Need answers to questions regarding the upcoming book, HIDEOUS PLASTIC – In stores everyone can hear you scream? You’ll find ’em all here. I’ll update as necessary. If you want to contact me, please do so.
Q. Will this book be about Alien action figures other than the 1979 Kenner item?
A. Yes. It will contain information about other figures. Such details will primarily involve figures that were directly derived, descended or otherwise affected by the original Kenner item. You’ll find extensive information about older Tsukuda Hobby and Halcyon products made last Century along with investigations into more recent releases from today’s manufacturers like Gentle Giant and Super 7.
All of these figures are deemed worthy of documentation in the book as they were either derived directly from the original 1979 Kenner item or otherwise influenced or affected by it in other important and irrevocable ways.
Q. Will this book contain information about the Kenner ALIENS action figures of the 1990’s?
A. No. Well, a little bit; but nothing substantial and only by association with the older toy. While the ALIENS, ALIENS vs PREDATOR and ALIEN: Resurrection items of the 1990’s are briefly touched on by the content of HIDEOUS PLASTIC, expecting any extensive documentation on these items is outside the scope of the book. The book’s attention is focused on the original 1979 figure and its derivatives.
More recently released ALIENS vs PREDATOR and PROMETHEUS action figures and other merchandise made by companies such as McFarlane and NECA are not represented in this volume, either.
Q. If this is an unofficial Project, then isn’t it going to get ‘Foxed’?
A. This is a valid concern. Nonetheless, I am safeguarding against this possibility as much as possible. I take my responsibilities in this regard very seriously and recognise 20th Century Fox’ – and other companies’ – rights. I’m not out to ‘step on anyone’s toes’ if I can avoid doing so.
At this stage, 20th Century Fox have been approached regarding the book. This occurred in early 2016 but they have not responded. On the surface, this may appear to be a bad sign; but it also means they haven’t said ‘No, you can’t do this’, either. Certainly, I have not received a ‘Cease and Desist’ order from them. The wait for their response continues. I figure they’re being patient right now and waiting to see what my next move is. To say the least, assuming that they are not interested in this Project at some level would be incorrect, if only to protect their property rights, I expect to hear from them, eventually.
Notwithstanding such lack of reply, I have been working under the advice of a Professional Intellectual Property Consultant since January 2016. Under his guidance I am able to ensure that the book’s content is compliant with applicable copyright laws. My legal advice has managed to get me to this point but compliance with such laws will continue throughout the entire Project, even after the book is published.
That doesn’t mean I am free of any unforeseen legal snags that may yet arise as there are still some grey areas to be dealt with. At this point in my progress I’m covered in this regard and I’ll do my best and work my hardest to achieve the end goal of seeing this book published; or at least take it as far as it can possibly go.
The legal situation will be an ongoing process for some time yet.
I would love to have 20th Century Fox involvement. The Legitimacy that their recognition of this work would bring to this Project is considered invaluable. Nonetheless, I already have ample Professional legal advice – along with additional contingency plans – to proceed to completion without their involvement, if necessary.
Q. How long have you been working on HIDEOUS PLASTIC?
A. Work commenced on the book towards the end of June, 2015. Since then, I have been engaged in substantial research, planning, collating, action figure restoration work, writing and taking hundreds of photos. Many, many hours of work, effort and personal resources have been applied to this Project. The end result will be proof that this book is no minor piece of work.
Right now HIDEOUS PLASTIC is nearing completion but still has a long way to go before the end is in sight. All written and almost all image content has been generated by myself and all of this content is now in place. It now requires refinement, editing, fact checking and continued compliance with copyright laws.
So, yes, well over 18 months now.
Q. Is the book really over 200 pages long? Is there enough content for a book of that size and dedicate it to a single action figure?
A. Yes. This surprised me, too. There is easily enough content for a book of this length to document the vintage 1979 Alien action figure to its fullest. Right now the book is actually around 240 pages in length and I am still adding small amounts of content to it. Currently, it exists as a Microsoft Word document and it is yet to be professionally edited. The content will also need to be reconfigured and given a presentable layout by a professional book designer.
In light of this, I expect the page count to change, possibly even reduce a little; but considering the current size of the manuscript, even if it condenses during those processes I estimate that around 200 pages is a reasonable minimum page count and ample for a book of this nature.
Q. Will you be releasing any content of the book prior to publishing?
A. Yes. I will be releasing an excerpt from an early part of the book that details the history of the figure when it was released way back in 1979. My reasoning for doing so is twofold:
Firstly, you’ll get your hands on a sample excerpt of the book early for no charge. That will give you a good slice of FREE! content of approximately 30 pages in length comprising of text and images. On the strength of that sample alone you’ll be able to evaluate the early albeit incomplete content and decide if you will support the upcoming KickStarter campaign. Think of it as an ‘early access’ or ‘demo’ version as well as an insight into the contents of the book prior to making any commitment to support the Kickstarter campaign. I think you’ll enjoy what is being planned for initial public release.
