Plastic Man fans go to 11

In every fandom, there are people who are into it, and then there are people who are really into it. These fans often go above and beyond, and eagerly share their enthusiasm and creativity with others.

Charles Ward is one these fans. Even better, he’s a Plasti-fan!

You might remember Charles from an earlier post, when I highlighted a Plastic Man figure he generously sent my way. This time he’s outdone himself — not only was he kind enough to drop me some Plas paraphernalia, it’s something he had custom-made. Check out these ready-to-rock Plastic Man guitar picks!

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You might notice the picks use some iconic art by Jack Cole (if it looks familiar, take a look at the header of this very blog!), and in all ways are a great use of the Plastic Man design and color scheme. In other words, these picks are pure metal.

Thanks again to Charles, and thank you Rhode Island! Good night!

The kindness of Plasti-fans

When I first started this blog, I thought I was going to be more or less alone in my Plastic Man fandom. Boy, was I wrong.

Not only did I find plenty of people with love for the Pliable Paladin, but I also found some of the nicest, most creative, and amazingly generous group of folks out there. And Charles Ward has been there almost from the beginning, commenting, reposting, and sharing any news about Plas he comes across.

So I was crying on Facebook (and Twitter, and anywhere else people would listen) about not being able to find the Plastic Man figure that was part of a recent Justice League Action/Happy Meal promotion. And Charles, true agent of the N.B.I. that he is, sent me a message telling me that he had an extra, and if I wanted it he’d send it my way.

And he did.

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When it arrived, it was in its original packaging and everything (I totally opened it, though). It’s now in a place of honor with my other Plas figs, at least half of which could stand in as a tribute to the generosity of others. And, by the way, it’s a great figure, with bendy arms, an extendable neck, and a big ol’ Plastic Man grin.

Thanks, Charles!

Be sure to check out Charles’ Plastic Man Fan Group page on Facebook!

Happy Meals and pinball: Playing with Plastic Man!

Here’s something I haven’t said since I was nine years old — I can’t wait to get a Happy Meal.

Believe it or not, it’s not because I’ve got a hankering for a handful of chicken nuggets or an aching need for strangely warm pickle slices. Just like when I was a kid, what I really want is the toy inside that box.

Specifically, I want the new Plastic Man figure being released today (Sept. 20th) at McDonald’s.

OK, OK, there are other figures and masks being released to promote the new Cartoon Network show, Justice League Action, as well as a set of “girls” toys with characters from DC Super Hero Girls. (Just a quick aside — seriously, McDonald’s? We’re still doing the “boys” toys and “girls” toys. C’mon.) So, in addition to Plas, the toys include:

  • Superman, Batman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Bumblebee, Katana, Batgirl, and Supergirl figures;
  • Batman, Batgirl, Hawkman, and Green Arrow masks;
  • a Supergirl headband;
  • and a Wonder Woman tiara.

That’s a lot of cheeseburgers to choke down. Luckily, that Plastic Man fig obviously rocks your face off, so let’s ask questions!

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Do Plas’ arms bend or stretch? Or do they just swivel back and forth?

Does the neck pop up? Judging by the way the neck sits on the torso, it sure looks like it does. That would be fantastic.

Will Plas be one of the first heroes to be featured when Justice League Action premieres in October? That would also be fantastic.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of online game to go along with this figure?

That last one is easy, because there is — specifically, a McPlay pinball game designed by none other than friend of the blog, Luke Daab! Daab designed pinball games for all of the JLAction and DC Super Hero Girls characters, but Plastic Man really seems like a natural fit.

Just look at this guy.

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I’m looking forward to seeing what Daab and his creative co-workers have come up with; as senior art director at Creata, Daab was the sole visual designer of the game, working with programmers and the company’s internal digital team to develop the gameplay. And, he says, there is plenty of gameplay.

“You win the game by defeating Mr. Mind, which is done one of two ways,” Daab says. “The first is by slowly eliminating the lights in his health meter. This is done by hitting the silver button with the ball. The second is if you’re lucky enough to hit the ball through the small INSTANT WIN tunnel! But you have to beware. What you can do to Mr. Mind, he can do to you!”

