Odds ‘n Ends > Dead Toy Soldiers, No Figma Samus either, Lego Serenity, Disney Combiner

–ODD–

Ron English is an artist of many mediums whose work includes a number of vinyl figures and toys. One of his upcoming toy lines is “Dead Toy Soldiers,” which features what looks like typical plastic toy soldiers, but they’re, well, dead.

Benny Kline at Tenacious Toys has a thoughtful post where he discusses his internal debate about whether to carry these in his store.

I was just asked by another blogger if I am going to be carrying these Dead Toy Soldiers by Ron English and Garage Works… initially I said no, because they make me sad and depressed about the loss of our troops overseas. I am personally against all wars we are currently conducting on foreign soil. [...] But then I realized that this type of collectible is indeed thought-provoking, and got me to think about these issues once again today. And as we all know, Ron English is a master at creating collectibles that force you to take sides, discuss, argue, disagree, emote… and in that sense these figures are very successful.

But I still struggle with selling an item like this- would that make me a bad person? Would that mean I am glorifying the deaths of American troops, or would it mean that I am trying to shed a light on hot-button issues that are poignant and relevant?

Now, setting aside political affiliations, I think most people would either think, or understand the thought process of those who think, that these figures are in poor taste. But I also understand the statement English is making and see the value in having that discussion. Where I get a bit uncomfortable is stores actually selling these things, like the toy soldiers of yesteryear. But then, English’s “Popaganda” project is not about making people comfortable (quite the opposite, obviously). And I suppose there are going to be some out there who just see these as cool, Heavy Metal-style zombie soldiers or something. And maybe that’s okay, too.

–END–

As you probably heard yesterday, Diamond cancelled all U.S. orders for the Figma Link (still available at AmiAmi as of this writing, somewhat to my surprise). I checked with BigBadToyStore and it seems the same has happened to the reissue of the Figma Samus. Bummer X2.

–ODD–

I’ve got a few questions for my next Going Postal. Keep those questions coming! poe@poeghostal.com

I’ve also had more than a few people telling me I should call the feature my original title, “Poe’s Sack.” All I can tell you is that I’m trying to run a PG-13 place around here…but I dunno. Maybe I’ll cave on it, if even people want “Poe’s Sack” and I can get a really good graphic for it (as in, an image of Poe sitting next to a giant bag of mail – get your mind out of the gutter). Maybe “Poe’s (Mail) Sack”?

–END–

I think it may have gotten lost in the shuffle over the last few days, so be sure to check out my interview with Daniel Benedict regarding his creation of Castle Grayskullman.

–ODD–

Check out this totally insane, $385 custom Firefly Serenity LEGO kit. Wow. (Thanks to Grape Soda for the heads-up.)

–END–

Speaking of holy crap, Tamashii Nations is releasing the Cho Gattai King Robo Mickey & Friends figure in April. Yes, it’s a combiner made from robotic versions of Disney characters. If you’re the target audience for this toy, pre-order here (or here) and then explain the appeal to me, please. Also: Goofy’s groin appears to be made from Batman’s EMP blaster from Dark Knight Rises.

–ODD–

The S.H.MonsterArts “Burning” Godzilla is out now, and I should have mine in a month or so. It’s made from translucent orange plastic, and I’ve been thinking I’d like to stick an LED light or two in there to make it light up. Now, the key thing for me would be to do this without doing anything to the figure in any way. The legs and arms can be popped off, and I probably wouldn’t mind having some wires running from, say, his legs to a battery. Anyway, I’m not much of a customizer so I thought I’d put it to you folks and see what you thought. Here are some photos of the figure with the legs/arms removed. Ideas? Is there any way to do this without wires or customizing the figure itself?

 

15 Comments »

Comments now closed (15)

  • Cheers for the heads up on AmiAmi – the price including shipping is what we were expecting to pay in the UK (if it gets released here – our release date through Forbidden Planet is March) although there is a chance we will get stung for customs. I lost out on Destructor when they failed to secure him.

    Although I am not sure about them, the similarly named Forbidden Planet International (based in Scotland) uses Diamond. I was seriously considering using BBTS anyway to import Link, but you have rendered me a great service! Thank you.

