My Pop-Up Playsets

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Hey guys. I haven't posted in a while, but I've been plenty busy...

I have been making (amongst other stuff) these Pop-Up Playsets since the summer. So far I have four in the line. The design philosophy is to use nothing but printed cardstock. The concept is to bring to life more of the fun Kenner cardboard playsets I loved as a kid in the 70s and 80s. In fact, I started with a challenge to myself to update my favorite, the Sears Cloud City Playset, with new illustrations.







That one was basically just a test to see if I could pull off a 3D playset design and make it work. I liked it enough to move on to the next. It seemed to me the "Jedha Revolt" Gift Pack was exactly what we would have been given from Sears in the catalog last Christmas, if that sort of thing still existed, and of course it would have come with a great cardboard playset. I tasked myself with making that playset next:







I really liked this one, so I decided to keep going. The next challenge was to build the set that I wished Kenner had made when I was a kid, and the biggest hole in the toy line back then (to me) was the fact that there was no Emperor's Throne Room playset. I started, but I couldn't figure out all the engineering adequately, especially a staircase (it had to have a staircase!) and so I gave up. Instead, I went with a Niima Outpost/Unkar Plutt's Booth playset:







This one was easy and not much new to me (the biggest engineering bump I made is the riser that Unkar stands on--and you can't even see when the set is assembled--being made out of a single folded piece of cardstock.) It left me itching to pull off the Throne Room set. So I went back at it, and finally solved it:







This one is my favorite yet, I love that it is mass-producible on cardstock but is strong enough to support everybody on that second level. And the stairs worked great (and again that's just one piece of folded cardstock.)

More designs will be on the way...I want to tackle a Hoth Command Center (like the vintage playset, but the actual Echo Base command center where Rieekan and Leia hung out) and Cantina alcoves (making those modular so you can set up several beside each other) and, and, and...
 

Utinniii

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Those are really awesome. Playable and displayable!!

I like Jeddah and love the Throne room. Can the Pillars be round? And then have the hanging control stations or is that to elaborate?
 
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Awesome work. Also, apparently I've had your sellers page on ebay bookmarked for quite some time now. ;)
 

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No matter what medium you work in, Muftak, your creations are astoundingly good! What a warm fuzzy I got seeing these as you imagined them, in the Sears catalog at Christmas *sheds nostalgic tear*
 
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Those are really awesome. Playable and displayable!!
Thanks! Many, many years ago a forum poster used the term "DisPlaySets" and I so wish I had thought of that! I would never steal it, but I wish I could name my stuff that!

I like Jeddah and love the Throne room. Can the Pillars be round? And then have the hanging control stations or is that to elaborate?
The pillars could have been round, I chose square more for distribution reasons. I can curl the cardstock no problem and get the circle I'm looking for, but shipping them to someone (in a flat mailer) and then hoping the curl held or that they can get it right is a gamble. Better to give them something with embossed folds that they can set up easy.

I had a hard time letting go of having the two big control stations (and the throne) on the raised platform, but there was simply no room at this size. I even stopped calling it "the Emperor's Throne Room" and switched to "the Final Duel" since there was going to be no throne! Maybe after this edition is sold out I will go back and do a bigger "deluxe" version including the rest of the set dressing.
 
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Awesome work. Also, apparently I've had your sellers page on ebay bookmarked for quite some time now. ;)
Thank you. And thanks for the eBay follow. I cannot believe how blessed I have been with making a business of this stuff. On a creative level, the instant feedback of selling something out or watching it struggle has been very interesting and has definitely affected my process.
 
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No matter what medium you work in, Muftak, your creations are astoundingly good! What a warm fuzzy I got seeing these as you imagined them, in the Sears catalog at Christmas *sheds nostalgic tear*
Thanks. I remember starting out to make my first dioramas and looking at some of your stuff (2002-3 era) as top inspiration. I mean, I still shake my head thinking about your Aunt Beru's kitchen diorama.

