On my introductory blog post I talk about the pleasant conversation I had with ToyMunkey Studio’s Scott Sohn and all the good things that followed with that. But the one thing I didn’t mention is how our conversation got kicked off; ToyMunkey Studios have announced they’re selling a resin version of their original Red Pyramid Thing statue that’s available for purchase right now!

Excited and hopeful about this news, I asked Scott about a future resin release of the upcoming, SDCC-exclusive Red Pyramid Thing + Mannequin version to which he replied,

Although we cannot confirm it, I can say that it would be most likely available also as a kit only if demand permits after this July.

This is an exciting announcement, friends. Scott laid out some incredible news but it’s up to us to make said incredible news a reality.

Wait, what is a resin kit and why should we support them?

Before I continue, some of you may not be familiar with resin kits or, as they’re more simply called, “resins.” Think of resins as naked, discombobulated (isn’t that such a cool word?) versions of the finished statues sitting in your room. Resins are simply the statues before they’re assembled, painted and put on a base (if the statue comes with a base).

The helmet bone's connected to the... Great Knife bone?

So what’s the appeal of resins? Why should you or I get one when we could instead get a statue that’s already complete? Well, depending on how itchy your artistic finger is and how excited you get when you hear words like “customization” and “one-of-a-kind” will be the primary factor in your appeal to such a thing.

Resins are popular because you can paint them any way you want. The statues are blank canveses, so to speak, waiting for you–or a painter commissioned by you–to make it look beautiful. Have you ever dreamed of having a Green Pyramid Thing statue? With a resin, it can happen.

You crazy non-conventional bastard, you.

Resin kits are not an anomaly. In places like Japan, for example, they’re wildly popular. I’d dare say resin versions of statues are more popular than their assembled, pre-painted counterparts in that country. Again, it all depends on how important customization means to you. But artists and die-hard Silent Hill fans can see the fun, challenge and reward of having a statue assembled, painted and finished on an individual basis.

Examples of resin kits that have been custom painted. (Also note some of them even have custom bases!)

And, again, if painting isn’t your thing, you can always have a friend or find and commission a hobby painter who will get the statue looking exactly how you envisioned. The only thing better than an amazing statue is an amazing statue made exactly as you want it, specifically for you. How can you not get excited about that?!

We need to support ToyMunkey and this cause.

So to recap: Not only is ToyMunkey bringing Silent Hill merchandise to North America, but now they’re entertaining the thought of selling future resins stateside as well. (If you keep this up you’re going to make me cry tears of fan-joy, ToyMunkey.)

But we need to do our part in making this happen. Future resin kits won’t be sold unless we show ToyMunkey that we’re serious about resin kits.

If you like the idea behind resin kits as I’ve discussed, please show your support by “liking” and sending ToyMunkey a message on their Facebook wall, or through traditional e-mail. Keep the message short and sweet. Just a, “Hey ToyMunkey! I think you guys wanting to sell resin kits is awesome and I’ll plan on buying one!” would be great.

Hey ToyMunkey! I think you guys wanting to sell resin kits is awesome and I’ll plan on buying one!

But most importantly, be sure to actually buy one of the Red Pyramid Thing resin kits that ToyMunkey Studios is selling! When it comes to collectibles and pushing for more of something you like, nothing speaks louder than your wallet/purchase.

Oh, and don’t forget to share this blog post with other Silent Hill fans to further spread the news!

But I already see Silent Hill resins on eBay for cheap. Why buy from ToyMunkey?

Ah, this is where things get a little complicated… and illegal. What you’re most likely seeing on eBay are illegal recasts of the official statues. These things are bad news. Not just because they’re illegal to sell, but also because you’re getting an inferior product.

Update: I should have clarified that not all Silent Hill resin kits being sold on eBay are illegal recasts. Some sellers will sell official, legitimate kits. If they’re selling just the one, most often located in Japan, or sell many other official, complete statues they are most likely legit. However, if you see a seller constantly auctioning resins of the same mold, or sell the kits without packaging/artist credit, then chances are this is an illegal recaster. Check their feedback and view their selling history for a better idea of whom you’re dealing with.

An eBay article explains recasting well, so I will copy some of their key points here along with my own additional comments:

‘Recasting’ a model kit is essentially piracy; the recaster in question will buy a model kit or statue, and re-cast the pieces of it. They are able to offer much cheaper kits and statues, but at a severe cost to the buyer.

So if you can buy a recast model kit cheaper, why wouldn’t you? Well, there are several reasons. The first is that several companies own licenses to the heroes, action stars, and other copyrighted material that we know and love. Companies pay for the licenses, and then sell the product. If they are being illegally undercut, [the companies] will cease functioning, and in turn, will not be able to produce any more model kits.

Enlarged comparison of an official HEADLONG Valtiel resin (left) and an illegal recast (right). Notice how the recast has lost many of the fine sculptural details on Valtiel's shoulder.

Another reason is quality. A large company has the funds to make the best possible casts of an item, while some guy in his basement simply does not. Have you ever made a photocopy? That’s essentially what a model kit is. A master kit is made, and the models you buy are molded and cast from that. Have you ever made a copy of a copy? The quality just isn’t as high, and you lose some detail from the original. The same is true with model kits. Recasters essentially make a copy of a copy, and in turn, the joints don’t fit as well, and you tend to lose fine details. Also, the quality of materials is not as good, and usually more brittle and easy to break than regular kits.

The above paragraph is the most important to discuss. Being an owner of authentic Silent Hill statues, I can tell you that the illegal recasts being sold on eBay lose much of the finer sculpting details created by the artist. I’ve made a diagram (Figure A) to help illustrate my point.

As you can see at the bottom of the diagram, the fine “cut” made into the statue by the artist is essentially gone in the illegal recast. Additionally, the statue has become a little “fatter” and “thicker.” This is because the recaster had to make his mold from an already-painted statue, where the paint sitting on the original statute makes the overall piece slightly higher and “thicker” when its recasted. Compound that on top of adding new paint on the recasted version, and you’re left with a statue that has lost many of its finer details.

Lastly, and most alarmingly, is that recasts may have air bubbles in the mold (by not properly handling/baking the resin) or the entire statue is literally warped from pulling the resin out of the negative before it’s fully hardened.

I don’t know about you, but that’s more than enough reasons for me to not support illegal recasts and instead support ToyMunkey Studios and their authentic, official, made-from-the-master-mold resin kits.

We all love Silent Hill because of the painfully-crafted artistic merits the series brought to the gaming world via its visuals, audio and character development/storytelling. Let’s keep the spirit of that support alive by purchasing ToyMunkey’s first official resin kit–which also supports and ensures the artist’s original work stays properly preserved–while also helping push future resin releases by the company. Thank you for your support on this matter.