Collecting action figures is a popular hobby, as evidenced by the tens of thousands of action-figure-related auctions that can be found on e-Bay. Once a collector acquires a rare or vintage action figure, he will want to find a meaningful way to display it.
That’s why LexJet customer Joe Harris has launched a new website, D&J Toys, through which he sells a selection of backgrounds in two sizes. The smaller version features an 8 x 10-in. photographic image as the backdrop with a 5 x 10 in. floor, imaged with a complementary texture (e.g. desert sand, grass, water, snow). The larger display, which can showcase multiple action figures, is 10 x 25 in. with an 8 x 25 in. floor. Customers can also submit their own designs for larger, more elaborate displays that include walls, roofs, or other features.
Joe Harris understands the desire for professional-looking custom displays, because he has been collecting G.I. Joe action figures since 1982. The first display he produced was an affordable reproduction Cobra Base for G.I. Joe.
“These were originally offered as a Sears exclusive in 1982 on cardboard. But the cardboard didn’t hold up very well over the years, so the price of an original can be well over $1,000.” Because not many people are willing to pay that much, Harris came up with a way to remake the Cobra Base with more durable plastic. The reproduction Cobra Base was a hit, so he branched out and started selling other types of display backgrounds.
In his day job, Harris is a screen printer, so he is accustomed to figuring out how to print images in small quantities on materials other than paper. Shortly after he bought an HP Designjet wide-format printer for his screen-printing business, he recognized that it might also be useful in helping him fabricate the reproduction Cobra Base.
“I found LexJet after searching the Web for a source of materials for the Designjet,” notes Harris. He has since found that LexJet TOUGHcoat™ Water-Resistant Self-Adhesive Polypropylene is ideal for the requirements of his displays: “It’s a great product that produces a really nice, vivid image that holds up very well!” The printed polypropylene adheres well to the lightweight, rigid plastic he uses to fabricate the displays.
Harris says “I am always looking for new ways to make use of my large-format printer,” noting that he has many other print-related ideas he could pursue if time permits.
For now, he is pleased by how quickly word has spread about his new line of display backgrounds. Other than making a few posts on forums read by collectors, he hasn’t really done any advertising. To check out the full line of display backgrounds offered by D&J Toys, visit: www.djtoys.muchtobuy.com/
“More and more people are starting to use inkjet prints in very unique ways, ” notes Kara Work, the LexJet account specialist who worked with Harris. “At LexJet, we are happy to recommend the right material for whatever product you might have in mind.”
You can talk to a LexJet account specialist by calling 800-453-9538.