Signed books available right here?

I’ve considered it for a while, and I’d like to hear thoughts on having signed books available right here in the shop. I know people have reported having trouble with IndyPlanet’s checkout system or would rather get a signed copy from the artist, so I’m opening the idea for discussion.

To clarify, I’d have to markup the price of the books even though I can get them at cost, which is a little over $6, generally. Including shipping to me, that’s not bad. Now, think about it this way: to break even, I’d have to markup the books to about $12 on individual sales. To make a profit, we’re talking $18 – before my own shipping cost is added on. Fortunately, if I can order a bunch at a time, the cost is driven down for me.

This would mean I could do an unsigned book for about $6.50-$7 and a signed book for $7.50-8. A fair price, all things considered. Individual shipping to you via flat-rate (My preferred method because it’s insured!) comes out to $5.75. So, we’re talking $12.25-12-75 and $13.25-13.75 with shipping. Still pretty fair, all things considered.

Why would I reveal the prices? Well, I like letting people know what they’re paying for. I was taught early on “Honesty is the best policy” and I’ve stuck to that consistently for years. I’m being honest with you concerning the prices of these books, but for those who want printed copies and don’t want the hassle of IndyPlanet’s checkout system or want it signed by the artist, well, this would be a golden opportunity, don’t you think?

The other consideration I’ve put out before for discussion is doing a signed book and plush action figure combo pack for $25. I’ve had people agree that would be an extremely good deal, but I’m opening it for discussion again. I really do want as much input as possible on these ideas.

What do you look for in an action figure?

What do you look for in an action figure?

Action figure. Brings to mind the image of a stiff plastic figurine, doesn’t it? Asking what you look for in an action figure isn’t always an easy question to answer. I know what I look for: articulation – movement of the joints. True, I’m a girl and played with Barbie, but I was always frustrated by how little the dolls moved. Then along came Hot Skatin’ Barbie and Ken! Ahhh, they moved nicely, but were still… stiff.

I’ve seen more modern action figures – usually 20+ inches tall – that could move wrists, fingers, ankles and other more sophisticated areas, but in the end, they’re always… stiff. Plastic is fine, but it has a nasty habit of breaking, too. So, what I look for is durability alongside the movement.

I bet you’re thinking, “Well, what do you expect for something made of plastic?” Don’t get me wrong: I’m not dissing Barbie or the plastic action figure, just pointing out that they lack flexibility without being oversized and overpriced. This is where my action figures can step up to the plate.

This might sound like a cheap sales ploy, but hear me out anyway.

My action figures are soft and far more articulate than Barbie or any plastic action figure could hope to be. Why, you ask? They have a wire armature inside their soft bodies.

I’ll confess I’m like most kids – I enjoyed taking favorite toys to bed, but the plastic ones never made it – I was always afraid those stiff hands with the thumb sticking out would poke an eye out – even Bedtime Barbie had this problem! So, you tell me: would you prefer the plastic that the kid could choke on or lose an eye to in their sleep, or a soft but still articulate action figure they can take to bed and cuddle with?

Let me share a story with you.

When I first started making the Dream Angel series, I did the art by hand, but was constantly annoyed by not being able to keep characters’ color schemes straight. The first plush action figures I made were to be visual reference to alleviate that problem. They were 5″ tall and made of felt. They looked quite good, too. The funny part was when I posted pictures of them on Facebook and got a cry of “I want this one! Where can I buy it?” I probably should’ve expected the reaction, but in truth, I didn’t.

Well, long story short, I wound up making a store for these early action figures. Eventually, I realized kids would want to play with these and felt is certainly not durable enough for play. The new set I made is 10″ tall (they’re in the shop as options for some characters, by the way!) and these did better than the felt ones. Along the way, someone suggested I make them look more realistic instead of cartoony cute.

This led me to etsy and a seller listed as Prairie Crocus Studios for the 11″ and 12″ pattern after the somewhat disaster of trying to design an 18″ pattern and the good-but-complicated 16″ pattern (which is in the shop as an option for some characters, as well.) As it turns out, the 11″ and 12″ figures are just right and look very good with the soft sculpture faces and wire armatures. The result has been awe-inspiring, impressive and worth every penny:

 

aroku plush action figureThis 12″ fellow  (who is Aroku Sazaisaki) is certainly a fine delight and looks amazing (trust me, the picture hardly does him justice!) He’s soft, articulate, cuddly and an awesome superhero created by my very good friend Winston Jordan for his series Dragon Trio. Matter of fact, this guy’s the middle brother of the Trio.

Now here is a cute plush that can hold a pose and still cuddle up in bed.

