Thursday, 17 October 2013

Things A "Movie Lover" Collects: Statues/ Figures

A very recent and expensive voyage I’ve taken has been into the world of overly priced and highly addictive action figures and statues. Namely Hot Toys and Sideshow, my unfortunate obsession with the Marvel Femme Fatale ‘Black Widow’ and the LiveForFilm website brought them to my attention after their Avengers line had been announced. Hot Toys, a Hong Kong based company, specialises in 1/6th and 1/4th representations of iconic and recent film characters. Acquiring film licences such as The Dark Knight, Predator and The Avengers, the end result has been a stream of specularly recreated figures that are simply works of art. From the headsculpts and costumes to the buckles on their footwear, Hot Toys’ artists/ craftsmen spend an incredible amount of time and effort to implement these intricate details and screen accuracies: 

On the other hand Sideshow, an American distributor of Hot Toys, has also made a name for itself through their foray into 1/4 scale statues. Similarly attaining licences from Iron Man, Star Wars and actual comic books, they have produced an impressive breadth of highly detailed and well crafted representations. With prices ranging from £200-500, my collection only comprises of Black Widow from Iron Man 2, obviously:

I myself had always had an apprehensive train of thought towards the idea of collecting statues and figures. Back in the good old days Star Wars was the craze with the re-releases in the cinemas. Naturally my brother and I collected the figures, sets and ships that are all currently presiding in the attic. Gundam Wing and Totoro Plushes increased with my exposure to my Japanese roots, but the thought of spending £155 on a “toy” never crossed my mind. But are they worth it? Some people collect these things as an “investment”, and while I stand to make a tidy sum if I were to sell them, to me their simply works of art created by fans and enthusiasts of films and cinema. I love the characters and, for the most part, the films. While the likes of Sucker Punch and The Spirit were absolutely terrible, their costume designs and visual look always appealed.  A larger percentage of my collection surrounds The Avengers, primarily because of their creative and unique designs. Whether it’s Captain America’s iconic red/white/blue design, to Iron Man’s impressive stature, there’s a joy in gazing upon each figure and changing their poses. 

In a cynical light, the hobby could be labelled as glorified ‘doll collecting’, but after spending a lot and time staring/ displaying them, I can’t help but appreciate these as a near-perfect, artistic and physical representations of beloved film characters. Like the rise of vinyl toys, these optimise the new pop-cultural nature of "art" in general. Mind you, my wallet is crying. 

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