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Custom Action Figures

Custom Action Figures

So you’ve walked into a toy store adult collectables-in-no-way-for-kids store and you bought an action figure from the latest greatest film/comic/tv series. All the printed media looks great, the ones in pictures online and on tv look good. You rip open the packing and HELL NO!

Someone seems to have put a lump or crudely cast plastic in your toy box… Recent examples are things like the Avatar “Amp suit” that is really a one colour grey all over and not even the same grey as in the movie… And all the transformers movie toys are composed of large areas of one type of unpainted plastic. So out with the metallic paints of the movie and in with red plastic out with the metal look and in with grey or black plastic… But there are some people that walk among us and they say NO! to injustice, NAY! to crudely modelled toys and F*** OFF to those who say the toy in the box is as it should stay! These people are the Action figure customisers.

The Avatar Amp suit is a one colour grey plastic thing that kinda resembles the movie version, but the paint and texture really let it down. Being that it has none.


Official avatar amp suit


But with a little bit of work some talented brush-wielder made this:


Avatar amp suit custom version


To continue reading about my journey into the seedy underbelly of action figure customisations… If you are of a weak disposition and think Toy Story is a documentary you may not want to continue. 😉




I recently saw Transformers 2: Revenge of the fallen on Blu-ray and giggled to myself how much Hasbro must hate ILM for making these super-complex Transformers for the big-screen and leaving Hasbro the task of turning them back into functioning toys that resemble their big-screen counterparts. And though they do a commendable job do they look that similar?


Optimus prime comparison - toy versus movie


Bonus points for guessing which is the toy.

Again with a bit of effort:


Transformers Optimus Prime custom movie version


And so I stumble across a few sites on the interwebs that are dedicated to an art form known as action figure customisation. This can range from giving an existing figure a lick of paint to add detail and texture, all the way to complete dismemberment and decapitation of many action figures in order to re-assemble the pieces into a better version or into characters that are unavailable in toy form. Here are some examples:


dismembered action figures


Stage one looks like a bloodbath… if you walk in and find this on your kid’s floor you may want to hold out on calling a psychiatrist in case you have a prodigy customiser on your hands!


everything's back together


stage 2 and the dismembered limbs have found a new home! *siiiigh* It still doesn’t look quite right, but it’s getting there!


Adding detail that wasn't in either figure being customised


You can see that a polymer clay or epoxy resin type stuff is being used to add the details that didn’t exist in either model, these are the sculptural finishing touches before painting time!


The final TMNT custom figure is complete


With a final lick of paint the whole custom is complete, this was by no means my favourite custom this guy did, but it was one for the only ones that included a step by step example for all you would-be customisers out there! Thanks to kyle robinson customs. I bet you didn’t realise toys were such hard work eh?

Some links to various sources of information and such:

If you want me to add any to the link then, by all means, send your toy/action figure custom links to me



About The Author

Luke B

Luke B started life on his day of birth, strangely. He enjoys artistic and creative pursuits such as painting, drawing, sculpture, music, 3D graphics, video games and everything else. He builds websites as his day-job and builds personal ones in his spare time. He also likes Lego.

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