Everything I always wanted as a kid from action figures. Yep, you caught me: I’m a Bat-fan. Of course my favorite growing up was the 60’s Batman movie made from the TV series with Adam West and Burt Ward. Yes, I would’ve loved cuddling up with a cute but still articulate stuffed Batman (and still would, of course!).

To my delight, fans have had this sort of reaction:

“Jennifer this doll is just incredible. You really did your best work yet. I can’t stop staring at this. A true work of art…” – Jerrie Lee.

That was said of the Aroku’s counterpart, midora plush action figureMidora, whom as you can see, is holding a nice kicking pose thanks to the wire armature in her body. She’s excellent at charming her way into the hearts of many and a favorite for fan art in the Facebook group Independent Creators’ Connection.

Certainly sounds like those patterns have paid for themselves, wouldn’t you agree?

Granted, I still look at regular plastic action figures in stores and to date, haven’t seen any like mine. These are entirely unique and despite using the same patterns, no two are ever exactly the same. Pretty good to get a one-of-a-kind action figure that’s washable, huggable and posable at the same time.

Okay my little sales ploy is over, but you have to admit, there’s benefits to be considered with what I’ve pointed out in that little sales ploy. I’ll be plainly honest here: They’re exactly what I would’ve wanted as a kid: the ability to hug and cuddle with my favorite characters, plus they can be posed? You bet I’d have wanted them!

So, what do you look for in an action figure? Keep it polite and constructive, please!

The finale of the triple release party!

Parties are fun, don’t you think? Well, now we’re seeing the finale of the triple release party. First, we saw Techwarrior #4 released on Saturday, then Hillbilly Hoot #1 on Sunday and today, Dream Angel #23 finishes out the trio.

What’s next? Well, that ought to be obvious by now: more books! More plush action figures! More goodies! I seem to have a never ending to-do list. Characters need to be made into plushes from the new patterns, new 3D techniques to learn, books to plan… Then there’s, dishes, laundry, vacuuming, cooking and mopping on top of it all!

So, we’ve made it through all three book releases. Is there any other news to impart? Why yes, there is. The soft weapons will soon be added to the shop with very large bold warnings that they’re most emphatically not for children 3 and under. Soft though they may be, they’re still small accessories! Rather than being for kids, these are better for older collectors more than to be played with. Things like the bow and crossbow do work, and do a nice job of sending the arrow and bolt flying across a room – which could hurt somebody. The pistol and dagger are quite small, too.

Now, older collectors and kids would enjoy these weapons because they’re magnetically attached to the doll’s hands. Characters like Larissa – who’s a police Lieutenant – would benefit from the gun belt made of faux leather, since it would help emphasize her law enforcement status. Reprobates would look more menacing holding a spear or sword. Being soft is simply a plus for these, since it should be harder to hurt someone with them.

So, thoughts?

What do you think of the new books? How about the triple party? Looking forward to seeing new plush characters and the weapons in the shop?

Triple release party coming soon!

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Come join us at the Facebook party! It’s been a lot longer in the works than usual, but finally, we’ll see a triple release party for Dream Angel #23,

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Techwarrior #4,

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and announcing the all-new Hillbilly Hoot #1!

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Although the latter two have been largely ready for a couple weeks now, the idea was to have a big party for all three to celebrate the new series.

Dream Angel was supposed to be done a couple weeks ago, but other things ended up taking priority. Nevertheless, it’s rapidly approaching completion with a good possibility of the party being this Saturday. This is one party you won’t want to miss!

These books are all amazingly rendered with great care and attention to detail. Well, don’t take my word for it, check them out for yourself when they’re released!

In other news, the redesign of Daybright and Firebright plush characters has turned out adorable. The sample Daybright I made has a full armature even inside the ears and wings. The plan is to finish off Dream Angel, have the triple release party and finish off the last of the details for the sample before posting pictures, so keep your eyes open for those to appear and beware: He’s a thief! He’ll steal your heart at first glance!

There’s plenty of charming darlings just waiting to be adored in the shop. Not forgetting key chains, travel mugs and other assorted goodies! There’s lots of cool stuff to do and see on this site, so don’t be shy!

Opinion time!

Are you excited about the triple party? What do you think of the redesign for Daybright and Firebright with the armature? Granted, you have yet to see it, but be imaginative for a moment. It’s a blue Pegasus unicorn with a complete armature that makes it poseable. Here’s Daybright in the shop as he is currently. Now, imagine a more realistic redesign with the armature.

Storm of awesome coming!

There’s a storm of awesome coming! One you won’t want to miss at all! Dream Angel #23, Techwarrior #4 and Hillbilly Hoot #1 will all be released soon in a fun triple party.

All three of these have knock-your-socks-off fun just waiting for you. Dream Angel’s in trouble again in #23 as her friends and family have been captured and she’s left almost alone to save them. Techwarrior is visiting an old friend when trouble starts again for him in #4 and Hillbilly Hoot is the premier book! I don’t dare spoil it other than something is missing!

