Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blast from the Past #48 repost: Fugitoid action figure concepts

Back in 1988 or 1989, I did these drawings of the Fugitoid in the hopes that Playmates would do an action figure version of him... which they eventually did, and it was nice, but not quite what I was hoping for. Note below the somewhat desperate hyping ("think of the play value!"), and the comment about vacuum metalizing. (This is the process by which plastic is given a metallic-looking coating... I'm not entirely sure if there is any real metal involved in this process, but the end result is a very cool shiny chrome effect.)



My pathetic pleading for vacuum metalizing of various TMNT figures (especially the Shredder) was kind of a running joke between me and my friend Karl Aaronian, when he was product manager of the original TMNT toyline at Playmates. When Playmates first did the TMNT toys, they had no idea how they would sell and were understandably cautious with expensive processes like vacuum metalizing... but I still bugged them to do the Shredder's armor in this shiny metallic technique, as opposed to the somewhat drab painted armor on the first Shredder figures. Eventually, they did, and it looked cool.

Anyway, my idea here was to enhance the "play value" (toymakers' jargon!) of a Fugitoid action figure by giving it a variety of removable/replaceable multi-function limbs. Cool, huh?



Fast-forwarding more than a decade later, Playmates did another Fugitoid figure to go along with the new Turtle toys based on the 4Kids TV show. This one was much closer in design to the original comic book character. (Note: The text in the image above was written in 2003 in reference to this new Fugitoid figure Playmates was developing, but the artwork was from the late 1980's.) Sadly, it was still not vacuum metalized. I guess you can't have everything. -- PL

14 comments:

  1. *cries a bit* I really wish they'd stop ignoring your great ideas.
    If you ever ever ever get in touch with NECA and find out what's up with them seriously try and work on getting this idea made.

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  2. -->> **Ditto, Vaughn**

    ~~ ~~

    Why was the original Honeycutt initially 'Gold ' ..

    Guessin' that was Playmates doing.

    The logic of Gold Fugitoid was odd, But he did look cool for what he was worth.

    He was also smiling in some of the earliest prototypes for the first fig.

    >v<

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  3. This is a really cool toy. I really enjoy the notes on the design, its a little look into what one does when making a sales pitch. Very cool.

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  4. Interesting. I actually was (and still am) a big fan of the gold Fugitoid. Personally, I think vacuum metal figures look rather cheap, and I don't buy generally purchase them (and that was true when I was a kid buying these in the 80's too). But that might just be me...

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  5. In 2003, I think it helped that the Fugitoid was an actual part of the show for awhile. Before I found the old '80s comics back in '96 (I was about 12), the only thing I knew the Fugitoid from was that he was an enemy robot that I had to fight more than a few of in the later stages of TMNT3 on the NES.

    Also, speaking of comic-based figures, any word on NECA?

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  6. I'm glad there isn't much vac-metalizing on TMNT figures. While the effects can look cool, in time it often chips away and peels off. Shiny pearly plastic is much better.

    Sayonara.

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  7. Somewhere amongst the archives of clutter at my mom's house, I have a piece of paper I drew on and told her to mail to Playmates (obviously she didn't) in which I drew a crude Fugitoid drawing and wrote something along the lines of "please make more Fugitoids", because he was my favorite uclocatable figure on the cardback.

    It has to be amongst my first ever TMNT drawings, will definitely scan and share if I can find it over the holidays, it is certainly worth a laugh. Also a good case study to prove that children are suckers for robots, I carried around my first Fugitoid figure till his incorrect gold paint was half worn off.

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  8. Vacumm metal:

    I had robot Rocksteady in the basement a few years back. While it DID look cool that way, most of it was torn off :(.

    I'd love to see a 7" Vacuum metalized Shredder from NECA based on the old toon. Maybe a statue would last longer?

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  9. I guess none of my Vac-Metal figures chipped or flaked off because I display them and don't play with them.
    Some figures just need to have this done to them because while many of us are great at doing custom figures this is just one thing we can not do on our own.
    And while you have a big company working on your line it's something I'd think you'd really fight for knowing how hard it is to do. It's just not some every day simple process.
    -Vaughn M.

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  10. -->> die-cast ' Fugitoid ' ..

    >v<

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  11. I love both the 2K3 and vintage Fugitoid. I actually REALLY like the vintage one for some reason. It doesn't really make me think of Fugitoid.. But it makes me think of a very cool robot.

    Shame neither ever got Vac-ed, considered some of the poor choices for figures that did.

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  12. So instead of the original Shredder being vacuumized, we were treated to the start of Playmates' long fetish with blue-armoured Shredder.

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  13. Maybe you could have Neca do a vaccum metalized Fugitoid. I'd buy 1. or 2. Or 5....

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  14. Well, there is now a vac-metal Fugitoid action figure.

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