Posted on March 12th 2016 by David Mapes
Reekon is the driver of the Dagger Assault, the largest vehicle in the Visionaries universe and a pretty large toy. As with the three other Visionaries figures whom were packaged with vehicles, Ectar, Feryl and Mortdredd, Reekon did not come with a staff. This was not always the plan however and we shall take a look back at what Reekon's staff may well have looked like.
Like many toy lines the promotional material used for Visionaires features images of prototype toys rather than finished items. This often meant that there were differences between the products shown and the item you could buy later in stores. Ssome of the images of the Dagger Assault feature different coloured items and more importantly to this article, prototype weapons and staffs.
This image of a prototype Dagger Assault features what we believe is the only image of the prototype staff meant for Reekon.
The staff can be seen at the back-right of the image, the gold staff featuring a horse-shoe design. The reason we know this staff was meant for Reekon is that all of the other prototype staffs shown within the image have been used elsewhere in other photography.
Annoyingly at the time of writing this article we do not own a copy of this catalogue so we have had to rely on the scan provided to us by Dave Tree from All The Cool Stuff. Once we can gain access to an original copy of the magazine we should, hopefully, be able to provide more information on the hologram and actual staff.
So is that it? No, not by a long shot.
In a strange decision I have decided to start this article from the end and work backwards. We know that the final release of the Reekon toy did not come with a staff. We know, from the above image, that the a prototype staff was produced in a horseshoe design. However what we are not sure about is if this was the final design drawn for Reekon or an earlier one. To better understand this you need to look at more than just the published images in catalogues featuring Visionaries prototypes and actually go through the designs and concepts behind them.
One of the projects we are working on is to create a time-line for the Visionaries franchise. For Reekon we are lucky enough to own several concept drawings for his staff, all of which differ to the prototype seen in this magazine image. This would generally make sense as several designs would have be floated about until a final design was chosen and the prototype made. However this does not appear to have been the case with this line as we own various designs for other characters staffs which match the final released product even though the prototypes shown within the early photography are different. This means that we cannot be 100% sure that the horseshoe design seen on Reekon's staff in this magazine image would have indeed been the last design for the toy.
You may recognise this first design for Reekon's staff, it ended up as the final production piece for Witterquick. The feint writing at the top left corner says Reekon #1 with the retracted writing at the bottom left being the artist's name, though we cannot make it out, and the year (1986). It was interesting but not really that surprising that designs made for one character were ultimately used for another.
We own two design sheets for Reekon Staff #1, the first is purely from the front whilst the second is a two-up scale drawing from both the side and front.
This two-up drawing confirms the size of the staff pole as well as the date of its design - 23rd December 1986. The image, titled Standard for Reekon, also confirms the part number as #604091-210T. This is important as not only were the part numbers sequential, allowing us to put together a timeline of events during the creative period, but also helps to tie up prototype and hardcopy items as the numbers were often written on them to help identify the parts.
In addition to these two concept drawings for Reekon's staff we also have two images (front and back) of an early mock-up. The first image, from the front, includes the words "4 Levels (Steps)" referring to the thickness of the mold. To the left of the image are pencilled numbers indicating the levels (2, 4, 3, 4, 3). There is further text on the left.
The second design for Reekon's staff is far more interesting from a product design perspective as it's totally different to any of the staffs which made it into final production process. This design appears to have a Native American feel to it with the staff looking a little like a person's face with feathery earrings hanging down. The only writing visible on this image is the text stating that this is Reekon #2 and the year of 1986 (bottom right). I've nicknamed this design the "Mr-T staff".
The third and, for the moment, final design for Reekon's staff is purely labelled Reekon #3. This staff appears to be designed around the helmet of Reekon himself, which is quiet an interesting concept. Perhaps one of the ideas was to have the staff designs replicate the actual figure in order to keep the aesthetics to an overall design. This is a nice clean design with some straight lines and an interesting top to the staff. It wouldn't have looked that out of place next to Lexor's and Cravex's staffs.
As you can see the prototype staff is quite different from the three designs which we have for Reekon's staff. How many designs were created for each character we are unsure off. How far through the production process each design would have got is also unknown. It is possible that prototypes were made of all of the designs, although it is probably more likely that the chosen design was made and then tweaked after the prototype was finished. At this point we simply do not know.
That's it for this short article on one of the Visionaries staffs which never was. As and when we gain more information on Reekon's staff, more designs or prototypes, then this article shall be updated.
Thanks for reading, I hope you found it of some interest.