Dec 23, 2022

Props: another rant.

 It's no secret that I love props for my figures. I've been posting a few on this Advent Calendar.
Whether it's weapons, odd props, toys that work as toys for toys, toy scaled food, etc. I've been pushing for stuff like this ever since the MOTUC days and I've ventured outside the toy aisles to get potential props. I know I haven't had the time or other resources to construct an actual diorama, but I still advocate for this stuff to get made for the display and storytelling potential. 

Sure it's optimal when one can have Backdrops to display the figures, like say a Turtle Lair, a Technodrome for TMNT. A Black Pyramid or Cat's Lair for Thundercats. Mon*Star's fortress or the Logistically impractical Hawk Haven for Silverhawks. But Super7 made Mon*Star's throne from the Transformation Chamber. We would need Yes-Man, and the Machine that moves Mon*Star's Fortress to align itself with the Moon Star of Limbo Maybe make the pincers from the Transformation Chamber from Styrofoam or foamboard pieces and Foamy sheets to have a kickass display.

Or the J Jonah Jameson desk from ToyBiz and some odd wrestling accessories could Make Commander Stargazer's office. Y'see what I'm getting at? It's making displays from preexisting stuff and going Super low skilled on the arts and crafts department when required. 

I'm trying to avoid things like: Building a wooden base with pieces of papier mâché'd foam to elevate a heavily repainted and partially flocked Tim Mee Battle Mountain to truly fit Ultimates Conan or MMPR. That's too arts and craftsy for most folks. It's doable. Making a box shape a bit larger than the base of the Battle Mountain. Cut pieces of foam in a style similar to the Battle Mountain. Papier Mâché the daylights out of the wood and foam, prime, paint and seal matching the Battle Mountain. Apply glue and grass type flock if/where needed. 

I'm looking for things similar to:

Imagine using various of these or something closer to Super7 scale, which sadly would require Arts and crafts time, as these are too small. The effects MIGHT work, but not the buildings. They're too tiny. But for those of you crafty enough, here's a tutorial for Kaiju battle buildings.

What I'm trying to say is that sometimes it's great to flex the arts and crafts muscles, but sometimes I just want to grab some stuff off the shelves and call it a day. That's why I push for props to be made outside of dollhouses, because a lot of that stuff is SUPER EXPENSIVE. 

The cheapest I've seen couches like this one has been over $30 before shipping from China. They get more expensive if I order from places closer to home. No. I'm not looking for a couch to make Casting Couch jokes... I already made that joke on a rant very similar to this one. I still haven't found a couch suited for the TMNT. I only used that pic to show a non fancy pseudo Victorian couch that most dollhouse accessory vendors sell. 

3D printing has been a godsend to those who own a 3D printer and do action figure stuff since they can fabricate stuff... I've gotten a few 3D printed items in the past to spice up displays. But, not everyone has access to a 3D printer and more often than not, 3D printed items require a paintjob afterwards. I'm advocating for ready-made stuff that can be universally used between 1:10 and 1:12 scales that WON'T BREAK THE BANK. Luckily, I've been able to partially satiate that itch with sites like Ringside Collectibles and Wrestling Superstore. No, this isn't sponsored. If it was, I'd have to disclose it in order to get the money from the sponsorship. 

This blog doesn't make money... if it did, I'd probably be able to cash that check sometime after 2040... more or less the date I'd expect to get that alleged first check. I'm not doing this for the money. This is more for me to rant, rave, and vent. The fact that theoretically I CAN get paid from blogging is a bonus and not the main incentive. So that theoreticalcash is somethingI cannot count on,  since it's been over 13 years and I've never reached the threshold required to get paid. I'm not complaining about it. I'm being transparent. I'm not making money from sponsorships, nor blogging. This is just me as a toy fan commenting on things that I like and in some cases stating where I got them from. I've gotten free items from raffles and contests, yes. I've mentioned those. Also, I mentioned that I had a slight connection to the former Sears Holdings Corporation and TransformCo. when dealing with items that came from Kmart and  Sears... all for the sake of transparency.

Then again, I wouldn't be cool with getting sponsorships, because money and free toys are cool, but the whole "I got free stuff from Company X and their product sucks, but I can't say it sucks, because they'll stop giving me free shit" angle stinks... besides I have 19 hardcore fans who read my stuff. Those numbers may scare Mattel, but not any company that is able to give me free shit. 

Like I said, If it seems like I'm promoting the two main sites for wrestling accessories is because those sites are making props for action figures accessible. Remember that this is coming from a guy who bought dildos and fleshlights for his action figures, bought a TBLeague action figure because it looks like a TPE doll.
Dolly here is a prop with the condom packet and lube bottle atop the bookshelf next to Nefty-kun.

Just as backdrops can help sell a scene, so do props. A printed forest backdrop is nice, but props make it better... This is totally not a plea for 1:12 or 1:10 trees, but it would be cool to have some.
A printed forest backdrop acting as background with 2 1:12 scaled trees in the foreground and 1 1:12 scaled tree in the middleground and you have a forest scene. You want to go the extra mile, you modpodge the hell out of a bunch of tissue paper and using a Canadian hole punch you can make tons of 🍁 to toss in the ground. But you can achieve a similar effect without the printed backdrop and having 5 prop trees.

I KNOW I push very hard for props, but my reasoning is to spice up all kinds of displays. Back in the MOTUC days, I pushed for fantasy props because that's a HARDER Area to procure items for. I thought since wrestling toys had accessories, modern eras could be easily covered. NOW I realize that it isn't enough. While now I'm focusing more on "current era Earth" props,  I still believe that "Fantasy" and "Sci-fi" NEED props, but the problem lies that those two genres are a bit niche in comparison to the more "universal appeal" that "current year Earth" props have. 

Since now companies are acknowledging that old farts like us are keeping toys alive, maybe they should try something to appeal to us and to entice "the original intended target audience".  But if they keep raising prices and shorting out customers on accessories, they're simply shooting themselves in the foot. Yes, us old farts in 30s-50s have disposable income to spend on toys... but when $70 can get you a whole* videogame, or barely 2 action figures, guess which one parents will buy: 
*= base game without DLC.
I'll give you a hint:
The answer is the videogame. 
But that's a different rant for another day. Now what does this have to do with props? Simple. Props are more catered towards the adult collectors. Some kids may buy them, bit it's mostly the adult collector who goes for them. 

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