Thursday, July 23rd, 2020   

An Incredibly Rare Street Fighter II: Champion Edition Blanka Cardboard Standee

  

It seems like a lifetime ago when upcoming video game releases were celebrated with beautiful character artwork, sometimes "blown up" in the form of a stunning, life-size cardboard standee. (This still form of advertising still exists today, of course, but has become increasingly rare.) Steven "Dreamking23" Chavez of Eventhubs recently shared photos (below) of an immaculate Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition cardboard standee of Blanka, drawn by North American artist known for his famous character illustrations, Mick McGinty
 



This rare find is particularly interesting... firstly because "high quality" images of Mick McGinty's Street Fighter II (series) character illustrations are more rare than you may think, which the Eventhubs article mentions.
 



(In fact, I've only recently added some of McGinty's character art to this very website within the past few years. Before that, you might be lucky to find some blurry images on Google.) Below are the highest quality versions of this Blanka illustration in existence! 



 

Here's the interesting part... the crispy HD photographs taken of this SF2: Special Champion Edition Blanka standee displays McGinty's Blanka artwork in all of its high-res glory. Not only that... but we now have "official" confirmation that the well-known artwork of Blanka (above) was in fact created with the actual purpose of holding a sign!




THIS SIGN. 





It's pretty amazing to still learn new things about Street Fighter 2 here in 2020. The Eventhubs article states: "A message is printed on the back of the standee that reads, "Handle with care! Do not throw me away! This unit has been designed for future use. Replacement Banners will be forwarded as new Street Fighter II products are introduced."



 

In an interview with FightingStreet.com, McGinty confirmed he drew this artwork of Blanka, in addition to the "rough sketch" next to it (above). McGinty mentioned Blanka was one of the SF2 characters he illustrated the most. As you may know, McGinty created official illustrations for every character in Street Fighter II, along with the iconic box artwork for the SNES / Genesis versions that fans remember fondly. "From what I can gather, this standee was created and put into stores sometime in 1992 alongside the release of Street Fighter 2 on the Super NES," said McGinty.

You can check out the rest of the article at Eventhubs and read more details about how Dreamking came into possession of such a rare artifact of fighting game history! (And thanks for sharing your find with all of us, Steven! We know you'll take good care of that masterpiece.)

 

Mick McGinty is one of the artists appearing in TFG's Artist Profiles feature. Hit the link to read more about McGinty's work on the Street Fighter series.

 

Sources:  EventhubsFighting Street
  Related News:  (4-20-2020): Street Fighter 2 North American Manual Art + Bios
  Related TFG Links:  SFII,  Blanka SF2: Champion EditionArtist Profiles | TFG News
 
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