‘In-icons’ figure of Steve Jobs

While the phrase “uncanny valley” is commonly applied to robotics, some news articles have usurped it to describe the forthcoming cancelled sixth-scale figure of Silicon Valley icon Steve Jobs. Hmm, a rather obvious similarity of words for a hyperbolic headline about the product in question.

Is the realism of a toy figure just as “creepy” as a robot that looks and acts human? A layperson used to the simple plastic nature of Barbie would be shocked by this impressive example. But this is nothing new to large-scale toy collectors, who value and desire life-like detail in a sculpted portrait of an actual person (living or dead). The better a toy figure can fool a viewer into thinking it’s the real McCoy, the better! To me this is equivalent to Chuck Close’s hyper-photorealistic paintings from the ’70s. Despite any flaws of the medium (including obvious wrist joints), figures of this ilk are marvels of human craftsmanship. It’s what some people do with these figures that may be termed “creepy.”

In icons is partnered with DiD Corporation for this figure. DiD has a Facebook gallery.

Updated January 9, 2012

It was bound to happen, but when you flaunt another company’s brand without permission for profit, you’ll be asked firmly to cease and desist. Most toy companies circumvent this by taking one of two routes: be very obvious in a person’s likeness in face and clothing but use an alternate name (e.g. ‘Hacker World’ instead of The Matrix); or be very obvious in facial likeness but utilize it in an unfamiliar manner (many actors can be marketed as military soldiers). This is because a person’s likeness falls under copyright laws, but in this instance I would’ve thought Jobs’ personal estate would take legal action, rather than the company he ran.

Updated January 16, 2012

In icons can’t take a bite out of this apple: the company has withdrawn the figure from the market out of respect to Jobs’ family. But news articles still negatively point out intricate details like pore texture and veins as if it were obscene. C’mon media, give it a rest! You never could guess how well such detail may impress people!

Stallone approves of Hot Toys’ licensed efforts!