Kids are constantly looking for heroes, people who will shape what they believe, and what they believe to be important, as they grown into adulthood. Sometimes those are purely fictional, while others are real: people like their parents or firefighters or sports figures or whatever. Celebrities of various stripes usually have an edge in the childhood idolization department, because many times they’ve got their image stamped on toys and posters and lunch boxes and so on. But what if you want to instill a passion for science into the little ones before they enter the meat grinder of public schooling? Step aside, licensed Transformers movie tie-in action figures, because here comes Albert Einstein, Erwin Schröedinger, and J. Robert Oppenheimer!
Sadly, you can’t add the “Heroes of Science” figures to your toy collection, primarily because they don’t actually exist in physical form. The set was created by DeviantArtist datazoid, who used images of various Star Trek toys and used Photoshop to remake them in the likenesses of science greats such as Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, and lots of other people you heard about in science class.
With a total of 30 scientists represented, the “Heroes of Science” set obviously isn’t a complete line-up of science greats. Instead, the artist laid down some ground rules to help focus the project. First, the scientists had to have been alive at some point during the 20th century, so Isaac Newton is right out. He also disqualified any scientists known for medical breakthroughs, reasoning that “medical heroes is a category all of its own, and there are hundreds to choose from.”
All told, the project took around 50 hours. It’s a shame they aren’t real toys that you can buy, but you never know. I smell a Kickstarter!
Here are two more of our favorites from the collection, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan. You can click over to datazoid’s page to see the full set.