Category Archives: GI Joe
On Memorial Day, I thought this GI Joe Mountain Base Diorama was a fitting custom to highlight as we remember our fallen soldiers on this day. When I first glanced at this dio, I immediately thought of the bunkers and strongholds our soldiers had to face as they invaded France on June 6th 1944 to mark the turn of World War 2.
Although this dio is made of dense polystyrene foam board, the way ti was painted and sculpted makes it look like stone, rock, and cement. The artist did an excellent job varying the coloring to achieve a very natural look. One thing I noticed was the scale was right on for 3 3/4" figures and even the small vehicles (Cobra Trubble Bubble, Ferret, etc.) can fit nicely with this base. You will notice that there are two levels on the inside so this base also serves as a small barracks. If you are into Dioramas, don't miss this Custom GI Joe Mountain Base Diorama.
As an army builder of GI Joe figures, I can appreciate the need for a great weapon and Marauder Inc. is a fantastic resource to meet your needs! Specializing in weapons for 3-3/4" figures, the product design is simply amazing and fills a much needed gap in the accessory department for smaller figures. To be honest, the stock weaponry that comes packed with figures these days is a joke so if you are serious about displaying your figures with the best replica guns and ammo around, head over to Marauder Inc and check them out!
Below you will find an example of their Modular ACR Assault Rifle w/ accessories and you can see how bad ass these weapons are. Imagine the possibilities if you equip your GI Joe or Cobra army with these weapons.
Or take this Modular M4 MOE Carbine Assault Rifle...a truly amazing piece that looks even better in the hands of a capable 3 3/4" figure
They not only specialize in weapons but they also make gear for dioramas too! For example, let's say your Joe army needs to camp out for the night after a long battle fighting the evil forces of Cobra. you can make it happen with this Nylon Tent:
They also sell weapon sets so if you are looking to outfit your entire brigade with some killer firepower, these types of sets are for you.
Here is how the company describes themselves:
"The source for weapons & accessories scaled for use with ALL collectible 3-3/4 inch action figures. We carry accurate 1:18 scale miniature replica versions of authentic looking weapons or designs based on military & science fiction originals. Sturdy & highly detailed items are NOT "soft & bendy" rubber or "fragile & brittle." Similar feel to vintage 1980s 1:18 scale weapons. The weapons are perfect for the ADULT COLLECTOR to "upgrade" the equipment of their collectible 3-3/4 inch (1:18 scale) figures or to finally provide those incomplete or custom figures with COOL & INEXPENSIVE accessories."
I love when universe collide and Gill Customs has created an amazing Custom Cyclonus GI Joe Transformers Crossover made from a Conquest X-30. Painted in the classic purple and silver colors, the base vehicle makes a great start for a G1 seeker jet. In addition to the killer paint app, Cyclonus has lights in the cockpit, rear thrusters, and engines. The cockpit canopy even sports the orange color that was found on the original G1 Cyclonus figure. There have been many unique GI Joe Transformers crossover customs made over the years and I wish customizers would make more because I love both toy lines and it is great when they are blended together. If you want to see more photos of Gill Customs' crossover Custom GI Joe Transformers Cyclonus figure, head over to eBay!
Stronox Customs knows how to treat a ruler right and his Custom Cobra Serpentor figure with Thrown pays a killer homage to the ultimate Cobra leader. Both the thrown and figure have stunning detail, especially for a 4 inch figure. Stronox has given Serpentor many different looks and even gives you a hooded version, which pays respect to the original Cobra Commander figure. The cape is also wired which is a very cool addition and gives the figure an added sense of versatility and poseability. The thrown is painted almost in an Aztec fashion with 3 striking cobra heads that give the thrown a very royal feeling. The flames are a very nice touch and add to the mystique of the figure. To place a bid on this great piece of work, head over to eBay and check out Stronox's Custom Serpentor figure and Thrown!
I have always thought the Crimson Guards deserved a more beefier armor and a more versatile uniform and Homemade Joes (aka Zartanman) has finally answered the call with this Custom Cobra Crimson Guard figure. Fitted with chest armor that is painted metallic silver, one of the uniform options for this figure already looks much better than the original from the 80's. Adding a full face helmet and a shield makes it look like these Crimson Guards are headed for a riot, which probably would have benefited them in the 80's cartoon. To check out more looks to this great figure, head over to eBay and check out Homemade Joe's Custom Cobra Crimson Guard figure.
