3A Composites USA Inc.

Gatorfoam Helps Fabricator Scare Up Toy-Fair Traffic With Monster-Sized Action-Figure Display

Creating a monster-sized display to promote sales of Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters University” movie-themed action figures at the 2013 American International Toy Fair in New York earlier this year didn’t scare fabricators at New-York based Underground Visuals, Inc. They knew they could count on Gatorfoam, the original heavy-duty foam board, to construct a behemoth reproduction of a “Monsters University” animated character heavyweight.

The toy action figures were being promoted at the Toy Fair in support of the June 2013 release of “Monsters University,” the movie prequel to 2001’s computer-animated “Monsters Inc.” And, what better way to represent the toys than with a monster-sized action-figure box display set up at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center Feb. 10-13 that allowed spectators to step right in next to a reproduction of “Monsters University” character James P. “Sulley” Sullivan for a photo.

Underground Visuals chose ½-inch thick Gatorfoam graphic display board by 3A Composites USA in the Bright White color and 48-by-96 inch sheet size to create an action-figure box replica that measured 8 feet tall by 12 feet wide by 2 feet deep.

Gatorfoam consists of polystyrene foam bonded between two layers of wood-fiber veneer laminate. This unique construction makes Gatorfoam rigid yet lightweight and warp-resistant; its surface also is exceptionally smooth and strong, offering superior dent- and scratch-resistance.

The “Sulley” monster image was printed on Gatorfoam to form a back wall of the action-figure box display, with one end left open for visitors to walk right in next to him. In addition to Gatorfoam, the front wall and one side wall of the box were finished with clear Lexan sheets to mimic the plastic on action-figure boxes.

Underground Visuals used an Oce Arizona 360GT flatbed printer to direct-print the action-figure box design onto Gatorfoam and die-cut it with a Zund G3digital cutter.

“Gatorfoam is easy to work with and routes nicely,” said Norman Scheffler, owner, Underground Visuals. “We get a nice clean edge with our router. Gatorfoam also prints well. The product offers a nice smooth finish and it’s structurally sound. It’s the product that we use.”

The monster-sized action-figure box was sent in pieces to the Javits Convention Center and assembled with aluminum tubing and Velcro fasteners for display at the Toy Fair. At the close of the fair, the display was disassembled and packed so that it could be set up again at the design firm’s headquarters, according to Scheffler.

“The Toy Fair ran through an entire weekend, and this display drew a lot of traffic,” said Scheffler. “Everyone loved it. It came together beautifully.”

Gatorfoam is supplied to Underground Visuals by the Hicksville, N.Y., branch of Polymershapes, the distribution unit of SABIC. Underground Visuals specializes in creating point-of-purchase displays, retail-store window displays and Broadway theater backdrops, utilizing high-end photography, direct printing and routing services.

Gatorfoam sheets are manufactured by 3A Composites USA in standard 48-by-96 inch sheets and 60-by-120 inch sheets in the Bright White, Black and Neutral colors and in thicknesses ranging from 3/16 inches to 2 inches.

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