Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It figures...

Not only am I a "Star Trek" action figure collector - one who actually opens up the packages and sets the occupants free from their little plastic sarcophaguses, even the rare ones - I also customize them. I fix up painting errors, add little details the creators failed to include and even cut up my purposely-bought duplicate figures to make authentic-looking characters that never made it to commercial action figure status. Even better if the actor has already appeared as a different "Star Trek" character, because then the face I carve from one head with my Stanley knife, and glue to another head, ends up looking uncannily like the new character. It does makes me sound like Dr Frankenstein, though...

I did a lot of action figure customizing in the 90s and that hobby gave me some great, unique images to add to my then-fledgling Star Trek web site when I launched it. Haven't done many custom jobs lately, but for years now I've had a spare Playmates 5" action figure of Captain-Kirk-in-dress-uniform sitting around, forlornly awaiting a really cool, mature head to finish off my planned figure of Commodore Robert April of the old 70s animated episode, "The Counter-clock Incident".

Well, I just found the new boxed set of "The Family El": a twin pack of "Superman Returns" figures of Kal-El/Superman (in a silver repaint of his space travel outfit) and his real Dad, Jor-El. Both figures are additionally garbed in fabric silver robes. They seem to be in similar scale to the old Playmates line of "Star Trek" action figures. With a slight adjustment of the famous El family kiss curl, I think good ol' Marlon Brando (who so miraculously returned from beyond to appear in "Superman Returns") is going to make quite a decent elderly Robert April! It's been worth the wait. I bought two sets, and I think the spare silver robes might look good on some customized Lal and Thann figures, the bumpy-headed Vians from "The Empath" episode of "Star Trek", the original series.

In other news, a Sydney Electronics Boutique store was having a massive sale and they had two rare Art Asylum "Shran the Andorian" figures (and two spacesuited T'Pols) on the bargain table! One Shran was in a very crushed box, but both were half price. Shran was the so-called "shortpack" of that wave of "Enterprise" action figures quite a few years ago, and this supply of the old wave must have been forgotten in a EB warehouse somewhere. So hard to track down when first released, I'm now the envy of US collectors who refuse to pay high eBay prices to own a Shran. I did find another half-price Shran in a Melbourne "Electronics Boutique" last Easter. I'm makin' me an Andorian army!

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