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Challenge of the Superfriends - The Justice League of America

Banded together from remote galaxies, are 13 of the most sinister villains of all time - the Legion of Doom! Dedicated to a single objective, the conquest of the universe! Only one group dares to challenge this intergalactic threat - The Superfriends!

Iron-Cow Prod. is proud to unveil these 11 custom figures based off the classic Hanna-Barberra cartoon.


This custom is a reworking of the DC Direct Super Friends Superman figure. I began by removing the figure's arms and sanding down the side of the torso. This allows the arms to come in closer to the figure. I then removed the original cape and replaced it with a better fitting cape from a DC Direct Golden Age Green Lantern. The sculpted chest emblem needed to be sanded down to remove the detail, and a new emblem was created digitally and applied with decoupage medium. A new, more accurate coat of paint completes the job.

Initially, I had wanted to add in articulation to the shoulder to allow Superman to put his hands on his hips. The added articulation distracted from the smooth lines of the animated-style sculpt, so I went back to the original arms. The headsculpt could still use some work, but overall I'm pretty happy with how he turned out.


While I love the sculpt of the DC Direct Super Friends Batman figure, the paint they used was fairly inaccurate to the show models. This custom is a simple repaint to better match the toon. Batman's overall grey is now actually a subtle lavender, with the blue is a much richer hue. The cape interior is painted black. I had considered reworking the belt, as the amount of capsules changed throughout the show, but in this case I decided to leave it alone. The sculpted belt matched the original model sheet, so that was fine by me.

It was also tempting to do the reversed Batsymbol (yellow bat on a black oval), but that was clearly an animation mistake, as opposed to the simplified logo that Flash sported throughout the show.

Robin, the Boy Wonder

The DC Direct Super Friends Robin is a really nice sculpt. When I began customizing the rest of the Super Friends line-up, I almost left him as-is. The eyes began to bug me, though. They just didn't seem quite right. And, as I began to look closer at the sculpt, I realized there were a few details that were a bit off. I began by shaving down the hair on Robin. It was just a little too bulbous, and it through off the overall shape of the headsulpt. I reshaped the hair using Magic Sculpt. I also used Magic Sculpt to adjust the shape of the collar, and the addition of cuffs to the sleeves completed the necessary details. The rest was simply paint to better match the look of the show.
Wonder Woman

I almost didn't include Wonder Woman as a custom project. The eyes were painted incorrectly on the original figure, but it wasn't enough of a distraction for me. Still, after looking at stillframes from the cartoon, I realized that the DC Direct Super Friends Wonder Woman figure had a few other details in error. Most noticeably, she was missing the eagle head sculpted on her chest armor. I used Magic Sculpt to create this missing detail, and at this point, I decided to repaint her. The bracelets became a deeper blue, while everything else was adjusted to better match the look of the original show.

It's funny... when I began customizing the Super Friends figures, it was a few years back. Flash was the first project I decided to take on. I used an extra Super Friends Green Lantern figure as a base, and filled in the surface details using Magic Sculpt. I never quite wrapped up the figure, and then an official DC Direct Flash figure was released. While it had a good headsculpt, I didn't like the longer arms of the sculpt. At this point, I decided to finish off my original custom, using some extra details taken from the DCD version. The rest is simply paint to match the look of the show. The all-yellow chest emblem is intentional, as that was the look of the symbol throughout the entire run of Challenge of the Super Friends.
Green Lantern

While the DC Direct Super Friends Green Lantern is an amazing sculpt, they definitely went with too bright a color scheme for the figure that was released. This custom is simply a repaint to better match the well-tanned, pale green/charcoal grey look of the show character. The chest emblem was created digitally and applied with decoupage medium. I'm much happier with the figure in his new, less-garish look.

Aquaman has always had a bit of a bad rap as far as I'm concerned. While he did seem to smile a lot, I can't say he was happier than any of the other Super Friends on the show. Even still, while I liked the DC Direct Super Friends Aquaman figure, I think they missed the mark with the headsculpt. I replaced the original head with one taken from a DC Direct First Appearance Hawkman figure (although the original Aquaman hair actually transplanted pretty well). Now with a less-goofy expression, and a better application of paint, this custom figure finally matches the look of the character on the show.

This Super Friends Hawkman custom has undergone many different approaches. I originally began by trying to rework a First Appearance Hawkman figure, but it was a just enough off-model to not quite fit in. I eventually reworked a Super Friends Flash figure, using Magic Sculpt to sculpt the new head and chest and boot details. The wings were taken from a Dyna-man figure, coincidentally another line based off a similar Hanna Barberra production. The chest emblem was created digitally and applied using decoupage medium. Overall, he's a bit rougher than I'd hoped, but hey... I'm just happy the figure's done at this point.
Black Vulcan

Not quite the goofiest outfit on the show, but still a cool character, Black Vulcan helps complete the Super Friends line-up. For what seemed a simple project, he actually proved one of the most difficult. I originally began adapting a Space Ghost figure, hoping the beefier sculpt would help set him apart from the other Super Friends. Unfortunately, it looked just too goofy, so I tried a Gil Kane Green Lantern figure. Again, while a nice idea, it was just... wrong. Ultimately, I settled on reworking a DC Direct Flash figure. The boot details were created with Magic Sculpt, while the head is reworked from a DC Direct John Stewart figure. It's not quite on-model, but it's not too far off either. Still, I'd like to tweak this figure down the road to make it a bit more accurate.
Apache Chief

No group of Super Friends is complete without Apache Chief! To make this custom, I began by reworking a DC Direct First Appearance Superman figure. I sanded down the surface details on the original figure, and resculpted areas using Magic Sculpt. I think the vest may have been taken from an X-Men Evolution Logan figure, though it may have been sculpted with Magic Sculpt as well. It's been so long, I've honestly forgotten! Anyway, the headsculpt is reworked from a Thundarr animated figure, with the boots were taken from a Warriors of Virtue figure. He's rough in spots, and not quite as on-model as I'd like, but he looks good in a group setting. Maybe I'll revisit him in the future.

Similar to my Black Vulcan custom, Samurai went through many many attempts before settling on the recipe here. I began by trying to rework a Space Ghost animated figure, but that proved to be just way too bulky to fit in. Finally, I reworked a Golden Age Hourman figure, removing the original figure's lower half and replacing it with legs from some other random figure. The headsculpt is reworked from a Coneheads Agent Seedling figure. The rest of the details are a combination of clear vinyl, Magic Sculpt, and a show-accurate application of paint.


The Justice League of America!

Created by Matt 'Iron-Cow' Cauley.
Web site: Iron-Cow Prod.

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