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Pic of the Day > Cooking with Mumm-ra by Colonel Raines

Cooking with Mumm-ra

Cooking with Mumm-ra by Colonel Raines

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Interview > Sculptor Jean St. Jean

Even if you’re only a casual action figure collector, chances are you’ve heard of Jean St. Jean – and you’ve almost certainly seen (and probably own) his work. His career has spanned many companies and toy lines, among them Diamond Select’s Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, The Munsters and Universal Monsters, and Marvel Select toy lines; Mezco’s mega-scale Thundercats figures; and DC Collectible’s World of Warcraft. He’s also an all-around cool guy. –PG

Jean St. Jean

Real Name: Jean St. Jean
Specialty: Sculptor / Musician
Base of Operations: Northern New Jersey
Website: http://blackplague1348.deviantart.com/
History: Jean St. Jean is a musician turned sculptor, who began his career in a small upstate NY toy sculpting studio doing mostly preschool toys and dolls. Five years later he joined McFarlane where he spent almost 7 years helping them develop their hyper realistic style, the last 4 years as Sculpting Supervisor. In 2004, he left McFarlane to start his own company, Jean St. Jean Studios offering sculpting, painting and prototyping services working on such licenses as Diamonds Select’s Stargate SG-1, SG Atlantis and Battlestar Galactica lines, Mezco’s Cinema of Fear, DC Direct’s World of Warcraft and Ame-Comi and Amoktime’s Killer Klowns and Day of the Dead lines. His current projects have been the Lion-o and Mumm-Ra for Mezco’s Mega scale Thundercats line, the Munsters 7” Select line and various Universal monsters for DST including the Metaluna Mutant and Phantom of the Opera as well as contributions to the Marvel Select figure series. He has sculpted more than 30 mini-busts for DC Direct including Heroes of the DCU, Blackest Night and various movie properties.

Poe Ghostal: The new Marvel Select Venom looks fantastic. What was the process for sculpting this figure? What was your inspiration for the sculpt, and how do you approach Marvel Select sculpting in general? For example, do you tend to skew toward the work of a particular artist, or do you try to create a blend of elements, or come up with your own design?

Jean St. Jean: As with all of my DST projects they usually evolve out of extended conversations with Chuck Terceira (DSTChuck on his Art Asylum blog). In the case of Venom, he’s been requested for so long we wanted to do something special and get slightly outside of the usual MS formula and create a Venom with multiple custom options rather than one version with a base. As with all of the Select projects I’ve done, I picked up a bunch of the collected story lines and graphic novels and re- familiarized my self with his history to find what I thought were the coolest incarnations of the Eddie Brock Venom. First of I wanted a totally badass terrifying Venom with tons of teeth and a nasty tongue and a transforming Eddie Brock. So the “Lethal Protector “ storyline inspired me for those two heads and a huge pair of nasty claws. Then there’s been a lot of requests for the crazy multi-armed multi-headed version from the “Madness” story line, and I came up with a pretty interesting way to create that Venom. Last but not least I wanted to do an old school Todd McFarlane Venom with a big grin! The trick was all these permutations had to work on the same body; all the heads are interchangeable and there are multiple hand options.

In terms of Marvel Select in general I try to find the best elements of the character, such as the Marvel Select comic version Hawkeye (Disney exclusive DST Avengers), Nightcrawler, or Anti-Venom. Diamond expects me to bring my interpretation and vibe to the Marvel line, so I essentially get to do exactly what think should be done with the sculpt and paint work. They are the one company that actually utilizes me as an art director/ project manager and sculptor, so I particularly value my years of collaboration with them.

More SDCC Highlights

As we wait for the Mattycollector panel to start, I thought I’d post a few more thoughts on the various SDCC reveals.

Pic courtesy Pixel-Dan.com

Keldor looks much better with the twin swords. I never realized how integral they are to his character design – they’re what make him distinct from just being “Skeletor with a face.”

Pic of the Day > Untitled by (Talyn)

Untitled

Odds ‘n Ends > Beast Saga Vid, NECA does Half-Life & Prometheus, Nerf Intimidation, Figma Link

  • Damn, I am way overdue for one of these. Right now my own toy collection is somewhat in chaos, as we’re packing for a move to our very first house. Still got some reviews coming, though.
  • What’s going on with ThunderCats? Pixel Dan asks the question, and TNI (sort of) answers it. Bottom line: Bandai still holds the master license, their product line is not canceled, and they are currently rolling out ThunderCats product globally in conjunction with the TV show being airing internationally. So those dreams of a Four Horsemen-sculpted, MOTUC-compatible ThunderCats line must remain in dreamland for now.
  • Here’s NECA’s Gordon Freeman from Half-Life 2. Evidently they’re also bringing us a Robocop with an opening thigh holster (possibly spring-loaded).
  • TakaraTomy has released a short promotional CGI video (narrated in English) highlighting their upcoming Beast Saga figures. The anthropomorphic warriors blast each other with fire and water from symbols on their chests. Kind of reminds me of the Care Bear Cousins, actually.
  • I missed this sketchy-seeming incident in which Hasbro and its lawyers tricked and then threatened an Australian toy blogger over his review of a pre-release Nerf gun that he bought online. If Hasbro offers you free toys for a giveaway and you’ve recently reviewed pre-release items, think twice about providing them with your personal information.
  • I seem to have been one of maybe five geeks who actually enjoyed Prometheus. Sure, the story was messy, but the visuals and atmosphere were amazing…anyway, NECA’s making figures, including what’s basically (mild spoiler alert) the “Space Jockey” pilot from the original ALIEN. I’ll be getting that solely because I’ve loved the look of that character since the original film.
  • There’s going to be a Figma Link (from Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword). I did not know this. Awesome. Now that we’ve got Link and Samus, when do we get a Figma Mario?
  • Packaged shots of S.H.MonsterArts Little Godzilla.
  • LuchaSharks are a thing. A thing in the process of being developed by Galaxxor creator Ben Spencer.