After I built my own display shelves (ten years ago? Ouch!) I was hit with so many requests to replicate them, but often ran into the stumbling block of price (which came with the time involved in hand-building, painting, etc) which led to trying to solve the problem of making reproducible displays and playsets. The last two years I have been putting my solutions to the test, with great results and feedback!
 

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Oh yes, can you give us a link? I may need a couple of these, especially for some vintage figures!!
 
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Oh yes, can you give us a link? I may need a couple of these, especially for some vintage figures!!
Sure thing fellas! Here is a link to the "TheCardboardGalaxy" store on eBay:

https://www.ebay.com/usr/thecardboardgalaxy?_trksid=p2047675.l2559


A couple of these are in there right now, I am constantly in the process of rotating through what is up for sale. Also, if there's something in particular any Scummers are looking for that isn't in the store, you can always just drop me a PM or email and I can set something up for you. I sell lots of stuff not on eBay too, and of course I am always up for an intriguing commission.

But I don't come here to sell, I'd rather talk about the process with fellow builders and leave the promotion to Facebook and eBay.
 
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Finished up the "Rebel Command Center" this weekend:







I was so happy with the way "The ROTJ Final Duel" backdrop came together, I reused the template here. The backer and base are the same dimensions, though the front of this one is not circular but more rectangular to disguise it a bit. The riser is not suspended either, it has a folded support in the middle that keeps it standing.

The real stars here are the Rebel hardware. I had a lot of fun building out the two computer consoles in the back, and really pleasantly surprised by how easy the screen console came together.

Lots of fun...next up I am working on a Crait mountainside with Heavy Door to go along with the "The Battle on Crait" set that is starting to hit.

Thanks for looking!
 

Utinniii

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That looks really fun. It is more of a playset than a display. You should make stand alone versions of the consoles. I'm sure people would want multiples.

I only have one complaint. Your models are always meticulous but in this version I can see the inner tabs. I would remake this and take new pictures when you list this to sell.
 
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Thanks for the feedback, Utinniii! Definitely more of a playset. Still, I spent so much time pouring over the movie scenes to get the right feel for the room. Afterwards I always feel like I could rebuild the movie set if I needed to, but that's not what these sets are intended to be.

And point taken on the tabs of the consoles. As you know there is always a little bit of a learning curve when making a new shape and seeing how the tabs work, so these prototypes got a little shopworn in figuring it all out. Making the photographing prototype (Phototype?) I ought to be more worried about it being pristine. (it's already up on eBay, though, and selling well!) Next time...
 

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I'm glad it is already selling well. These kinds of things are what Hasbro should be doing (but lucky for you they aren't!).

It has the prototype look to it. I probably notice it more since I have made a lot of prototypes.
 
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Love it. Very nice vintage feel. What kind of printer do you use?
Thanks! I try to get a balance between 1980's design and modern authenticity.

I print at a commercial printing service. It's the best value for me with the volume I use monthly, the quality of the printing is top-notch, and if there are printing problems they eat the cost, not me. Also, it is near to my son's school, so I'm there ten times a week anyway!
 
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I have been slaving away at the "Battle on Crait" Pop-Up Playset to go along with the figure 4-pack just now showing up everywhere.

Since the battle is basically the Resistance trying to keep the First Order from penetrating the big door, that became the focus of the playset: a large mountain backdrop with a big door.

Usually I draw everything up on my computer screen, and the first time I do a test-fit is the first printed prototype, but with this set I decided to some angled walls on the mountain face instead of 90-degree corners as I've done in the past. That required drawing stuff up on some scrap boards to get the folds for the angles right:



Once I was satisfied with the mountain, I went on to making up the big door. As luck would have it, the next scrap on the pile was a "Jabba's Front Door" set (with a bluish line down the middle thanks to a printer screw-up) so I went ahead and used the printed side to draw up the door:



To add a little "playability" to the set, I designed a second set of slots for the door to tab into at a higher level for the "open door" look too:



I spent the past couple nights translating the mock-up's angles into the computer, and drawing up the surfaces, and I hope to have the prototype ready to go soon...then I'll have to buy that 4-pack to populate the set for pictures! (Though I have already presold one based on the description alone.)

