V.I.N.CENT (SDCC 2009 Distressed Edition)
Review by Atom
From what I remember as a child of the '70s (and now as an adult collector today) is that the soft vinyl toy was meant as an inexpensive impulse buy. They would come in a plastic bag with a simple cardboard header card and be cheap good Kaju (in most cases) fun. 30 years later it's evolved into quite the collecting scene. While I “get” the newer renditions of Kaiju monsters in glow and clear styles, this emerging “Art Toy Collectible” thing on the other hand just baffles me. So color me surprised (and interested) when MINDstyle started showing off their prototype of V.I.N.CENT from Disney's film The Black Hole and saying that 300 would be available at San Diego Comic-Con 2009.
I love V.I.N.CENT. and the film The Black Hole. I currently had nothing from the film in my collection and wanted an almost 9-inch tall version on my shelf, but the price... $130 dollars. Yikes! For that kind of money, I am used to getting diecast metal and firing fists but friends that are more involved with this kind of collectible assured me that it had some quality paint applications and would be worth the cash. Besides who is doing anything from The Black Hole these days? Nobody. So I figured I would “know” if I wanted it when/if I saw it at SDCC09. So on Preview Night I did find myself passing MINDstyle's booth and there he was looking awfully spectacular but I just couldn't justify spending the money...
The Black Hole is one of those films that made a huge impact on me as a kid and as an adult I think a) the film still holds up pretty well after all of these years and b) completely floors me that it ever got made. It starts as a Star Wars family adventure and ends as abstractly as Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.
It's the story of the crew of the space explorer Palomino as it discovers the science vessel Cygnus (reported missing many years earlier) floating on the edge of a Black Hole and their adventure dealing with the Madman/Genius Dr. Hans Reinhart as he plans to take them into the black hole. I am oversimplifying the plot a bit and not doing the film real justice. It's a dark, moody and intellectual film that touches on some great sci-fi and philosophical tenants. Honestly, it is very un-Disney-like and it may not be everyone's cup of tea. If you haven't seen it you should at least once.
V.I.N.CENT. was R2-D2 and C-3P0 rolled into one and voiced by the talented and often underrated Roddy McDowall. All the robots in the film are aesthetically well designed and characteristically memorable. While most seem to consider the evil Dr. Hans Reinhart's Maximilian their favorite from the series, I was always more of a V.I.N.CENT. guy myself.
MINDstyle went with a vintage style package to accentuate the 30 year anniversary of the movie. It's a thick die-cut box with a lid that wraps around the box and a magnetic clasp to keep it closed up. It's a very nice package really but can't help but wonder if they couldn't have saved everyone 30 bucks on the price by just sticking it in a bag with a header card... but then I guess it wouldn't be an “Art Toy Collectible” then would it? Oh well, the fancy box goes in the closet with the rest...
Inside, V.I.N.CENT. is wrapped in a plastic bag (like all classic sofubi) and a card from MINDstyle telling me this was number 56/300 in the SDCC09 “distressed edition” run. In the bag is also a small stump or “third-leg”, if you will, to brace the figure upright. He stands 8 1/2 inches tall and is almost as wide.
The first thing I notice is just how big and heavy it is. For vinyl, it sure has some weight to it and can confirm that it indeed hurts when it falls forward off your computer shelf and lands on your head.
Initially, the paint detail is fantastic. All the hand-done application (75 different hits of paint to be exact according to MINDstyle's blog) is more than excellent but the pad printing on mine is noticeably screwed up. And not just in a little way...
Right on the front of the main body it looks like the pad “slipped” for the designation number markings or they put the piece in the bag before it was dry. I'm thinking the first really. How does someone not catch this while is going through the painting process?
The rest is all good. The sculpt detail is phenomenal and looks exactly like V.I.N.CENT from the movie.
Sadly he does NOTHING. The head doesn't turn, raise or lower. The “legs” or anti-gravity generators do not extend and neither do his laser guns or claws. I guess action features and articulation aren't really expected on a piece like this.
For all their lip service to these being “art” and “collectible”, I find it hard to believe that nobody from MINDstyle noticed such an obvious printing error. So whether no one was really paying any attention or they did see it and figured it was good enough, I ended up with a less than perfect piece. If your only making 300 in the run, is it really asking to much to not get a screwed up one? It just seems to reinforce my take on the whole “designer/vinyl scene” and leaves a bad taste in my mouth... “You'll take what we sell you and like it!”
With that said, I do love having an almost 9-inch tall likeness of one of my favorite robots of my childhood added to the shelves. A regular edition appears to be due in September for the low, low price of $149.99. I'm really not convinced it's worth that asking price.
|Posted 27 August, 2009 - 18:01 by Atom|