This is the second Blade Runner themed article for the French model / toy magazine Dixie'me Plane'te. Ben Mund, Dave Kramer and I contributed material and photographs for this newest article. Many thanks to Pierre Pittiloni for putting all of it together into a coherent article for his magazine. Thanks also to Phil Steinschneider for the timely translation.
(English translations by Phil Steinschneider)
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This article is for everyone who manages to find products, or make their own collectibles. It presents a good overview of what Blade Runner fans have accomplished in honor of their cult film.
Why return to Blade Runner, a subject already well covered in the previous issue? Quite simply, because we became aware, during the creation of the first article, that even for determined collectors, the Blade Runner suppliers were few and very difficult to find--when they existed at all. The fans of Ridley Scott’s film have therefore had to roll up their sleeves and make use of their imaginations to create the numerous objects that they are unable to locate on the commercial market.
Not for sale!
But first, it is good to remember that these “products” are above all the fruit of a passion for “Blade Runner”, and are not conceived based on the logic of commercialization. The operative word here is passion, which permits, for example, one to pay homage to the Legos of our childhood, as well as well as the various vehicles from the film. Of course, for reasons of copyright and licensing, these objects cannot be commercialized.
Another aspect of and advantage of these “homemade” products lies in the humor and self-derision that certain fans practice: only lovers of “Blade Runner” would be capable of conceiving of a Deckard (Harrison Ford) in the form of Homer Simpson.
It is therefore, the results of the efforts of these people--who don’t always take themselves very seriously--that we propose to highlight now.
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1. A décor constituted exclusively of objects pulled from or inspired by the universe of “Blade Runner.” These give us a good look at what can be accomplished by certain dedicated fans; even the background panels in the image have been carefully conceived based on those in Deckard’s apartment. Of note is the beer bottle, which has not been customized, since Tsing Tao is a real Chinese brand.
Three replicas of weapons used in the film. The images on the left and the right (2 and 4) must be familiar. The one in the middle (3) is used by Leon to fire at Holden in the first scene of “Blade Runner.” The “weapons” presented here are, of course, inoffensive copies. On the other hand, Leon’s gun actually exists. It is a COP .357 Magnum.
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Hours in front of the film
and months of research!
To create his resin replica of Deckard’s blaster, Rick Ross had access to only limited reference material, which he was required to view often and for hours, frame-by-frame, from the “Blade Runner” laserdisc. If Rick’s work can be considered excellent, the most accurate copy of Deckard’s handgun is incontestably the one produced by Richard Coyle and Phil Steinschneider (4) who, in addition to watching the film, spent ten months researching the weapon. They also located the armourers employed in the making of “Blade Runner,” and identified the different firearms used in the making of Deckard’s blaster; these weapons being a Steyr Mannlicher and Charter Arms .44 Special Police Bulldog.
Afterwards, they were required to mold the modified parts of these arms in resin to obtain a non-firing and perfectly accurate copy of Deckard’s sidearm.
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5. Action figures from different collections find themselves completely transformed into Blade Runner products. The attention to detail is pushed to the extreme in the creation of 100% custom-made blister packs.
6. Homer as Deckard based on an action figure from Playmates.
7. Deckard, in an apparent rush, created from a “Men in Black” figure from the first film and elements of a Gambit from “X-Men.”
8. This Deckard was created from a Hasbro “Planet of the Apes” figure from 1999.
9. Here is what can be obtained with a “Famous Covers” Toy Biz figure--deserving of a rather sympathetic wink.
10. No, this is not an error. The Roy Batty garage kit in 120 millimeters was licensed by Mojo Resin and built by Dane Lane. It is featured on this page with permission. The piece is superb and we were unable to show it in the previous “Blade Runner” issue’s dossier.
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If you too are a player, send us photos of your creations, or the address of your Internet site to:
A vous de jouer
Histoire et Collections
5, avenue de la République
75541 Paris Cedex
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Loose custom pieces or in blister packs
The figures under the blister packs were all created from “Star Wars” toys: the Deckard was an Endor Han Solo, the Captain Bryant a Jek Porkins, and Pris was the result of a combination of two Princess Leias (the body is from an Endor Leia).
To transform these pieces, a Dremel rotary tool was employed to eliminate all of the details of Jek Porkin’s pilot uniform. A little putty was used to customize Pris’s arms and sleeves, as well as to construct Deckard’s blaster. The cards for Deckard and Bryant were printed with the help of Adobe Illustrator (graphics software for Macs and PCs); said software also helped reproduce the street crossing sign and parking meter panel furnished as accessories. Details on the blister packs were also created in Illustrator, as well as the “Kill” magazine. Bryant’s liquor bottle is the only item that was purchased in a specialty store and then transformed into a whiskey bottle by adding a label. The Deckard Homer (6) was created thanks to two Simpson figures: one Homer head and a Captain McAllister. The tie and hair were sculpted out of putty.
The running figure was originally a “Men in Black” Agent K from which the sunglasses were removed using the Dremel, and to which was added a coat from a Toy Biz Gambit (X-Men). The hair was also re-sculpted. The remainder was a simple repaint. The last Deckard (8) was made using a Taylor figure from “The Planet of the Apes” produced by Hasbro in 1999. The cloth coat comes from a collection of commercial figures with horses by “Breyers.”
The creations in Legos
Long before Lego began buying licenses, lovers of plastic bricks have been making Lego products themselves. The result of this passion, pushed to the extreme, is visible in photo number 11, for which Jeff Peabody has also created a very beautiful box. Note the logo play on words. Tatsuya Shoji (12) has built a super-Spinner, under whose dome one can even see Gaff and Deckard.
Sebastian’s van was created by Kentucky (we all have the right to adopt bizarre pseudonyms) who has assembled many secondary “Blade Runner” vehicles. This one is a particularly good example.
The other objects...
It can be said that “Blade Runner” fans do not lack imagination. An example of this is the creation of a wallet for the perfect collector (14). This piece features the Blade Runner emblem, an access card to Deckard’s apartment (the one in the film shows neither a design nor the Unicorn Towers inscription), a Vid-Phon card for the public video phone from the film, a Blade Runner patch, and finally, two police cards belonging to Deckard and Gaff.
But without a doubt, the most amusing is a little matchbook from the Snake Pit (15), the infamous bar in which Deckard goes to investigate Zhora. The writing on the back of the matchbook states that there are “exotic” attractions every night in Sector 4, and that Taffy Lewis, the bar’s owner, is presenting the spectacle of Salome and her snake for a limited engagement. The objects invented by Blade Runner fans are not only limited to those presented in this article, as imagination is the only real limit when it comes to modifying or creating your own products.
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11. Spinner car and false Lego box
12. Another Spinner car created in Legos
13. Sebastian’s van also done in Legos
14. The necessary accoutrements of a Blade Runner
15. The Snake Pit matchbook
16. The Tyrell logo on a t-shirt
17. The Nexus logo on a t-shirt
18. A totally unedited lunch box. A collector’s imagined merchandising for his fetish film.
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