REVIEW: Gary Ham’s Hermees
Two and a half years ago, artist Gary Ham released his first self-produced toy. Carrot Shake Jake stood about 6” tall, yet is dwarfed by Gary's newest release. His second self-produced vinyl toy is named Hermees. It's possible that you remember this character from his small run wooden toy release at SDCC 2010. Well, thanks to the positive response, Mr. Ham has released the initial pink and brown colorway of the bat with a 12” wingspan – Hermees.
Hermees is a trickster and international traveler. He's developed quite the reputation and depending on where his journey's take him, he could bring luck, happiness, longevity, disease, or even...DEATH.
Manufacturer: Self produced
Artist: Gary Ham
Material: Rotocast vinyl
Dimensions: 8” tall by 12” wide
Points of Articulation: 8 (head, snout, wings, hands, and feet)
Edition Size: 200 pieces
This is a big toy, so it's going to need to be stowed in a rather large box. Gary has gone with a plastic window front featuring a border highlighted by Hermees' teeth. The background story is printed on one box side, while a side-view illustration of Hermees is on the other. On the rear of the box, you get illustrations of the four planned color versions (as well as run numbers). And be sure to look underneath, as it's quite possible that Gary Ham signed your package...hmm...
I remember when Gary first revealed photos of his Wooden Bat creation. That was back in September of 2009. But Hermees didn't really have a backstory or name...not to my knowledge. Almost a year later, at San Diego Comic Con, Gary released a few more wooden versions, this time in three different designs. Now, everyone (or at least 200 people) can get their hands on one of the roto vinyl Hermees.
First impression is: Wow! This is a big vinyl figure. I actually had to shoot Gary an email to make sure that it was priced correctly through his site. $45 for a figure of this size (a foot wide) is nearly unheard of.
The next item I checked out was articulation. It's probably more articulated than I think it needs to be (I don't really need to turn his snout, do I?). But you can move his hands, feet, arms, head and snout. You'll get the most use out of repositioning Hermees' arms, since his uses his wings to help balance.
Gary actually had the factory use the wooden model to produce the molds. What that gives you is a vinyl toy that looks like it's made of wood. All of the imperfections that were in the wood are reflected in the roto vinyl. You can see the grain of the wood in the arms and pock marks on the wings and snout. It's reproduced extremely well. But if you didn't know that's the look he was going for, it would be easy to mistake it for poor sculpting.
Paint-wise, I'd say it was average. The line between the pink wing and brown arm has a few issues, and there are a few gloppy spots on the feet and back. The work on the face looks great, especially the transition from nose to snout. Oh...and it appears that Hermees might need a belt since he's showing a little bat butt crack.
OVERALL: For $45, this might be the value vinyl of the past 10 years. I would have guessed $75...$65 at the lowest. But kudos to Gary Ham for making a great vinyl art toy affordable. I can't imagine that Hermees will last very long. A run of 200 is still somewhat small, especially for a character that's this cute and a toy that's this unique.
For wholesale inquiries, contact DKE Toys.
You can pick one up at the following:
Superham (Gary Ham): $45.00
Gary Ham's Hermees Grades
Figure Quality: 8/10
Fun Factor: 9/10