Pre-production Appraisals

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  1. #1

    Pre-production Appraisals

    Hey guys,

    So my father was a commercial sculptor and worked for tons of companies. He was good friends with Bill Merkline (the major sculptor guy for the original Joe line in the 1980s) and he got some jobs from Bill. My father was one of the major sculptors for the hologram craze of the 80s and 90s so his work was largely in that area as well.

    My father's notable toy work includes:

    GI Joe:

    The original full-figure sculpt of Lifeline (1984)
    The original full-figure sculpt of Zap Bazooka (1986)
    A full-figure sculpt of Strato-Viper (1989)
    A Full-figure sculpt of Stinger Driver (1989
    Lift Ticket's head
    Thunder's head (Slugger driver)
    George Washington Head Sculpt 12"
    Union Soldier Head Sculpt 12"
    Confederate Soldier Head Sculpt 12"
    General Omar Bradley Head Sculpt 12"
    Steve McQueen Head Sculpt 12" (unreleased)

    Skullmaster figure (unknown. Perhaps Mighty Max?)

    Inhumanoids D'Compose (cancelled)
    Inhumanoids Tank Scientist (never released)

    Visionaries holograms (my father did nearly all the holograms in the line)

    Starting Line-Up Sports Figures - Many head sculpts

    My Little Pony concepts

    Power Rangers Hologram
    Jurassic Park Pogs and more
    Dark Horse Classic Cartoon Statues (Felix The Cat, Fearless Fozdick, etc.)

    Hologram Covers and Cards:
    All Spider-Man 30th Anniversary hologram covers
    Various covers for Malibu and Image comics
    Goosebumps Triple Header
    Star Wars Galaxy of Fear (several books)
    Star Wars Choose Your Own Adventure
    National Geographic Wrap-Around gold foil holo cover
    Batman Hologram Cards
    Spider-Man Hologram Cards
    Coca-Cola Hologram Cards
    Ghostbusters Cereal box
    Frosted Flakes Cereal box
    Fruit Loops Cereal box
    TMNT Cereal box
    X-Files Magazine Hologram
    Dragon Ball-Z Hologram Cards
    Various Sports Cards

    NY State License Holograms
    The Visa Dove
    Superbowl Holograms
    Baseball Stadium Holograms
    Nascar Holograms

    And the list goes on.

    I'm looking for someone to help appraise the pre-production items he has as well as the Hologram test prints and error prints, and his hologram collection.

    He doesn't have a ton of these items because the companies never sent them back usually but he does have some amazing stuff.

    Last edited by AFE; 04-23-2012 at 10:28 AM.

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  3. #2
    It would be very hard to appraise what you have if you don't list exactly what it is. Just going off of your list and assuming some of that is there makes things confusing as well given that some of the figures you have listed have the wrong year on them and some of the figures (Lifeline, Bazooka, Strato Viper and Stinger Driver), and figures you say were canceled were actually released (D'Compose). But I've seen sculpture sheets and concept art of those four joes mentioned above at Bill's, so it makes sense when you say Bill sent work your way (especially since I don't recall seeing photos of those 2-ups at Bill's so that would clear up a lingering question as well). However, I know for a fact that Bill sculpted the Visa dove. I've held it in my hand. So you don't have that and it makes the list you gave a little suspect.

    That aside, we'd need to know what exactly are you saying you have. Do you have just packaged versions of these figures that you received from Hasbro post production? This is what Hasbro usually did for freelance sculptors on the line. If so then you can find that value easy enough by looking at completed listings of those items boxed on ebay.

    If you have 2-up sculptures of these figures, that's a whole different ball game, and some of those items would be worth big money. The 12" you'd need to go to a different forum to get good info on that. Typically, they don't go for that much. (there were complete production sculpting runs of two different 12" GI Joe heads at a major toy show last weekend that sat unsold for $25 a head).

    If they are sculptures, it would be important to know what type they are. If your father was freelance, he sent sculptures into Hasbro, Hasbro doesn't send them back, so what you would have would be casts of the original sculptures he would have made before he sent them in (which was cool foresight on your dad's part if he did so). Even if they're reproductions, they'd go for a good amount of money. The actual value still depends on what figure is and what year. 90's 2-ups are much more plentiful, whereas mid 80's not so much. If not original sculptures they would probably be less valuable than paintmasters, but how much less, I don't know, it would depend on how badly someone wanted to pick it up.

