Apr 04, 2007
Up Close: Plaseebo
Plaseebo Custom first carved out a reputation for producing disturbing and even creepy customs of Japanese Kaiju vinyl. Building on an interest in the macabre, lead designer Bob Conge created the company's first vinyl figure -- Plaseebo, a dwarf mummy, with a fleshed-out backstory entitled "Awaken - The Legend of Plaseebo".
Plaseebo Custom was kind enough to send over the first edition of the Plaseebo figure.Today we bring you this detailed "Up Close" look at the figure to coincide with the figure's release earlier this morning. The pictures shown here were provided by Plaseebo Custom and are representative of the figure we looked at. This first edition is cast in glow-in-the-dark vinyl and is limited to just 85 pieces. Plaseebo measures 8" long prone and 5" seated. As a proper mummy, the figure comes nestled in a 10" vinyl Sarcophagus on a bed of paper shavings and accompanied by a plastic fly.
The sarcophagus design is at first appearances very reminiscent of those used to bury Egyptian Pharaohs. All the details are sculpted into the piece rather than merely rendered with paint. The foot of the sarcophagus bears the "Awaken" inscription -- a reference to the Legend of Plaseebo. The headdress is traditional with the exception of the toothy-grinned Plaseebo Custom symbol on top. The surface of Plaseebo's resting place is mostly smooth but has definite grooves and other imperfections along the top sides and along the seams between the two halves. These presumably intended imperfections convey a sense of enduring time consistent with a long-since buried Plaseebo. Constructed out of semi-soft vinyl, the sarcophagus goes a long way in separating Plaseebo from your average vinyl figure.
The Plaseebo figure itself is best described as frighteningly creepy. The partially bandaged mummy is apparently in mid-decomposition with a skull head and skeletal fingers yet still fleshy legs and posterior. The skull has a haunting appearance with large, deep seated eye sockets and a very narrow and angular mouth area. While not readily apparent in the pictures, this first edition has 4 gold colored teeth which might go un-noticed at first against the overall sepia tone of the figure. The hands are sculpted against Plaseebo's chest and are therefore not articulated. The legs provide the only articulation and along with the feet bear sculpted circular pockmarks -- a creepy and almost signature feature of Bob Conge's previous custom work. Personally, the pockmarks on the underside of the feet are perhaps the most powerful visually and the most disturbing.
The surface of the figure is highly textured from the fine pattern of the banadges to the pockmarks. Unlike most vinyl figures which are smooth to the touch, Plaseebo feels "gritty" which nicely conveys the over all darker vibe. Adding to that vibe is the glistening appearance of the sepia-toned paint which provides the only color (save for the purple Plaseebo logo on the left butt cheek). As far as the GID feature -- while Plaseebo glows, it does so fairly faintly compared to many other GID figures.
Inspired by Japanese Kaiju vinyl, Plaseebo Custom has chosen to use the traditional bag and header card packaging for Plaseebo. The custom header card was designed by Bob Conge and carries Plaseebo Custom's symbol -- a tongue waggling smiley face.
In addition to the Sarcophagus and figure, Plaseebo ships with an
illustrated copy of the Legend of Plaseebo printed on heavy parchment paper. This is definitely a nice touch which only adds to the collectability and
serves to reinforce Plaseebo as a living character rather than
simply a toy design.
Towards the Darker Side
While designer vinyl carries a varied set of aesthetics -- many pieces tend towards the bright and colorful end of the spectrum. With their first toy, Plaseebo Custom charts a distinctly different path -- one marked by an appreciation of a considerably darker aesthetic. In so doing they showcase a new range of possibilities for vinyl through the use of heavily textured as opposed to smooth surfaces.
This first GID edition of Plaseebo (85 pieces) is available for $85 directly from Plaseebo Custom.