Thanks for looking, it is fun to be able to show off "in process" pictures for a change.
 
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Just ordered me a sweet Carbonite Alcove. Have you ever considered doing a larger scale for 6 inch figures?
Thanks guys! I do a handful of 6" displays right now, and I'm always expanding what I have to offer. You can check out the Facebook page @CardboardGalaxy if you want to go through pictures of all the stuff I make.
 

Utinniii

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That's a good start.

What do you think of making a second piece that is just cliff face. Anyone interested could buy 2 (or more) and expand the wall on either side.
 
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That's a good start.

What do you think of making a second piece that is just cliff face. Anyone interested could buy 2 (or more) and expand the wall on either side.
That would be neat--and a whole lot easier than building in the door. The only issue it would run into would be the angled in sections of the walls, though I did go ahead this time and made sure that the walls and the base should join perfectly, leaving no gap at the edge.

The next Pop-Up Playset on my agenda is a Cantina Alcove that almost works as a shadowbox, and a part of the design there was to have it work in series, so you can line them up for as long of a "Cantina wall" display as you want. Then I can make specially modified ones later, like the entrance and the bandstand, to mix it up a bit.
 
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The Jabba's door is an interesting one. I never really thought about something like that, but it looks great.
 
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Hey guys. I haven't posted in a while, but I've been plenty busy...

I have been making (amongst other stuff) these Pop-Up Playsets since the summer. So far I have four in the line. The design philosophy is to use nothing but printed cardstock. The concept is to bring to life more of the fun Kenner cardboard playsets I loved as a kid in the 70s and 80s. In fact, I started with a challenge to myself to update my favorite, the Sears Cloud City Playset, with new illustrations.







That one was basically just a test to see if I could pull off a 3D playset design and make it work. I liked it enough to move on to the next. It seemed to me the "Jedha Revolt" Gift Pack was exactly what we would have been given from Sears in the catalog last Christmas, if that sort of thing still existed, and of course it would have come with a great cardboard playset. I tasked myself with making that playset next:







I really liked this one, so I decided to keep going. The next challenge was to build the set that I wished Kenner had made when I was a kid, and the biggest hole in the toy line back then (to me) was the fact that there was no Emperor's Throne Room playset. I started, but I couldn't figure out all the engineering adequately, especially a staircase (it had to have a staircase!) and so I gave up. Instead, I went with a Niima Outpost/Unkar Plutt's Booth playset:







This one was easy and not much new to me (the biggest engineering bump I made is the riser that Unkar stands on--and you can't even see when the set is assembled--being made out of a single folded piece of cardstock.) It left me itching to pull off the Throne Room set. So I went back at it, and finally solved it:







This one is my favorite yet, I love that it is mass-producible on cardstock but is strong enough to support everybody on that second level. And the stairs worked great (and again that's just one piece of folded cardstock.)

More designs will be on the way...I want to tackle a Hoth Command Center (like the vintage playset, but the actual Echo Base command center where Rieekan and Leia hung out) and Cantina alcoves (making those modular so you can set up several beside each other) and, and, and...
Gosh, I like those playsets! Impressive...most impressive.
 
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Finished up the "Battle on Crait" playset a few days back. It turned out to be it's the biggest Pop-Up Playset in my series so far.







The door in all of it's configurations. I had printed a first prototype, but the mountainside and the door were too close in color, it became a big mush. I corrected it by bringing the cliff face into more of a stark-white coloring. It all still feels a bit monochromatic, but I am happy enough with it to call it "done."

