Prince Caspian - Original Action Figure Concepts
I found an interesting blog the other day from a guy named Greg Aurtore, who seemingly has worked as a designer within the toy industry for the last 30 years or so. His blog is filled with lots of interesting stories about working on popular toy ranges for lots of major toy companies, in particular a lot of work on the GI Joe toy line for Hasbro.
Anyway, two blog entries which caught my attention pertain to his work on developing the initial concept designs that helped Play Along Toys secure the contract from Disney to produce the Prince Caspian toy line. If you've ever watched the documentary series "The Toys That Made Us" on Netflix, you will probably know that when toy designers are pitching new ideas for toys, they will create concept designs by bodging together bits and pieces from old toys to give the company some idea of what they are planning, without having to go to the expense of manufacturing custom made parts.
So seemingly, when Play Along Toys decided to bid for the Prince Caspian contract, they asked him to come up with a few concept designs, in order to show Disney what sort of thing they might be able to produce. However, since he didn't have any official access to the in-development movie designs to base his concepts on, he had to just wing it, and go partly off what the first film looked like, partly what the books describe, and partly his own imagination. The results are genuinely quite fascinating!
Prince Caspian Concept Design:
For Prince Caspian he talks about how he wanted to make him appear visually distinct from both the Peter and Edmund figures, and that he pulled together the concept mostly from some knock-off "Disney's Hercules" action figure (you can definitely spot the Greek influences in the helmet). I have to say, the bright white costume and blue cape definitely evokes more of the Golden Haired Boy Prince from the book than the actual movie design. I kind of like it.
King Miraz Concept Design:
For King Miraz he says that he deliberately went with something closer to the style of a Calormen soldier as described in the later books, since he didn't know they were going to go with the whole Spanish Conquistador thing. In this case I definitely prefer the design used in the movie (his blue & gold battle armour is just such a genuinely iconic villain design, and Sergio Castellito's performance is by far the best thing in the entire movie) but this is definitely not a bad shout for a potential Calormen design.