HERCULES, CA — New from the Homieshop is Fight Club, a collectible figurine series that taps into the growing sport of mixed martial arts fighting. Standing a full 2.5 ins. tall and decked out with tribal tattooing, these are some of the most detailed figurines created by urban artist Dave Gonzales, founder of the Homieshop.
The versatility of the Fight Club figurine system allows collectors to mix and match fighters. In the vending context, the line projects value because its figures require some simple assembly, explained Phil Brilliant of A&A Global Industry, which markets Homieshop products in the vending channel. A&A is positioning the new line as $1 premium vend.
Gonzales, who’s renowned for his satirical depictions of popular culture, took inspiration for his latest creation from the wildly popular Ultimate Fighting Championships and International Fighting Championships, which are enjoying growing mainstream media coverage. The Fight Club mix targets males between eight and 18 years old.
FROM THE HAND OF THE ARTIST: New Fight Club collection is made up of eight intricately molded “fighters,” each named to match his style. The first series includes The Celtic, Flame, Joker, Raven, Blue Crush, Warrior, Dragon and Chile – and also to encourage collectability. Close attention to detail was paid to creating the figurines’ poses, facial expressions, colors and accents (such as tribal tattoos and the occasional bandage). As with most Homieshop lines, including Homies, Mijos and County Dog Pound, it is expected that additional series will be released to provide merchandising continuity. The Fight Club figurines are vended disassembled, with keyed components that snap together easily, and each includes a display stand that holds the character in his intended pose. The tallest fighters stand 2.5 ins. tall. Operators should note that there are small parts, and the line is not appropriate for children younger than five.
The line includes eight different characters that can be posed in a variety of action-fighting stances. As with all of his satirical characters, Gonzales has named the Fight Club family: The Celtic, Flame, Joker, Raven, Blue Crush (comes autographed), Warrior, Dragon and Chile.
Ten years ago, Gonzales created a bulk vending hit with Homies, 2-in. plastic figurines depicting characters from the barrio, complete with bandannas and baggy pants. Inspired by the homeboys with whom he grew up, they were introduced as encapsulated vending novelties.
Gonzales believes that vending holds a special connection to the street. Hoodrats, Mijos, County Dog Pound, Palermos and Trailer Park are among the artist’s other character sets sold through machines. The Fight Club concept was first shown at the National Bulk Vendors Association trade show in 2007.
A&A is now shipping the Fight Club collectibles in its standard 2-in. capsules (250 pieces per case) and offers an attractive blister display that shows off all eight figures.