Chronicle Collectibles is making a truly impressive Conan figure, featuring the likeness of Arnold Schwarzenegger from the cult classic movie Conan the Barbarian. The sixth scale figure is closing in on its intended release date, so we figured it was time to talk to Michael Champion, Art Director at Chronicle Collectibles and resident expert on all things Conan.
First of all, for the Conan fans who aren’t familiar with the term: What’s a OneSixth figure?
The OneSixth Brand is the name of the Chronicle Collectibles line of sixth scale articulated figures. These figures are roughly 12 inches in height, with realistic head sculpts, cloth costumes, and typically include a variety of accessories. It’s a new product line for our company that we’ve recently launched with great success, and we’re excited that this early launch has included one of our favorite characters, Conan the Barbarian!
What goes into making a OneSixth figure?
Lots of research! We painstakingly review the source material, in this case, the 1982 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. We have a talented team of sculptors who create a likeness of the actor that not only has to pass internal approvals, but also approvals from the license holders, and this case, from Arnold himself. Beyond the figure’s body and head sculpt, we also create design sheets that list in detail every aspect of the character’s costume, accessories, and any exclusive items we want to include. Not a bad way to spend the work day, going through individual frames of the Conan movie!
Talking about the Conan the Barbarian figure, how did you approach the project?
Our team determines if the physicality of the character will lend itself to an existing body sculpt, or in this case, requires a new body to be sculpted and tooled. Since Arnold has a very distinctive physique, especially for this role as compared to the rest of his acting career, our sculptors created a new sixth scale articulated body that is an accurate representation of Arnold as he appeared in the film. Director John Milius was intent on Arnold’s physique to be that of someone whose body developed based on the strenuous physical activity of a warrior growing up under the conditions that Conan did in the film, as opposed to an athlete who was ripped and defined like a modern day competitive bodybuilder. Since Conan has several costumes/looks throughout the film, we also have to determine which version of the character we want to create. Given that this was our first Conan sixth scale figure, we wanted to create a figure that was a good generalized representation of the character. Conan, as he appears towards the end of the movie, bare chested as normally depicted in other media, allowed us to show off the unique body sculpt for this figure and include a variety of accessories related to that version of the character, such as the Wheel of Pain necklace, the Eye of the Serpent jewel, Jade Amulet of Set, etc., in addition to his iconic swords.
There’s a special Father Sword version of the figure, could you tell us a little bit more about that?
The Ron Cobb sword designs in this film are beloved by Conan fans the world over even to this day, and we’re excited to not only include the Atlantean Sword with the standard figure purchase, but also the broken Father’s Sword in the Exclusive Edition, limited to 500 units. We chose the broken version of the sword because that’s the only time Conan physically holds it, after he defeats Rexor at the Battle of the Mounds. The Exclusive Edition including the Father’s Sword is ONLY available through Chronicle Collectibles.
With this project close to fruition, what would be your ideal next one, from the Robert E. Howard universe?
We love Conan and we love Arnold, so ideally we’d like to produce every version of Conan in the movie, along with all of his supporting cast of allies and enemies! Warpaint Conan, as he’s called (or more accurately, camouflaged Conan) is a fan favorite, as is King Conan, but a sixth scale armored Battle of the Mounds Conan, or an armored Thulsa Doom would allow us to include a lot of accessories with either of those figures, from weapons to standards to armor and helmets and more! But we definitely look forward to the opportunity to create more characters from the Hyborian Age, which can only happen with the support of Conan fans, by Crom!
Thanks for taking the time, Mike!
We’ll be back with more spotlights on Conan replicas, collectibles, and more in the future!