Articulation Junkie
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The toy community is often divided on the issue of articulation. Some people feel that an excessive number of moving parts spoils a figure's sculpt, while others contend that there's no such thing as too many joints. And then there's the third camp that believes that you can have your cake and eat it too: A figure that's both super-poseable and looks great. The goal of this challenge is to create the most articulated custom that you can, and to try to integrate those joints into the figure's physical appearance as seamlessly as possible.

- Because the focus of this contest is entirely on articulation, there are no limitations on subject matter (beyond Figure Realm's general rules), so, you're free to customize a super-poseable version of anyone, or anything, that you wish.

- While there isn't a set number of points of articulation that any entry is required to have, for humanoid figures, your joint count really should be in the double digits (10 +). If you want to make a character that has a more unusual anatomical structure, you'll have to use your best judgment as to what you think constitutes super-articulation for that particular form. And keep in mind that quantity isn't everything; good design and range of motion are also important.

- In your entry description, in addition to the usual comments about your work, please give us a total joint count and brief rundown of what they are. For example, you might write something like: "My entry has 19 points of articulation: Ball-jointed neck, shoulders and hips. Pin elbows, knees, and ankles. Cut waist, biceps, wrists, and thighs. And a bendy tail."

- When it comes time to take some photos of your finished submission(s), don't just settle for shooting a bunch of pictures of your figure standing straight with its arms at its sides. You've got a super-poseable toy in your hands, so put it through its paces and show us what all those joints can do! Let's see figures doing the splits, bending over backwards to touch their heels, performing flying kicks, etc.

- As far as the actual creation process goes, you can simply customize a base figure that's already super-articulated, Frankenstein a super-poseable body by combining parts from multiple figures, or even fabricate/model new joints the hard way by hand. Any type of articulation that you can think of is fair game (ball-and-socket, bendy wire, hinges, magnets, pegs/pins, sliding panels, etc.) There are no size or scale limitations and you should feel free to use whatever parts, materials, tools, and techniques you like. 

What is the contest schedule?
Begins: Contest Closed
Ends: March 31st, 2012 - Last day for submissions. No exceptions! Cut off is at midnight Central Standard Time.
Voting: April 1st - 7th.

What are the rules of the contest?
  • Please use the form here to submit your custom figure.
  • At least a paragraph description is required with your entry. This paragraph, at a minimum, should answer the following questions:
    • How was this custom customized?
    • How does the custom fit into the contest theme?
  • You may submit up to three different entries for the contest.
  • Please only submit figures that were created for this contest. Do not submit old figures from the Showcase or previous contest entries.
  • Your entry should not be posted on this website, any other website, or anywhere on the internet until the contest is completely over.
  • The pictures for your entry will remain hidden until the contest ends and the voting begins.
  • Your identity will remain hidden until after the voting completes.
  • Do not include names, logos, signatures or anything on the pictures that will give you away as the creator of the custom. We want to keep the customizer's identity a secret until the contest is over.
  • Don't wait until the last day to submit your entries. If your internet is down, or something happens beyond your control, you will miss the contest! Also keep in mind how many customs you can submit in one day. You may not be able to submit all your entries in one day.
  • The contest is purely for fun... well... and bragging rights!
How does the contest voting work?
Anyone can vote for their favorite customs in the contest, you don't even have to submit anything to the contest! You do have to be logged-in to your Figure Realm account though so we can keep track of the votes. Only appointed Figure Realm staff can see the votes, so anonymity is guaranteed. Voting begins once the entry deadline is met and lasts for a week.

It's hard to choose just one custom to vote on when there are tons of great entries, so Figure Realm has a unique voting system where you can vote on ALL the customs! When you click on an entry to view, there's a bar with buttons on it that lets you give the custom anywhere from 1 to 5 Stars. 1 Star means you think they could have done a better job on the custom while 5 Stars means you think they did a perfect job. The votes for each entry are added up when voting is closed and averaged-out to determine the winners. Also, don't abuse the system. Don't give your own custom 5 Stars and then give everyone else 1 Star to boost your rating. Remember, the votes are monitored.

Some points you might consider when casting your vote: Is the figure well-made? Is the paint smooth or crusty? Are there noticeable fingerprints on the sculpted parts? Is it an original custom? Is it accurate to the source-material (comics, photos, description in a book)? Are the pictures clear enough to see the details? Did the creator take the time to include a back-story or recipe? Is the custom so unbelievably awesome that you'd trade your dog for it?

Craftsmanship and creativity are major factors to consider, but ultimately your vote should depend on how much you like the custom, and how well you feel it fits the contest theme.

User Comments
Batman1016 -
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Hey, how exactly are we calculating the articulation here?

A) Only count joint locations
- shoulder joint with arm rotation = one joint
- double knee = one joint
- moving fingers = one joint
- ankle with rocker = one joint

B) Count every engineered movement
- shoulder joint with arm rotation = three joints (collar rotate, lateral pin, bicep rotate)
- double knee = two joints
- moving fingers = four joints, five if the thumb moves
- ankle with rocker = two joints

C) Count by joint title
- shoulder joint with arm rotation = ball joint + rotator joint = two joints
- double knee = two hinge joints = two joints
- moving fingers = pin joint = one joint (+ opposable thumb joint = two joints)
- ankle with rocker = hinge joint + rocker joint = two joints

Just that I have a figure which could have as few as 17 joints (definition 1) or as many as 25 joints (definition 2), or maybe just 21 (definition 3), so . . . just want to be clear on that one.
Patraw -
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Different people count joints differently, so how you go about it is completely up to your own discretion (any of the approaches you listed, or some other methodology, would be fine by me). Using your example, you could even say something like, "Depending on how you count/classify the joints, my entry has 17-25 points of articulation."
Memphis_777 -
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Dear Lord...
yugiohcardmaker1 -
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
so its basically making a custum with either no mowing parts or a lot of moving parts
Patraw -
Thursday, February 2, 2012
The idea is to make a highly flexible custom figure, not an immobile one.
The Real Question -
Monday, January 30, 2012
this seems like an extremely interesting contest I can't wait ti see where this goes.
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