SDCC '15: Varner Studios Prototypes

I didn't see the Varner Studios booth until basically the last minute of SDCC. The con had ended and we were slowly making our way out of the convention center, taking any last minute photos of anything else interesting that may have been missed. Then I saw a large glass case of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles prototype figures. Then I saw all the other prototypes sitting in the other cases of Wild C.A.T.S., Batman busts and statues, disembodied Star Trek heads, Biker Mice from Mars, Earthworm Jim, some Happy Meal toys, and a few other things. This was an amazing booth and I really wish I had noticed it earlier.

I have owned, and still own, many of the figures that these prototypes were made for. Varner Studios, founded by sculptor Steve Varner in 1979, has done sculpting for many major toy lines. Obviously a lot for Playmates, as you can tell from the photos, but also McFarlane Toys, Mezco, and Hasbro. We see prototypes at many booths during SDCC, but it's usually just one or two, not this many in one spot. How many were even packed in here? A couple hundred?

I would have taken more and better photos if I saw the Varner booth earlier, but that's the way SDCC goes; you see lots of other cool things and miss out on something else incredibly cool. Luckily, I saw the prototypes, so I didn't completely miss out on these awesome pieces of toy history. I could have been nerding out at this booth for a couple hours, but I only had a few minutes so I got as many photos as I could.

Check out all the photos of the tons of prototypes Varner had on display and click 'em to big 'em.

- Shawn - 7/25/15

Photos by Heidi and Shawn.