MI6 caught up with the team behind the James Bond series at Sideshow Collectibles recently to find out more about the new Sean Connery figures...

Sideshow Interview - Sean Connery Figures
10th November 2004

MI6 caught up with the team behind the James Bond figure series at Sideshow Collectibles recently to find out more about the creative process. In this part, Mat Falls - Director of 3D, Heath Hammond - Supervisor of Product Development and Tom Gilliland - Creative Director, give insight into the new 1/4 scale Sean Connery and 12" Thunderball figures...

1/4 Scale Sean Connery

This is the first time Sideshow Collectibles has created a unique quarter scale James Bond figure. Why did you decide to create such a large model? Apart from size, what are the main differences in creating a larger model?
TG: The 1/4 figure line was something we began developing in our own response to the limitations our 1/6 scale lines presented us. The smaller scale required that we simplify many details. We were looking for a premier format to make a much more uncompromising figure presentation. Upsizing our scale created a format that is infinitely more impactful, authentic, and detailed. The results bear themselves out when looking at the 1/4 scale Connery. The Tuxedo’s tailoring is knife sharp, the Portrait has better definition, the body language of the figure speaks volumes. It’s just so much more in nearly every way. We feel that in the end this figure format offers the collector a signature piece that can be displayed in any environment and will carry an art subject perception rather than one of a toy.

How has the figure differed in development from past figures?
TG: The 1/4 scale figures are not designed with articulation in mind. That is where the 1/6 scale counterpart takes over. The 1/4 scale figures focus is on the capture of a moment. This involves choosing just the right pose that is as accurate to the character as the portrait. The end result is intended to simulate the character in the same way a wax museum’s 1:1 scale rendition might. Ours is made in a scale that is more manageable [and perhaps less threatening] than the full-sized figure.

Sean Connery as James Bond 1/4 Scale

Will the figure be packaged in the new unique packaging format?
TG: The figure will come in a package that is quite different from the flap style 1/6 scale boxes. It will still be characterized by our award winning graphics but will instead come in a large format sealed collectors box.

Will the figure be articulated?
TG: The figure does not have any adjustable accessories or moving parts as it is intended for premium display and not for play value.

What unique challenges did creating this figure present?
TG: Attempting to capture the subtle body language of a classic Connery Bond pose proved to be a great challenge. The tailoring on the tuxedo obviously had to be razor sharp. Both of these elements were expertly handled by Greg Mowry, our Chief 1/4 Scale Architect. Mat expressed his sculpture issues earlier. From there the group wrestled with drawing all the elements together with paint, base, and final box to create what we believe is the quintessential Connery Bond figure.


Look Up! Look Down! Look Out!

What challenges did the Thunderball Connery figure present with his exposed legs?
MF: Exposed body parts are always a challenge for obvious reasons, but sometimes we have to do it to capture the essence of the character. We do our best to disguise joints as much as we can; a wristwatch here, a strap-on knife there. It's a whole give and take thing. Those joints are standard in the 1/6 scale format and they allow for the most range of movement. The payoff to the exposed legs on the Thunderball Bond is the dive rig. That piece could be in a box by itself. Kudos to the design team.

Did you create a completely new head for this figure?
Yes. His expression had to change to take the breather device and the mask.

What unique problems did the accessories for the underwater Connery present?
HH: First of all there was no reference for the Aqua Jet Lung outside the grainy underwater images from the film. We had to create a model blueprint for our model making team. The engineering feat on this was the small piping involved in the piece and to make the to-scale pipes accurate yet strong enough at that scale to withstand handling.

The exclusive accessory for the Sideshow figure was the Rebreather Apparatus, which was sculpted from the actual movie prop used in the film!

When creating the Sean Connery Thunderball figure how did you go about creating that famous wet suit look?
TG: Like all things we look to reproduce the original. Trying to find a fabric that best represented the colour and material for a wet suit was a challenge. We feel pretty good about how we answered the problem.

The dive gear was obviously the bear in this project and it took considerable time to just breakdown the model project according to the weak reference we had. We literally had to crawl frame by frame through the DVD to try to translate the intricate forms and details covering the gear. Again, I believe everyone will be very happy with the end result.

Sean Connery as James Bond in Thunderball

Will we be seeing a new character stand for this figure?
TG: Yes. There will be an adjusted wire top to our current stand that will allow the figure to be posed horizontally to capture a swimming posture, as opposed to standing.

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Thanks to all at Sideshow Collectibles. Images courtesy Sideshow Collectibles. Bond materials © Danjaq and United Artists. Bond trademarks ™ Danjaq.