbreak Toys in a fundraiser for him; but all of the figures are manufactured in China.)