THE GENTLEST OF GIANTS
Once known primarily as the providers of real-scanning, super-authentic, as-close-as-you'll-get-to-having-Sam-Jackson-in-your-home replicas, Gentle Giant Studios branched out to include a number of interpretations of the Star Wars Universe. And now, the company has branched out to bring the likes of Disney and Hellboy to a whole new level of collectible-ocity.
Bust Up & Bust Out
Celebrating its 100th Bust-Up, the company decided it was a sensible idea to give away #100, just like it did #1 in 2004. This time around, a special silver Boba Fett micro-bust was given away to those with the patience, skill, and luck to show up at the booth and get their mitts on this special collectible. It came in a window box, which is a real rarity for the line as the bulk of the items in this range tend to require assembly and come in closed (or blind) boxes.
Of course, this was just one of many items shown at the show. A wide variety of Bust-Ups from the line's illustrious two-year history were on display next to new releases, like new versions of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in their Stormtrooper Disguises. These were also shown at Toy Fair in New York and are expected later this year.
Could these Battle-Damaged Variants be Fan Club exclusives? Probably. We didn't get to ask.
Of course, this was just the tip of the iceberg. The Clone Wars Bust-Ups were also out and about, but you've probably seen the bulk of these by now. (Although some, like the Season 3 Fordo, were a bit of a surprise.)
The animated action figure line seems to be put to the backburner, but Gentle Giant's armored Saesee Tiin and ARC Trooper aim to make up for it-- and do so admirably.
So you've seen the gallery, but what else is there? A poster with the first 100 Bust-Ups was given away (for free), the red Shock Trooper Bust-Up was sold in a set with the Mini Bust, and of course the Darth Vader Convention Bust-Up (with the red flames) was on sale as well. (Most exciting, we'd say, was the animated ROTS-esque Fordo.) Harry Potter bust-ups are also on the way, as well as animated Hellboy. Could Lord of the Rings be next? We're hoping.
Aside from the exclusive Shock Trooper, a ton of exciting items were on display. Bounty Hunter fans are in luck, as they're finally revisiting Jango Fett, and this time he's got arms! Two other hunters, Dengar and Zuckuss, were also shown. (As was IG-88, but he's old news at this point.)
Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker are on the way as well, coming to GenCon and a store near you, respectively. Luke's based on original scrap, but is also more the work of Gentle Giant's talented sculptors and less the output of a scanner. It's a great looking piece in person, and it has a lot of heart-- which he will no doubt be giving to the future Mrs. Skywalker, which also turned out quite well.
More are, of course, on the way.
If you're like us, you've always wanted to see the original cast of Star Wars on a regular cartoon series. The next best thing is their new line of maquettes, based on original Gentle Giant designs inspired by the styling of the Clone Wars episodes we all love so much. Aside from the previously seen Princess Leia with R2-D2, Boba Fett, and Darth Vader, several new entries were on display.
Taking a cue from The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker was sculpted as he may have looked in a moment that was never realized on-camera, perhaps as he hiked back to the Rebel Base on Hoth after his Snowspeeder was blasted down by the Empire. C-3PO seems to have been born from a similar lost moment, showing a Jawa trying to put him back together. (Or perhaps, take him apart!) This could even be a lost adventure before Episode IV as, obviously, the paranoid yellow protocol droid is missing his silver shin.
...and, of course, let's all take another look at Rorron Corrob, Ithorian Jedi and failed defender of Palpatine. He's a giant pile of awesome, ain't he? He is, from the rumblings, due out later this year.
If you visited Gentle Giant's booth, the talk of the show was Princess Leia. Well, specifically, her ass. It was obvious someone at Gentle Giant put a lot of thought into those curves, but who among us can say that we haven't at least once? This 1:6 scale sculpture is an ultra-realistic representation of the space princess, but the sands of time were especially kind when sculpting this figure to an ideal that we can all get behind. (Oh yes, lousy pun.)
While we hate to dwell on such a minor thing, it really was the talk of the show. All statues were on a rotating base and a variety of celebrities could be seen scoping out the backside of this statue, and the rotating base for Leia, for some reason, stopped working before the weekend was over. Still, Leia fans, after you get your animated Maquette, be sure to save some money for this one.
Earlier this year, Gentle Giant released a nice statue of Luke Skywalker on his Tauntaun. Now complete the set with Han Solo on Tauntaun, another Hoth moment forever captured in resin. It's cool (oh, we're just full of cheap puns tonight) and we hope it's as beloved as the original release. (We also appreciate the attention to detail in the steed's horns.)
It's no secret that every fan/nerd/tech convention has a compliment of girls that most attendees wouldn't mind taking home. Rather than slap a costume on a model who makes $10 an hour and has to fake a smile for the camera, Gentle Giant built what may have been the perfect life-size photo op of the Princess with this amazing life-size statue which, sadly, was not for sale at the show. (We tried, we failed.)
Other giant-size statues were on display as well.
Neat stuff, for sure! Here's hoping some of these become commercially available before we're forced to beg/steal for them.
And other stuff...
Fans of Harry Potter, Disney, or pretty much any nerd-friendly property had something to love in the booth of Gentle Giant. An animated Jack Sparrow maquette was on display, as were the beginnings of a whole line of Hellboy animated collectibles. It turns out Gentle Giant got the license for the action figures, as well! Be sure to go through our photo archive to see everything, and start saving your money. If the above are any indication, you'll need it!
Associate Editor, Shill