Trick-out your toys!
April 23, 2010

 

Add-on and accessories for your existing toys are a hot and growing trend! 

(One I’m happy to say I’m part of!)

So read on to find out just what kind of add-ons and gear you can get for your collection!

 

Over the last few years, a small but exciting category in the Collectible Toy market has been steadily
growing.  From small home-grown operations to genuine Made In China factory produced goods, the
market for customizing and add on kits for your toy collection is growing!

I myself an part of this industry, with my own humble Spy Monkey Creations Inc (http://spymonkeycreations.blogspot.com/).   In preparing to enter the field, I did a lot of research

and found a lot of really creative and ingenious companies.

 Let’s take a look at what’s out there shall we?

 

Transformers:  There’s no doubt that the fanciest, most exciting area of the add-on market is in the
Transformers arena.  With 2 movies fueling hype, appetite for Transformers is bigger than ever,
and the quality and diversity of TF add-on product is quite impressive.

1. Fans Project:  http://www.fansproject.com/#

Without a doubt, Fans Project is the leader in the Transformers add-on market.  From humble beginnings
with their sold out resin-cast part kit "CJ Upgrade Kit for Classics Cliffjumper, to the incredible City
Commander (Ultra Magnus) armor to their full blown figures like Warbot (Springer), and tranforming
Bruticus Limbs, they have everything but the Transformers name.

 

 

In many ways they chart the course of an independent accessory company.  They started with a
resin cast kit sold at conventions and eventually moved to injection molded accessories and then
full figures now distributed through online sellers and retailers around the world.

And their quality has steadily improved.   The Cliffjumper kit is your typical resin add on set. 
Fun, but essentially a item for customizers as it requires some glue.  The City Commander set is a
proper toy, but feels more delicate than your Hasbro/Takara item.  The Warbot  is simply incredible. 
It’s not cheap (about $70) but it includes diecast parts and is a solid well-made toy.

If you’re looking to trick out your modern Transformers collection, Fans Project is your place to start!

 

2.  Crazy Devy:  http://www.crazydevy.com/

Hot on their heels is Crazy Devy.   Another TF add-on company, they do both modern and vintage add
on kits, including variants for both authentic and knock-off vintage TFs.  Their G1 Devastator sets are
ingenious, bringing the animated series look and modern articulation to a G1 toy:

 

With a new light up head and articulated arms and hips, your G1 Devastator will stand proudly with
any TF collection!

Beyond that they have a very humorous add on for your Legends Class Movie Devastator that is
guaranteed to increase it’s "mandhood."

 

They’ve got quite a variety of add-ons including parts for G1 Cassettes, Superion and others and their
site and photos are much better than Fans Project.

 

3. Nato-Bot

I mention Nato-Bot because they had one fairly nice item but are now seemingly defunct as their site
is gone.   They are definitely not on the level of Fans Project or Crazy Devy as their one kit was resin
cast in color, and seemed to be created from a computer model with a rapid prototype machine, as
the kit has the telltale stepped texture of such items.

 

Their set consisted of a multi part head, rifle and cannon to make your Classics Roadbuster look more
like his G1 counterpart.  It’s definitely rougher and less polished than the big boys’ items, but a nice
piece of fan made work.

 

Stickers:  While not as glamorous as 3D add-ons, custom sticker companies offer perhaps your
most useful add-ons, especially if you want to restore vintage items:

4.  Reprolabels:  http://reprolabels.com/

The first and best, Reprolabels made their name doing Transformers replacement stickers but have
since moved to original upgrade stickers for TFs as well as other toylines.

 

 

5.  Sticker Fixer:  http://www.stickerfixer.com/

Similar to Reprolabels, Sticker Fixer moves the focus beyond robots.  Their symbol archive in particular
should be of interest to Superhero fans, as well as others including Star Wars and even Care Bear and
Nintendo fans!

 

 

G.I.Joe and 3 3/4":  This popular scale has no shortage of add on options!

5.  Maurader Gun Runners:  http://www.marauderinc.com/servlet/StoreFront

  Marauder Gun Runners has been producing excellent weapons for your G.I.Joes and other 3 3/4" lines:

 

Marauder is a small operation, but their items are good quality, no warped or drooping weapons here!
And they represent both realistic military gear as well as classic sci-fi weaponry.   If your 3 3/4"
collection needs some new gear, hit up Marauder.

 

6.  Tri-Gate Creations: http://trigatecreations.com/store/

Tri-Gate Creations is a really neat add-on company for your 3 3/4" G.I.Joes as they specialize in original
sculpt gear as well as heads, torso and body parts.  It’s definitely for customizers as parts are supplied
unpainted, but you can create some really wild creations using their parts.  From fantasy to famous
movie inspired parts, you’ll find some very unique stuff at Tri-Gate:

="" src="http://www.popcultureinsider.com/afi4-tmp/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/turtle%20head%20and%20torso3.jpg" width="166" height="221" /> 

 

As with most of the smaller home grown add-on companies stock is limited and orders may take a little
extra time, but if you’re looking for unique custom parts, Tri-Gate will deliver!

 

7.  Broken Arrow Toys:   http://www.brokenarrowtoys.com/cart/

Similar to Tri-Gate, Broken Arrow Toys offer custom parts for your 3 3/4" figure.   They offer a lot of
recast parts in addtion to original add ons.

Where Broken Arrow really sings though  are the full figure kits.  I don’t know how he does it, but these
are fully functional, full articulated resin cast action figures:

 

As it’s a one man operation, stock is very limited, and often orders take a long time to process, but as
far as hand cast items go, the stuff Alyosha is able to achieve is simply amazing.