The Leader of Cobra has to be one of the most recognizable and iconic of the GI Joe figures. As a kid, I always wondered what he looked like under that silver faceshield. FrogDNA has reimagined this fearless leader with the shrieky voice with his Custom Zombie Cobra Commander figure. this figure works on a couple different levels. Yes, you can view this figure as a Zombie as it was intended or you can view it as a battle damaged Cobra Commander, which is how I am choosing to see this figure, as the leader of Cobra just coming back from a major war. His armor rittled with bullets and his faceshield torn off to reveal what he looks like on the inside. Pretty freaky! To view more photos, head over to eBay and check out FrogDNA's creepy (yet cool!) Custom Zombie Cobra Commander figure.
Lilmosnter777 has some imagination and some skills to create this one of a kind Custom GI Joe Pursuit of Cobra HISS Tank. By combing the best parts from a Pursuit of Cobra HISS Tank, a Pursuit of Cobra Fury vehicle, and a DTC HISS Tank, he create one ultimate armored vehicle that actually looks better than the 3 stand alone vehicles ever could! If you need a visual, here you go:
Not only is this a killer design but the overall paint app makes this look like an actual tank that has been rolling through the mud into battle. I have to agree with Aristotle when he said, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts," and this Custom HISS Tank definitely fits that description. To check our more detailed photos, head over and check out this Custom GI Joe Pursuit of Cobra HISS Tank over on eBay!
Attention Call of Duty Modern Warfare fans! Ciabattoni2006 has created some killer versions of the troops from that video game and his Custom Simon "Ghost" Riley figure is one of them. With attention to detail straight from the game, the figure captures the face mask and overall look and feel of the game character. The figure looks like it was pieced together using figures from the GI Joe line and would make a great addition to anyone's collection.
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You really can't go wrong when you combine the two most successful toy lines in history with each other. GetRightRobot has this recipe down and his Overlord Custom Transformers GI Joe Crossover figure is evidence of this. Taking a vintage Night Raven and HISS Tank, GRR has painstakingly prepared these iconic toys to combine with each other to form a gigantic figure that stands over two feet tall. Here is GRR to tell you more about it:
"There were 283 pieces individually cleaned, prepped and airbrushed for this big boy. He is 26" tall and the Mega Jet alone is over 2 feet long! There are 53 moving parts including 37 ratchet joints. The neck alone has 3" of optional travel, 3 ratchet joints, and a nice stiff ball joint in the head to allow superhuman range of posing. The legs slide (HISS tank halves) onto pins and then snap into place and ABSOLUTELY cannot fall off accidentally. The drone or piggyback jet fits securely onto the Night Raven (Mega Jet) and into the right hand by interlocking into the thumb and finger. Utilizing a stern peg in the 'trigger' to prevent falling. This guy was BOLTED together using mostly 8-32 screws and nuts. This massive custom needed more than glue. The aesthetics of the robot mode were inspired by Overlord's appearance in Last Stand of the Wreckers and the head was modeled to reflect that design. The front of the jet/shield attaches to the left arm via a heavy, interlocking peg that sits on a swiveling ratchet joint. The Zarana (Mega) and Zartan (Giga) features G1 toy paint schemes and 'backpacks'. Their packs can post into Overlords chest as the G1's did. Either figure can pilot any of the 5 available cockpits. Any 3 and 3/4 GI Joe is compatible with this set."
Combining the two color schemes inherent in the Transformers and GI Joe lines, this crossover figure represents the best of both universes. Add to the fact that any GI Joe can fit in these vehicles, you have a recipe for one amazing custom! To view more photos and to watch a really cool video, head over to eBay and check out GRR's Overlord Custom Transformers GI Joe Crossover figure.
