Heroic Display Idea

By | Tuesday, October 23, 2012 Leave a Comment
As I've noted before, I've been noodling how to put together a comic book library for myself. One thing that I've been leaning towards is getting some dimensionality in the room. Comics are largely about flat images, so most of the options that are available are posters, prints, wall decals, original art, etc. Now, you also get into some of the maquettes, which are quite nice, but not terribly large for an entire room. There are also some life-size statues available, but those tend to start in the several thousand dollar range and go up in price pretty quickly. Also, you tend to be really limited in which characters you can get a hold of unless you want to go all out and pay someone to sculpt your favorite hero from scratch!

It's coming up on Halloween, and there are plenty of ads floating around for costumes to no one's surprise. It's pretty easy any more to come by pretty decent comic-related costumes for not too terribly much money, and your biggest decision is often what character you want to portray. You could go all out for a really awesome cosplay number, but you don't need to in order to present a decent showing.

So here's the thought. You can get a decent full-body store mannequin for under $200. I haven't investigated prices too thoroughly to find out the best deal, but they don't seem to be too hard to come by. Less than $100 will get you some pretty good costumes as well. If you go the standard Halloween costume route, there's of course the standard Superman/Batman/Spider-Man options but one of the ancillary benefits to the comics-to-movies phenomenon we've seen over the past several years means there's also pretty good costumes for the X-Men, Hellboy, V, Kick-Ass...

Not to mention the increased availability of spandex body suits, you can get the basics of a good uniform for less popular characters like Blue Beetle, The Spot and the original Daredevil.

I'm particularly inclined to some of these full body costumes that would cover the entirety of the mannequin. That would mean that A) it looks less like a mannequin and more like a statue, and B) you could potentially get a used mannequin cheaper because the actual condition would be less of a concern -- chipped paint or a ding in the figure itself would be completely covered by the costume. If you're really inclined, too, you could just order individual parts separately (arms, legs, torso and head) and you would have more control over the pose/stance of the figure, to somewhat customize it to the character you're trying to put together.

I've seen one or two folks try to turn mannequins into superhero displays by just painting on them. Personally, I don't think this works nearly as well since you see the mannequin's seams very readily and details like belly buttons, individual toes and fingernails that would normally be concealed by the costume are apparent. Not to mention that it would be more difficult to farm out the artistic talent need to produce a piece like this since it has to be created on that specific mannequin, whereas a costume -- even a completely sewn-from-scratch custom one -- could be created and easily shipped from anywhere using just the figure measurements. If you're decent with a paintbrush yourself, it might be a bit cheaper but given the time involved and the pretty decent pricing on costumes any more, I think you're better off bypassing the painted route.

I think it'd be kind of a neat promotional idea if you're running a store and want a character to draw attention to a particular section of the store. Or perhaps setting in the front window to bring attention to the store itself. I'm still debating whether or not I would want one for my personal library. I think it would depend a bit on how much room I have to work with, and what character I might want to stand guard. I initially thought of the original Daredevil, but V is kind of an intriguing idea as well. Then again, that might be a little too menacing for what I'm looking for. I like the idea of Judge Dredd, but the various pads/armor for that costume tend to be a bit more on pricey side. Definitely not a priority for me right now, though, so I've got time to roll the idea around some more.
Newer Post Older Post Home