Archive : Category

The Poppies 2014

POSTED ON February 10th, 2015  - POSTED IN Toys

Whilst I’m no longer writing Action-Figure, I still like to keep up to date with what’s happening in the world of collectibles and 2014 was an awesome year for collectors.  Now I’ve moved and have the space, I’m looking to add to my collection, but still deciding on what direction I want to go.  Hasbro, unfortunately, have really lost me as a collector these past few years, which given how mych Star Wars and GI Joe stuff I have is really saying something.

However, in the meantime, I was asked once again to be one of the industry judges in this year’s Poppies Awards, the awards that are voted on by both the industry and the public.  Lots of interesting choices here, some I voted for, some I did not.  Congratulations to all the companies that placed in the top three!  Be sure to check out all the winners

Five Fantastic Fantasy Action Figures Over At Pornokitsch

POSTED ON February 9th, 2015  - POSTED IN Toys, Writing

I feel like all my blog posts at the moment are just me linking to various articles I’ve done… but then I have been very busy this year!

The latest article popped up on Friday on the genre / literary site, Pornokitsch, where I picked out Five Fantastic Fantasy Action Figures as part of their Friday Five feature.  Be sure to check it out as I hope I chose a lot of great action figures for the lover of fantasy

The Secret Story Of Toys

POSTED ON August 15th, 2013  - POSTED IN Toys

Throughout my years as a pop culture journalist I’ve seen a lot of toys.  I’ve had the pleasure of visiting some of the studios where these things are made and even the most cynical could not come out of those places without a new found respect for the hard work and artistry that goes into making them.

This short film highlights just some of the early process that goes into making your favourite action figure.  There’s a lot more that goes into it after this from creation of the expensive steel moulds to paint to mass production to packaging design and more, each with their own challenges.  But this film gives you an idea of the hard work that goes into the sculpting, and is worth a watch!

Gothropolis Kickstarter

POSTED ON July 12th, 2013  - POSTED IN Toys

I might not have my finger quite so much on the action figure pulse as I once did but I do follow events. My collection is currently packed in a cargo container and I really don’t have the room for more than a couple of figures so know that if I’m thinking of buying an entire series, it has to be good. So with that in mind, I urge people to take a look at the Gothropolis Kickstarter.

The Poppies Awards 2012

POSTED ON February 8th, 2013  - POSTED IN Toys

It’s that time of year when old colleagues descend on New York to cover the US ToyFair and my emotions fluctuate between nostalgic jealousy and wanting to tell the newcomers how they have it easy (in my day we had to cover as many as 80 companies over the week). I have little to do with the toy industry any more but I’m happy that once again I was asked to be a judge in the 2012 Poppies Awards. I’m pleased that there was a lot of consensus between the judges (although we do not confer) and a lot of my personal favourites were winners. Congratulations to both nominees and winners for some great sculpts, paint and manufacture this past year.

You can check out all of this year’s award winners HERE

Project Octopus’ Media Plan

POSTED ON October 15th, 2012  - POSTED IN Toys, Writing

Back in the days when I ran Action-Figure, media plans were the bane of my life. This is where a publicity department or an external media agency will work out the press for any given product along a timeline so to manage their resource and supposedly “maximise consumer impact”.

Back in the day, the major event in the toy & collectible industry calendar was the US ToyFair. This trade event, held every February, was when all the major products for the year ahead got announced in order that retailers could place their orders. The fact that many major summer blockbusters get their trailers to début at this time is no coincidence.

Palisades Toys’ The Muppets Action Figure Line

POSTED ON March 29th, 2012  - POSTED IN Toys

I’m packing up the action figure collection. Most of the Star Wars is now packed, as is the G.I. Joe, and last night with great sadness I packed up two of my favourite lines of all time: ToyBiz’s Marvel Legends and Palisades Toys’ awesome Muppets line. Where I’m going there won’t be the room to display them all and so they will be going into storage for the foreseeable future.

The Free Universal Construction Kit Project

POSTED ON March 27th, 2012  - POSTED IN Toys

Close to 10 years ago, I wrote a big article on 3D Printers for Action-Figure. They were just starting to be used for prototyping by big industry with machines that cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. But prices were destined to fall and in the article I envisioned a future where you wouldn’t so much go out and buy an action figure or toy, but would buy the plans and print and construct your own. If I weren’t in the midst of packing, I would dig out the article and repost it, but needless to say it was probably the most popular article that year and drew a lot of comment. Maybe after I move, I’ll try and find it out?