Dec 10, 2010, 1:57 PM
Unfortunately, there isn't really (to my knowledge) a supply of 'stock' Plasticine (clay) figures as it were, save one source that is somewhat close. If he intends to go into stop motion animation, and clay in particular, he will have to essentially make his characters from scratch.
Now, there are some alternatives. I can think of two off the top of my head though. First, if he isn't interested in too much work, he can use basic ball jointed armatures (think of 3D "stick figures" made out of a flexible, lightweight material, like a metal, that can be easily repositioned and hold its position for a long time) and cover them with a very basic layer of clay, to achieve some definition or characterization. As far as I'm aware, they don't come pre-scultped though. They are re-usable however, just either get more (or reuse) the Plasticine. The second alternative is action figures. There is already a successful TV show featuring stop motion animation using almost entirely intact standard action figures- although occasionally (for things like dialogue, etc.) some adjustments are done to the figures. The show is called "Robot Chicken". Another popular "toy" line that has been repurposed for stop motion animation is (they're almost a cross between a toy and an armature) "Stikfas". Think of, well, action figures really devoid of any type of detail and there ya go.
Anyway, hope that helps a bit.