Guest Review > Mumm-Ra (6″ Thundercats Classics, Bandai)

I previously reviewed the 6″ Thundercats Classic Lion-O figure, and today I’m here to continue in that fashion and review the 6″ Classic Mumm-Ra.

Bandai’s Thundercats toy lines seem to be very hit or miss with the fans, due to several design elements the fans take issue with (and rightfully so), but the general consensus seems to be that the Classic figures are a good attempt at collector-oriented figures.

There have been rumors floating around recently of the new Thundercats cartoon ending and if so, it’s likely that the toy lines would end as well. I, and many fans, certainly hope that isn’t the case, because it would be nice to at least have the main characters in action figure form.

Keep reading to find out if Mumm-Ra is a worthy addition to your Thundercats collection.

Toy Aisle Trolls > Lion No

Toy Aisle Trolls is a feature highlighting acts of vandalism to in-store toy items. If you find a ruined package, a stolen figure, a swapped-out figure, or any other such acts, take a photo (cell phone photos are fine if they’re not blurry) and email them to poe@poeghostal.com.

Submitted by: AmericanHyena

Walmart in Porter Ranch, CA.  Lion-O’s been hitting the Nair.

Karmic Curse: May you live in a house with a hundred rooms, and may each room have its own bed, and may you wander every night from room to room, and from bed to bed, unable to sleep.

Guest Review > 6″ Lion-O (Thundercats, Bandai)

Today we bring you a guest review of Bandai’s Thundercats Classic 6″ Lion-O figure by John Harmon from Mint Condition Customs.

Bandai brought back Thundercats with a thunderous roar last year, with a ton of product based on the new animated series as well as an eight-inch collector line of figures based on the classic looks of the Thundercats. After the first two figures, Lion-O and Tygra, were released, Bandai changed everything and announced that from then on, the Thundercats Classics figures would be in the much more collector-preferred six-inch scale. The first two figures to be released would be a new Lion-O figure and Mumm-Ra.

At first, even several of the six-inch collectors groaned at the news because they had already been sold on the eight-inch figures and didn’t want to have to start all over. Fortunately, that turned out to be a good move, because these figures fit much better on a toy shelf – and Lion-O is a really cool figure.

Pic of the Day > Thundercats Classics – Lion-O by (Talyn)

Thundercats Classics 6" Lion-O

Odds ‘n Ends > Toy Fair Items of Interest & More

  • A few other things that caught my eye at Toy Fair:
  • Mezco’s stylized Universal Monsters figures. OAFE reviewer and occasional PGPoA contributor Rustin Parr could not possible be more excited for these–he’s planning to get two of each. I’m in for the Gillman, of course, as he’s my favorite UM. They’re due out around September (according to at least one site). Pics at Battlegrip.
  • Jay Cochran of TNI seems concerned about the future of Bandai’s ThunderCats toys; there was nothing new at Toy Fair this year, and the staff wouldn’t comment on its future. The cartoon show has been a moderate success and reportedly renewed for a second season, and from my own observation the toys seem to sell decently, so I’m a bit surprised by this.
  • There will be Play Arts Kai Mass Effect figures, starting with Shepard, Ashley and Garrus. Garrus is great, but Shepard is less exciting since everyone creates their own character, and Ashley? Why no Miranda? Miranda was way more interesting. And–ahem–hotter, for a CGI character anyway. BBTS has these up for preorder.
  • Of course there’s also PAK’s upcoming Arkham Asylum figures. I note that Phil Reed of Battlegrip made sure to get an upskirt of Harley Quinn (prediction: that will be my most-clicked link today. You’re welcome, Phil!).
  • I have to admit to being kind of excited by Mezco’s Mars Attacks figure. I just hope it has decent articulation. It appears to have hinged elbows and knees, but the real question is whether the hips/thighs are ball joints. I’m guessing not the thighs at least, since the feet don’t appear to be articulated.
  • TNI has more pics of the classic Turtles, including the packaging, which is wonderfully nostalgic. They’re due in stores in August at about $15 apiece, so it’ll cost you $60 to put together your Fab Four.
  • In non-Toy Fair news, Poester Chris Pearce sent me a note regarding his blog Teachable Moments, which has been running a series of posts called Thrift Store Finds. He’s reviewed a number of vintage MOTU items recently such as children’s books, coloring books and magazines, all of which you can check out using this link.
  • PGPoA art director Mecha-Shiva pointed me to this neat YouTube video of a self-proclaimed “Greatest Toy in the Universe.” It’s created by a UK company called Wow Stuff, and it looks rather like the vintage MOTU toy Spydor. I dislike radio-controlled toys, but I’ll admit that thing is pretty neat.
  • Finally, I just want to thank JediCreeper again for helping out with the Toy Fair coverage this year. Maybe we can get him a real press pass next year…

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