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More about "Compacted Leland Turbo"

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9:15 pm
July 29, 2011



posts 99


It's been a lot of fun playing around with the concept of a "Compacted" Leland Turbo, and I've been grateful to Met for being so generous in sharing the images and video I've sent him. When you anthropomorphize cars, their mangled bodies are anthropomorphized too, so I was really surprised at what we saw in the movie, not only with Leland but with Rod too, who was shown essentially being tortured to death, unable even to heroically suppress the flash of recognition that gave away Mater's identity.

That's what got me thinking about how far Mattel would go with the theme, and now that we've seen a virtual "Dying Rod" on display at SDCC, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a compacted Leland too. Mine started as a complete Photoshop fake, with an existing product image adapted to include the only pic of Leland I could find, which was a fuzzy closeup from his "video" at the beginning of the film. I tried to clean it up, put it on the card, and then worked up some type that looked enough like the techno-font on the C2 packaging to get the point across (I had to manually take out some of the separations within the letters). I found a blue metal cube online, colored it red, and then put it in place. (The cube I used was a little busy, but got the point across. I knew it wouldn't be too perfect.)

When I came across the actual Pixar glamour shot of Leland online last weekend, which Topps is using on one of its UK trading cards (and is in my gravatar now), I thought it would be fun to update the packaging with something more like what we'd expect to see. (The image above is the only one I've posted of that newer version.) Then I thought…why not make a video? I never did anything like that before, but when I posted my little quick video of the Frankenwagon monster R/C custom, which has unbelievably gotten like half a million hits, I noticed a lot of "related videos" on YouTube of people opening Cars toys, so I had the idea to see how far it could go…

I fussed with a Coke can for a little while, but my patience and attention span are short, so I finally came across some red foil wrapping paper and covered a child's alphabet block. (It's just wrapped with tape, but that hasn't stopped people from swearing it's real!) For the package, I used Professor Z's…his squarish plastic insert was perfect, and I output a Leland with enough extra area to cover Professor Z, attempting to blend in some painted clouds and background. It wasn't great, but I figured the necessarily hand-held video quality would blur whatever edges showed.

To further strain believability, I threw in my little "custom" headlight vendor that Met included in the video post (whose screenshot I also had found online and whose "customization" was very heavily Photoshopped after I painted eyes on a Matchbox coupe), and I thought about how a square Leland wouldn't give me the same problems I have putting cars on my cheap shelves that pitch downward…and an amateurish, one-take video was born! ("One take" because I knew I didn't want to reseal the package again!)

It's been so neat to see the reaction! I felt so cruel when one of the posters on the Yuku board thought it would be the D23 exclusive (because of the "Rainsburg"—i.e., foil—finish)…somehow they found it before Met even posted it (I've only sent it to him). I have no interest in compacting the actual Leland when he comes out…I'm awful at actually "customizing"…some of what I see here is so amazing, but I need Photoshop to make them come to life. Anyway, thanks for the nice comments…it's a little embarrassing to discover later in life that there's a great big ham inside you ;^)

11:54 pm
July 30, 2011

Mike Manifold



posts 717

Thanks for the great behind-the-scenes story. There's a lot of natural comedy in your video and in the real-life reactions to your art (ransburg exclusive – hilarious) that I've really enjoyed. It will be fun to see if Mattel does make a compacted Leland Turbo eventually. It seems as odd that the've scheduled a "dying" Rod Torque as it was odd to show him being tortured to death in an all ages movie, so why not go for the ultimate odd release.

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