On a brisk afternoon in January, a collective of custom action figure creators banded together to present their works to a captive audience in a tiny gallery in Manhattan. An art show on a weekend is nothing new for the Meatpacking district, but it's rare for the likes of Aragorn, Wolverine, Mr. Freeze and the Mario Brothers to be the stars of the show.
The custom creation side of the hobby has been around almost as long as action figures have been in existence. In recent years, however, the do-it-yourself-ers that were once relegated to sharing their work on forums and chat rooms have found a larger audience thanks to the advent of better social networks and sharing options on the Internet. The rise to prominence of Instagram and Tumblr have given these artists a way to share their unique takes on familiar faces or even wholly original creations with more people than ever.
This week Americans will gather 'round their respective tables with friends and family to reflect on all of the things they're thankful for. Delicious food is generally what folks focus on, sure, but it's important not to forget about a Thanksgiving table's all-important centerpiece. After all, how are you supposed to add depth to turkey/tofurkey Instagram photos without some extra pilgrim-looking jazz around? With this in mind, we've collected a few action figure options that can help transform your day off from work from "perfectly acceptable" to "more pilgrim-ed than average." Hit the jump for four pilgrim action figure recommendations to spice up your Thanksgiving.
When I was a kid, there was about a year where I got really into building models, mainly because I didn't have many friends and that was the easiest way that you could get a giant Darth Vader with a glow-in-the-dark lightsaber. It didn't last too long since the enjoyment that I got from putting things together moved back into LEGO sets, but it was enough that I get a little twinge of nostalgia from it -- especially when I see something like Bandai's new line of Sprükits Action Figure Model Kits.
The deal with them is that they're not just models, they're kits for building fully poseable action figures with accessories that require no scissors, glue or paint. You just snap it all together, and judging by the Arkham City Batman figure that I just put together, they're actually pretty cool.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, but its Super Sentai source material from Japan is set to hit an even bigger milestone next year as Shotaro Ishinimori's Himitsu Sentai Gorenger turns 40. Fans won't have to wait to celebrate, however, as Bandia will release the series' uncommonly athletic leader Akarenger (Red Ranger) in S.H. Figuarts action figure form this September.
Though fans have access to Batman, Joker, Superman, Bizarro and Swamp Thing, Medicom's line of DC Comics sofubi figures will finally welcome two female characters in 2015 with Batgirl and Catwoman joining the soft vinyl fray...
We see our share of papercraft at CA, but Austin Shyu's brand of AusGerCo. creations are the first "paper action figures" to cross our path. Over the past few years, Shyu's constructed everyone from Wonder Woman to Sonic the Hedgehog to Ego the Living Planet out of craft paper, glue and various illustration implements.
We've seen Hulk Hands, Thing Hands and even a Rocket Raccoon mask, but Hasbro's San Diego Comic-Con International 2014 offerings will outfit fan hands in a straight up Infinity Gauntlet. The legendary jeweled glove (or a foam facsimile, anway) is part of a special $74.99 box set that includes 3.75" figures of Nebula, Starfox, Thanos and his unrequited love Mistress Death. The cosmic theme continues with a box set based on The Thanos Imperative comic book storyline that includes 6" Marvel Infinite scale takes on Black Bolt, Medusa, Gladiator, Blastaar and Star-Lord for $99.99.
Variety in action figures isn't what it could be. Just as mainstream superhero comics struggle with the representation of women, so too do most corresponding toy lines. Not a lot of female superheroes make it to mainstream toy retailers and many that do are sexualized or at very least created with a straight, adult, male collector in mind. The new IAmElemental Kickstarter seeks to address this disparity, however, by providing young girls, their parents, and anyone else who enjoys articulated adventurer toys with a fresh line of superpowered figures
Despite the popularity of Craig McCracken's Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends on Cartoon Network, the show has only been adapted a few times in comic form as part of DC's Cartoon Network 2-in-1 in 2010 and as part of IDW's upcoming massive CN Super Secret Crisis War crossover. Similarly, although the show did get some toys, it never received a proper action figure line. But it almost did. And in the most intensely awesome way imaginable. The show's comedic character Bloo was transformed into a titan of toyeticism in the name of pure fun.
As much as we all love Ash and his Japanese source character Satoshi, there's a certain charm about Pokémon's generic playable trainer, Red. After all, even though he stars in a number of manga including Pokémon Adventures and the recent Pokémon Origins anime, Red is meant to represent you, the player. Take that and shape it in the 3.75" tall Nendoroid chibi style and you've got an action figure that may be among the very best (like no toy ever was).
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