The latest buzz in the world of freaky toy collectors, like myself, seems to be the trend of underground, DIY toymaking. Part creative bootleg, part original concept and typically upwind of awesome, many skullbrainers have turned their talents to sculpting, casting and producing resin toys. Although I am not an expert on the subject (or even adequately informed), my understanding is that resin figure production can be accomplished in a backyard/garage studio, without the facilities, expense and production numbers necessitated by vinyl or ABS figures. The end result is that individuals (or duos), such as Le Merde, audiodifficulties and kaijukaijukaiju of skullbrain.org, and Glitchpop can produce toys of their own creations for a fairly reasonable per-item cost.
A few months ago, new skullbrain member glitchpop debuted one such creation, the Gelatinous3, in the Custom Toys forum. Response, as I recall, was lukewarm, ranging from "hey, cool, custom toys" to "what is that?" I'll admit that even I did not take immediate notice of the first shots that glitchpop posted, which appeared to be of translucent or solid cube-like... things. However, as the discussion progressed, the implication of his creation finally hit me- this was not just some nondescript blobby resin figure, the Gelatinous3 is a toy of one of the oldest and most common RPG monsters: the dungeon-slithering slime. For the uninitiated, slimes and other gelatinous monsters are the cornerstone of any good fantasy and/or role-playing game- from the humble Slime of Dragon Warrior (or Dragon Quest if you are in the country of origin) to the Primordial Ooze from the Legends set of Magic the Gathering. As for why this particular slime is known as the Gelatinous3, well, its creator gave me the low-down on its story...
"Everybody knows the Earth is made of gelatin. Beneath the thin surface crust, several kilometers of rock and earth, is the swirling mass of effervescent poly-spectral gelatin. The greatest of oceans. The stuff of life.
Gelatin gives nutrition to the land and sea. It avails itself to all life forms. It is the soup from which all is made and the stuff to which all will someday return.
It is sentient. It knows what it is doing. Gelatin wants to become. The different colors and flavours of gelatin tend towards various transformations. Although, of course, gelatin can become any thing.
But there are stages of transformation.
Millions of pipelines exist. Pumping gelatin to the forests, the oceans, the cities, where gelatin can become what is needed. The pipelines run from the gelatinous core through rock and earth and sea.
Of those millions, a few pipelines lead to the deep places of the Earth. At these places, the gelatin can emerge unadulterated and take its true form.
At the atomic level, the world-gelatin is made up of tiny particles shaped like cubes. When these numerous particles collect, gelatinous3s are formed.
The gelatinous3s must stay buried in the dark subterranean places. For sunlight will change them.
Gelatinous3s have a purpose. Their purpose is to collect. Collect that which is discarded, that which is no longer needed. To collect whatever is in its path.
They roam the deep dark places and absorb. They grow. What they consume once again becomes gelatin and they return it to the great kaleidoscopic ocean where it is absorbed and returned to its primordial gelatinous nature."
Whew! Spoken like a true fan of those time-intensive and detail-oriented RPGs from which its inspiration arose. Whatever you may feel about the sculpt, I think glitchpop has done something great by tapping into the mythos and legend of fantasy worlds and blending it with the homegrown, neo-kaiju style of toy, to arrive at something that has its roots firmly in both realms.
Well, his work finally came to fruition about a week ago, when Glitchpop.com launched its online webstore. Currently, it only carries a few choice pieces, but as the side blurb promises, more is soon to come, including a secret sculpt! After exchanging a few e-mails with glitchpop, he gave me glimpse of things to come. I must say, I'm quite curious to see how his future projects pan out.
So what is the Gelatinous3? Well, right now, it is available online in two sizes: mini (about 1.5" on a side, with a longer slime trail) and regular (about 2" on a side). Grab the minis while you can- word on the dungeon tunnels is that they are becoming increasingly hard to catch in the wild! Wink. Gelatinous3 come in a variety of colors and materials- including a squishy green one- and several even have some of their recent meals still bobbing around inside. Minis will run you $35 and regulars, $60- but this includes shipping to the U.S., making it quite a fair deal. Keep in mind, each piece is hand-casted by the artist, thus making it completely unique.
I, myself, prefer the mini sculpt- the slime trail and asymmetrical drip on the face give it a lot of character. However, there is something enticing about buying 8 cubic inches of skull-denting clear resin... I currently have the solid white mini with green drippy slime on its way to me, and maybe another surprise. :D
Check out the selection of Gelatinous3s currently available on Glitchpop.com, and be sure to stop by every so often as new specimens are brought into captivity.
I'll be sure to post pics and a quick review when my jelly buddies arrive!
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