In this companion to Each Sold Separately (Kickstarter page), author Philip Reed returns to explore the marketing tactics of action figure makers during the eighties. This volume looks at comic books, coloring books, cereal, catalogs, cartoons, games, and more, and takes every opportunity to look before and after the 1980s in an attempt to uncover the bits of information that will help us all better understand why we always felt the urge to collect them all.
Action Figures Not Included is designed to be read after the first volume, Each Sold Separately, and the two books together are truly more entertaining than either is on its own. This book is for every child of the eighties who read the comic book while watching the cartoon while asking their parents for the toys that were featured in the commercials.
As of this moment, Action Figures Not Included is at 50-odd finished pages out of the 64-page final size. I am waiting on a few more coloring books to arrive over the next few days, and then the last of the book comes together and into its final form. The target as of project launch is to send the PDF out to all backers on January 4, 2015 for final review. The finished book then goes to print the week of January 5, 2015, and completes printing around the same time as Each Sold Separately.
Action Figures Not Included follows the same look and format as Each Sold Separately, and in this volume are more photos and scans of classic products, advertisements, catalogs, and other odds and ends of action figure brand building. With the discussion ranging from 1965 to today we go deeper than ever into the history of toys as intellectual property.
I've arranged this Kickstarter project so that Action Figures Not Included will complete printing at about the same time as Each Sold Separately. This will allow me to ship the two books together, saving any backer of both projects on shipping costs. This will be especially beneficial for international supporters; shipping to other countries from the US has become a terribly expensive practice and I wanted to make sure that international supporters had a chance to save some money on shipping. (This also saves me some cash!)
I want this book and believe that it's a valuable companion to Each Sold Separately. In fact, I want this book enough that I've decreased the goal and am willing to throw in more of my own funds to make this happen on the schedule I've set for the project. I truly believe that the two books are far more fun together, and after shipping out my last book about toys (Transforming Expectations, information here) and seeing the costs of international shipping I decided it's best for all if these two books ship together.
Printing and Questions
If you have any questions at all about this project please don't hesitate to contact me here or through my site, BattleGrip. For Action Figures Not Included I'll be using the same printer I've used for my other toy books, and going through them means I know that the final print quality will be as fantastic as I want it to be. The paper and binding from Taylor in Dallas is excellent, and printing this beside Each Sold Separately will allow us to shelve the two books neatly together.
Risks and challenges
The greatest risk of all is that the ordered coloring books do not arrive in time to find their way into the book. If the shipment has not arrived by the end of December 31, 2014 then I will post an update explaining how I plan to deal with the remaining open pages.
NO stretch goals! Seriously. (I'm talking to myself here.) This book must match the size and page length of Each Sold Separately, so I cannot add pages.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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