Action-figure sculpture lamp

London designer Ryan McElhinney makes lamps and other sculptures by gluing together dozens of found action figures and plastic toys and painting them gold, silver, etc. The effect is striking -- and should be easy to recreate at home if you're looking for a weekend project (Saturday: yard-sale/thrift the toys and lamp; Sunday: build). Link


  1. …I actually like this concept! Imagine one for the 3.5″ GI Joe fanatic, or one of Barbie dolls in a massive lesbian orgy fest for the pervert on your Chrisnukkah Gift List! I’m really surprised someone didn’t come up with this concept before, what with LEGO lamps like this having been seen for decades!

    “I just sent a giant box of old action figures to my little nephews. Sigh…I want an ugly lamp!”

    …And here’s the rub: it doesn’t *HAVE* to be ugly! With the right selection of figures, and with duplicates included, a really impressive lamp with aesthetic qualities can be achieved with just a little time and forethought applied during the construction.

    …On the other hand, I can already hear toy collectors screaming at figures being used this way instead of being left in the packaging and allowed to never know the joy of having been played with.

  2. I’m going to be the one to say that I love this idea, and not ironically, as in “so ugly it’s awesome.” No, executed with the right figures arranged into some interaction I would proudly display this. Sure as shit a lot more becoming than gaudy pseudo-Baroque or faux-Rococo crap you see all the time.

  3. This reminds me very much of a similar installation in a San Francisco bar called The Phone Booth.

    They have a chandelier installed made entirely of Barbie Dolls. That’s a awesome; this, not so much.

  4. My wife made a similar object a few years ago to complement her Xmas village…she took a bunch of detritus from the kids’ toybox….wayward Legos, discarded Polly Pocket carcasses, miscellaneous effluvia without apparent function or name, and glued the whole thing to a styrofoam cone, then painted it gold, making a most unusual Xmas tree. It actually looked rather nice against the colored lights.

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