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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:03 pm 
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LUKE SKYWALKER: Jedi Knight
Custom Action Figure and Photo by Roberto Williams

PROBLEM:
Vintage Kenner Luke: Jedi Knight (1983) was a pretty nice figure, but I was always a bit dissapointed with the strange positioning of his arm and legs. Also, I always thought his face sculpt was overly morose looking. In my humble opinion, ALL POTF II Jedi Lukes were VERY poor depictions of the character. They were ALL barrel-chested, They were ALL pre-posed, and they ALL suffered from various strange looking face sculpts. Even the most recent SAGA Luke Jedi (2003) suffers from flimsy legs with bending knees, a poorly-produced, ill-fitting cloth cape, and a pin-headed, overly morose face sculpt.

GOAL:
I strived to create a neutrally-posed, nicely detailed 4 inch-scale action figure of LUKE SKYWALKER in his black Jedi Knight outfit as seen in Return of the Jedi.

Now, I know that there is some debate over the correct color of Luke’s Jedi cloak. And admittedly, it probably WAS dark TAN as many have suggested. However, I just felt that a BLACK cloak was cooler looking! My custom Jedi Luke was scaled in relation to the rest of the STAR WARS action figures in my collection (including other Customs).

“Nevertheless, I’m taking Captain Solo and his friends. You can either profit by this or be destroyed. It’s your choice, but I warn you not to underestimate my powers.â€


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:04 pm 
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PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA
Custom Action Figure and Photo by Roberto Williams


PROBLEM:
It has honestly been a long, long road toward the making of this Custom Action Figure. Kenner's vintage Princess Leia Organa (1978), dressed in her royal robe, was an adequate enough figure for the level of detail that was available at that time. She had a very cute "doll-like" head sculpt and a simple, neutral pose. The next time Leia was offered as an action figure wearing this outfit, there was quite an uproar in the collecting community. Released in 1995 as part of Kenner / Hasbro's Power of the Force II line, "Princess Leia Organa" was sculpted with such an unflattering facial scowl that some collectors began referring to her as "monkey face Leia". The costume she was presented in bore only a passing resemblance to the robes she wore in the film, and she was sculpted in such an awkward pose that she could barely stand on her own. A full three years later, after several other heavily criticized Leia figures and face sculpts, Hasbro presented us with "Princess Leia Organa -All New Likeness". This action figure featured a costume that was sculpted much more accurately to match Leia's wardrobe from the film, however the face sculpt was only a marginal improvement over the previous offerings. Later that same year, Hasbro produced a series of "Princess Leia Collection" two-packs. These figures were beautifully decorated with soft-good appliances, and movie outfits that had never before been produced as action figures. Unfortunately, the face-sculpts and paint-deco for Leia's likeness took a HUGE step backward, appearing as arguably the WORST renditions of Leia yet. Most of the subsequent Princess Leia action figures utilized a variation of the "all new likeness" face sculpt with varying hairstyles and paint deco for the appropriate film outfit. Like many other collectors, I was losing all hope that Hasbro would ever produce an acceptable likeness of the Princess. When considering the creation of this custom figure, I was even fully prepared to go with a completely different female face sculpt, just so that I could have a "pretty" Leia. I looked into various Padme Amidala face sculpts and strongly considered one of them for use as a head sculpt source. But in the end, that didn't work either. Fortunately, Hasbro helped me out in a BIG way by producing the excellent super-poseable Princess Leia Organa in 2004 as part of their Vintage Original Trilogy Collection. Although the overall figure was a vast improvement over previous offerings, the face sculpt was STILL not quite right. I found that somehow a ball-jointed neck was just NOT flattering for what should have been the delicate features of a princess.


GOAL:
I've known for more than 9 years (the amount of time that I've been customizing Action Figures) that I was going to have to create my OWN custom Princess Leia Organa (from A New Hope) if I was ever going to be satisfied. The goal here was to create a 4-inch scaled, richly-detailed, neutrally-posed, attractively sculpted rendition of the beautiful, feisty, dedicated leader of the Rebel Alliance as seen in A New Hope. She had to be correctly scaled in relation to the rest of the figures in my collection (including other customs).

"I'm a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan!"

