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Welcome to the 3rd and final part of my recap of the Dudebox launch, possibly the most important part of all as we now get down to the nitty gritty of their actual products rather than all the glitz and glamour of the launch party.
First of all I'm going to say some things about their range of figures that may sound entirely valid to you, or sound completely unfair. Regardless, please keep reading after these initial comments:
When I look at the range of Dudebox shapes I see a mash up of different shapes that already exit. I see the 'Dude' I think of an Eqq Qee with Munny arms and Dunny Ears. When I see another, all I can see is Mike Burnetts Neighbourwood figure (probably the most justified similarity) or a Pig Qee etc. (Apologies for the Pig Qee, it was a much closer match in my head, and the Dudebox fig is actually way nicer).
It's important that you read on so I can point out that this isn't Dudebox's fault. It's a mixture of the fact that I've collected toys for 10 years and the fact that Dudebox are pretty much the last ones to the Designer Toy Party, meaning that every generic shape has been covered already, in some form or another. So whatever Dudebox made I'd be able to spot bits of Munny, Qee, Be@rbrick or godforbid Trexi. Especially in the last few years Toy2r and Kidrobot have extensively expanded their own ranges of blank figures from the interesting to the downright unnecessary.
So the important thing for Dudebox to do, to be considered as a worthy addition to the designer toy world was to improve where other companies have been criticised. For one thing they needed their product to be top quality, reasonably priced and for god's sake don't use the same fucking roster of artists that everyone else does. Thankfully Dudebox heard my prayers because their figures are extremely well made and have superb print quality, especially on the 8" figures. Apologies, I didn't pay as much attention to the mini-figures as I should have because they interest me far far less, but again they look well printed but I much prefer the more intricate designs on a larger canvas, and all 3 mini-series revolve around the same basic shapes.
Their connection to Secret Walls has also paid off as they have an awesome roster of artists, most of which you won't know, aside from artists like Bunka and Chauskoskis. In particular I think the stand out designs will continue coming from Mark Gmehling, Niark-1, Jonny Wan & 2Much - Really looking forward to seeing more from them.
When I first learned of Dudebox it really was a case of thinking, what's the point? And I think it was a sentiment shared by many, because unless they had something new to offer the toy world, we could have easily shunned them. And that's really the point of it all isn't it? Dudebox are here and they've brought something new with them, something that no other toy company has, and they have to be commended for that strategy. I hope the fans take to these new artists, Dudebox deserve them to. For a few years the toy world got stuck in a rut of people making similar product by the same old artists and really we're still coming out of it.
Dudebox are definitely here to stay and personally I am hoping they get their original sculpts out ASAP.
We also got a look at the new range of Pete Fowler figures. Nice sized figures, some cool designs and I hope they are as nicely printed as the other figures and I'll be tempted to pick up some.
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