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Of course, this is a Plastic Man-themed game, so things are a little less rigid. As a character, Plas always seems to be on the move, and his pinball game is no different.

“All of the bumpers in this game move around the board. Unlike regular pinball, the gameplay is much more random. Among the moving bumpers is a giant red ball which may or may not be Plastic Man himself. I left it ambiguous in order to stay consistent with the other games,” Daab says.

He also had some tips for would-be gamers. “By hitting the red ball in conjunction with the other two bumpers, you trigger a FREE SAVE in which Plastic Man’s hand stretches into frame and saves your ball! You can also activate defended game play. During this, Plastic Man’s arms stretch across the bottom corners of the board. For five seconds, you literally can’t lose!”

Take a look:

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I’m not going to lie — I laughed out loud with delight (delight!) when I saw those arms stretching and bending across the field. Daab understands that what makes the classic superheroes, especially DC’s superheroes, appealing is a sense of fun. That really comes through with this game design.

If this whole Happy Meal campaign — from the figures to the online games — is meant to get people ramped up for the shows coming in October, well … mission accomplished.

So, how many nuggets come in a Happy Meal nowadays, anyway?

Alleycats, Graham Crackers, and Plastic Man in the Windy City

As you may or may not know, my wife and I recently moved a few states over from Austin, Texas, to Chicago, Illinois. Getting everything ready for the move took up a lot of time (which is why the blog has suffered lately), but we’ve been here for a couple of weeks now and I didn’t waste any time hitting some of the local comic shops!

There seem to be a ton of shops in Chicago, and I’m lucky enough to live within a mile or so of two of them. Even luckier, I went to Alleycat Comics and found these:

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It might be hard to tell from the photo, but that’s Plastic Man #2 and #3 (vol. 2), featuring the work of writer Arnold Drake, artist J. Winslow Mortimer, and complete with Go-Go Checks! The issues are a little beat up, but Alleycat was letting them go for a fair price and the staff was super friendly, so I left feeling like I’d gotten more than a good deal — I had a good experience. (And a couple of Plastic Man comics to add to the collection!)

Oh, and if you think Alleycat is just a clever name, guess again:

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IT’S ACTUALLY AT THE END OF AN ALLEY. (No cats, though.)

I also managed to swing by Graham Crackers Comics-Edgewater, where they had a display for the Funko DC Super Powers keychains. I was excited when these were first announced, and then completely forgot about them. So I didn’t know they were being sold as blinds — basically, you buy a package without having any idea what’s in it, and hope you get the one you want.

This was especially painful because, hanging right there as part of the store display, was the one I wanted — a nice, fat-headed Plastic Man. Trying to decide whether or not I was willing to roll the dice, I mentioned my dilemma to the guy behind the counter. (I don’t remember his name. I’m a jerk.) And he said, “Hey, no problem — I can just sell you that one.”

Cue the angels singing:

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Welcome home, little guy. Welcome home.

It’s Plastic Man, the Silver Surfer, and the spirit of Mego!

I’ve been falling behind on posting again, so we’ll be doubling up on the updates this time around. First up is Plastic Man’s latest appearance over on the Super-Team Family blog, with Ross Pearsall matching the pliable paladin up with that Sentinal of the Skyways, the Silver Surfer!

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Bonus points for that clever issue title, by the way.

Ross always does a great job with this team-ups that never happened (but should have), and Plastic Man has been lucky enough to have make semi-regular appearances over the years. This pairing is particularly appropriate thanks to Mike Allred, the Silver Surfer artist seen here. Allred, who readers might know from his lauded creator-owned series Madman, also created a Madman spinoff called The Atomics. And in The Atomics there is a character called Mr. Gum who is pretty obviously based on a reformed-crook-turned-elastic-lawman. I mean, we’re talking right down to the suit colors and eyewear, which you can see in another of Ross’ mash-ups.

Neat, right? I’d have to say Plastic Man still has the better codename, though.