RECIPE:
1) Vintage Original Trilogy Collecion Princess Leia Organa: (body)
2) POTJ 25th Anniversarry "Swing To Freedom" Leia: (head sculpt with hair re-paint)
3) POTF II "Princess Leia Collection" Leia: (royal belt)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:05 pm 
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GRAND MOFF WILHUFF TARKIN
Custom Action Figure and Photo by Roberto Williams

PROBLEM:
The ONLY Grand Moff Tarkin action figure EVER created was released as Hasbro’s POTF II line (1996). At that time, the figures were suffering from (what I like to call) “tapered-waistâ€


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:06 pm 
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ADMIRAL PIETT
Custom Action Figure and Photo by Roberto Williams

PROBLEM:
The slight pre-posing, and tapered-waist build that was typical of Hasbro’s POTF II line is just NOT to my liking. A Custom Admiral was necessary. Once again, though, the face sculpt was virtually perfect!

GOAL:
I wanted ADMIRAL PIETT to reflect the strict Imperial loyalty that he embodied throughout the Original Trilogy. Also, he had to be correctly scaled in relation to the rest of the STAR WARS action figures in my collection (including other Customs).

“Bounty Hunters? We don’t need that scum! Those Rebels won’t escape us.â€


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:07 pm 
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GENERAL MAXIMILLIAN VEERS
Custom Action Figure and Photo by Roberto Williams

PROBLEM:
Previous action figure attempts of General Veers produced by Kenner and Hasbro have not really been to my liking. The vintage Kenner “AT-AT Commanderâ€


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:09 pm 
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BOBA FETT
Custom Action Figure and Photo by Roberto Williams

PROBLEM:
This is clearly a vital character in the STAR WARS Saga, and I felt he needed a clean, and well thought out custom figure. All of the previously produced Fett figures fell a bit short in my opinion. Yet, Ironically, the ingredients to create MY custom Boba can be found in many of them. My basic “issuesâ€


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:10 pm 
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BEN OBI-WAN KENOBI
Custom Figure and Photo by Roberto Williams

PROBLEM:
Various problems plagued the different Obi-Wans offered through the years. In my opinion, the biggest offense was to constantly sculpt the folds of his robes as his legs (Vintage Kenner / 1978), or as wearable rubber appliances (POTF II / 1995 and POTJ / 2001) that limited the figure’s movement. Then, in 2004 Hasbro gives us a VOTC Kenobi that seems to be dying of starvation. No thanks.

GOAL:
I wanted a neutrally-posed, richly-detailed 4 inch-scale action figure of the former Jedi General as he appeared in A New Hope. He had to reflect the eccentric, old Jedi hermit living as an outlaw in the Jundland Wastes of Tatooine. It was important to me that this Custom action figure be able to SIT DOWN in Luke’s X-34 Landspeeder, So I knew that a cloth skirt and outer robe were going to be a must. Also, he had to be correctly scaled in relation to the rest of the STAR WARS action figures in my collection (including other Customs).

“For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the old Republic… Before the dark times. Before the Empire!!â€


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:11 pm 
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YODA: Jedi Master
Custom Action Figure and Photo by Roberto Williams

PROBLEM:
NONE of the previously produced Yoda action figures incorporated ALL of the characteristics that I wanted to see within ONE single figure!!

Maybe I'm just crazy, but it seems to me like ALL of the recent Yodas produced by Hasbro have VERY strangely sculpted HEADS (which are far too small), and do NOT resemble the character at all. They also feature really badly painted EYES that make our beloved Yoda seem like he's been hitin' the sauce a bit too much. The EYES of this character are SO important!!! They impart all the wisdom and age that he stands for. Also, a LARGE noggin is what makes him seem more elf-like and cerebral. These recent pin-headed Yodas just ain't cuttin' it !!

GOAL:
I simply wanted a single custom Yoda Action Figure with a working pair of LEGS, an accurately-sculpted, dignified face sculpt in the correct proportional size, rooted hair, necklace and belt accessories, and cloth robes.

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size do you?â€


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:12 pm 
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EMPEROR PALPATINE
Custom Action Figure and Photo by Roberto Williams

PROBLEM:
Virtually all previous action figure versions of Emperor Palpatine were lacking in adequate detail in my humble opinion. The vintage Kenner version (1984) sculpted his robes into a strange pair of legs, which was a design feature that I never really cared for. Later on, with the modern figures, Hasbro has only created Emperor Palpatine figures with NO working legs at all !! In other words: He's been nothing but a friggin' SALT-SHAKER!!

