So a year ago I got married and as per tradition the Groom is supposed to give gifts to all his groomsmen to commemorate the even and thank everyone for their participation as well as their contributions to my life. Being I'm the guy who would assume give anybody a toy i was left scratching my head at what to give each of these guys who have been such a huge part of my life. My Brother, My Brother in Law and My Brother in Beer. Each of varied interests there was no one thing I could give them all and really feel like I did my best for each of them.
So then it hit me... Go with what you know... duh... Nobody would forget getting their own customized likeness as an action figure gift. Brilliant!!! It's exactly what they'd expect from someone like me, regardless of their interests, when I give a gift I want it to be known... its from me...
So I got together some parts. The bodies were in the bag right off the bat. I took Dark Knight Movie Masters Jokers and swapped out the coats for Joker Thug Jackets. BAM! instant tuxedos! Nailed it.
Then came the heads... that was trickier, but luckily WWE's accurate star likenesses are so varied and relaxed that you can actually find damn near anybody's head out there if you squint hard enough. I had a John Cena for my Brother in law and a Cody Rhoades I think for my Best man and Brother in Beer and then I had to step over to a DCU Batman Beyond head for my Brother since he has a little softer likeness than the other two.
Once I had decided to get this going I knew immediately I would have to do packaging. If not to imply that these were more than an afterthought to just tie the set together when I gave them out at rehearsal dinner.
The Groomsmen: OPERATION BLACKTIE
Top Secret Mission of three operatives to secure and overtly escort 'BlackTie" to his final mission...
License to Wed
Codename: Ahaw Ma'Haaan!!
Relationship to Groom: Brother in Law
Skills: Computers/Fast Cars/Psychology
Relationship to Groom: Brother
Skills: Snark and Arms
Codename: The Dingo
Relationship to Groom: Best Friend
Skills: Ambassador to the Thirsty Masses
Demo Packaging: Made from scratch using a ProTech Star Case Clamshell. Graphics designed by myself in illustrator and printed to 11"x17" cardstock. Prints are then spray glued to comic board and burnished on. "The Groomsmen" branding decals printed on 8.5" x 11" inkjet "Sign Vinyl" and laminated with shipping tape, then hand cut. Full packaging could not be completed until the figures were done since packaging art would feature the figures themselves.
Here we have the whole set ready to be activated. Figures are suspended using a "Coathook" method I guess you could call it. The figure has a tab of wire bent under the coat tails that goes up nearly to the neck and then the wire is pushed through a piece of black foamcore which is adhered to the inside wall of the package to keep things classy. So that solves the problem of having to make any clunky inner tray to hold the figure in place.
And finally the backs. In keeping with the TOP SECRET theme I used the trusty Trilla of Manilla Folder display method to give the back an air of importance. Each figure is its own prominent feature of the back as well as their own BIO's for each of my Groomsmen.
It was a great way to thank these guys for being a part of our wedding and really the looks on their faces when they got them was better than any way of saying "Thank You."
Outside of the meaning of this work I really just enjoyed the work of developing the set from top to bottom. Figures with fairly relative likenesses, cohesive group packaging and theme, and end product, I think I did a fairly decent job of conjuring up a very special and unique set of figures.
To paraphrase: I'm really proud of these guys... both literally and FIGUREatively.