When you wish upon a failed video game franchise (or why the cancelation of Disney Infinity could be great for Toy Photographers)

I have an X-Box 360. I have a dozen or so games, four of which I play, and only one of the four do I play on a semi regular basis. What I’m trying to say is that I’m NOT a gamer.

What I am though (along with everyone else, including the people who say they’re not) is a fan of Disney. Whether you’re into the animated classics, the Jerry Bruckheimer Pirate/Lone Ranger Johnny Depp vehicles, anything from Pixar, or the plethora of other bits and bobs Disney has had a hand in over the years one thing for certain is that the House of Mouse has something for everyone. And since their purchase of both Marvel and Star Wars relatively recently I don’t think theres any self respecting geek out there who can truly say they don’t enjoy some aspect of Disney.

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Captain Jack – Shot using one speed light with water sprayed to form the rain effect. All in camera, practical effects. 

Disney Infinity was launched in 2013 as a platform for players to use collectable figurines to unlock characters and abilities in the game in order to create their own adventure. (Think Skylanders or Lego Dimensions, but you’ve probably heard of Disney Infinity anyway). In 2016 Disney announced they would no long be putting out new products or updates for the game. For fans of the game this must have been a blow. I know if id have invested time and money into something of this sort and to have it wrecked  seemingly before its time I would be a bit annoyed. Game Over.

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Kemosabe – Shot outdoors at sunset by holding the figure in my left hand at arms length, with the camera in my right. Its all about spinning plates sometimes!

What this meant for toy photographers and collectors though was that a door had been opened into a whole new world. Here in the UK, shops like Smyths Toy Superstore started stocking the figures – once priced at around £10 each – at three for £4! You can pick them up on sites like eBay for £2-£5 a piece depending on the character and these things are great to photograph!

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Anna – Taken outdoors on a frosty, winter morning. Naturally. 

The figures themselves are stylised and have a distinctive look all their own. Although its clear which character is which, they have an angled – almost pixilated – look to them incorporating features and details of the characters we all know and love. Like the Funko Pop Vinyl figures I talked about here they have no articulation and are effectively statuettes rather than toys or figures, the look, scale, and style make them perfect for photography both on location and in the studio. Their bright, block colours make them very eye catching and easy to light too.

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Anakin – Lit with a lamp on each side of the figure – one with a blue filter, the other with red. The lightsaber was done in Photoshop – the figures are good, but they’re not THAT good!

If you can get your hands on one or two Infinity figures to shoot I highly recommend them. There, like any subject present their own challenges when it comes to photography (their lack of articulation makes it difficult to create different scenes, especially when shooting multiple figures), but these challenges are what the hobby is all about and finding methods of getting round them and creating something cool with them becomes even more rewarding.

If you’ve taken to shooting Infinity figures since the game was axed let me know. Also, let us ALL know of any other bargains you might have seen on these great little guys out there in the wild.

Keep photographing and having fun – Mark



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