Next up is something we won’t be able to get our hands on until February, but it will be more than worth the wait (and the $30 price) — a Mego-style Plastic Man!

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The figure will be released by Figures Toy Company as part of the third wave of its Super Powers collection, which I’m guessing is in line with the third volume of the Super Powers comic? Maybe? In any case, the figure does look as if it’s following the comics’ sweet Carmine Infantino character design. (Brief aside: I have a friend who not only seemed to find my Plas fandom amusing, but also once asked, “So what’s the deal with his goggles? Is he always looking at a window or what?” It’s a fair point, so we’re still friends.)

Other figures released as part of the series will include a Hal Jordan Green Lantern, the Flash, and a fairly awesome Martian Manhunter. Of course Plastic Man is at the top of my list, not least of all because (as far as I can tell) this is the first time the character has gotten the full, production-line, Mego treatment. There was a Mego Plastic Man that was like Stretch Armstrong, but this is closer to a more traditional Mego.

What I’m getting at is, Christmas is only a couple of months away. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Special thanks to Anthony Durso for pointing me to the Plastic Man figure. You can catch up with Anthony on Twitter, and check out his custom Mego packaging for Plastic Man at the Mego Museum site (it’s next-level stuff, guys)!

Will this copy of Plastic Man #9 get another nibble on Ebay?

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Somewhere in the frozen North, a wily Canadian was cleaning out his garage and saw a chance to turn garbage into cold, hard cash when he uncovered a beat-up copy of Plastic Man #9.

“Beat-up” might be generous. “Plague-ridden” is probably more accurate since this comic’s most defining characteristic is that it’s been gnawed on by rats. But if that’s not a deterrent to you hardcore collectors out there, this copy can still be had on Ebay for the next couple of weeks for the whopping price of $21.60 (rat not included). To be fair to the seller, he does make it very, very clear in his listing that the comic has been, and I quote, “chewed on by a rat.” And also, it’s “impossible to read.” In case you’re wondering, I’ve included a picture of what the cover is supposed to look like for comparison.

If anyone decides to buy this comic, for the love of God let me know.

h/t to Bleeding Cool

Catching up with Plas

Posting has been irregular here lately (sorry ’bout that — blame life), so here are some quick Plas-centric items to wrap your mind around!

• I swear, I’m not going to start swiping everything from Firestorm Fan, but Shag did share this great image by Gregg Schigiel. Can we have a Muppet JLA, please? Why don’t we get this started? It’s time to get this started!

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• Speaking of that Shag guy, he and partner-in-crime Rob Kelly (of the amazing Aquaman Shrine) co-host Who’s Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe, and they finally got to Plastic Man! Woo-hoo! For what it’s worth, I agree with the guys’ assessment: The image of Plastic Man on the cover (by George Perez) is fantastic; the static (boring, dull, uninspired) image on the entry page less-so.

I’m a little surprised, considering interior artist Joe Staton did a much better, much more imaginative, job depicting Plas in the pages of Adventure Comics and The Brave and The Bold. Take a look and see what you think. (And while you’re at it, be sure to give the Who’s Who and Fire & Water podcasts a listen!)

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• Look, guys, I go to Target fairly often, and I’ve never seen this Plastic Man figure! And, boy, do I want it. I really like that it’s kind of a bendy, and that it looks both like Plas and Otto the Autopilot from Airplane! (clip slightly NSFW). And I can think of one person who’ll be happy to see that Martian Manhunter!

Go check out Toyrrific for the original post and pictures!

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Acquired!

I got this for a super-great price, but it would’ve been worth it for the super-jaunty Plastic Man on the inside cover alone. I can’t wait to start digging into this from start to finish, though it might be hard not to skip straight to “Plastic Mummy Meets Disco Mummy.” (Not to mention the animated appearance of Dr. Dome!)

There is one problem, though: While the set is called “The Complete Collection,” it looks as if it doesn’t include the later Baby Plas episodes. The completist in me is a little annoyed that these are missing, but the more sane part of me is kind of relieved.