Since 2012, and thanks to the support of readers of battlegrip.com, I've published seven different hardcover books about toys. These have ranged from close looks at third-party Transformers toys to action figure marketing in the eighties, and every time I've sat down to craft these books I've enjoyed the support of readers and toy fans like you.
Today, I'm ready to complete my eighth toy guide project. This time around I've gone into some unusual weeds, taking a seemingly harmless question -- "Are you writing a book about action figure carrying cases?" -- and amassing a collection of over 60 action figure carrying cases from the seventies, eighties, and nineties. That's right, kids, today we fly our toy geek flag and embrace a book dedicated to action figure carrying cases.
Action Figure Carrying Cases
This 176-page hardcover follows the same physical format as four of my other books. With the book designed at 9-inches wide by 6-inches tall, the landscape design works perfectly for many of the vinyl carrying cases that were so popular decades ago. Many cases are given a single page, but there are some cases -- especially the cases that double as playsets -- that cover more space in the book.
Inside we get a look at cases that act as vehicles, wearable cases, vinyl suitcase-like cases, and all sorts of other action figure carrying case designs of the seventies, eighties, and nineties. If you're curious about what's inside, you can see more sample pages in this Flickr set.
What's Not Inside?
I've skipped toy car cases and fashion doll cases, concentrating on action figure cases since those are what interest me most. Also, you won't find any wrestling cases in the book (well, except for M.U.S.C.L.E. toys, but they're special) because I'm simply not a fan of wrestling action figures. Also, cases from before 1970 or after 1999 were kept out of the book.
There are also some cases -- Cryotron, I'm looking at you -- that didn't make it into the book because I couldn't find them. A few photographs were contributed by others, but for the most part, every single case in the book is one I've bought and photographed for the project.
Biggest Book Yet!
At 176-pages, Action Figure Carrying Cases is the meatiest toy book I've produced so far. That increases printing costs and shipping costs, and this means I've had to increase the funding goal higher than I'd like. I think that many of you who have seen my earlier books will agree that the printer I use does a great job, and hardcover is definitely the way to go. Fingers crossed here hoping enough of you enjoy my work to make this book a reality.
As with my most recent book project -- Collect These Figures and Accessories -- there are no stretch goals. This Kickstarter project is only about producing the book in hardcover, and rather than risk horrible delays I've chosen to skip the Kickstarter tradition of stretch goals. If the project does remarkably well, then I'll know there's interest in narrow focus books like this one and create something else in the future.
I'm offering three of my other books through the project. Universe Expanded and Empire of Shadows are each 96-page 9-inches wide by 6-inches tall hardcovers while Collect These Figures and Accessories is a 96-page 8.25-inch x 8.25-inch hardcover.
All company names, character names, brands, and toylines are trademark/copyright their respective owners and used without permission. Original photographs, text, and book design copyright Philip Reed. Action Figure Carrying Cases is a guide and reference work created to document these fabulous cases of the seventies, eighties, and nineties. Commentary and opinions are solely those of the author who has been known to ramble on at times.
Risks and challenges
As always, the greatest risk is delivering late. Anything can happen during the creation, printing, and shipping of a book, and delays in the process could push delivery back by weeks or months. I've limited the risks by completing the majority (150 of the 160 pages) before even launching the project, and if all goes well the book will be done and ready for print on the day this project ends.
UPDATE: The book was expanded from 160 to 176 pages and, as of the last day of the project funding, all but one page is complete.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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