  • not trying to stir things up here, or at least, not emotionally stirring, but why are dead soldiers in poor taste? they're generic soldiers, not inherantly american or liberian, or senegalese, or anyone else… and they are the inevitable product of all of those toy soldiers we pass around and think nothing of… toy cowboys with rifles leveled, native americans w/ bows drawn, soldiers w/ bayonettes fixed… these characters kill people. why and wherefore and who varies, but they kill other human beings, and sometimes local fauna. why are dead soldiers any more or less controversial than live ones?

    show me one package of toy soldier guys putting their guns down, or two toy soldiers than can hug, or a table around which they can debate the merits of their political idealogies and come to a collaborative form of problem solving… where are those little plastic men? nope, they don't exist… just shooty shoot guys and stabby stab guys.

    • Perhaps it's the bases that make them a little more disturbing, showing they have fallen, or the focus being on them dead as a set. Let's face it – the idea isn't new – I'm sure I had the odd dead guy in my old toy soldiers, and anyone who plays RPGs or Warhammer etc will be used to casualties. we even get Lego skeletons!

      Anyone who has seen Jake and Dinos Chapman's take on Goya would find them relatively mild, but I suppose they were not sold in packets of three! These certain don't seem that shocking, and if done well, could be a good centrepiece to a diorama.

    • I would love to have some figures of soldiers sitting around a table where "they can debate the merits of their political idealogies and come to a collaborative form of problem solving." That would be amazing.

      • we'd need a sound chip in the table to simulate parliamentary sounds of heated discussion, followed by cheers and huzzahs as a sensible resoultion is met and agreed upon. maybe include a plastic magna carta or bill of rights form… and of course, chairs.

        it would certainly be interesting to see those kinds of toy offered to kids and explaining what they're doing. i know as a parent of young kids, there's a distinct lack of "resolve conflicts with your words and find common ground with others" outside of the home. yet, there's a TON of play options that encourage conflict resolution through superior violence, all the way down to hulk hands… heinlein would be proud, but i'm not. there's a whole nerf section of conflict simulation devices, and not a single large nerf hand shaking simulator. why is it "fun" to pretend to cut your friends with swords, or shoot them, but it's "lame" to teach them to shake hands and collaborate? that's a serious cultural deficit right there.

  • I love the Disney combiner bot. If I had more money, I'd absolutely grab it.

    I suspect anybody who thought the Thomas the Tank Engine combiner/transformer was cool is also the target audience for that thing.

  • That Firefly set seems extremely reasonably priced for either a Lego set of that size or a custom. I wish I could pull the trigger, but good price or not, that's still too rich for my blood.

  • Poe —

    Poe's Bag? Maybe someone else is more experienced than I am, but as for customizing that Godzilla — a lot of smaller LEDs run on watch batteries, which just *might* fit in that pelvic cavity. You could probably affix the LEDs with blu-tack, since they don't get hot, so long as you're not too worried about gumming up the internal articulation. How big is that thigh cavity? Is there any hollow space in the arms, legs or tail? I'm also thinking you'd probably need two 5mm lights to fully light the figure, depending on the space. Do you know about this site: http://www.modeltrainsoftware.com/ledlights1.html

    I just customized my Doctor Who Pandorica with LEDs and they were indispensable.

    • Thanks! Yeah, I'll have to think about whether I'm ready to try this. I break out in a sweat at the thought of doing anything more than using a Dremel to drill foot-holes.

  • Poe, my friend…absolutely, under no circumstances, should you use "Poe's Sack" in any capacity whatsoever. It's just not you, and it doesn't suit the site.

  • LED lights are easy to learn. Theres a TON of youtube videos and books. The harder part will be to not solder a hole in your table or desk or burn yourself. I used to mess around with LED's in miniature figures. It was cool, ESPECIALLY on translucent figures. I wish I had pictures on this computer but alas they are all gone. Simply enough, you just solder the LED to a battery holder, something for watch batteries is good enough. You can get more in depth by adding switches and the like, but its all really compact and tight. Your limitation is by the size and voltage of the led and required battery size honestly. and that can be adjusted with mini transformers and the such.

    here is a basic led wiring tutorial
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlUtQt0fVbM

    could fit, or you could easily hide the wires. LED working gets VERY addictive btw

    on a side note….
    f'ing amazon putting my preorder for godzilla vs biollente on blu ray from october on backorder!!! and damn best buy for being sold out!!!

    • Hmmm. Not sure about having to do the soldering…my wife's actually done some as part of her education (she worked in a lab where she did a little now and then). I'll have to think about it.

      Another shipment of Biollante should be coming to Amazon soon, but in the meantime Best Buy does have it on their website. I ordered mine the other night and picked it up at my local store today.