Q&A with Nic Durham, Author, The Unofficial ReAction Figure Guide.

Coming out very, very soon is an independently produced printed guide to Super7’s popular ReAction Figures.  The book, ReAction Figures – Unofficial Action Figure Guide, 2013-2016, is authored by action figure enthusiast Nic Durham in the UK.  It is currently in the final stages of being published and Nic was kind enough to grant me a question and answer session with him during this busy time of overseeing the closing stages of its publication.

Phillip Wlodarczyk:  How did you get into collecting action figures?
Nic Durham: My addiction to plastic crack started when I was 5 years old. It was a rainy school holiday, midweek and I was bored and no doubt causing my parents all manner of problems. My mum sat me down in the living room, looking for 5 minutes piece and said ‘watch this, I think you’ll like it. What followed was Star Wars ‘A New Hope’. I was captivated! The following weekend I attended a family party at my Nan’s house and my uncle, then in his early 20’s, asked me what I’d been up to. Still obsessing about what I’d seen a few days prior, I went into raptures about Star Wars, he then proceeded to present me with a tin bucket that featured R2 & 3P0 on the side full of vintage Star Wars figures that had been his. From this moment on, I was hooked.

PW: Do you remember when you first became aware of the ReAction figure line?
 What was your first experience of it?
ND: My first experience of Reaction was back in early 2014. I was at my in-laws for the weekend in Nottingham and as per usual we settled in on the Saturday for some conversation and to watch a movie. This evenings choice was Prometheus. I had been out of the collecting game for a while and for some unknown reason during the movie, I pulled out my phone to check if they made Prometheus action figures. Checking the Forbidden Planet website and indeed they did make action figures for Prometheus, but it was not these that caught my eye. The search had brought in the original first wave of the Alien Reaction figures. The following day, I went to Forbidden Planet in Nottingham and purchased my first 2 Reaction Figures, Kane in the space suit and a Xenomorph. The following week I began to look through the web and ebay and it was all down hill from there!

PW: How much support has Super7 been provided you for producing this volume?
ND:  Super7’s support has been incredible, not just of the book but of me as a collector.  The guys at Super7 clearly care about their fans and are always striving to make so many dreams come true.

PW: Do you own all the figures in the book or did you source the images out
by other means, other collectors, Super7 themselves?
ND: I do own all but 2 exclusives that feature in the book. The images themselves come from various sources including Super7. All of the background artwork on each page was done by the extremely talented Andrew Butterman. This artwork just brings the book to life in my opinion.

PW: How long has the book taken to prepare?
ND: The book has taken roughly 6 months to put together and if memory serves the final version that will be printed for distribution is draft number 13, which is rather fitting as 13 is my lucky number.

PW: How many pages is it?
ND: The book has around 65 pages and includes every release between the inception of the brand in 2013 up to the final lines that where released at the end of 2016.

PW: What was your ambition to commence such an ambitious Project?
ND:  I think in terms of ambition, I just wanted there to be a showcase of the line. Brands such Action Man, Barbie, Transformers and certainly Star Wars have publications that focus on them as a brand and toy line and being a huge Reaction fan boy, I got to thinking ‘wouldn’t it be cool if someone wrote a book about this awesome toy line’, so I went looking for it and it didn’t exist. That was the only real motivation I needed to start the project, not because I wanted to sell it or be the first or anything like that, because I wanted to own it.

PW: How have you managed to fund the Project’s development?   …private or
personal funding?  …crowd sourcing?  …other sponsored funding?
ND: The book has been funded mainly by pre orders from good folks on the Reaction Figure Fans Facebook group. Those guys have all paid up front and I want to thank you for the support and backing everyone has given me.

PW: What has been the response from fans and collectors been like?
ND: Initially people where excited, but I think that excitment has grown and grown as the project has progressed and people have been able to see the finished article coming together. The response since I published a short video actually showing the proof copy of the book has been incredible.

PW: What have been your biggest challenges?
ND:  Sleep and lack of it! But in all seriousness, a project of this undertaking is pretty big and pretty daunting no matter who you are, but the support of my family and friends and this includes the folks on the forum and those at Super7 has made it easy to keep going.

PW: What about unexpected challenges – you know the ones – when plans don’t
work out?  Is there any horror stories you’d like to share?
ND: I have to be honest everything has worked out even better than I wanted it to, so I’ve been very lucky on that front. The only real horror story was in the first proof copy. Only half the book was printed on the first proof but this was quickly rectified.

PW: What content hasn’t made it into the book?
ND:  Everything that I wanted to put in this book, is in the book. I am constantly learning new details about Reaction, so any info that doesn’t appear in this book, will feature in a new volume in the future.

PW: Are there any followup volumes planned?
ND: There is plans for a volume 2, that will revisit everything in volume 1 with updated information etc as stated above while covering everything new to be released up to the point of if/when volume 2 is published, but that won’t be a for a while yet.

PW:  What are the details of its availability?  Where can interested fans
and collectors purchase a copy?
ND: At present if you are a member of Reaction Figure Fans on Facebook you can message me directly, alternatively you can purchase a copy from my website www.fpcollectibles.com. The book will be available from another retailer, but I’m not at liberty to give out details of that at the moment 😊

I’d just like to add that it has been a pleasure talking with you and I’d like to wish you the very best of luck with your own publication.

Thank you for your time, Nic, and all the best for you and your ambitious Project.  I’ve already ordered my copy of the book.  Once it arrives I will be reviewing it.  In closing, Nic has just announced on Facebook “I just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported this project, the response has been fantastic. To give you an update, the full print run is taking place this week with a view to ship out to you folks next week.”

ReAction Figures – Unofficial Action Figure Guide, 2013-2016 will be released soon and be available from his website www.fpcollectibles.com.

All images appearing in this article courtesy of Nic Durham.