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!

Plastic_Man_guitar_picks

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.

plasticman_jlaction_happymealfig

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!

jlaction_happy_meal_toys

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.

plastic_man_mcplay_luke_daab

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!”

mcplay_plastic_man_ball_daab

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:

mcplay_plastic_man_flippers_daab

mcplay_plastic_man_stretch_daab

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:

plastic_man_v2_no2_3

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:

alleycat_alley

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:

plastic_man_keychain

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!

SuperTeamFamily_PlasticMan_SilverSurfer

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!

DC_SuperPowers_Action-S3_PlasticMan

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)!

It’s Plastic Man on parade!

Honestly, I’m not showing off.

If anything, I want to point out the genuine generosity of people when I see it, especially when I’m the one on the receiving end of that generosity. It seems like such a rare thing sometimes that I want to jump on a table and point while shouting in a British accent, “See?! There! They do exist!! Harrumph harrumph.”

In this case I’m pointing my imaginary Meerschaum directly at Russell Burbage, who runs the Seigi No Nakama blog and writes and draws the original Friends of Justice series. Russell is also an active and longtime member of a community of bloggers and podcasters (originally centered around the Fire and Water Podcast) that’s made up of a great bunch of people who continually stun me with their support and enthusiasm for each other’s projects. Russell, of course, is a big part of that.

A couple of months ago (I meant to write this up a while back), Russell sent me a note out of the blue asking if I’d like the Super Powers Plastic Man figure. Not if I’d be interested in buying it, just if I wanted it. Give me your address, he said, and it’s yours.

He didn’t know it, but I had just been pining over that same figure in one my local comic book stores. I would have loved to buy it then, but it came with a budget-busting price tag. And now here was a guy I’d never really talked to before just offering it to me. Here. I think you’ll like this. It’s yours.

Thinking about it now, I’m stunned all over again.

The real surprise came a few weeks later, though, when the package arrived. Not only was the promised figure included, but there was also a card featuring the Plastic Man stamp design, another with the Super Powers bio, the Super Powers figure itself, and ANOTHER PLASTIC MAN FIGURE! Eeyow!

And this one was the DC Direct figure, complete with removable goggles and flippy-floppy rubber arms. If you just said to yourself, “Whoa! That’s awesome!” then we are in complete agreement. Again, this was generous beyond words — so here are some pictures!

PlasticManfig_rubber_goggles
Goggles on!
Goggles off!
Goggles off!

And finally …

The Super Powers figure (with super neck-stretching action)!
The Super Powers figure (with super neck-stretching action)!

OK, maybe I am showing off just a little. After all, how often does someone get to brag about what great pals they have? Thanks again, Russell!

Plastic Man always travels first class (postage)

Hey, you know who’s a cool dude? Luke muthalovin’ Daab.

Not only is he a great visual artist, he’s also a great songwriter and performer. I can only assume he’s a great puppeteer, because he does that, too, and he seems to have a talent for whatever he decides to do.

Needless to say, I hate him.

Ha ha! Obviously that part’s not true – I’m a big fan of Luke’s and you should be, too, because not only is he producing lots of cool stuff for our enjoyment, but he’s also just a decent and generous human being. Why else would I get an out-of-the-blue message from him one day telling me that he’s at the Mighty Con in Madison, Wisconsin, and hey, someone’s got the LEGO Plastic Man mini-fig for sale and do you want it?

And seemingly just like that, this happened.

Plastic_Man_LEGO_minifig

See what I mean? Luke Daab is the coolest. So be sure to go find our newest NBI agent (I really should get cards made or something) and support him at his main site, on Tumblr and on Patreon.

It’s Plastic Man is NOT on hiatus

As you may have noticed, there haven’t been any new posts here at It’s Plastic Man for a while, and regular posting was becoming suspiciously irregular before that. I’ve mentioned it in passing, but I realized I never actually said it here, so I want it to be clear: It’s Plastic Man is not on hiatus, and it is certainly not abandoned, dying or  – eeyow! – dead.

Let me pull the curtain back for a sec. I make a living as a freelance copy editor and writer, and occasionally I take on more long-term work as a contractor. Which is what I’m doing right now, as a copy editor with a state agency that works closely with the state legislature. I’m not going to bore you more than I already am; the upshot is that at the moment my job is basically a blur of 10-to-12 hour days, six days a week, and that’s been the case for the last three weeks or so.

Guys, when I get home I’m tired.

But! The current workload should only be like this for the next couple of weeks, and then drop off pretty dramatically after that. Once that happens, I’ll be able to start posting on a regular basis again – hooray! And even before then, we’ll be looking at the release of Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters #1 next week, and you can bet I’ll have something to say about that.

In the meantime, thanks for your patience and be sure to stick around – like the always-adaptable Plastic Man himself, you can’t keep this site down for long!

Pow!
Pow!