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Feb 02, 2006

Behind the Scenes Part 2: All-Star Vinyl Presents “The LeBrons”

Last week we showed you the sketchwork done by Upper Deck's in-house designer, Chris Brunner, from initial roughs to finalized turnarounds. Using the turnarounds as a starting point, Rocco Tartamella proceeded to create the master sculpt that would be used to tool the 12-inch All-Star Vinyl Athlete LeBron figure.   Rocco's an expert sculptor having done numerous projects for some major firms including McFarlane Toys, Sideshow Collectibles, and Jazware toys.  Odds are you either own or have seen one of the action figures he's sculpted ;-) 

Chris Brunner's Turnarounds

Rocco was impressed with Chris' turnarounds because they had "it" -- great attitude and a sense of fun.  His primary goal was to stay true to the drawings. He initially focused on the likeness (facial features of Chris’ drawing) since that's one of the most important parts of figure sculpting, and the rest of the sculpt plays off of the attitude established with the facial expression.

Once the face was squared away, Rocco roughed out the basic form of the figure including proportions and posture according to the concept art.  The final steps included adding the numerous details to LeBron's Nike Zoom III kicks.  The sculpting on the shoes is really impressive.  Rather than rely on paint application alone, Rocco's sculpt includes the Swoosh logo, leather paneling, and other details.  Dave Sanders, brand manager for the line at Upper Deck, mentioned that the shoes will be detachable in the final piece, allowing the ability to swap shoes from future figures.  (Maybe we’ll see a Jordan figure later in the year?)  This should also give customizers an easy way to create their own Nike colorways.




Rocco did an amazing job translating Chris' 2D stylized concept art into an excellent 3D sculpt.  We can't wait to see the final figure.  We should have full pics of the final production piece later this week or early next week. Since the all-star edition version of Athlete Lebron is being released on February 15th via UpperDeckStore.com to coincide with the All-Star Game festivities in Houston, we're going to shift our coverage to the next figure in the Series – All-Business LeBron starting next week.

Posted by Jack @ 06:15 AM in All-Star Vinyl | Permalink  | Comments (5) |


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woooaahhh!! thats looking so good, the sculpt is amazing!! cant wait to get this!

What pavid, you must be a plant/ paid blogger. No comment is my comment. No forget that. Mcfarland is killing it in the sports toy world.

What is Upper Deck trying to do here? Stick to what you know and do best fellas.

Good luck.


After seeing the illustrations last week, I was wondering if the sculpt could live up to them, but it looks sick! Nice work UD!

StiffONE, why the hate? UD may be best at cards, but apparently they got game in the designer toy realm as well. And before you say it, no, I'm not a paid blogger. Just a vinyl junkie that respects good work from companies big or small.

Nice transition! very very clean, great work on capturign the drawings....

Yo Stiffy... you got anything that you have done that you can compare?....

I like the way the figure is turning out. I'm wondering if the 12" figure shoes from Hong Kong are to scale with the Lebron and (hopefully) Jordan figures.

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