Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cthulhu Fhtagn! Propnomicon Edition

A blast from the past, from the collection of Nick Storm.

This is a Cthulhu idol I put together over a decade ago, sometime around 1998. At the time I was living in New Bedford, MA and was involved in making small props for a murder mystery dinner theater group. I say "put together" as opposed to sculpted because it was assembled using parts from toys, in particular the body of the "Horrid" dragon from McFarlane toys and the head of an Admiral Ackbar 12-inch figure from Hasbro. Considering there was only a week available to finish the project it turned out surprisingly well.

Update: An emailer suggests that it would be almost impossible to create one of these today, at least on the cheap, because of the new lead testing standards for toys. Under the law every toy designed for children has to be tested for the presence of lead before it can be sold. Thrift stores, among them the Salvation Army, have opted to throw donated action figures into the trash rather than deal with the hassle of re-selling them. That leaves venues like Ebay as the only source of donor toys.


Shane Mangus said...

Clever use of spare parts. Nice work!

Von Bednar said...

That looks really good for a toy-Frankenstein. What have you used to put them together? Hot glue, plumbers putty? Have you spray-painted it with those rock-like sprays or hand painted it? Would like some info on the technique as I'm a lousy sculptor;)

Jarons20 said...

That is a brilliant combo and it looks alien enough that you wouldn't be looking at the individual pieces. It took me a minute to even see Ackbar. Very cool.

Propnomicon said...

@ cybrasty

Everything was put together with epoxy and the the parts were blended together with Bondo spot putty. The tentacles were formed from wet paper and then dipped in liquid acrylic to form a poor man's resin composite.

Nick S. said...

A big hit ! it was 10 years ago.

Just goes to show....Cosmic Horror is timeless.

Intruder_W said...

That is a great piece, but I've got to respond to your addendum.

I'm a toy collector, so clarifying CPSIA regulations has become a side-job. Thrift and resale shops aren't required to test old toys for lead, as the regulation is supposed to apply to manufacturers and importers.

Thanks to regulatory legaleese, they're still required not to sell toys with a high lead content, but aren't held responsible for testing them. Sadly, most respond by junking them "to stay safe". I'm not sure how lead leaching from landfills is an improvement.

Snopes has a nice article about it.

Propnomicon said...

@ Intruder_W

My thanks for the clarification. As a toy collector myself it's been frustrating to see so many thrifts just give up carrying action figures.

To this day I remember the thrill I felt when I saw a pristine 1979 Kenner Alien figure sitting on the shelf at the Goodwill store back in 2008. I was almost shaking as I paid the 99 cents, plus tax, on the pricetag. It's sad that kind of thrift-store hunting is a thing of the past.