Interview With BBi On War Journalist Figure

by Jay Cochran
October 15, 2004

Interview with bbi on War Journalist Figure
by Action-HQ, John T Wong

Have you seen the recently released 1/6 scale War Journalist figure distributed by bbi? This 1/6 scale figure is amazing to say the least with the numerous accessories and detail that have gone into its creation. And it's a great value at a suggested retail price of $60 for a limited production run figure of just 2,000 pieces.

Not being an expert with 12 inch military figures, I decided to go straight to the source and to speak with James Hung at bbi to find out what makes this such an outstanding figure.

John [AHQ] - I do not remember there ever being a figure of a “modern” war journalist. What inspired bbi to create him?

James [bbi] - Officially, this item is not a bbi product. It is a crossover between
Custom Craft [Elite Force] and a new boutique maker Chronicle Collectibles. Custom Craft is a special brand created by bbi to handle these special projects. And as always under stringent quality standards and strict quantities.

The original idea for War Journalist was inspired by a friend of mine who was a freelance photographer providing battlefield shots for various press agencies. Every year hundreds of journalist are killed in their “line of duty” while trying to provide accurate and often real-time information for the public. In this respect, they are courageous soldiers without weapons. They are there to collect and report the facts to let the truth be told.

They enter war zones equipped with the same sophisticated protective equipments used in the military such as Level 3 body armor, (on our guy, he is wearing the same body armor used by the US Navy SEAL CQB teams), and ballistic helmets made of Kevlar composite materials. It is not unusual for professional war journalists to have ex-military backgrounds, sometimes even special forces training.

With all that in mind, it shape our creation of this figure. We see it also as a dedication to all the journalists who risk their lives daily.

John [AHQ] - What type of research was involved in preparation for this figure?

James [bbi] – Same as with all bbi military figures, we spend more than 6 months collecting research. For example, in the equipment, we figured out the kind of DV camcorder the TV crew uses and the type of lenses for their field cameras. Everything up to the smallest details of what a war journalist wears in the field was examined. The source comes mainly from professional journalists plus some of my ex-colleagues as I was a Assistance Producer for HKTVB before I got into this.

John [AHQ] - Is there any difference in developing the War Journalist compared to the other military figures?

James [bbi] - Yes and No. As I said, professional war journalist go into action with similar high-tech military gear that Special Forces use, but with the exception of color and markings. They dress to differentiate themselves from actual soldiers. They definitely avoid camouflaged equipments and they paint their helmets, originally green or black, in bright color and sometimes even place stickers or markings to let it be known that they are civilians. Unfortunately these measures do not assure their safety during hot combat environments. The military gears was the easy part for us as most of the it we have already produced before.

The difficult part was the civilian gear which was all new to us. We had to make different equipment like camcorder, camera, rugged laptop [non-military], etc., most of which we, nor our competitors, have had any experience with. This was a whole new challenge for us.

John [AHQ] - There are lots of details and countless accessories that come with this figure. Name 3 that you are most proud of?

James [bbi] - Well, as a military figures collector myself, I'm particularly proud of the details we achieved for the camcorder and the digital tapes. The cameras with interchangeable lens [attached by magnets] is already a hot item for the collectors as this is the very same cameras used by SpecOps unit like the USMC Force Recon, CIA and SEAL. The rugged laptop with the illuminated keyboard is also an innovative feature which has never done in our business before. We believe these items alone justifys the retail cost as compared to value of these items in after market sale.

John [AHQ] - Any last comments you want to note about this figure?

James [bbi] - Creating a figure like the War Journalist is new for the high end collectible 1/6 scale figure business. We hope this [figure] gives inspiration to others in our business to develop more and to try out other new things. After all, we are in this business to create something meaningful.

Product Description:

-Blue jeans and checkered denim shirt

-Middle Easter style scarf

-Body armor vest with TV markings

-Helmet with TV markings

-Journalist utility vest with working pouches

-Camcorder unit with 3x video tapes

-Camera set including 3 different interchangeable lens

-Rugged laptop with extendable antenna and illuminated keyboard, includes 2 stickers for screen

-Handheld Phone/GPS

-Usable equipment pouch with belt

-Zipper back pack

-White tennis shoes

-ID card in holder




-Extra set of hands

Get your War Journalist now at Action-HQ for $59.95!


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