Having a ninja commando on the team was just the start. In 1988, G.I. Joe got a real-life samurai in the form of Budo. Here’s his action figure sculpt input sheet.
Figure art, above, by George Woodbridge. Accessory art, below, by Mark Pennington.
Filed under G.I. Joe Behind the Scenes, Toys and Toy Art
Tagged as Budo, G.I. Joe samuari, G.I. Joe toy development, G.I. Joe turnarounds, George Woodbridge, Mark Pennington
I just got this figure in the mail today! Budo is awesome. Thanks for the great historical info!
You’re welcome, Jeremy. Serendipity like that is fun.
I think sculpt sheets are my favorate form of preproduction art. It is the first representation of the figure in toy format and the drawing always shows so much detail that is lost on the figure. Especially if the figure is molded in one shade of plastic and the details do not have paint apps applied.
I’m partial to storyboards, Chris, but you’re right about how much sculpt sheets reveal. This is not a level of detail my book would get into, but I wonder how two different sculptors would interpret the same input. It would be fun, though prohibitively expensive, to take that all the way to production and have a side-by-side comparison. I don’t know much about sculpting action figures, but I assume that just as there are good figure designers and great figure designers, there are good sculptors and great ones.
This post inspired me to order Budo (a figure that my 7 year old self wouldn’t be caught dead with for whatever reason – a samurai just didn’t fit in with my Joe-verse in 88 and 89) from eBay and it came last week. A very cool figure indeed, and an under rated one at that. Good work on the site, by the way!
Thanks, Bill. Even though at the time I knew Budo didn’t fit in with the Joes, I was drawn to that design as soon as I saw the package painting. As my brother had Storm Shadow and we each had Snake-Eyes, this was my chance to get a martial artist of my own. Two swords didn’t hurt, either. With hindsight I can see the figure is underpainted, but Budo’s an unlikely candidate for 25th Anniversary treatment, so vintage will have to do.
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