    Hologram sculptures are different than full toy sculptures. Non-toy holograms I couldn't tell you. (There is a license plate collectors association that you could get a hold of to ask about the license plate holos). I've not seen a holo sculpt sell so I don't know what they'd go for, but I'm sure there's some value in it, just at a lower level than full figure sculptures.

    Finally, pictures go a long way to helping us understand what you truly have, so post away and we can narrow it down a little more.

  4. #3
    Thanks for the message. My dates might be a bit off but they're going by my father's billing records. Now to clear things up that you have pointed out:

    Firstly I want to add that nothing he has has ever been on any market. Nothing has been extensively photographed, nor has it been collected through trades or purchases. He hand made all of it, unless it's otherwise specified, or was sent to him by companies, or was post production stuff/

    As for the GI-Joes, yes Bill sent those Jobs to my father (Zap and Lifeline) which came out in 1986 and 1984 respectively. Then they later contracted him for Strato-Viper's head, Thunder's Head, LiftTicket's Head, and Stinger-Driver (possibly just a head). Sorry for confusion on that.

    When I say D'Compose was cancelled I am referring to the fact that Inhumanoids is one of the most notorious failed toy/cartoon lines. So you're right D' was produced but he was sold in limited supply and they barely even started the first run of figures before it was canned.

    I have original sculpts in clay, many preproduction rubber and plaster molds and some original molds, lots of test casts and preproduction casts in plaster, epoxy and resin. These are not packaged items. These are all original casts and sculpts. Hand made by my father. What you likely saw at that convention were Hasbro prototype casts in flesh tone or gray tone which don't sell. We have one in Blue plastic of a 90s Duke that isn't worht much probably but is unique in that it's blue. But all the heads and molds are 100% unique and exclusively my father's.

    Yes he was freelance. So yes he sent in his stuff to Hasbro and kept/or was allowed to keep very little from the 3.75" figures.

    The first Visa Dove was Bills. They then sent it to my dad to update and redo. The ones currently on the cards are my father's. I have the original art, production notes, sculptures, molds, and one of the original doves they used in the holograms. As well as proof sheets, and official Job correspondence.

    I have tons of high def. photos but I will not post them online in capacity as per his instructions. I can show you 1 on 1 via other means.

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  6. #4
    Some photos of his work: David Dann Design |

    There you can see the Visa Dove, Inhumanoids Tank Scientist and D'Compose, and 2 12" Joe Heads.

  7. #5
    That D'Compose is a thing of beauty. Was it sculpted 1:1 or was it a 3-4 foot tall monstrosity? Did he also sculpt the unreleased tank scientist's helmet? I've never seen pictures of that figure so it's very interesting.

    Another question about Zap. Are you sure it's Zap and not another character? Zap was 1982, well before Bill even worked with Hasbro.

  8. #6
    Not sure about the helmet I can ask tho. This is the Zap Bazooka. Joe A Day » Zap (1991)

  9. #7
    Ahh, you have the Sonic Fighters Zap then. That's a kickass figure. That would be Zap version 2.

    Oh and looking closer at that picture of the Tank Scientist, his name would have been Tank or Anatoly Kiev. So if anyone asks who exactly he was, say he was based on the Russian from the episode The Surma Plan.
    Last edited by Roshan; 04-24-2012 at 02:51 AM.

  10. #8
    Yeah my dad did that one. Some of his best work.

  11. #9
    Love the fact that one guy was behind so many of the holograms.
    WANTED: Rise of Cobra & Retailiation movie memoriabilia (from scripts and production items, props, to movie and billboard banners, store signage and larger items!). TOP $

    Hasbro Items: Paperwork & design sketches, ARTWORK, licensing books, promo flyers/slicks, employee items, presentation art.

    Licensed Merchandise (non-figure/vehicle) like towels, Coleco ride-on toys (sleds or bicycles) , vintage child clothing, and an original Konami Arcade game.


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