Episode 12: Following Orders!

January 4th, 2006  |  Published in old and busted

Just posted Episode 12: “Following Orders!

As last night’s test-shot-turned-promotional-material indicates, I finished painting my first Sculpey prop and a box of smelly plastic cavemen arrived from my supplier in North Carolina. Who knew hard plastic could smell like cigarettes? I did not.

Though the eBay transaction involved in getting the cavemen was satisfactory enough, I was heartbroken to discover that the figure people around the interweb have variously referred to as “squatting woman” and “woman skinning rabbit or something” was not included. I was counting on three or four of that particular figure for an episode, so now I’m back to square one on that score. At the same time, I have several “charging cave warrior” and “cave man who looks curiously like he was tossed into the Marx caveman line after a failed attempt to sell Saul Zantz on a Lord of the Rings ‘little plastic orcs’ playset” figures.

I also have what, to my mind, is the iconic figure from the Marx cavemen: “Caveman with rock raised over head.”

In the context of the playset available in the mid-’70s, he was a charmingly limited figure. The promotional photo on the box depicted him in the one position that made sense: On the edge of a plastic cliff, menacing a plastic prehistoric mammal with his boulder.

I guess children wanting to act out a bizarre caveman humiliation/discipline ritual of the sort I witnessed in the chow hall in basic training and involving a cafeteria tray and some 550 cord might find some uses for that pose, too. And I think Mensies Dad might have cut away the boulder to turn him into a flying variation on one of the figures he turned out.

Even as I typed all that I thought of what I wouldn’t mind doing to one of the several that came in that smelly box from North Carolina, but my eBay prowlings have showed me that the Marx cavemen figures are, if not rare, definitely not a reliable market presence … Much as I’d like to take knife and glue to him and one of the more plentiful army men I have on hand, I need to limit my creative modifications to what I can manage with Photoshop and a bit of green cloth for ad hoc still-frame chromakeying.

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