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?
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.
“You have great timing actually. Backyard Legends is not dead. I’m putting together a new Facebook page that’ll go live in a couple of days that’s solely mine, called ToyGiant. WorkingClassVillains has taken a sort of hiatus and I’m moving ahead solo. The first thing I’m posting on the new page is the elbow/knee joint fix that I recently updated my Kickstarter backers about. Those areas in particular have been extremely problematic once the figures are assembled. The innovation is going to hopefully blow the doors off of homemade action figure production.”
One of the takeaways from this entire project, can be how difficult it is for people to produce toys. Even those with the best of intentions often face incredible obstacles. Whether it’s an independent toy company or an underground set of low run customs, making toys is not an easy business. The good news is that the Prince of Crystal is not dead and gone. He may be late to the party, but it appears that he will eventually show up.
We still don’t have a definite date on when the Prince of Crystal will appear, but Tony is optimistic that it will be sooner rather than later. “I’m pushing hard to get my backers orders fulfilled and hopefully have some to sell at PowerCon.” Hopefully Tony and Toy Giant will have some more updates and photos we can pass along to fans of the Prince of Crystal and the entire Backyard Legends of Yore, soon.