Friday, June 24, 2005

"Kurt Andersen ... with Kung Fu Action Grip"

Remember those (slightly cheesy) personalized magazine covers you could get for people as gifts? Well there's an artist in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, who takes that idea to a whole new level (and price range). He crafts real action figures of (ostensibly) normal people that you know and love. Russell Tucker of Highly Flammable Toys appears on this weekend's "Studio 360," and for the occasion, created a toy version of program host Kurt Andersen, complete with accessories and collect-'em-all teasers on the back of the realistic-looking plastic packaging. (Andersen's was free of charge; if you want to get one, it'll cost $475.)

Basically, you gather photos and tidbits about the subject's life (either openly or in secret "detective" mode), send them off to Tucker, and he produces a one-of-a-kind work of art (he doesn't recommend actually playing with the action figures). Tucker says he aims for pieces based on somewhat truthful depictions of his subjects -- no (nonexistent) superpowers allowed, he insists during the interview with Andersen.

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