Sunday, November 2, 2008

Idol Pursuits: Master of the Plastic Arts (Addendum) - The Rub n' Play and Marvel World standees

As promised, I will be showcasing the two play figures that, while not "action figures" in any possible way, are still the official predecessors of any other Doctor Strange figures (including last week's posted "jiggler" action figure from Ben Cooper).

As noted in that last write-up, neither of these were available separately, instead coming packaged with a larger product. The MARVEL WORLD playset and the SPIDER-MAN RUB n' PLAY * activity set.

While I WILL show both of them in this post, the overall bulk of this post is to be dedicated to the 2nd figure and the RUB n' PLAY product set of which it was a part.
But we'll get to that in a mo'.


The FIRST figure is from the (possibly most coveted item by collectors of Marvel ephemera):
01975 "Marvel World" playset from Amsco.

I won't be giving a detailed write-up on this item now, since it deserves it's own post, but I will show the box and the Doctor Strange "play figure" that it contained.

Note the classic artwork.
(I'm of mixed mind on who has drawn this. Part of me thinks it was by "our pal" Sal Buscema, but another part thinks that's by John Romita Sr. Perhaps penciled by Romita and inked by Sal?)

The figure is 3 inches tall and has a mirror image on the flip side.
(If a character had an alter ego, the flip side would show that character in civilian guise. However, Dr. Stephen Strange is always Doctor Strange, so... just a mirror image.
It would have been neat if, for those without civvies, it had the same pose but drawn from the back, so for Doc it'd be mostly the Cloak of Levitation being seen. That would give a better feeling of "realism" for play. But,

I'll give an in-depth write up for this item next week.


The next entry for a Dr. Strange figure is the one that came with:
the Amazing Spider-Man and the Marvel Heroes RUB n' PLAY Magic Transfer Set.

Produced in 01978 by the COLORFORMS corporation, (everyone remembers "colorforms" right? The die-cut rubbery clings that would come with a slick coated backdrop image and you would be able to position the clings over and over again many times), this Magic Transfer set featured rub-on transfers that the kids (and NOT adult nerd-collector's, right?) would position over pre-printed bases to make standee figures.

Each standee is about 5 1/2 inces tall.

Here's what was included:
- 3 plates of standee base-figures
- 2 rub-on decal sheets
- 1 "rubbing tool" (a wooden tongue-depressor / popsicle stick) to use as a burnisher

I'm not 100% sure why the set is "Spider-Man and the Marvel HEROES, since it featured some VILLAINS as well. A more accurate name would have been Marvel CHARACTERS, or something.
But, since there are only two baddies in the set, the bulk ARE heroes.
And while it is a staple of Marvel heroes to beat the living piss out of each other (in the typical "misunderstanding") they would eventually get their shit together to team up and turn the villain at large into paste, so we're glad they're included.

The list of characters is as thus:

- Spider-Man
- Captain America
- Hulk
- Thor
- Iron-Man
- Human Torch
- The Thing
- Invisible Girl (Ok. Not really, but it was the obvious joke.)
- Doctor Doom
- Green Goblin
- Sub-Mariner
- Doctor Strange

With that line-up of heroes, I'd wonder just what the hell Green Goblin is doing there?
Doom? Well, hells yeah. He can hold his own against almost all of these heroes by his self. So what the heck does the Goblin have to offer here?
Aside from Spider-Man, he's outclassed by every single hero in the set.

With nearly full base-compliments of DEFENDERS AND AVENGERS represented here, the only other logical choice of villain to be included would be LOKI.

However, I'd imagine that having the "GOD of EVIL" in a playset aimed at kids "ages 5 and up", wouldn't fly in the midwest.
For that matter, DORMAMMU would also be null and void, for the whole "demon / devil" thing.
And it goes without saying that MEPHISTO wouldn't be proper for an all-ages Spider-Man themed comic activity, right?
*cough* *cough*

But, I digress.
Here are the easy-to-follow instructions:

1. Place transfer sheet over matching outline of each part, shiny side down.

2. Hold transfer firmly. Rub back of transfer with tool. Be careful to rub colored areas only.

3. Carefully lift the transfer sheet revealing a beautiful color section.

4. After rubbing on the remaining parts punch out completed figure

5. Punch out stand and place in slot at bottom of each figure.

6. Now you are ready to have fun with your stand-up Rub and Play figures.


You kids today with your PSP's and iPod Touch don't know the sheer joy of playing gleefully with your paper-craft standees that you "made" yourself with a wooden popsicle stick and some minor hand-eye skills.
You think you're soooo cool.
You sicken me.
In my day, we played with paper and sticks and we LIKED it.

No. I kid. I kid.
I'd imagine that these didn't afford ANY kid much in the way of "hours of fun", but theoretically could have been cool to have standing on a bookshelf in your room.

I WILL state that, neither have I, nor do I plan to, actually er... rub these figures. However, I will show you the process via scans and through the magic of photoshop, I'll show you what a finished Dr. Strange standee would look like.


Here is the base of the figure.
Printed on one side only of medium weight cardboard with perforated edges to easily "pop out" when ready.
Note that Doc's base is AWESOME!

This is the magic-rub-on portion.
Each of the characters had different amounts of rub-on decal to be applied.
If you look at the 2 sheets of transfers above, it's like a body-shop of limbs and torsos.
Doc, however, just needs the upper body to be applied.
You'll note that this image is the reverse of what you'll see in the final product (like an iron-on transfer).

This is what you'd have after you've positioned the decal over the base and used your stick "tool" to rub it on the body.
(Sure, I could have made that sound less pr0n-like, but I was using the terms written in the instructions. Ahh... it was a more innocent time.)

You'll, of course, recognize the oft-used Frank Brunner drawn pose (also used on the 'toon tumbler, mentioned here a few posts ago). However, it's been altered slightly, transforming the cloak from one that flowed out behind him (as if in a gale wind) into one that drapes down gracefully. I wonder if it was Brunner or a staff artist who made the change.
I'll have to dig around to see if there was a variation like this by Brunner for any other publication or product.
The fact that the golden trim on the cloak seems to have been drawn as if it was the bulk of the cloak seems to point to a well-intentioned, but erroneous staff artist.

And HERE'S what it would look like assembled and ready for "action".
Actually, that DOES look kinda cool. I'm tempted to (dare I say it)...



*At this time, I would like to say HELLO, sexy GOOGLE porn sex surfers!
All the mentioning of: rub, rubbing parts, rub with tool, "place in slot at bottom of figure", "your stick", golden trim, and of course, "rub n play" probably pulled in some soft core enthusiasts.
Heck, step # 5 ALONE, with the references to "punch out and stick in bottom of figure" probably drew in researchers of the "donkey punch". Crap. I've just made it worse.
No. Forget that. And don't look it up kids. Go read a nice wholesome comic.
Maybe one with Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker, who were never married. Ever. Nope didn't happen.
They just lived together and didn't do anything. And, she may have walked around the apartment dressed in skimpy lingerie. No wonder Spidey had all that pent up need to punch out the Green Goblin. A lot.

So...Greetings surfers. No one is judging you here. Stay for awhile.

I should direct any of you who DID come here due to that, to the comments of last week's "jigglers" post where I mention a Jenna Jameson jiggler on sale elsewhere.
Consider that a gesture of good will for accidentally luring you here.
We all good? Awesome.


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