Sunday, 10 August 2008

Bowen To Demand

Walking in to London's Forbidden Planet this left me oohing over the huge glass display case as usual, chock full of great looking statues. The output of different companies can be variable, with Diamond's marvel statues and busts being pretty much the worst by far---but the market leader is easily Bowen Designs.

Formed by sculptor Randy Bowen but now utilising the variable talents of other sculptors (the best looking work is frequently produced by Bowen himself), Bowen Designs deals mainly in producing resin bust and statues of comic characters, primarily retaining the Marvel license. Expense keeps these out of my general reach but I have picked up a few (starting with the Cyclops minibust that grabbed my intention at the Sheffield space Centre) over the years, although I have sold a few on since.

I don't know what the market for these is now but at one time I had a few busts that were worth over £300, which explains why I couldn't afford to pick up the Ant-Man and Black Bolt busts after becoming interested in these things. Generally the actual choice of character grabs my eye but sometimes it's the sculpt itself that draws my attention. Often its seeing the things in person rather than in the solicitations that make me go "oooh" every time I go into Nostalgia & Comics in Birmingham, currently displaying a rather impressive BD Iron Fist statue. Frequently the sculptures perfectly capture the characters as I've always envisioned them but with the prime characters now fairly well covered (often in variant versions, such as the 60s, 70s and 00s Captain Marvel minibust or brown and yellow versions of Wolverine), there are some more surprising (Tarantula, Jack of Hearts, etc) but still welcome releases due. More surprising are such choices as Mangog, AIM agents and even the six-armed Spider-Man (from the 70s) and Thor the Thunderfrog!!

So as a tip of the hat to the talent of Bowen, and sometimes his subordinates, here's a look at some of my favourite pieces...


Tone said...

Busts. I don't get em. The statue type that is. I mean, where are their legs eh?

Nige Lowrey said...

I like the three dimensional representation of 2D characters (such as print or film/tv characters) but find absolutely no logic in busts of already 3D items like toys...Transformers being the worst ideas, untransforming Transformers! Why not just glue your toys into position?