If you think that toys are just for kids, meet Jared Middleton, who will change your opinion and make playing with toys seem badass. Middleton, known as Sirdork to his 68.2k Instagram followers, is a toy photographer who brings popular action figures to life in cinematic miniature scenes. The New York-based artist uses any elements the Earth provides us with, like water, dirt, or snow, unexpected things you can find at home, and even fire and explosives to create awesome practical effects in his photos that look just like screencaps from a movie and make lifeless figures appear full of life.

"I’m just a massive fanboy and collector! Nothing brings me more joy than trying to bring these figures and characters to life, and even telling a story about them in a photograph!" the photographer told Bored Panda.

If you are curious how they're made, Middleton also thought you might be, so he reveals the behind-the-scenes of each photograph in his short videos on social media. What do you think about Middleton's creative photos? Let us know in the comments!

More info: Instagram | twitter.com | Facebook | sirdork.com | youtube.com | Etsy

#1

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Kitty Luna Darrow
Community Member
12 months ago

He's gonna get his pants all wet! :)

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In an interview with Bored Panda, Middleton shared how his passion for creating epic action scenes originated: "I am a massive collector turned photographer. I had been collecting action figures for years and eventually started taking photos of them outside for Instagram. Eventually the art of taking photos became more important to me than the collecting!"

#2

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Erika Watson
Community Member
12 months ago

Yessss MANDO

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#3

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Basil Merriweather
Community Member
12 months ago

looks like cgi!

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Middleton has a massive collection of figures of pop culture characters he can choose from in his photography projects.

"My collection of figures has gotten very large and very diverse! But over the years I’ve definitely evolved my collecting habits and only will buy figures I want to shoot in a photo. I personally love series like Star Wars Black Series, SHFiguarts, Mafex, Amazing Yamaguchi Revoltech, Hot Toys, and many more."

#4

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Doughie
Community Member
12 months ago

oooo

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#5

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#derpy_icecream
Community Member
12 months ago

2020

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The artist says that the inspiration for action photos comes from everywhere: "It could be a new movie or TV show I see, or even a small puddle I see that could become a massive war swamp in a toy photo!"

He added that there is a big toy photography community on Instagram where you can always turn for ideas and inspiration.

#6

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Personindaworld
Community Member
12 months ago

wow

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#7

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John C
Community Member
12 months ago

Booyeah Admiral Akbar! This one should be first given the unceremonious death Rian disgraced him with. Unforgivable.

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"All of the characters I shoot are characters I love from franchises that I legitimately connect with and enjoy," Middleton admits. "Shooting a figure and character that I love and am passionate about makes the process that much more fun and rewarding! Although it can be fun to shoot and experiment with something I’m completely unfamiliar with!"

#8

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Erika Watson
Community Member
12 months ago

Ok.. ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS ONE! How is no one commenting on the amazing Mando! Great job

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#9

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Hannah Edwards
Community Member
12 months ago

Oh no! Baby Yoda!

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The artist stands out by using practical effects in his action scenes instead of taking the advantage of the digital age. And while it might be more challenging and time-consuming—it's also more fun and creative.

"I started out using mainly practical effects instead of digital because of my lack of knowledge with digital effects. Over the years, my skills with digital effects have gotten stronger but I’ve come to really love and prefer the practical side of things. Going out there and getting dirty is just too much fun!"

#10

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John C
Community Member
12 months ago

I wonder if he intended the round blobules - they're really excellent but I suspect a happy accident?

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#11

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#derpy_icecream
Community Member
12 months ago

“The bad batch” now streaming on Discovery+ (or Disney+ I don’t know)

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The artist walks us through the process of shooting action scenes from idea to a final result.

"Each photo can be completely different in process. But I will usually start with an idea, then I’ll pose my figures inside, then bring them along with my equipment outside, sometimes just on the pavement. Then I’ll shoot and take several photos with different effects and lighting. After shooting, I’ll go inside and bring up the photos in Adobe Photoshop on my laptop. I’ll combine/layer photos together to create one epic final product! Sometimes after all the work, the photo doesn’t come out how I want it, and I will scrap it all and start over! But sometimes it will all come together exactly how I want it."

You can learn what gear he uses, from figures to camera and other equipment, in a detailed video on his YouTube channel here. You will find it particularly useful if you'd like to try to create your own action scenes!

#12

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Erika Watson
Community Member
12 months ago

Yuss

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#13

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_𝕔𝕙𝕠𝕔𝕠_𝕝𝕠𝕔𝕠_
Community Member
12 months ago

This guy has an obsession with star wars 😂

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We asked Middleton what are the most challenging and the most rewarding parts of his job.

"What has become the most challenging aspect is coming up with an idea for a photo that is not only awesome and original, but more awesome and original than my last photo! It can be pretty tough to constantly come up with something better than the last, but it is always SO rewarding when I execute something I’m actually very happy with."

#14

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Flexiegirl94
Community Member
12 months ago

yess!!!!

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#15

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Erika Watson
Community Member
12 months ago

What even inspired u?

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Follow Sirdork on social media for more amazing action scenes, and you can be sure that he will appreciate the support:

"I’m very lucky and fortunate to have a group of people following my work and constantly giving me positive feedback on my photos. I love the art for what it is, but it makes it THAT much better to have a great reaction from people who enjoy my work!"

#16

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AqualiaGuineaPiggyWolfCat
Community Member
12 months ago

my immediate reaction when i saw the second photo was 'oh no...'

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#17

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Oliver Parker
Community Member
12 months ago

dangg thats good

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#18

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Personindaworld
Community Member
12 months ago

yeet the head of a stormtrooper

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#19

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John C
Community Member
12 months ago

I guess it's an obvious thing to do for photographers, but the green lighting to represent the lightsaber is awesome.

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#20

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AqualiaGuineaPiggyWolfCat
Community Member
12 months ago

oop.

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#21

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jager700
Community Member
12 months ago

crossover 100

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#22

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Personindaworld
Community Member
12 months ago

wait, who is this?

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#23

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AzKhaleesi
Community Member
12 months ago

HULK SMASH

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#24

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General kenobi
Community Member
12 months ago

For the empire!

#25

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Personindaworld
Community Member
12 months ago

yaas

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#26

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Optimus Primal
Community Member
12 months ago

That bottle looks like its full of pee ngl.

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#27

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Cory Mirasang
Community Member
12 months ago

hehe gun go BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

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#28

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AqualiaGuineaPiggyWolfCat
Community Member
12 months ago

oof. r.i.p. 3CPO.

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#29

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lily s weakland
Community Member
12 months ago

i forgot who this is

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#30

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Mistcatcher
Community Member
12 months ago

My brain the second I saw this: iS tHaT yOu, ViSiOn?!

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Note: this post originally had 45 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.