Most of my cartoon loot, I'm pretty relaxed about showing to people. That is, I don't mind taking items off the shelf for admirers to look at, as opposed to some more serious collectors who'd sue your right arm for laying a hand on a piece of their collection.
However these two pristine Ren and Stimpy figures may have to be an exception. Beside being immaculate models, some parts are visibly fragile.
I've mentioned before that these toys were obviously made after Ren and Stimpy became a cult hit. Ren is from fan-favortie episode 'Space Madness' and Stimpy is based on his appearance in 'Rens Toothache'
Like all the toys I collect, this Ren figure is expertly made. The torso and limbs display Preston Blair principles wonderfully in three dimensions, the pear shaped body, the organic bends in the limbs etc.
I also appreciate how far down Rens nose is! The more contrasts, the better.
I like the ears on this Ren. Rens ears aren't easy to draw well, let alone make them look good on a toy. And having his hair in a clump makes sense. Having individual hairs would be too delicate for a model.
These eyes look great in perspective!
I've said it before and I'll say it again; Whoever had the idea to make a toy out of a cartoon-take deserves a big, BIG raise!
Cartoon-takes are naturally very extreme poses. This is one of the only models I have that leans at all, let along backward to the right. Most toys are built straight so they can stand upright.
The head and eyes are the real jewels, of course. They manage to capture some of the subtleties of Rens unique head shape.
The eye sockets, eye wrinkles and eyebrows all add nicely. His tongue, teeth and gaping mouth are all great, even if they do make it look a little too much like hes smiling instead of screaming. No matter.
The eye stems that hold the bulging eyes are very delicate and actually had to be gingerly placed inside small holes in the eye sockets.
Huge eyes are the key ingredient in a wild cartoon take and this figure delivers. My favorite detail are the veins. What self respecting cartoonist doesn't love eye veins?
The veins are painted in a cool way too. They're sculpted into the edges of the eyes but only partially painted. I don't know if this was on purpose but it's a really cool way to paint them!
Of course, nothing a static figure can do could be wilder than what's possible in animation:
Here's Stimpys model, who can't see past the end of his nose. Great great hand poses!
I also like his flat little feet. They did these type of flat-pancake feet in the cartoons, when they weren't doing the plump-sausage style of feet.
Hah! What a great cartoon profile. Balled up tongue really sells Stimpys excitement. The slight jut out of Stimpys rear is really fun. I know it's taken from the cartoon but those pyjamas are so right for Stimpy!
Cartoon toy butts! The sincerest sign of a craftsmans care for the public consumer. I also like that the ears are facing completely backward!
Jeez! You can't see his pupils from this angle. Creepy!
His giant teeth look great and his hairs are short and thick enough to stand on their own. Smart.
The sparkling, shimmery clean underside of Stimpys mouth.
The mouth is actually completely hollow. I can put my finger all the way through. You really could put a toothbrush in there. Or maybe a pencil.
Interesting nose style too. All three Stimpy toys I own have completely different nose styles....
The first nose sticks outwards, away from the face, and curves a little, like a bean. The egg-shaped nose sits long-ways across the face. And the rounded nose sticks straight up.
To me that's the sign of great character design, when you can experiment with features like this just for fun.
And lastly for this post, a great Ren and Stimpy print I found by chance. It's one of the hundreds of funny drawings from the Adult Party Cartoon episode 'Onward and Upward'.
While the cartoon itself was a little too gross for even my taste, the drawings, especially from the dinner scene, were outstanding. The poster has Ren and Stimpy and their dimwitted high-society faces and their flies down. Class acts, all the way!
Admittedly, the poster wasn't all it was cracked up to be. The color is far more faded than the picture advertising it, the image is slightly cropped and it's printed on plain card stock.
But! Despite these minor nags, it's still a hilarious poster to have and one of the very few pieces of Adult Party Cartoon merchandise.
The poster isn't framed on my wall where I'd like it to be because my Mum says my room doesn't need any more framed pictures. Fair enough, it is a small room. But one day when I have a place of my own or maybe even an office, I'll have this hanging from my wall:
By the way; I just listened to the commentary by Director Larry Jackson on my Bugs Bunny Superstar DVD and I am floored, this is an outstanding commentary! It's not the typical self-congratulatory, sometimes silent, often awkward commentary with information you can find on the other special features (considering there are no other special features for this film).
Larry Jackson isn't so much giving commentary on the film and what's happening on screen, in fact he doesn't mention the cartoons being shown at all. Rather he is giving an in-depth and wonderfully told back-story about how the film got made.
He talks about how he got a Gold American Express card through an unexpected source, his hilarious original idea for a narrative film, part 'Citizen Kane' parody and part anthology of cartoons, he recalls the unique promotion and do-it-yourself distribution and I won't spoil the surprise of what film replaced 'Bugs Bunny Supertstar' in it's original Thanksgiving release in the late 1970s.
This quote really sticks with me: "We weren't geniuses and it wasn't Gone with the Wind but we worked hard. Plugging away at the release of one movie for 18 months. We had good instincts and tried to learn from the mistakes we inevitably made."
I feel tremendous respect for Larry Jackson after hearing this commentary, the trials and tribulations he struggled against to get this film made with the driving passion to reintroduce
Looney Tune cartoons to the public as not just children's fodder, which
at the time was crazy talk. These days we have masses of Looney Tunes retrospectives, commemorations and even historians but this was the first whack at it.
I feel uneasy about telling you even as little as I have about the commentary because it was such a genuine surprise. This commentary along with Clampetts hosting and vast cartoon memorabilia collection, tales form the days of Termite Terrace, Orson Welles narration, great cartoons and a copy of 'Whats Cooking Doc' unavailable anywhere else makes this slight and cheap DVD a must-have! BUY IT NOW!