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From Crate to Skate

Tech Deck Dudes
by yo go re

First there were Tech Decks, little skateboards you pushed with your fingers. Then came Tech Deck Dudes, thumbs with feet who could ride the boards. Now there's Tech Deck Dudes: From Crate to Skate, which takes the idea one step further.

The sets are sold blind-boxed - literally "boxed" in this case, because the molded sculpting on the faces makes it look like a wooden shipping crate. A cardboard sleeve wraps over the top, preventing you from seeing any identifying traits that might let you know which one you're getting - you have to open it to find out.

When you unfold the crate, you get a neat little skatepark! There are four different ones in the series - the one I got at random is a short ramp, but there are also stairs, a corner hip, and a halfpipe. Since the sides of the crate are fully modular, you can rearrange them however you want. And you can also plug multiple sets together to make an even larger park, sprawling all over the place however you like.

The horizontal surfaces are all smooth, so the decks can roll easily, but the sides of the ramp have been molded with a brick pattern. When you open the sides, a bunch of accessories come spilling out, a mix of trick features and things people would have brought to the park: in this case, that means a rail on the side of the ramp, a One Way street sign, a black rail to grind on, a bright blue boomk box, and a can of spray paint. The features give you more to do with your Tech Deck than just roll it back and forth, and the other bits add some personality and make the park feel lived-in.

All that beige plastic would get a bit boring, so the set includes a sheet of stickers - some Tech Deck logos, some graffiti art, and hazard stripes for the edge of the ramp. There's nothing that really fits on the sign post appropriately, but so it goes.

There may only be four kinds of crate, but there are 16 different Dudes that can be found within. These are smaller than the normal Tech Deck Dudes, only about 1¼" tall, and their board is similarly downsized: 1⅛" long. The checklist identifies them as limited "Skate Crate Editions," probably because full-sized ones would take up too much space. The one I got appears to be some sort of punk rock caveman? He's got pink hair, a brown vest, light green dinosaur feet (slippers?), and accessorizes with a bunch of golden bones. It's a strange look, but fits with the TDD aesthetic. His board is pink with a black surface and green wheels. A large hole in the bottom of the feet allows the figure to plug onto the board.

I actually have some full-sized Tech Deck Dudes that I got back when they were new; the plan was to review them, but we've never gotten around it it. This I just picked up on a whim at Five Below, not realizing how much smaller the contents would be, but you can totally see how building an entire skatepark for them would be fun.

-- 09/09/21

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