GOAL:
I wanted to create a neutrally-posed, richly-detailed 4 inch-scale action figure of EMPEROR PALPATINE in all of his malevolent glory. He had to be able to SIT on his (Hasbro “Cinema Scenesâ€


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:13 pm 
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DARTH VADER: Dark Lord of the Sith
Custom Action Figure and Photos by Roberto Williams

PROBLEM:
There have been many Darth Vader action figures produced over the years. NONE of them accurately depict the powerfully elegant and imposing SHAPE of the Dark Lord of the Sith! NONE of them feature ALL of the details that I wanted to see incorporated into a single Vader figure.

Typically, Hasbro has sculpted Vader’s robes as rigid plastic, or as a part of his torso sculpt. The mask/ helmet sculpts for ALL Kenner / Hasbro Vader action figures have always been inaccurately depicted and / or disproportionately SMALL in relation to the body. The recent Darth Vaders offered by Hasbro have either been anorexic (2004's VOTC Vader), posed with an OVERLY WIDE stance (Evolutions Vader), wearing overly POOFY soft-goods (Both of them), or just plain ol' pea-headed (All of them!!)

GOAL:
The goal here was to create a neutrally-posed, richly-detailed 4 inch-scale action figure of Anakin Skywalker as the powerful fallen Jedi Knight that he ultimately became. The first thing I decided was that ALL of his robes and cape were to be made of CLOTH. Also, I wanted this custom action figure to be able to unmask with the correct THREE stages of head gear (rather than Hasbro’s typical two.) Most importantly, I wanted a custom action figure that just looked elegant and STATELY when standing neutrally at ease. As always, custom Vader had to be correctly scaled in relation to the rest of the STAR WARS action figures in my collection (including other Customs).

“If you only knew the power of the Dark Side!â€


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:14 pm 
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My Collection space experienced a flood due to a ruptured water pipe a couple of summers ago.

Several important toy collectibles were left without packaging and therefore un-protected.

I decided to design custom packaging for these toys, patterned after the Vintage Kenner style...


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:16 pm 
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12-BACK ACTION FIGURE CARDS


As I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, my collection of STAR WARS actions figures are all loose.

But I created this card back as an experiment. I was curious to see what a vintage KENNER Star Wars 12-back card would look like with photos my own custom action figures replacing the main 12 character line-up.

Of course I could not leave out Boba Fett, so this became a “13-Backâ€


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:17 pm 
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LANDSPEEDER

When Hasbro released the AWESOME Saga Landspeeder with Luke Skywalker about three years ago, I saw no reason to keep the previous versions of Luke’s speeder in my collection. I sold them off.

However, for reasons of nostalgia, I will ALWAYS fondly remember my Vintage Kenner Landspeeder’s BOX design.

While replacing the damaged box for my Saga Landspeeder, I created a windowless box that pays homage to the vintage Kenner days.




Image


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:18 pm 
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RADIO CONTROLED JAWA SANDCRAWLER

I must confess that the box for my Radio Controlled Jawa Sandcrawler was NOT damaged in the flood.

However, from the day I bought it back in 1979, the box was in VERY rough shape.

Furthermore, I never cared for Kenner’s package design for this toy. I thought it was very clumsy the way the toy seemed to be cut off along the top of the photo by the extended arm holding the remote control and by the STAR WARS logo.

I took this opportunity to make a new customized box design.

Photo Credits: Rebelscum toy archives (Sandcrawler)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:20 pm 
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I for one am VERY glad that the kind folks over at Hasbro have finally made us a Tatooine Moisture Vaporator in the form of a pack-in accessory with the current TAC Tatooine farmboy Luke Skywalker.

But in the style and mindset of our Vintage Kenner friends, this accessory would probably have gotten its own separate release as a boxed toy (like Radar Laser Cannon or Tripod Laser Cannon or Vehicle Maintainence Energizer)

I've already accumilated quite a few of these Moisture Vaporators in my collection, and I think they should all have a nice package design for storage, no?

Anyhow here is what I've come up wiith so far. The final package will have an ACTUAL toy Vaporator photo on it rather than this temporary one...

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