Tech Dude Adam

As skateboarding regained popularity in the 90's, skate culture turned up everywhere, along with the toy aisle. 'Finger boards' popped up, small skateboards (and bikes, snowboards, surfboards, etc.) scaled for a kids fingers to 'ride'. Hey, I played football with a triangle of paper on the school cafeteria table, so it makes perfect sense.

Tech Deck took this one step further, and added little finger characters to ride the boards. The story of the company is pretty cool, as the initial finger boards were designed by a 12 year old, Steven Asher, who was stuck inside on a rainy day and couldn't go out to do his usual skateboarding tricks. He decided to make miniature versions that he could do tricks with using his fingers. His dad was already working in the toy industry, and ran with the idea. That was in 1998, and there have been over 35 million little boards sold.

Tech Deck added the little figures to the boards, called Tech Deck Dudes. There are girl thumbs as well, so the ladies aren't left out. They've produced over 100 different dudes, in a variety of styles. Some of those styles have gone outside the thumb design, and have included creatures and their own unique take on the Grimm fairy tale characters.

I've never bought one of the Tech Deck figures, until Adam. Hey, let's face it - he's Batman! Or Batthumb, as the case may be. I have no idea how the swung this one, but being the big Batman fan I had to pick it up. You can check out the entire line of characters at the web site for the dudes, or at the main Tech Deck web site.

Packaging - ***
The figures and boards come in a nifty little clamshell. Nice and compact, and far easier to own that the average McToys clamshell. Sure, they aren't collector friendly, but once you open them up there won't be much need to put them

There's also a nifty little secret code included that can be used with the web site.  It's a perfect little add in on the package for the kid collectors.

Sculpting - ***
Each of the figures is a thumb at heart, with little legs and a face sculpted on. Adam looks excellent, although the thumb qualities are disappearing more and more from the newer designs. You might not guess Adam is a thumb unless someone points it out. He's got a big grin, and a good pose for skateboarding on either foot. There's not a lot of complexity to the sculpt, but what is here is done with quality and a unique style. That style is what attracts so many kids to these little buggers.

One of the neat things about the design is the nail sculpted in the back of the head.  Since Adam is wearing a cowl, you can only see the very base of the thumbnail, but it's still there peeking out!

Paint - ***
The Adam figure has fine paint ops, with just a little clumping with some of the blue paint. Lines are fairly clean, but there's not a ton of detail. If you remember these are toys, you'll appreciate the quality and design much better.

Articulation - Bupkis
Well, you can't have everything I suppose. Adam is a solid PVC figure, but his leg sculpt - one up and one down - at least allows you to have him skate in more than one pose.

Accessories - ***
Adam comes with two - his skateboard and a surfboard. The designs on these are great, and the metal axles and spinning wheels are what make the line stand out. The designs on the boards are well done, and both will work fine either with Adam or on their own.

What really makes these cool are the magnets in Adam's feet, and how well they attach to the boards. You should be able to put Adam into some pretty hairy skating tricks on the half pipe, and he won't fall off. The magnets are very strong, and work well on both boards.

Value - **1/2
Sure, these are pretty neat, but at five bucks they're a little high. Find them for four, or better yet three, and you've got a great deal. I'm betting Kaybee prices are a little lower than average.

Overall - ***
These aren't the most exciting action figures on the face of the earth, but they are pretty neat, particularly if you like a) PVC figures or b) skateboarding. They are also make for fun collectibles for kids, since there are themes, lots of characters, check lists, and all of them should be pretty easy to get. As a Batman fan, I couldn't pass up Adam, and bought him from the Tech Deck website since I hadn't seen him in any local stores.

I also wanted to be sure to review this guy since I suspect many Batman Fans would miss him completely.  I hadn't seen one on the peg, and if Jeff Cope hadn't mentioned it on one of the discussion boards, I might not have realized it was out there.

Where to Buy - 
Both Target and Kaybee carry a lot of these, and I suspect Toys R Us and Wal-mart have their share. Finding Adam might be a bit tricky though since he's based on a popular character. I picked mine up directly from the Tech Deck web site for about $5 plus shipping.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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