The art has taken a definite jump for the better lately and stories are better than ever. Sweeping landscapes, huge battles and awe inspiring villains await in these books.

These books are so full of beauty that the computer can barely handle it! Scenes have taken 12 hours or more to prepare for rendering and much longer than in the past to render. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an excellent computer with enough power to do the job of course, it’s just been having trouble because the scenes have so much going on.

In other news, the plush action figures also look awesome! The new 11″ Arora/Dream Angel is a redheaded knockout. I’ve also acquired a new horse pattern for Daybright and Firebright that’ll be appropriately modified for them. These more realistic characters feature a soft body with a strong wire armature inside the body so they can be posed. Even the horses likely will sport these wire armatures once the pattern is modified and finalized.

This storm of awesome will definitely take you by storm. Don’t take my word for it, though! Stick around and find out for yourself!

It’s fixed!!

Happy to report it’s fixed! The images are back to normal. That means I can show off this cutie, even though she’s still in progress:

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Adorable, isn’t she? You might have also noticed that a new product has been added. Terance Baker’s Pink Hammer is now in the shop as part of the ICC Specialties group. To keep her company, Jellybean Dream has also been added to the shop in the ICC Specialties group. These two charmers are fabulous characters in their own series and may make appearances in the Dream Angel series as well.

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Adorable, aren’t they? As Pink Hammer demonstrates, they can hold a pose thanks to a wire armature inside the body.

Well, with images back in working order, things will be needing updating around here, but things should return to normal soon. How soon, is difficult to say, but being fixed is the first step.

So, thoughts are welcome. Simple request as usual is to follow the site-wide rules. What do you think of these new plush action figures? Who would you like to see next?

New Character Plush Action Figures Coming Soon!!

With Dream Angel #22 on temporary hold, I’ve been busy at the sewing machine. Well, it’s pretty easy to guess what that means: New character plush action figures are coming soon!

Who they will be is yet to be seen, but even as they are, they look very good! I’d share some images, but this site’s still having difficulty with those for the time being. Hopefully, the site hosting manager can get the problem straightened out soon and things can return to normal.

Now, here is where I very much want you to chime in(politely, mind you!).

  • What first attracted you to Dream Angel, Techwarrior or both and why?
  • What do you like about the series and why?
  • Do you like the idea of bundling the character plush figures with signed books and would you buy them if you could/they became available?
  • Do you have a favorite character?
  • What do you think would make these stories better (excluding blood, sex and violence)?
I’d appreciate honest but polite thoughts that are preferably constructive. The point of asking is to learn.

Signed books available right here?

I’ve considered it for a while, and I’d like to hear thoughts on having signed books available right here in the shop. I know people have reported having trouble with IndyPlanet’s checkout system or would rather get a signed copy from the artist, so I’m opening the idea for discussion.

To clarify, I’d have to markup the price of the books even though I can get them at cost, which is a little over $6, generally. Including shipping to me, that’s not bad. Now, think about it this way: to break even, I’d have to markup the books to about $12 on individual sales. To make a profit, we’re talking $18 – before my own shipping cost is added on. Fortunately, if I can order a bunch at a time, the cost is driven down for me.

This would mean I could do an unsigned book for about $6.50-$7 and a signed book for $7.50-8. A fair price, all things considered. Individual shipping to you via flat-rate (My preferred method because it’s insured!) comes out to $5.75. So, we’re talking $12.25-12-75 and $13.25-13.75 with shipping. Still pretty fair, all things considered.

Why would I reveal the prices? Well, I like letting people know what they’re paying for. I was taught early on “Honesty is the best policy” and I’ve stuck to that consistently for years. I’m being honest with you concerning the prices of these books, but for those who want printed copies and don’t want the hassle of IndyPlanet’s checkout system or want it signed by the artist, well, this would be a golden opportunity, don’t you think?

The other consideration I’ve put out before for discussion is doing a signed book and plush action figure combo pack for $25. I’ve had people agree that would be an extremely good deal, but I’m opening it for discussion again. I really do want as much input as possible on these ideas.

The discontinued 10″ and 16″ plush figures…

The 10″ and 16″ plush action figures are going to be discontinued and the shop will soon reflect this. Why, you might ask? Well, for several reasons.

  1. Fans have been wanting the 11″ and 12″ figures more
  2. The 11″ and 12″ figures are fast to make (this is more a reason for me)
  3. More often than not, the 10″ and even the 16″ size figures have faces that look like they’re sucking lemons – not as cute as they’re intended to be
  4. The 11″ and 12″ have a wire armature inside that makes them pose-able, they’re realistic-looking and soft.

