Tuesday, May 6, 2008

History of the Beanworld Action Figure

Chapter Ten
Battle Damaged!

With all the Stumptown hoopla I've recorded here: Dark Horse, Beanworld animation, and a bunch of photos--I totally forgot to mention something else of great Beanworld importance--the premiere of Battle Damaged FREE Beanworld Action Figures.

I wrote about The Return of the Beanworld Action Figure in an earlier post. But that wasn't the only thing worth recording that happened that Sunday at WonderCon.

Something really cool happened that day.
I was doing my normal pitch as folks strolled by:
"Have a FREE Beanworld Action Figure" I'd say.

And people would generally smile in recognition of the concept, and choose the face (or faces) that most pleased them.

But one kid came back. I don't think he was more than 12 or 13.

I recall he was wearing a dark knit cap.

Anyway, he said "My brother didn't like the one I gave him. He wants a battle-damaged figure like mine." And between thumb and forefinger he held up a Beanworld Action Figure with some of its skin flaked off.

The light bulb of IMMEDIATE recognition went off over my head. I can't begin to tell you how many meetings I was in at McFarlane Toys discussing battle damage on RoboCop figures and HALO and the like. My brain just said "Yeahhhhhhhh!"and I helped the kid dig through until he found one.
Out of the mouths of babes, huh?

For years, when a bean came out of the bag and its skin was cracked or chipped, I didn't use them. They seemed, quite frankly, less than "mint" and I figured they wouldn't be taken. And that was true. People always put the "chipped" ones back.

But that was then and this is now.

Putting "battle damage" on an REAL action figure is a relatively inexpensive way to stretch out the life of a specific pose. A few well placed cracks and bullet holes and the collectors go wild!

Battle Damaged FREE Beanworld Action Figures seemed like a natural line extension.
So now there are seven figures to collect.

A final very unscientific observation:
Adult males seemed to prefer the Original/Brite Eyes and Angry/Fightin' Mad.
Adult females seemed to prefer Sleepy/Snoozy and Happy/Tee hee.
Boys seemed to prefer Angry/Fightin' Mad and Battle Damaged.
Girls seemed to prefer Crazy and Dead.

When it comes to FREE Beanworld Action Figures--
there is something for everyone!


Tabkend said...

Bean sexes was always something I wondered about. How were we to tell which were females and which were males?

It seems, from the artwork we've seen, that the new incarnation might be colored... will color play a role in the sexes?

For the record, I think the Action Figures you sent me were Tee Hee and Bright Eyes. :)

Anonymous said...

I want a dead one!

Larry Marder said...

The FREE Beanworld Action Figures are purely totemic.
Now the Chow Sol'jers and Cuties are a different story.

Red = female
Blue = Male.

Proffy's colors are dominated by her atounding head gear--but her feet are Female red.

Beanish and the Boom'rs have different colors based on their post-Break-Out occupations.

Anonymous said...

Wow, after all this time, we know.

But wasn't there an old lettercol in which you said that the gender stuff was a non-inherent distinction? Just for games and stuff, like shirts and skins?

Larry Marder said...

Yes. Correct!

Anonymous said...

Thank god! I see my childhood wasn't spent in vain, reading those issues cover-to-cover over and over again...

Anonymous said...

I think mine started as Snoozy and Brite Eyes and ended up looking pretty battle damaged. I don't know where they are now. Maybe they sprouted and took off for the sky.