"CLASSIC DYNAMIC DUO"
Once again, it was "TOTAL MAKE-OVER
TIME" for these two guys! There was just NO WAY around it!!
My goal was to create a "Classic
Dynamic Duo" that reflected the darker tone of the comics, and accurately
displayed the PHYSICAL DIFFERENCE between man and BOY wonder.
To accomplish this goal I used the
(shorter) 6 inch "boy" action figure body from MEGO's 1976 "OUR GANG"
collection as the basis to create ROBINís body. Each character from that
line had a different body type, so I settled on two of their characters to
create the Boy Wonder: "Alfalfa" was used (for the main body) as was
"Mickey" (for the head sculpt). I re-sculpted the Mickey head with a new
"Dick Grayson" hair style, and a boyish smirk, and then made a final casting
with these new sculpted changes. With the exception of the green shorts and
t-shirt sleeves (which were both borrowed from Megoís original Robin action
figure and then tailored down to fit this much smaller body), ALL of the
costume items had to be created from scratch. This entailed sewing
together a crimson vest with tailored green sleeves attached , six tiny
yellow "laces", and an "R" monogram label. A black plastic "twist-tie"
cord that I found (used for holding toys into their packaging ) served
nicely as Robinís belt , while a pair of tiny plastic discs and rods
painted in bright gold became the buckle. I carefully cut some simple black
vinyl to create a removable face mask, and a tiny black elastic band was
attached around back . I then located some lime green material that
precisely color-matched the Mego shorts and sleeves, and it was from this
cloth that I fashioned Robinís gauntlets (bye-bye Vinyl oven mitts!!! ) and
"pixie" boots. Then finally, I used some really rich golden yellow
imported silk to create the flowing cape and collar. Holy fashion
THE BATMAN began life as a standard
nude MEGO 8 inch "type II" (muscular) body. But I wanted greater posability
and musculature out of his arms, so I replaced the MEGO originals with the
bulkier upper arms found on LJNís 8 inch SWAT action figure from the
Ď1970ís. These new arms also have a "swivel" joint in the biceps which
allow for much more posing. I selected an existing MEGO head sculpt of
another character to double as "Bruce Wayne" , and with a quick hair
re-sculpt and re-paint, he was done. And then the "fun" began. The
creation of The Batmanís costume: He needed some tighter-fitting dark grey
lycra spandex tights that improved upon Megoís original "pajama-fit"
costume. Here, Charlee Flatt came to my rescue by providing the excellent
sewing chores. When the new tights arrived, I immediately got to work
sewing together a pair of dark shorts out of some Midnight Blue fine silk
that I found. This is the same material that I used to create his enormous
scalloped cape which is capable of spreading apart into full "Bat-Winged"
glory! For the next full MONTH and a HALF after that, I designed and
created the Dark Knightís utility belt. Each of the six pouches on the belt
were made with canvas cloth wrapped around tiny balsa wood "cubes" that I
pre-cut. The cloth was then painted golden yellow and a tiny silver pin head
was inserted into each one as the lid fasteners. I found some really
beautiful dark blue imitation leather material and used it to create a pair
of (fingered) bat-gauntlets for The Batman to wear (bye-bye Vinyl oven
mitts!!! ) The action figureís wrist articulation is perfectly preserved.
Likewise, using this same material, I made a pair of "leathery" Bat-Boots
that fully preserved the figureís ankle articulation points. I created a
bat-emblem label on computer in Adobe Photoshop, laser printed it, and then
glued it to his chest. I attempted to make The Batmanís removable mask
using Pez Candy Dispensers that I radically re-sculpted. After no less
than 15 failed attempts (!!!), I finally got one to fit on the action
figureís head!! The mask pictured in this photo is the FINAL one that I
created (about a year ago) that fits a lot more snugly than the first
attempt did. This mask also has a slightly more "squinty-eyed" look than my
first one did. I think it makes The Batman look a bit more imposing than he
Accessories for both of these action
figures (not pictured) include Bat-ropes, and two different folding "Bat-a-Rangs"
BOTH action figures sleep in MEGO-styled
window-box packaging that I created for them on computer in Adobe Photoshop.
Custom Action Figures and photo by