 

Megos:  The tried and true line has it’s share of great add-on and accessory companies:

8. Dr. Mego:  http://drmego.fatcow.com/store/index.html

The undisputed King of Megos, Dr. Mego offers great repro parts and accessories for your vintage or
custom Megos. 

 

9.  Cast-A-Way Toys:  http://castawaytoys.blogspot.com/

 

Like Dr. Mego, Cast-A-Way offers add ons and parts for your Megos, but rather than repros, they
have a newly designed better articulated body.

 

LEGO:  Finally there’s a really neat add-on company for Lego Mini Figures:

9.  Brickforge:  http://www.brickforge.com/

I love the work Brickforge does.  From fantasy to historical parts, they offer an amazing range of parts
to truly turn your Lego Mini Figures into true action figures.  And they have fantastic photos.

 

 

Brickforge’s parts are injection molde and high quality.  They fill orders fast and if you are any kind
of fan of Lego Minifigures you’re sure to find something there to tickle your fancy.

 

So, that’s my quick overview of the Toy Accessory and Add On industry!  Know any good companies
I’ve missed?  Post a reply and I’ll update the list!

 ‘Til Next Time!

Spy

 

 

 
  

 

 

 

 

TAGS:
Jeremy "SpyMagician" Sung
It's the all new, all different SpyMagician! No longer single, no longer an educator, but still 100% Toygeek! "I make good customized actions figures, but I also collect Pokemon. Go figure..."
Read other articles by Jeremy "SpyMagician" Sung.

 

 

 

16 Comments »

  • Shellhead says:

    Wow! Even more stuff to spend money on!

  • Super cool post, Spy. I need that ROM!! And the ‘Secret Agent’ on his site is even better!

  • demoncat says:

    cool will have to check out those sites and love that Rom figure too bad Hasbro can not make a real one. due to the rights issues . at least one can get a replica of the gun

  • Jeremy SpyMagician says:

    Yeah, that ROM is fantastic.

    And sadly usually sold out on the site. But if you really want one, email Alyosha through the site and he might be able to help you out. His stuff takes time to ship, sometimes months, but it’s really neat.

    Spy

  • Zach says:

    The right side of the blog is cut off by ads…is this my ‘puter, or something else? I REALLY want to read this.

  • Zach says:

    I guess it’s not so much ads, but the right side of the AFI capsule: ‘bloggers & bios’ and ‘archived posts’. please help!

    • Jeremy SpyMagician says:

      Weird! Must be a glitch!

      I went back and edited the post with more line breaks, so it should be easier to read now!

      • Brainlock says:

        I had the same problem on Firefox, luckily, I can Ctrl/- to downsize the type, so my eyes got a workout reading the smaller type, but otherwise a great blog and lots of good links for customizers!

        and I don’t think it wouldn’t have been unfair to mention just what SMC is putting out. ;)

  • Zach says:

    Thank you!

  • Casimir says:

    Great article, sir. I only knew about half of these. I will be referencing this.

  • As someone who has ordered from both Broken Arrow Toys and Marauder “Gun-Runners” many times, I can’t recommend Alyosha and John’s products enough. These are two fantastic resources for 3¾” collectors. I’ve only ordered from Reprolabels once, but the quality of the stickers was every bit as good as (and better than, in some cases) what Hasbro packs in with their toys. I’ve had my eye on a couple of items from Tri-Gate for a while, and I’ll definitely be giving them a try in the near future. This is the first time I’ve heard of Stickerfixer, so I’m bookmarking that site now (in addition to your store). This is a great post!

  • Howard the Duck says:

    I love the fact that such enterprises exist. Especially when it gives ol’ Howard the Duck an awesome JLU GL Hal Jordan!

    I always wonder, however. Just how much money are companies such as Hasbro and Mattel leaving on the table by not offering such incredible and fan-favorite items themselves? I have a couple of friends who are die-hard Transformers fanatics, and they eat those fan kits up like ravenous fiends.

  • Rich says:

    You can’t mention brickforge without mentioning brickarms, too.

    Brickarms was also covered recently by wired magazine:

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/01/ff_newrevolution/all/1

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    Spy, yet another resourceful and entertaining blog! I’m down with many of the places you mention here, especially the 3 3/4 inch stuff like Marauder and Broken Arrow. I would pay gladly for one of those ROM figures – one the most desired and underrated characters ever to see plastic form. The sticker repro and Mego part dealers are just as valuable to us older collectors. I’m going to be checking your list over and bookmarking these sites right alongside yours!

  • LBAM says:

    Late to this blog post, but let me just add in another huge recommendation for both Marauder Gun-Runners and Broken Arrow Toys. I’ve been a customer of both, and not only are the products great, the customer service and communication are top notch.

  • Anoth1 says:

    The aftermarket/Ebay prices on some of the Classics Optimus and Magnus Fans Projects mods are almost criminal. Still, these are very dynamic and cool accessories. Just wish I could justify paying that much. But hey, drop 3x more than a MOTUC figure’s regular retail, why can’t I stomach doing that with a modded Transformer too?

    Maybe the popularity would give Hasbro incentive to introduce these in future versions of their Generation 1 figures, as long as the concept continues?

Leave a Comment

(required)

(required)

 

ARCHIVES

 

SPONSORS

 

250x250_aff_funkosale

 

902268-han-solo-and-chewbacca-024

 

gsi-250

 

tim-bruckner-250px

 

pets_howloween4_assoc_300x250._V327013843_

 

your-ad-here