A Custom A Day.... 365 days of custom figures Day 1 - DC Direct The New Teen Titans Troia by LooseCollector
Day 1 starts with a six inch scale DC Direct New Teen Titans first appearance Troia action figure by the incomparable LooseCollector from the Philippines. LooseCollector is one of the premier customizers in the hobby. Some of their pieces have sold for thousands of dollars on eBay and their quality and attention to detail is unparalleled. This Troia figure was the first figure that began my focus on customs. I found LooseCollector on a website called FigureRealm.com and was directed to their website where I saw a multitude of various different, intricately sculpted, brilliantly painted pieces. They had created dozens of Scooby Doo monsters from the 60's cartoon series, heroes and villains from DC & Marvel comics vast history, as well as unique pieces created based on specific unique creations all on customer's requests. I needed one of their pieces represented in my collection so I commissioned Donna Troy as Troia in her first appearance costume from the late 80's. I knew the costume was too dated and corny for the toy companies to tackle so I knew paying for a custom figure in this costume would be a good investment since it wouldn't be made by DC Direct or Mattel.
Troia is essentially a small plastic statue because the hard sculpted plastic details of her shoulder pads and skirt keep her limbs from moving. She only moves at her neck. Another issue many collector's have with custom pieces, limited mobility. I am still working to complete the Titans team that she was a part of when she wore this costume. She uses a DC Direct Crisis on Infinite Earths Supergirl figure as her base. One of the things I enjoy most about LooseCollector's work is that it is difficult to identify the base figures they use for their custom work making their pieces all the more unique.
a Custom A Day.... 365 Days of Custom Figures
Since I began toy collecting as a hobby back in 1990 I have always had a need for custom figures. Toy companies begin action figure lines, begin to release individual characters to create teams and, more often than not leave them incomplete. Many collectors find that custom figures pollute their collection's authenticity by not being mass produced creations from the toy companies that created the preexisting toy lines. I disagree. I feel a quality custom action figure enhances a collection and help create a complete picture.
When characters are chosen for a toy line several factors come in to play. The character's current media relevance (if any), their most iconic look (they may have had multiple costumes through their sometimes vast histories) and gender. Female action figures tend to not sell to parents of the boys who are playing with them so a great many of the female characters are never rendered in plastic in the way the male characters are leaving holes in the collections.
I am a fan of the female heroes primarily so I have purchased and made quite a few "customs" throughout my years as a collector. I find it challenging (ok impossible) to get a smooth, quality finish to my sculpt work, downgrading the quality of my figure's appearance that I create so my custom work tend to be of a Frankenstein type nature where I use different parts such as a torso and arms from one figure attached to the hips and legs of another, and a different head with a full cost of paint to create my pieces. I also struggle with painting facial details on figures. The small areas, the eyes in particular give me the biggest issues. I prefer to reuse another head from a different character that will allow me to not have to paint the facial details since I am heavy handed and tend to paint in clumps rather than smooth, factory produced finishes that many of the customizers I work with can achieve.
Most of the figures that I have in my collection that have intricate sculpting and paint details have been created by other artists from around the world. The UK, The Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada and from several states throughout the US through personal communication or via eBay, which can be an outstanding resource for quality custom work. I've had the pleasure of meeting some incredibly talented artists through websites & social media. Over the past two years seeking out quality custom figures has become the main focus of my collection. Which is at over 5,000 loose pieces. As you will see over the course of this year this does not just affect super hero toy lines. I collect different toy lines spanning the 1960's through today covering cartoons, movies and television in addition to comic books. Some of the custom pieces I have had done wouldn't have been made as toys because of lack of consumer interest or based on licensing issues simply cannot be made in to toys. I haven't let that stop me from using several different toy lines to amass a complete plastic collection of all of the media I have enjoyed throughout my life.
I have decided to begin a project called A Custom A Day.... to showcase my custom pieces one a day, every day throughout 2015. If you follow me on social media or on this site you may have seen many of them before but with this project I will give a little background of each figure and its relevance to my collection. So check back daily!!!
Happy New Year from Pop Culture Hoard!!!
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A Custom A Day....
I began toy collecting as a hobby back in 1990 I have always had a
need for custom figures. Toy companies begin action figure lines, begin
to release individual characters to create teams and, more often than
not leave them incomplete. Many collectors find that custom figures
pollute their collection's authenticity by not being mass produced
creations from the toy companies that created the preexisting toy lines.
I disagree. I feel a quality custom action figure enhances a
collection and help create a complete picture.