Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Fugitree is up!

Yesterday my daughter Emily came home for Christmas, happily avoiding the many snowstorm-related flight delays that plagued many people over the last few days. That afternoon, we were able to continue our tradition of going out to buy a Christmas tree together.

Last night we, along with Em's friend Zach, worked to transform this naked tree...

... into the mighty "Fugitree"! As the idea of decorating the tree with vacuum-metalized Fugitoid figures was originally Em's idea, it seemed only appropriate that she should be involved in helping to hang the fifty shiny 'droids on the tree. Here she is -- slightly blurry -- hanging 'Toids on the tree.

We had a disagreement about what kinds of lights to put on the tree -- I wanted our usual mix of white and colored lights, while Em pressed for just white lights. In the end, we went with her idea, and I must say I now agree with her. She also bought a small selection of shiny silver globe-style ornaments to compliment the Fugitoids, and I think they work well. Here's a view of the whole finished tree...

... and a close-up...

... and Em, Zach and Louis posing with the Fugitree.

And finally, here's a shot of the tree as it looked in the light of day when I got up this morning.

I think it looks a little better at night, but still pretty darned cool either way. -- PL

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Preparing for the Fugitree

A couple of days ago I decided it was time to start preparing for the creation of the "Fugitree" (as one of this blog's Commenters wittily named it). So I hauled in the huge box of "Fugitoid Collector Figures" from Playmates that I've had sitting out in the garage, and started the process.

It's drudge work, involving opening each small white cardboard box, carefully slicing open the little plastic bag, removing the Fugitoid, and affixing a loop of ornament-hanging wire around his neck. I'm not sure how may of these I'm going to do -- the big box holds one hundred Fugitoids, but I think the tree will look great with just half that number, maybe less. We'll see.

(I'm saving all of the packaging materials so that when Christmas is over and it's time to take the tree down, I can put each Fugitoid back into its little box.)

I've already done about twenty of the figures, and here's a photo of them in a large bowl I've borrowed from my wife.

Emily's little dog Louis, sitting on the couch, displays his total lack of interest. After all, Fugitoid Collector Figures, while chewable, are not edible. -- PL

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A "Team Mirage" set of toys? Not quite...

I was poking around in the storage space under my old studio today (looking for stocking stuffers, if you must know), and came across these two curiosities. I remember finding both of these sets in the mid-1990's at a local Toys 'R' Us (the Mirage dudes and I used to go to toy stores a lot back in those days), and being amused by the fact that this toy company had taken a photo of our Team Mirage-sponsored AMA Superbike roadracer, Dale Quarterley, and used it prominently on the packaging of these sets of "racing" toys. I'm not sure where they got the photo, although I know for certain that we didn't supply it to them. Here's a photo of the large set...

... and one of the small set...

... and a close-up of the photo of Dale (at speed on his Kawasaki race bike) which they used on both packages.

We never had any contact with the company which did this, and I have often wondered how they chose Dale, out of all the possible motorcycle racers around at the time, to decorate their packaging. Although it isn't terribly easy to see in this photo, Dale's bike DOES have the Team Mirage logo on its bodywork, as well as the abstract TMNT face design, and during those days of Team Mirage we made no secret of the TMNT connection. I wonder if the people behind this packaging saw that and thought they might get some mileage for their toys out of that connection.

I suspect not, mostly because it's not THAT obvious. I would guess that they just thought the image of Dale on his bike was cool and colorful (right on both counts) and would help to catch a kid's eye in the toy aisles. I have no idea how well these sets sold, or if the photo of Dale was used on any other packaging. -- PL

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blast from the Past #258: Another advent calendar Christmas card

I posted once before (http://plairdblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/merry-christmas-eve-day.html) about a personal Christmas card I made which incorporated an Advent calendar. I found another one -- it's undated, but judging from the style of drawing (especially the "old-school" Turtles), I would guess it was from December of 1984.

I drew the top part on coquille board. This card was pretty big -- each half was 8.1 by 11 inches, so when taped together in the middle, they made a folding card which was 22 inches wide and 8.5 inches high when opened. Here's what the card looked like when unfolded:

And here are the little surprises which would be found as each "door" in the card was opened:

I think this may have been the second and last of these cards that I did -- they just got to be too labor-intensive and time-consuming. But that being said, they were also a lot of fun. -- PL

Monday, December 7, 2009

Blast from the Past #257: Self-portrait as Turtle at a drawing board

I've done a few different cartoony self-portraits over the years, but I think this one -- drawn in 1988 -- may be my favorite. I can't recall if it was done for a specific reason, though I have a vague memory that it may have accompanied a print interview. Anyway, I like the drawing a lot, for some reason. -- PL