This environment wouldn't have been my first choice, but I really wanted to pair it with the figure gift set Hasbro just put out like I did last summer with the "Jedha Revolt" set (and the ROTJ Target pack from Christmas time) so my hands were kind of tied environment-wise. Here it is with the figures:



And this time I went with a modern packaging version for the "pretend" box art:



(I used a Poe's Ski Speeder Box as the template)

All in all I am happy with how quickly this one came together, and looking forward to finishing up the Cantina Alcove next. After that I am thinking of a Death Star Blast Door "shadowbox" style display to recreate this shot:



Thanks for looking!
 
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Thanks for the feedback!

I had time to put together a prototype for the Cantina Alcove:



The engineering had a few small kinks (like the tabs that hold the bottom together with the walls being too wide once the walls were together) and the details need moved around a bit (inside the alcove, I underestimeated how much the first quarter behind the wall would be blocked from view.) but I think it's pretty close to being what I envisioned.



The height is 8". Width is 10". Depth of the alcove is 3", with an additional 4" foot sticking out beyond that. As I've said before, it is designed to be able to line up in series so you can make as big a Cantina display as you want, and I plan to tweak the design a little to make distinct spots like the band's stage or the entryway.

Please let me know what you think.
 
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Hi Muftak... I've bought many playsets from you and post here occasionally, but never saw this thread (or I did, and I forgot, and didn't see my previous post... that's possible, believe it or not).

Anyways, I'm a HUGE fan... we exchanged one private message on eBay way back... but it was just a generic question regarding availability of certain playsets...

so, yeah, I'll be checking back into this thread here and there...

BTW everybody, there might be a couple weeks waiting-time sometimes, but as far as the actual product, you won't be disappointed with Muftak's work!!!

My favorite (of the 20 or so I actually have) is the Rebel Command Center, despite that the stuff done in 6-inch scale excites me very much when it gets debuted or reissued on Muftak's eBay account... the Death Star Control Room and Destroyer Bridge playsets for 6 inch figures were so exciting to set up the bigger 6-inch figures within.
 
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I like it. I think you should make 3 slightly different versions so if they are lined up they don't all look the same.
Yeah, I definitely want to do a distinct other alcove with the "sundial" wall art hanging on the outside, too, at least. And like I said, the bandstand and the entrance. :grin:

Hi Muftak... I've bought many playsets from you and post here occasionally, but never saw this thread (or I did, and I forgot, and didn't see my previous post... that's possible, believe it or not).

Anyways, I'm a HUGE fan... we exchanged one private message on eBay way back... but it was just a generic question regarding availability of certain playsets...

so, yeah, I'll be checking back into this thread here and there...

BTW everybody, there might be a couple weeks waiting-time sometimes, but as far as the actual product, you won't be disappointed with Muftak's work!!!

My favorite (of the 20 or so I actually have) is the Rebel Command Center, despite that the stuff done in 6-inch scale excites me very much when it gets debuted or reissued on Muftak's eBay account... the Death Star Control Room and Destroyer Bridge playsets for 6 inch figures were so exciting to set up the bigger 6-inch figures within.
Thanks, BHM, now I'm wondering who you really are! I am so grateful for the support I've received, and as a one-man operation sometimes orders outpace what can be done quickly. I've always looked at the three factors I can control as quality, price, and speed, in that order. I will always take longer to ensure the other two are maintained. I hope to continue to be able to do these for a long time to come.
 

Utinniii

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The sundial is part of the jet engine. There's also what looks like a seal head.


The "bandstand" has a cat skull on the Stage right side. The next alcove over has a crocodile head and there is a moose head over the bar.
 
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PM Sent!

(ten characters.)
got it and thanks again.. can't wait to get these... I'm loving the look of the Cantina alcove... count me for a few of those when they are available.

here's a couple ideas that you may want to try to make for the playsets:

Endor Bunker Command Room
Endor Bunker Entrance
Ewok Hut / Village
Jabba's Palace Alcoves
Ben's House on Tatoonie
Death Star Conference Room
Death Star Hallways etc
Bespin Freeze Chamber
Bespin Control Room
Bespin Gantry
 
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