Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Legend of Pagoda part I

LEGION OF DOOM: Nothing makes a statement like spiked shoulder pads.

Coming back from DCON 2014, drunk on inspiration and stuck with a bunch of chunky figures that barely sold, I told myself that the market wanted 3.75” figures and I was a fool to argue.  Part of me didn’t buy in to this, seeing the move as caving in or selling out, but the truth was I always wanted to try a 3.75” piece and thought I might be able to come up with something truly spectacular.  The results were Pagoda.
Up to that point, I had focused on the 4.5” TMNT scaled figures, as not only were these my favorites growing up, but thought it would help distinguish me from the pack.  I also figured that nostalgia would eventually catch up to this scale, putting me ahead of the game.  What I hadn’t anticipated was this meant heavier figures, which were more expensive to make/ship, and didn’t fit in well with collector’s resin collections that had mainly been in the 3.75” scale. 

KNOW YOUR HISTORY: An actual title belt went into Pagoda's DNA.

The upside of this was I had a whole list of cool looking 3.75” scale figure parts in my head that I never had the chance to use, and when approaching my new idea, I literally used all of them.  Robocop gang member arms?  Sure, why not.  Prince of Thieves Sherriff of Nottingham’s crazy legs?  Kinda big but let’s make them work.  Road Pig’s shoulder pads?  Throw some actual screws on them and mold those fuckers up! 
The original version had a completely different head, which would have been a ski mask with night vision goggles, and full on devil horns which I really loved, but the kit-bashed head was too small and forced me into another direction. 
Enter Mirage: The Corps are off-brand GI Joes that have a fully fleshed out world of their own at this point, and features some really bugged out characters.  They recently released a new wave of figures, including the strange Raiden-meets-Vega fusion soldier Mirage.  Seeing his figure on eBay for the first time was like seeing a $20 bill on the ground.  I couldn’t believe my luck, quickly looked around to see if anyone else had noticed it yet, and then snatched it up to spend before anyone could say boo.  It’s a unique look that surely would have been a favorite as a kid, and I figured if I hadn’t used it, some other enterprising bootlegger would lay claim to it eventually.  It also cemented Pagoda’s Asian tone and origin story, with everything quickly falling into place one this key piece was locked in.

OUT WITH THE OLD: Original packaging design

Around the same time, I started talking with a very established designer toy store that I had frequented for additions to my own collection.  They were very complimentary of my work, and after a few meetings, they offered me a chance to release something through them.  Not only would this bolster my fledgling reputation, but it would be a dream come true to have my work sold in a place I held in such high esteem. 
Cut to months later as I put the finishing touches on the last Pagoda, the store owner finds themselves in the unfortunate situation of having to permanently close their doors, leaving me heartbroken, and Pagoda without a home.  Bitter and dejected, I wanted to put the entire ordeal behind me and boxed the completed Pagodas, where they remained until the glorious day that Cheap Pop Shop broke them out of their prison.

TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: New packaging designed by the magnificent Cheap Pop Shop.

Featuring new packaging, removable shoulder pads and magnetic articulation, PAGODA is here to welcome the designer toy apocalypse, where he will reign supreme, crushing all inferior bootlegs into resin dust.

IN WITH THE NEW: Fully packaged and ready to wreck havoc.

Who is this walking nightmare and how did he come to rule the post-apocalyptic wastelands after the bombs dropped?  Check back next week, when we'll dig into the second and final part of the Legend of Pagoda.  This figure will go on sale for the first time on Friday, November 6th in the Scraped Resin online store.