Saturday, January 12, 2013

Side by Side: Stingy Jack

This is my first chance to do a Side by Side with figures from the excellent Circus Posterus x Tomenosuke-syoten line of sofubi toys. I've written a full review of Brandt Peters' Stingy Jack here and one of Kathie Olivas' Calliope Jacakalope here. Now let's see how the first and second versions of Stingy Jack square up alongside one another.

Alas, the little park near my home is being worked on or torn down, so it's surrounded by massive walls of corrugated metal. As much fun as it might be to do the shoot within those walls, I did not have my pole vaulting equipment on hand, so instead I did the shoot on the ledges of the many pretty flower and plant boxes in the area. There were many onlookers, and lots of smiles all around.
Let's start with a front shot, which reveals just how much work is going into making each of these figures unique. It's immediately clear the designers and painters aren't simply "color swapping." Each version has its own identity and stands out strongly on its own.

This is the debut version of Stingy Jack, called the Classic Version (purple). In this shot and the next, you can see how the same masking was used on the eyes and mouth, but to different effects. I like the way the colors of the eyes are different, but they didn't alter the mouth color. That means they weren't color swapping for its own sake.

This version of Stingy Jack is called Toxic Marshmallow. Here we can see how the nose and stalk were hand sprayed in each version.
 More after the jump:

Face off

This is a good chance to look at an interesting difference in the way Jack's five o clock shadow was brought out.
In the first release, a very subtle spray was applied to the bottom half of the head to create the effect.
Yet in the second release, the top of the figure was sprayed, with the contrast provided by the unpainted bottom half. Very nice.

Backside shot
Another big difference between the two is the first Jack had a clear body, while the second is solid black. Here I hoisted the pair onto some kind of ventilation contraption to create perspective for a bottom up shot.

Let's take a look at the bodies.

I like the way continuity was provided with the off-centered free spray on the buttons on each release.

But again, with this shot of the feet, we can see that the first Jack has a subtle spray at the ankle, whereas the second doesn't. I find that's important, since we can see continuity in the line at some points without a sense that the artists were handcuffed to replicate every effect across every figure.
The boys gave us a rare look at the traditional nose rub greeting ceremony.

After the shoot, the Jacks demanded a tasty beverage. This is my machine of choice, which gets more of my 100 yen coins than it should.
Discriminating canned coffee drinkers heartily endorse Wonda Morning Shot. The Jacks give it two cigars up.
Finally, this shot. Pure smiles and good vibes. As I was shooting the Jacks, this fellow walked by, pushing a cart of pallets. He started grinning and laughing in the most genuine way. And he graciously posed for this shot. Later I went back and got his permission to post the photo. As he kindly granted it, he burst out smiling and laughing again. I asked if he liked toys, and he said he did.

Well, if that isn't a huge stamp of approval for the Circus Posterus line and sofubi and fun in general, I don't know what is.
If I had to pick a favorite of the two versions, I'd go with Toxic Marshmallow because of the design and color palette. But the original is really nice too.

And that's a look at the first and second versions of Stingy Jack. Putting together this Side by Side was a lot of fun, especially since folks from the local community stopped by to have a look and even get involved. It really warmed up a cold winter's day. Thanks so much to Brandt, CP, and Tomenosuke for the opportunity, and for making such wonderful toys.


Inknpaper said...

That last picture is the best! What a cool guy, his smile made me smile. Also i love when you do figure shoots like this, it's nice to see these guys next to each other.

andy b said...

Glad to hear! I like putting together these types of reports and photo shoots. It's always nice to look at two versions of a figure - which also tests how well the figure holds up across different paint apps.

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