Thursday, May 5, 2011

Custom: Nite-Lik (Sort of)

Had they been packaged individually, Skallox and Nite-Lik are the kind of figures I generally skip, despite the fact they're among some of the nicest offerings I've seen from Mattel. Seriously, these are fantastic toys.

However, they're not exactly A-list characters. In fact, this is Nite-Lik's first appearance (though apparently he's going to be showing up in the comics).

What made the difference was the alternate head and hands (this is the third release in the Green Lantern Classics line that's used this technique; I own the others, too).

The thing is, unless you're a customizer, having an extra head doesn't do you a lot of good. Ultimately, you can only display one figure at a time, right?

With Green Lanterns, you always have the option of a simple head swap with one of your extra Hal Jordan bodies (most of us have at least one or two lying around). Even the Sinestro Corps have had enough releases to make the Low/Maash set somewhat logical (though, in my case, I wound up using Low's hands on another project; I'm still waiting to find a use for his head).

But these are the first Red Lanterns released: ostensibly, you either need to buy both or display one.

But look closer. Nite-Lik actually comes with an upper chest covering, containing the Red Lantern symbol. If this isn't custom bait, I don't know what is:

I'm starting to wonder if Mattel is actively trying to encourage customizing. If not corporate, I can't shake the suspicion the Four Horsemen might have had this in mind.

Check out what Jin Saotome did with that piece. I'm afraid I didn't get quite so creative. I just wanted to see if I could make a decent Nite-Lik out of the pieces left over from my custom Green Lantern Batman. Here's what I was working with:

The body is from the infamous Batman covered in "mud" from the Clayface 2-Pack, with forearms swapped with Green Lantern. I trimmed down and sculpted over some of the belt, then filled in the hole in Batman's back where his cape originally plugged in. I also added some claws to his feet, because... well, just because I felt like it.

Here's what that looked like:

Next up, paint. Lots and lots of paint. Layers. Followed by sealant. I used a metallic paint, hoping to match the shine on his collar. It was a long way from perfect, but it came closer than the original. Here's the body that came in the pack beside mine (I'm sure you can tell, but just in case the custom is the one on the left).

And here they are with heads and hands (my custom is on the right this time):

Not perfect, but pretty cool if I do say so myself.

So, with just a little paint, some clay, and left over parts, I managed to build a second Red Lantern. Oh, also about six hours of time.

All to avoid buying a second $20 figure. If that seems insane to you, then welcome to the world of customizing toys....

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