We like to unbox and review some of the newest and hottest collectible figures here on Shacknews and I got my hands on the very limited Robin Premium Format Figure by Sideshow Collectibles. This 19" polyresin sculpted figure of the Boy Wonder features an intricately detailed design with Robin leaping over an exploding barrel found in an Ace Chemicals warehouse. With two head variations, two weapon choices, and a real fabric cape and hood, this exclusive edition Robin Premium Format Figure will easily be the focal point of any collection, large or small.
In the unboxing video above, I carefully assemble the Robin Premium Format Figure with the help of my trusted feline assistants. Each piece for this collectible figure is shown in detail with the wonderful physical material properties of each segment on display. Robin's cape and removable hood are both made from real fabric with internal wiring for more control in posing their shape. I was also able to have a short discussion with Production Manager Jon Rassmussen and VP of Development & Manufacturing Matt Bischof from Sideshow Collectibles about this new figure and the work behind creating collectibles.
Shacknews: Building these highly detailed statues takes a tremendous amount of teamwork. Can you folks talk about how your team works together to turn these ideas into a physical product for mass distribution?
Sideshow Collectibles: It takes a lot of passion from everyone involved. Creating our products takes a long time, and there are a lot of twists and turns along the way, so keeping that fire and enthusiasm throughout the process is important. We also try to challenge ourselves a little further with each new project – and no one on this team will back down from a challenge!
The Robin Premium Format Figure has an incredibly ambitious pose that required a ton of thought to bring to life in 3D. We are (quite literally) balancing aesthetics and engineering. For example, if we go too big with the base Robin will become diminished in the overall composition, go too small, and the figure will be unstable in that ultra-dynamic pose. Each project takes over a thousand hours to get to the final prototype, but it is incredibly rewarding once an idea becomes something you can physically hold in your hand.
Shacknews: Does your team do any classical sculpting when designing statues/figures? Or is it all digital now?
Sideshow Collectibles: Pretty much all of our artists are multi-disciplinary. Many of them have a background in traditional sculpture. We will utilize whichever method achieves the look we are after. The art informs the process. Currently, most of the sculpt is conducted digitally but we will still incorporate traditional sculpt elements when the project calls for it.
Robin, for example, was almost 100% digitally sculpted by Matt Black, who worked with designers Richard Luong, and the Kucharek brothers. The exception being his cape and removable hood (which both include wiring to allow for more dynamic posing) which were designed and tailored by fabric artist Esther Skandunas.
Shacknews: Molding/casting/injection molding technology has changed so much in the last 20 years. What have these changes in technique and technology opened up for sideshow creatively when designing these statues?
Sideshow Collectibles: Although the technology has evolved, the process for us is still very much hands-on. We have a great mold & cast team in-house at Sideshow, who add an extra element of precision to every single piece. Their knowledge and expertise are invaluable when bringing 3D art to life for collectors.
There is a great deal of consideration that goes into engineering a statue for 3D print output, and then also for molding and casting for production. Digital sculpt outputs still require handwork. It takes a very fine eye for detail, as not everything that lines up on screen transfers to in-hand. Our Mold & Cast team add an extra layer of artistry as we strive to get each sculpt as perfect as possible before we begin to mold the pieces.
Shacknews: What’s the biggest misconception when it comes to Sideshow and their products from a fan/consumer standpoint?
Sideshow Collectibles: That’s an interesting question. It might not be a “misconception” as such, but I do think a lot of people are surprised by the time it takes to create each statue. A single prototype may take months or even years, and it could also be a creative collaboration between multiple artists working to create a singular vision.
It’s not something many people may consider, but by the time a statue is unveiled at San Diego Comic Con a whole team of people could have been working on it for a year or more. It’s absolutely a labor of love.
Shacknews: Why was now the perfect time to do a Robin Premium format figure?
Sideshow Collectibles: Although we have a pretty extensive DC lineup, we had not produced a Boy Wonder statue before. It’s a character that was always added to the wish list but somehow the iteration or composition didn’t quite click with everyone until this piece. This design hit right. It was the Robin we all wanted to make.
Shacknews: It was a brilliant idea to merge elements of Drake and Damien into the figure so fans could choose which Robin to display. Can you walk us through how that idea came about?
Sideshow Collectibles: When a few characters have worn the mantle of a specific Superhero, there is always going to be a debate on which version to make. There were a lot of discussions behind the scenes.
At this point, Dick Grayson had been Nightwing for almost 40 years. Jason's run had come to an end (and the Red Hood character is great!), so we chose to develop a design for Tim. But as the art evolved, we noticed we were just naturally creating something that could also be interpreted as Damian. Why not both? Fates just aligned.
Shacknews: Will we see the rest of the Bat-family be introduced through your Premium Format Figure line? Red Hood? Nightwing? Or even Cassandra Cain as Batgirl?
Sideshow Collectibles: There have been some really fun discussions about the Bat-Family. I think some of our best Bat figures are yet to come. We will enjoy them together.
The Exclusive Edition Robin Premium Format Figure from Sideshow Collectibles is available now for $555 and is limited to a quantity of 500 units. The Collector's Edition is $545 with 1000 units for purchase. Keep a tab on our topic page for unboxings for more great videos on collectibles and gaming gear.