61 Views! Man alive I do believe we are going viral!
Any way, on with one of the odder but none the less cooler pieces in my horde of wonderful!
First off though a little history.
Since about the late 80s collectors have often wanted particular pieces and simply haven't been able to get hold of them purely for the fact they didn't exist. Before the companies that exist today it was extremely difficult to get any good statues/figues/model kits unless they already existed based on very established and popular franchises. This created the concept of "garage" kits and customs that whilst frowned upon by the official brass collectors often lapped up purely because of lack of options.
I remember being at Memorabilia 99 and seeing a garage model kit of Neo from the Matrix. Molded rather professionally in cold case poly stone it looked really good. What also made it intriguing was that it had no official direct competition for its place in a collection. McFarlanes action figure line was somewhat wanting and the rest was just t shirts and posters. There were 2 downsides to this though, one funny and one just a fact. The first funny downside was the creators of these pieces obviously couldn't name them after there franchises/characters names as that would be a direct copyright infringement. At least if they changed the name they could plead a certain amount of ignorance should there collar get felt. So the Neo piece for example was called "Chosen One" and at the same show I saw a Korbon Dallas from the 5th Element called "Future Taxi Man" (some where cleverer than others). The other downside was of course the cost, having no direct competition meant that kit makers and distributors where pretty much free to charge what they liked.
So we fast forward to today and whilst the concept of the garage kit/custom is still alive and well within the collecting community, some companies have taken it upon themselves to embrace this culture of independence to an entirely new level of dedication. One such company called Arts Figures (which probably won't surprise you are based in China) has released lots of 1/6 scale figures based on relatively well known pop culture characters and to the best of my knowledge have not once looked for permission or any kind of licensing agreement.
There presence in collecting circles whilst being mostly welcome does stir some grumbles in certain corners of the internet. A lot of message boards can discussions or sales of the pieces as they risk falling a-foul of the likes of Sideshow and Hot Toys. I myself got a slap on the wrist for mentioning the following piece on the Rebellion forums.1/6 Scale "Armored Cop"
Now I would start by saying I never intended to pick this piece up purely based on the fact that whilst I loved the latest Dredd picture my collectibles are more based around the comic book Dredd. But some pieces just cannot be ignored.
The detail on this piece is truly staggering and grows more so when you consider it is, technically speaking, a custom/garage piece from a company in China apparently not concerned with the law (ironic given the character in question). I'm not entirely sure if this is true but apparently naming it "Armored Cop" wasn't enough to stop it getting stopped in certain territories so to combat this further the R in the Dredd badge has its top left hand corner slightly rounded so it can be argued its an A and not an R. Boggles the mind.
In my opinion Rebellion truly missed a trick with this. I'm not sure how it stands legally but had I been in charge I would have arranged a deal to extend the license to them in exchange for distribution rights and made a mint because when this figure was shown on there sight no one was convinced it would as good as the picture suggested. Never have so many Dredd fans been happy to be wrong.
I actually managed to snag this for a stupidly cheap price and I couldn't be happier with it. My overwhelming love for the comic book version of Dredd aside this piece reminds me what I loved so much about Karl Urbans portrayal of Dredd. A more refined but no less brutal Dredd.
Standby for more Dredd stuff this week.