March 20, 2007
Story by Chris Rhoads (dustrho)
When Hasbro designs the images to be used on their card backs that will eventually entomb action figures, have you ever wondered how they come up with those images? Do they use models for some and their imagination for others? In the case of the upcoming Sandtrooper figure (set to be released in the Saga Legends collection), a very lucky Mike Harrison from the 501st Legion
was called upon to provide them the image of an accurate looking sandtrooper from A New Hope. The funny thing, though, is that Hasbro never contacted him about it, but instead people noticed that Hasbro used one of his photos from his personal web site.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike regarding this, and also asked him several questions about him in the Star Wars galaxy.
Now the question I'm sure most of us want answered is this, what was your reaction in learning that Hasbro used a photo of you for their upcoming Sandtrooper figure? How did you learn about it? Did Hasbro contact you for permission to use your photo?
As a professional interweb surfer, I hit up web sites like Rebelscum a few times a day just to see what's new. I don't have any intentions of buying new Star Wars toys or collectables, but I enjoy seeing what companies come up with. That's when I saw the news blurb that linked to images of all the card backs for the new wave of figures, and the one with my photo jumped out. When I clicked on it, to see the larger image, I about had a heart attack. It was like a dream. I was speechless, shaking, it felt like I won the lottery. Once the news got out and I heard that it was the real-deal, I could only describe my feeling as humbled and honored. The reality is that the graphic artist who used my picture did so because he thought all the images that LFL supplied them were unusable. While I was never asked for permission (and that subject opens up all kinds of legal issues), I'm really not going to pursue it. The idea that I'm being immortalized as an action figure... the same kind of Star Wars action figures that fill my earliest childhood memories, is really life affirming. It's as-if my life-long devotion, hard work and commitment to this hobby and to Star Wars has really paid off. Now I get to look forward to signing action figures in 2007!
If anyone deserves to be immortalized on a Hasbro Star Wars card back, it's Mike Harrison. I haven't had the opportunity of seeing it in person, but if you check out his photo galleries on his personal personal website. you'll see just how good his armor really looks. I'd like to thank Mike for allowing me to do this interview with him, and congratulations about Hasbro using your photo. Talk about a great honor that must be for you.