Ahoy! A few of you may perhaps remember me bringing you the news of Collect&Display‘s first foray into the world of Halloween themed 3.5″ resin figures with the gloriously tangerine Hugo; well, time has passed and those figures are long sold out now. But guess what? I got one! And I decided what better compliment than to do a little review of this fine figure. Let’s commence.
First, let me just say, I’ve been itchy all week to get me hooks on this figure- ever since the shipping confirmation hit my inbox on Monday I’ve been chasing the postman round my street like some kind of crazed sea dog. Well, it’s finally here and I’m so pleased about it, mostly because it means I can stop hounding men in red shorts for cardboard boxes. Anyway, let’s check out the figure, because it’s a goody!
Even though Hugo is just 3.5″ tall, his purported size belies some serious heft. Being resin, not vinyl, there’s a really gratifying weight to the figure and his girth, ahem, makes for a very tactile toy indeed and, unlike some other resin figures I’ve had in the past, his feet are perfectly finished resulting in a very stable stance. At under 1″ Geoff, the
accompanying, unexplained and rather random awesome Halloween pumpkin seems miniscule in comparison, but despite his diminutive stature still feels well modelled and finished. By comparison, Hugo isn’t quite as perfect, but he’s good. Noticeable on my set is a very slight, but very definite discrepancy in colour- Hugo is a lighter shade of orange than Geoff. I’m not sure if it shows up in the images I’ve captured (they’re crap to be fair, thanks British weather) but it’s there for sure. Unlike some others have reported I’m not seeing any noticeable casting marks, bubbles or splits lines in the resin of either piece which is a definite mark of quality and kudos to Evan Morgan the manufacturer.
Something I’m not quite sold on is the idea of the “digital sculpt”, done by Dave Boydell. Traditionally, cast toys (resin or otherwise) are first sculpted in clay, whereas this one has been rendered in some 3D software and then, presumably, either 3D printed (more likely) or CNC machined from a block of foam before being used to make a mould. As a qualified industrial designer (I bet you didn’t know that, did you?) I know about this stuff, and both these processes leave the master model with a series of concentric, horizontal lines over the entirety which, unless hand sanded before casting, will result in these lines transferring to the resultant casts. That’s what’s happened here and, to me, indicates a missing stage of mid-process hand finishing that would just elevate Hugo to a level of perfection. Personally, I’ll always prefer a hand-sculpted master model over digital as the idea of a digital sculpt doesn’t offer the level of detail or high-finish that clay does without the input of an artisan to finish the model before casting. This is just a minor niggle and something that most people wouldn’t even notice, it’s just that my background makes details like that stand out to me. I couldn’t even capture it in photos, that’s how minor it is.
In terms of packaging, this model features a pretty awesome plasticised header card with a bag that opens from the bottom which just makes everything that much easier, and every edition is hand numbered out of 30. I got number 9 as you can see. I really can’t fault the packaging design and I’d love to see more manufacturers do it this way!
Overall, while I can find fault with Hugo and Geoff (be it the colouring or manufacturing process) I think Collect&Display have to be applauded for having the means, want and sheer testicules to go to the effort of producing their own toys and merch. As I’ve said previously, recently C&D have been bringing us rafts of awesome exclusive themed merch and I think their dedication to their own brand and their customers is what sets them apart as something rarified and unique in the market- I can’t speak highly enough of them or this edition of Hugo. I’d love for Lee at C&D to pass on my little tip to Dave/Evan about the lines in the model, as a delicate lick with some 800 grit prior to casting could make any future iterations of Hugo perfect. And I mean that. Perfect.
And as for future iterations? More. Please, more. I’d love if C&D resist the urge to make larger editions, batches of 30 is just right, and I can see Hugo in so many colours- I’ll definitely be queuing for any future editions, like maybe a Christmas edition? Hugo with a Santa hat and a Chistmas pressie? Or how about Hugo as he is here and a be-hatted roast turkey? I dunno, I have ideas that’s for sure (I’d love to help design a version of Hugo one day and I’m not too proud to say so, I am a designer after all).
Anyway, I’ve gone on too long, and as is customary with my reviews I just need to give Hugo and Geoff a St-arrrs rating. How about… 4.5! It’s a great edition, losing just half a star for some very minor niggles, and to confirm its rating, here’s 4 and a half pirate heads, just to make it clearer! Huzzah!
And that’s it! As per usual, do hit that “like” button if you liked reading this review, leave a coment to have your say and be sure to subscribe to my blog for more reviews like this and, of course, keep collecting! Yarr!
UPDATE: Ahoy! Having emailed Lee over at C&D to congratulate him on a fantastic toy, he has graciously offered to elucidate upon some of the finer points of my review so below is an excerpt from his email, enjoy:
“I have responded to some of your points below, not because I was not happy with what you have written but more to give you a further insight into our way of thinking.
– Geoff, the accompanying, unexplained and rather random Halloween pumpkin – We added him to make it more halloweenified, also from my own perspective it makes the figure more unique. We did not want to do just multiple colour ways so each one we do will likely come with some sort of festive related accessory and a neat little background story.
– Hugo was indeed 3D printed and then cast from the print but we do have reasons for this…. So the first Hugo that we initially made for ToyCon 2013 received alot of criticisms and honestly getting the sculpt right is a difficult task with Hugos multiple chins etc. This is why we favoured the 3D print, it also allowed us to get the details right on such a small sculpt.
– More? Of course there will be more 😀 we may increase the edition size slightly on some but I can imagine it will never exceed 50.”