REVIEW: Nathan Hamill’s Boris
Artist Nathan Hamill and U1 Toy Arts have joined forces to release their first designer vinyl figure – Boris. The little, purple raccoon is the first character from Nathan’s Picnic Land series to make its way to limited edition toy form. You might remember seeing the figure release party that featured custom Boris figures from plenty of top artists.
Boris was raised by his father, Horace, on a private cargo vessel, the Blue Turski. As a wee kitten, he helped steer and navigate the eighty-seven seas with great skill and great ease. All the while, his father and he battled enormous sea serpents, blood thirsty ghosts and the treacherous Eel People, only occasionally breaking for acorn cookies and sardine tea.
Shortly after his sixth birthday, the Blue Turski was boarded in the dead of the night by Captain Bland Beard and his fancy band of pirates. Te savagely killed his father, stole the party favors and forced Boris to walk the dreaded and quite splintered plank. Fortunately, due to the pirates’ shoddy knot job and Boris’ ability to dislocate his tail, the resolute little fella wrestled himself free and narrowly escaped, swimming to the moonlit shore of a mysterious island.
Boris the Raccoon
Series: Picnic Land Series Manufacturer: U1 Toy Arts
Artist: Nathan Hamill
Sculpted by: David Kawano
Material: Rotocast vinyl
Dimensions: 2.5” tall
Points of Articulation: 2 (neck and tail)
Edition Size: 1,000 pieces
The Boris figure is packaged in a small, window-front box. That box features an illustrated version of Boris, drawn by Nathan Hamill, covering all sides of it. Inside, the vinyl is held between clear plastic cover and base trays.
Transferring a 2D drawing to 3 dimensional form can make or break a figure. If there’s a point of reference for a toy, a collector is usually going to compare that sculpt back to the original. So how does David Kawano’s sculpt compare to Nathan Hamill’s original artwork?
The Boris figure is slightly skinnier than his drawn counterpart. But everything else looks near perfect. The head still has that blocky look to it. The arms, feet and tail all have transferred true to the art. And the eyes are each unique, with different sized white pupils. The color of the iris has changed from dark purple in the art to black on the vinyl.
Most of the paint on the figure is matte, except for the eyes, which are a glossy off-white. The purple of the rotocast vinyl body is slightly lighter than the injection molded tail, but not super noticeable. And keep an eye out for the many sculpted lines on the figure. They appear to have a black wash over them to bring out the sculpt.
The biggest question is whether or not Boris is an $18 vinyl toy. Well…that’s what it’s priced at, but is it worth that amount? I think, if you like the design, it’s definitely worth $18…even though it’s only a 2” tall figure. The quality is well above normal for such a small piece, and there’s more sculpting work on Boris than other vinyl figures of this size.
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Figure Quality: 9/10
Fun Factor: 8/10
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