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Electric Tiki Coverage


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Electric Tiki was out in full force at the con this year. Known for such work as their "Tooned Up" versions of pop culture characters, Tiki has branched out in recent years to give us dead-on representations of classic cartoon characters with their maquette line. Now they are filling another gap with amazingly cool 12" scale statues of Golden Age Pulp Heroes. We here at AFI really, really dig this stuff. Not only because no one else is doing it, but because they represent an artistic vision that goes beyond the toys and maquettes of other companies.

Founded by former Disney animator Tracy Mark Lee, Electric Tiki has come a long way from their early beginnings of only offering statues of Tracy Lee's work or other independant press characters. I'm not sure if I've ever seen more on-model work than their "mini-maquette" line of Harvey and other classic animation characters. They look to expand these soon with the addition of UPA's Mr. Magoo, and some Walter Lantz characters: 3 different stages of Woody Woodpecker and also Chilly Willy! They also plan to tackle Jay Ward characters Rocky & Bullwinkle; can Peabody & Sherman be far behind? I think my favorite piece of all time though would have to be the Terrytoons Mighty Mouse. I'm happy to have picked it up last year at the con for $45- with a limited run of only 750 pieces it has been going for $400 recently on ebay... when you can find it! What sets Tiki apart from the pack is not just a slavish recreation of the model sheets in 3D form, but as sculptor Ruben Procopio put it at one of the panels, these are sculpts with life breathed into them. You get a real feel of the character behind the design from one of these statues or maquettes.

Electric Tiki Display Electric Tiki Display 2

Mr. Magoo Mini Maquette

Electric Tiki Displays
 
Zorro & Popeye Maquette Variants Popeye, Hellboy Jr., Betty Boop Mandy & Jeanie Electric Tiki Booth w/Tracy Lee
 

Hellboy Maquette

Hellboy Maquette Flash Gordon Maquette
Electra Woman & Dyna Girl Busts
 

Betty Boop Maquette

Hellboy Jr. Maquette Electra Woman & Dyna Girl Busts
Dean Yeagle's Mandy
 

Speaking of Ruben Procopio, his sculpts for the Classic Heroes line are just tremendous. As one of the driving forces that brought animation maquettes back to Disney during his tenure there, Ruben knows how to get to the essence of these characters. And amazingly, he sculpts all of these with Super Sculpey! We'll be doing an more in depth feature on Ruben here at AFI soon, so stayed tuned. Rumor has it that when Mike Mignola saw the Lone Ranger statue, he asked Tiki to make companion pieces of Hellboy and Lobster Johnson. Which, of course, they did. Further characters to come include Dick Tracy, The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician, Prince Valiant, and... Lassie?!? Now if only Condé Nast gets with the program maybe one day we can add fan favorites The Shadow and Doc Savage to this collection, too. In my wildest dreams I would love for Tiki to tackle all the great comic characters, from Harold Gray's Orphan Annie, to Roy Crane's Wash Tubbs & Capt. Easy, to Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse. Of course, having a comparable scale Fleischer Superman wouldn't hurt, either.

They have given us a few Fleischer characters, though, with the Betty Boop and Popeye mini maquettes. Popeye, in fact, has been made in both his Fleischer and Famous Studious incarnations, with a base that mimics the respective title card logos. There is aeven an exclusive black & white variant being offered of the Fleisher sculpt. Now if King Features would just relent and let them make a true Segar Popeye, fans everywhere would rejoice. Or at least, I would.

This coverage may seem like an advertisement of Electric Tiki to some, but the truth is that AFI is just astounded by the work they've produced recently. And lest you think they have abandoned their roots, dear reader, know that they are still making "Tooned Up" versions of such 70s and 80s favorites like Elvira and Electra Woman & Dyna Girl. Not to mention properties that other companies haven't explored, like Hellboy Jr. and Dean Yeagle's Mandy. (Link may not be appropriate for the kiddies).

Keep watching the news page for more Tiki coverage and reviews, and come back this Fall for an in depth look at their studio!

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