Sophisticated action pieces delight children and adults alike, making them a true form of art.
Praising toys as an art form /
That childhood stadium where playing is the main source of knowledge, never really leaves the human being, and in recent generations this has made itself ever more present. At least since the seventies many people have adopted a ludic profile that relates, among other things, with an obsession with toys. Those treasures, once confined to a corner in a child’s life, continue to have a place in grown men and women’s bedrooms; the wisdom of Master Alejandro Jodorowsky poeticises the latter by saying that as we grow-up, we don’t cease to be babies or children or adults: we actually have all these ages contained within our body, our mind and spirit the entire time, denying them represents the death or incarceration of our absolute being potential.
Rag and wooden toys found a new sophistication with the technologic development of polymers, although it is clear that nothing will ever overcome our imagination’s ability to animate inert objects, since a figure —regardless of its material— will undoubtedly stimulate our imagination. Cinema contributed to the popularisation and growth of the collectible toy industry, this is particularly true of the intergalactic saga Star Wars. George Lucas’ powerful vision gained huge profits from their series of collectible objects, initiating what is now considered normal: the transition of on-screen heroes to injected, roto-moulded or printed polymers.
Collectible toys, action dolls or figures are a genuine art form for many: contemporary ornamental sculptures, the modern version of Venus and heroes used to embellish palaces, Victorian mansions or country houses. These miniature pieces evidence a profound aesthetic preference and partly fill a ritualistic function. Sacred altars for collections grow and transform as the passionate collecteur becomes aware of new works (animation, film or graphic novels) that merit the acquisition of yet another articulated statuette.
The production process of these miniature works begins by modelling the figurine by hand, in ductile materials that are also, at the same time, firm and stable, like wax and polymeric clay. These moulder’s talent is astounding; the portrayals of heroes, aliens and creatures must be unbelievably precise. The task requires a great control over the sculptural technique, attention to detail and great patience. Depending on the type of object (static or mobile), the unions and junctures must be taken into account from the very beginning.
For the mould the process is basically chemistry applied to art, they are made with high fidelity silicones and an accurate catalysis of the polymer ensures a faithful record of the statuette’s textures. Additionally, the sophistication of these materials has allowed the creation of surprising makeup prosthetics to be used for filming. During the final stages these pieces must be emptied in plastic to be painted, joined and packed in order to reach the stores where they will be sold.
An initial approach to these toys’ production is shown in The Secret Story of TOYS, a short film by Anthony Ladesich. The work by artists like Mark Newman, TK Miller and Trevor Grove is astounding and we fervently recommend taking a look at this industry’s endeavours.
As Jodorowsky reminds us, abandoning the creative force that exists within infantile freedom would be a regrettable mutilation of our existence. In turn, we should learn to entertain our spirit with this and other forms of ludic art.Tagged: toys, art, popular arts, inspiration, The Secret Story of TOYS Anthony Ladesich, short films