Monday, April 14, 2008

Stately Caverns Production Update:

I've been multi-tasking in the past week, working on both the Stately Caverns and Space Command Displaysets. Although it was a setback that my assembly help did not work out, it's been great to get my hands back on these and start putting them together.

On Stately Caverns I concentrated mainly on the Batpole Quick Change box.

The design of this is directly related to the now postponed Phone Booth slipcase. Throughout this project I've tried to design thing that can be used in a variety of ways in order to get the maximum return on tooling and production costs. This has been a mixed bag. I had the notion that the phone booth slipcase could be re-purposed by adding a diagonal sealbar across the top square and then riveting two units together to form this hidden chamber.

My first manufacturer encouraged this kind of creative reuse but they couldn't actually deliver it. The second could do it, but each clever little alteration like this costs more than it's worth and oh, do they cause delays and one point I think I had 5 variations on this one tool. Insane, but that's part of the learning curve.

Anyway, that's why the box looks the way it does. It could be designed any number of ways--it could be square, or made from a canister, but, a triangle is a simplest way to get a stable shape--like a three-legged stool.

The batpole boxes are now handmade from heavy black chipboard, which means a lot of labor with a utility knife and a heavy hole punch for the pole holes. It took a lot of planning to make sure it lines up properly. The hardest part is making 12 of them!

But it's worth it to me, because this has been a Mego gimmick I've long wanted to see. I loved the Batpole in their Batcave, but it was a pole from nowhere. And while the Wayne Foundation looks cool, the elevator is kind of disappointing. I always wanted to be able to slide a figure from the top of the Foundation into the Batcave and have them change costume in the process.

This was one of my early 3D drawings trying to figure out the design. Having the batpole chamber in a rectangle facing out made sense, but that's a lot to build. 4 walls plus the elevator shaft. The design I have now has 3 walls and the triangular elevator shaft only has two. It may seem a little funky, but the Tower really makes a lot of sense.

Anyway, that's the update on the Batpole Quick Change gimmick. I had about half of them done before my hole punch gave out. Back to the hardware store!

Meanwhile, my friend Sean has been helping by inserting artwork and installing snaps in the main walls, so we are in good shape! Still left to do are the sliding Library shelf door and assembling the towers themselves. More later.

Bonus brainstorm! Are you a big fan of the Wayne Foundation but don't want to spend $500? Prefer a vinyl playset? Check out the possibilities when you put Mego Wayne Foundation art in a Dida Display Stack...


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