I’m in the process of making the “sample” collection of action figures whose pictures will be in the little galleries on the product pages.

In the meantime, keep an eye on the Facebook group for further updates. At the moment, wordpress won’t let me upload images.

What do you look for in an action figure?

What do you look for in an action figure?

Action figure. Brings to mind the image of a stiff plastic figurine, doesn’t it? Asking what you look for in an action figure isn’t always an easy question to answer. I know what I look for: articulation – movement of the joints. True, I’m a girl and played with Barbie, but I was always frustrated by how little the dolls moved. Then along came Hot Skatin’ Barbie and Ken! Ahhh, they moved nicely, but were still… stiff.

I’ve seen more modern action figures – usually 20+ inches tall – that could move wrists, fingers, ankles and other more sophisticated areas, but in the end, they’re always… stiff. Plastic is fine, but it has a nasty habit of breaking, too. So, what I look for is durability alongside the movement.

I bet you’re thinking, “Well, what do you expect for something made of plastic?” Don’t get me wrong: I’m not dissing Barbie or the plastic action figure, just pointing out that they lack flexibility without being oversized and overpriced. This is where my action figures can step up to the plate.

This might sound like a cheap sales ploy, but hear me out anyway.

My action figures are soft and far more articulate than Barbie or any plastic action figure could hope to be. Why, you ask? They have a wire armature inside their soft bodies.

I’ll confess I’m like most kids – I enjoyed taking favorite toys to bed, but the plastic ones never made it – I was always afraid those stiff hands with the thumb sticking out would poke an eye out – even Bedtime Barbie had this problem! So, you tell me: would you prefer the plastic that the kid could choke on or lose an eye to in their sleep, or a soft but still articulate action figure they can take to bed and cuddle with?

Let me share a story with you.

When I first started making the Dream Angel series, I did the art by hand, but was constantly annoyed by not being able to keep characters’ color schemes straight. The first plush action figures I made were to be visual reference to alleviate that problem. They were 5″ tall and made of felt. They looked quite good, too. The funny part was when I posted pictures of them on Facebook and got a cry of “I want this one! Where can I buy it?” I probably should’ve expected the reaction, but in truth, I didn’t.

Well, long story short, I wound up making a store for these early action figures. Eventually, I realized kids would want to play with these and felt is certainly not durable enough for play. The new set I made is 10″ tall (they’re in the shop as options for some characters, by the way!) and these did better than the felt ones. Along the way, someone suggested I make them look more realistic instead of cartoony cute.

This led me to etsy and a seller listed as Prairie Crocus Studios for the 11″ and 12″ pattern after the somewhat disaster of trying to design an 18″ pattern and the good-but-complicated 16″ pattern (which is in the shop as an option for some characters, as well.) As it turns out, the 11″ and 12″ figures are just right and look very good with the soft sculpture faces and wire armatures. The result has been awe-inspiring, impressive and worth every penny:

 

aroku plush action figureThis 12″ fellow  (who is Aroku Sazaisaki) is certainly a fine delight and looks amazing (trust me, the picture hardly does him justice!) He’s soft, articulate, cuddly and an awesome superhero created by my very good friend Winston Jordan for his series Dragon Trio. Matter of fact, this guy’s the middle brother of the Trio.

Now here is a cute plush that can hold a pose and still cuddle up in bed.

Everything I always wanted as a kid from action figures. Yep, you caught me: I’m a Bat-fan. Of course my favorite growing up was the 60’s Batman movie made from the TV series with Adam West and Burt Ward. Yes, I would’ve loved cuddling up with a cute but still articulate stuffed Batman (and still would, of course!).

To my delight, fans have had this sort of reaction:

“Jennifer this doll is just incredible. You really did your best work yet. I can’t stop staring at this. A true work of art…” – Jerrie Lee.

That was said of the Aroku’s counterpart, midora plush action figureMidora, whom as you can see, is holding a nice kicking pose thanks to the wire armature in her body. She’s excellent at charming her way into the hearts of many and a favorite for fan art in the Facebook group Independent Creators’ Connection.

Certainly sounds like those patterns have paid for themselves, wouldn’t you agree?

Granted, I still look at regular plastic action figures in stores and to date, haven’t seen any like mine. These are entirely unique and despite using the same patterns, no two are ever exactly the same. Pretty good to get a one-of-a-kind action figure that’s washable, huggable and posable at the same time.

Okay my little sales ploy is over, but you have to admit, there’s benefits to be considered with what I’ve pointed out in that little sales ploy. I’ll be plainly honest here: They’re exactly what I would’ve wanted as a kid: the ability to hug and cuddle with my favorite characters, plus they can be posed? You bet I’d have wanted them!

So, what do you look for in an action figure? Keep it polite and constructive, please!