More importantly, I want to ensure that my facts are straight and correct. It’s difficult researching substantial content for an ugly old toy that was released 3 decades ago and is surrounded by so much reputation. I’m very knowledgeable of the figure but additional input will be greatly appreciated. I will publicly release this section of the book that investigates the history of the figure in order to correct it as necessary from whatever feedback I receive. Remember, everyone knows something different and contributions from other people who are also knowledgeable in this area will help to fill in any gaps as well as verify or correct issues in the text. Such feedback is more than welcome!
Anyone providing valuable feedback that is used in the final print copy of the book will be duly credited within its pages.
Importantly, I don’t want to release the book and propagate inaccurate information. I’ve found and debunked enough of that in the book. There are some widely spread falsehoods about the figure and these erroneous details have been addressed and corrected in the text already. You’ll see. I still need to separate some ‘legend’ from fact and releasing this section publicly prior to publication will hopefully attract the right people who can advise me as appropriate.
The remaining content of the book is progressing excellently and will not require such attention. As such, it will not be released publicly. You’ll have to support the KickStarter campaign to get your hands on that.
Q. Hey, aren’t you the Guy who made all those custom maps for the old ALIENS vs PREDATOR 2 computer game?
A. Yes. I made a ton of downloadable custom content for AvP2. I have also performed contract work on other video games and I’ve also written reviews and articles for popular AvP web sites as well during the past 2 decades. You might say I get around. You’d be correct.
I have a solid reputation in the Greater AvP community and I finish what I start. Many people in the Community know me and are familiar with my work.
As for my good old AvP2 mapping days, you can download my most recent Multiplayer map for AvP2, DM Dry Dock (Pictured above.) which was released in mid 2016.
Q. I want to help you out? How can I do that?
A. That’s awesome! Thank you and I appreciate your enthusiasm and preparedness to be more involved. Mind you, I have most of the book under control now. Beyond the fact checking and general refinement of extant text, I still have some pages to add. At this rate, the Word manuscript is going to be in excess of 250 pages – and that doesn’t count an additional 15 pages of gallery images I want to include (I want to include 30 photos – 2 per page – of owners posing with their vintage 18 inch tall Kenner Aliens as part of the KickStarter campaign reward scheme.). So in this regard I really don’t need any assistance at the moment.
As I stated above, I may require some assistance with fact checking when the time comes but right now everything is progressing as intended.
If you really want to assist, I guess you could help by spreading the word. If you know someone who is interested in ALIEN, the movie; or action figures; or who is a toy enthusiast, then please link them to the site. I need as much traffic through here as possible. All the support I can get is very welcome!
Don’t forget to book mark it.
Q. Will you be running your own forums to discuss HIDEOUS PLASTIC?
I am also active on several other forums. You can use the links on the contact me page to join those open to public discussions.
Q. What do you plan to do beyond HIDEOUS PLASTIC?
A. That depends on how successful this book is. If the KickStarter campaign generates outstanding support, then the book will be the first part of a trilogy. I already have preliminary plans for 2 additional Volumes – but discussing them with anyone right now is way, way, way too premature. Excess funds raised by KickStarter will become seed money for Vol.s 2 & 3, to help them at that critical getting started phase.
More than anything else it’s one thing at a time, please. The proposed HIDEOUS PLASTIC Trilogy is a massive Project and I need to complete this Volume, In stores everyone can hear you scream, first. It is designed as a stand alone item but certainly it can go well beyond that if everything proceeds according to plan. Which it currently is doing so.
At this stage, the legal aspect is under control and that was a very important hurdle to cross successfully and will continue to be an ongoing issue. Regardless, I still have enough work on my plate to keep me occupied. hmmm… Let me see here:
- Finish writing the book.
- Maintain and update the web site.
- Write more ALIEN action figure reviews and articles for AvP sites because, well, that is good exposure.
- Take more photos for the book.
- Prepare the 30 page excerpt from the book for (FREE!) public download. NOTE: This excerpt is now downloadable.
- Prepare for the upcoming KickStarter campaign.
- Create (at least 1) video for the KickStarter campaign.).
- Contact and talk to more people who are prepared to help out with fact checking and historical accuracy.
- Talk to 20th Century Fox because their input is more than welcome!
- Talk to people at Gentle Giant and Super 7 and see if they are prepared to contribute or assist in some way.
- Arrange for a Professional editor.
- Arrange for a professional book designer.
- Acquire ISBN (too easy, actually.)
- Acquire printing quotes.
- Acquire binding quotes.
- Acquire postage costs.
…and that’s just the short list off the top of my head of tasks that need attention.
There’s about 8 months of solid work still ahead of me. At least that much. So, yeah, talking openly about anything beyond this Project is still a good year away at the very least.
We’ll get there, though. Before you know it, it will be September, 2017; and if all goes according to plan, the book will be arriving on supporters doorsteps around that time. So far, so good.