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Raving Toy Maniac Presents

Roberto's Customs

 

Roberto can be contacted at [email protected]

"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 statement!!!!

 

       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 did before.

 

      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 Roberto Williams.

"CALLING THE CAPED CRUSADERS!!"

 

        Next up is my custom MEGO 8 inch action figure of Gotham Cityís POLICE COMMISSIONER GORDON! The Commissioner is pictured here during a particularly dangerous night in Gotham City as he summons the Caped Crusaders with the famed Bat-Signal (toy prop created by DC Direct Products)!

 

        This custom COMMISSIONER GORDON action figure was a lot of fun, but very difficult to create. I developed his head sculpt from an existing MEGO sculpt which I re-worked and repainted extensively with a large mustache added.  I also went through a VERY difficult time creating those tiny eye glasses (with lenses included!) and incorporating them seamlessly into Gordons hairline.  Charlee Flatt  helped me out by providing Gordon's custom-made  basic black business suit, a white shirt, a pair of black sox, and a tan rain-overcoat. I made a belt for his trousers easily enough, but I had a REALLY difficult time creating that silk neck-tie  of his that I had to knot (windsor-style) with tweezers!  Custom-made accessories for this figure (not pictured) include a GCPD badge, a service revolver, and a smoking pipe.

 

        He also sleeps in a custom-made MEGO-styled window box package that I created for him on computer in Adobe Photoshop.

 

        Custom Action Figure and photo by Roberto Williams.

"TO THE BATMOBILE!!!"

 

     After 3-1/2 years of sculpting and about $4,000 spent (God, Iím INSANE!!), I have succeeded  creating a very clean and smooth resin casting of my (correctly-scaled) BATMOBILE body sculpt for my custom MEGO action figures!!

 

     This body shell was developed as an amalgam of:

 

A)  A tooled-up  1/25th scale Bat-converted Lincoln Futura Model kit,

 

B) My own original sculpting,  and

 

C) The British AB models 1/8th scale Batmobile kit.

 

     My custom BATMOBILE toy will be a little over 28 inches in length (as opposed to Mego's car which was just only 13 inches long)!  It will feature: working "light-ups" (headlights, siren flasher, and rear Jet "after-burner" nozzle). The toy will have working doors, Steerable front wheels, a fully-detailed COCKPIT with light-up "closed-circuit TV monitor", Robin's radar scope, simulated black carpeting, vinyl upholstered "soft-plush"seats  and door panels, and cloth seatbelts.  And even a tiny mobile "Bat" phone!  My BATMOBILE toy will roll on real rubber tires and chromed aluminum five-spoke styled wheels. Black cloth canvas parachute packs (non-deployable) will be installed in back of the car, and a trio of  polished aluminum "rocket launch tubes" will sit prominently behind the back bubble windows. The front and rear grilles will be made of photo-etched metal. And the "Bat" emblems on the doors and wheels will be totally accurate and computer-printed as transfer labels.

 

     I have already finished my Adobe Photoshop designs for the artwork on the box packaging for this one of a kind custom toy. Notice how I tried to emulate Megoís Batmobile artwork box design!  With a little bit of luck, this BATMOBILE toy will be finished before yearís end! And then Iíll be able to give myself the Christmas present that Iíve been waiting 29 years to haveÖ

 

     Photos by Roberto Williams.

 

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