Backyard Legends

You may remember that early last week I wrote a piece on the Backyard Legends of Yore action figure line from ToyGiant (Formerly Working Class Villains) and promised some updates when they came along. Well that time is now, as Tony of ToyGiant has sent us some photos and details on the upgrades. The new and improved elbow joints are being created for the Prince of Crystal. What does this mean? Simply put, the long and winding road to having 6 inch Crystar inspired action figures is growing shorter.

The new joint system is something that ToyGiant hopes will be able to revolutionize the “homebrew” toy industry. Tony’s concepts are very vivid and they all start at the drawing board. There he had to re-imagine some simple solutions to complex problems that had been plaguing the production of the Prince of Crystal. Thus far it looks like this solution will be the key that unlocks a much more hasty production without the hiccups that previous attempts have had.

Unfortunately it’s not an easy process. Some of the original parts were lost with previous mold makers. That means remaking molds and making new “master molds” in case any parts break during the process. The entire thing is laborious, but the end result is being able to reproduce a variety of parts to begin production of the figures. The hope is to get all the investors figures shipped soon and have some Prince of Crystal figures to sell at PowerCon in September. Continue reading

Crystar Kickstarter
Back at the end of 2010, a new project called Backyard Legends of Yore was under development in a hot new medium called Kickstarter. It’s hard to imagine that just a few short years ago, everyone and their brother wasn’t trying to Kickstart something. At the time, only a handful of Kickstarter projects had been done for toys. We were wide eyed and optimistic about the entire concept and the seemingly infinite potential.

This toy line in particular, struck a chord with me because of it’s association with the classic Crystar toys. It had all the design quality of Masters of the Universe Classics, with none of the big corporation baggage. It also featured lots of translucent toy goodness and it was a throwback to classic toys that weren’t the “heavy hitters” of the 80’s. In that way it’s like the Realm of the Underworld toy line. But time passed and almost nothing has been heard about the Backyard Legends. It lead me to wonder, where is the Prince of Crystal and his pals?

Prince of Crystal 2
We started in 2010 and now it’s 2013 and I’ve can’t help but ask whatever became of that Remco inspired line that held so much promise? Originally the toys were going to start being made by January of 2011. Unlike so many projects, this Kickstarter project actually met it’s goal, plus some. The money was there, wasn’t it? It really seemed like this toy line was going to happen back in 2010, but what happened?

Aside from some great looking prototypes and a few rough first draft exclusives, we haven’t seen the Prince in action. The folks behind the line, the Working Class Villains, have been mostly mum on the official Facebook page. The Kickstarter page has updated a few times for backers (in a page that can only be read by those who donated money) but even those seemed a bit sporadic. It seems like the rest of the toy community has completely forgotten about the Prince of Crystal. For some, it is just a distant memory and likely believed to be “another” failed Kickstart toy project, like so many before and since.

I decided to track down Tony Fowler, the face behind the project to get an update on where things stand. I knew that Tony had some troubles with the project from a construction standpoint (as some of the molding process was having issues) and he had some personal plight as well. Certainly these things had been speed bumps and blockades, but is this project ever going to get done? Will I ever be able to buy a Prince of Crystal figure? Thankfully Tony was kind enough to answer some questions. Continue reading

Some interesting new developments on the homebrew toy front, as the guys over at Working Class Villains have put together a unique new toy line. It’s called Backyard Legends, Action Figures of Yore. The concept is to recreate those “second string” toy line characters that aren’t licensed by any major toy companies today. Basically taking say anything Remco ever produced and turning it into a modern toy line, MOTUC style. You can see more at their Backyard Legends Facebook.

Of course these figures are completely unlicensed and as such, they are simply an homage to classic characters. First up in the “Prince of Crystal” who is similar to one of my old favorite toy line characters, Crystar. Right now they’re taking “pledges” that sort of work like preorders. If you’re just looking to help fund the project, you can donate any amount. If you’re looking to buy the Prince, he’ll run you a $45 donation. There are various levels of pledges. Think of it as PBS fund raiser for plastic! You can check that out at the Backyard Legends Kickstart Donation Page.

I really like the $200 level, which sees you get the Prince, a custom colored Prince of your choice and the follow up character based off of Moltar. Of course that’s a lot of bones to donate to a cause without a single figure produced. We’re going to keep an eye on the Backyard Legends and we’ll report back when more news comes about. The preliminary work looks excellent and all indications seem to say that this outfit knows what they’re doing. Production is supposed to start this January, so let’s hope this turns into a rousing success.