I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again– Toy collectors are notoriously hard to shop for. When we find something we want, we tend to buy it right away, so there’s not much that remains on our wish list for very long. That’s why I often wind up making custom action figures for at least one of my collector friends during the Holidays.
This year, I went custom for my friend Junior. He’s pretty die-hard about Masters of the Universe and Capcom games, so i decided to make a custom MOTUC-styled Mega-Man figure.
The parts for this guy were very easy– an assemblage of Marvel Legends Iron Monger pieces on a MOTUC Flipshot buck– but getting them all together was a challenge. Flipshot’s vest and visor, of course, come off very easily. Slightly tougher was disassembling the Monger arm and legs, which I left under a heat lamp to soften them up and then popped free at the knee and elbow joints.
I was going to go with Monger’s knees, but they added too much height to the figure. So instead I cut the knees off of the lower legs with an Xacto knife, then Dremeled out a hole in the lower legs, for the shin pegs of Flipshot to fit into. I had to trim down the long pegs under Flipshot’s shins, but once I did it was easy enough to fit the clunky Monger boots in place.
Next was the arms– Mega-Man’s left arm used to be Iron Monger’s, with the tubes trimmed off with a knife. To get this injection molded elbow to fit, I cut off the upper arm of Monger, and cut a slice through Flipshot’s elbow ring, turning it into a hook. I fed the hook through the injection molded joint on the Monger arm, and it stayed in place. While structurally sound, this loses the elbow movement of the figure (I hate when customs lose articulation). I realized too late what I should have done was kept the Monger lower arm and elbow joint intact, and simply Dremeled into Flipshot’s upper arm to fit the peg.
For the Buster Cannon arm, I used Monger’s upper leg. I trimmed out the inside of the knee joint just a little, to better accommodate Flipshot’s bicep, then set it in place. The leg isn’t long enough on its own, so I trimmed down Monger’s upper arm piece so only the shoulder was intact. Then I heated up the arm cannon with my heat lamp and stuck the trimmed down shoulder on the end. The plastic was soft enough that I didn’t need glue or anything– the pieces just gelled in place. To finish it off, I cut the peg off of the shoulder piece, leaving just a little to look like the barrel of the cannon.
A quick paint job later, and the figure was done! I think he looks good, although I am still frustrated over the articulation I lost putting him together. Hopefully my friend won’t mind… and even if he does, the custom packaging I made should help hide any design flaws of my own making.
When I committed to do the packaging for this figure, I knew I would need to come up with a way to explain Mega-Man’s existence in the MOTU storyline. I think I came up with something that worked out pretty well… here’s the bio I came up with, just for fun:
Heroic Robot Warrior from the Year 20XX
REAL NAME: Rock
The heroic MEGA-MAN is the robotic creation of Dr. Thomas Light, and he has battled countless evil robots under the control of Dr. Wily in the year 20XX, making use of his ability to absorb their special powers after defeating them. When The MIGHTY SPECTOR made one of his time-jumps to 20XX, MEGA-MAN mistook the hero for one of Dr. Wily’s evil robot henchmen and killed him. But as a result of this tragic error, MEGA-MAN absorbed the powers of Spector, allowing him to transverse time and space to meet the Masters of the Universe! Feeling guilty over the destruction of Spector, MEGA-MAN offered his services as a life debt to King Randor, and used his Mega Buster arm cannon to fight bravely alongside He-Man and the Masters of the Universe!
Check back soon, as we continue showcasing some new and old custom figures. If you have a custom figure you’d like to see featured here, email me– Your figure may be the next one featured on Custom Korner!