Growing up, Star Wars and GI Joe were the mainstays in my toy collection. I never really thought to cross the toy lines in battle. It never occurred to me to have Stormtroopers battle Duke and his gang of merry Joe's or have the Battle Android Troopers take on Luke Skywalker. When I first saw Psychotropic76's Custom Stellar Stiletto Rebel Starfighter, I knew there was something familiar about this one of a kind vehicle. After I remember its origins as a Cobra vehicle, I thought how cool is this!
Aside from the general shape of the Stellar Stiletto, this custom does not even resemble its former self pictured above. Giving the vehicle a Rebel scum makeover, this Starfighter looks like it belongs in one of the movies (in fact, if you look at the last picture, Psychotrpia76 has placed it in a cinema scene)! The carbon scoring and classic burgundy accents gives it the feel of a classic Star Wars vehicle. There is even a cool back story on this vehicle to make it fit right into the Star Wars Universe so head over to eBay and check out Psychotropia76's Custom Stellar Stiletto Rebel Starfighter and while you are there, place a bid to add this crossover to your Rebel alliance!
I will always have fond memories of playing with GI Joes as a child and Lifeline was a mainstay in almost every battle with Cobra that I had. Rpiaskoski's Custom GI Joe Lifeline figure reminds me of days spent spending hours creating battles between Cobra and the Joes and Lifeline was always there to clean up the mess that my Battle Android Trooper army left behind. I remember from the cartoon show that both GI Joe and Cobra and run through a hail of bullets and laser fire and come out unscathed but that did not work in my world. The Battle Android Troopers would wreak some havoc on the Joe army and Lifeline was always there to mop of the mess. Now that I have written than I see the irony that Lifeline survived every battle in my Joe universe but someone had to fix all the troops.
The Cobra S.N.A.K.E was one of my favorite weapons in my Cobra arsenal as a kid. A simple yet effective suit of armor kept me entertained for hours upon hours. Morgardee has given this suit a makeover with his Custom Chrome Cobra S.N.A.K.E armor. The theme of this figure was meant to go with the San Diego Comic Con 2012 exclusives from Hasbro and I think it will fit in very nicely! It just goes to show you that simple is sometimes better and more is less with this repaint.
As naive Corporal Upham said "What's FUBAR" in the movie Saving Private Ryan, the Custom 2nd Ranger Company Omaha Beach Figures are far from FUBAR! In all my years of writing about customs, I have never seen a collection like this up for sale. D-Day, June 6th, 1944, is one of the most important dates in history and one of my favorite historical subjects to study so I am happy to see customizers paying homage to the fallen soldiers who were responsible for freeing Europe and keeping this country safe! This collection features Captain John Miller , Technical Sergeant Mike Horvath , Private First Class Richard Reiben , PFC Jackson , PFC Mellish , PFC Adrian Caparzo , Technician 4th Class Irwin Wade , Technician 5th Class Timothy Upham 29th Infantry Division and James Francis Ryan of the 101st Airborne Division , 506th B Company. The heads for the figures looks like they were carefully selected as they have an uncanny resemblance to the on screen actors from the movie. For some close up shots, head over to eBay and take a closer look at RicardoManzoArt's Custom 2nd Ranger Company Omaha Beach Figures.
There are a few figures in my GI Joe past that I have fond memories of and Cobra's Trainer is one of them. I remember having grand battles between Cobra and GI Joe and Big Boa was always in the thick of it mixing it up and giving the Joes heck! Ratfink Customs has brought this classic figure up to 25th Anniversary standards with his Custom Big Boa GI Joe figure. Giving Big Boa a very different look than his vintage counterpart, the figure is given a more updated look with a Cobra Tank Top and a myriad of tattoos. It is great when customizers redefine the figures from the past and create their own styles and new looks. Keepem comin!
One of the most elusive figures in the GI Joe cartoon was the supreme leader of the terrorist organization Cobra! With his screechy high pitched voice and the slithering hiss of the tongue, Sunok Studios gives a glimpse of what could have been under the famous powder blue suit with his Custom "I was once a man" Cobra Commander figure. It looks like one of Destro's or Dr. Mindbender's experiments has gone awry as this time, the leader of Cobra is turning into an actual snake. This concept is executed nicely as we are catching Cobra Commander in a half transformation. The plastic clothing is detailed and sculpted in a way that it makes it look like the clothing is tearing off his body, exposing his scaly, serpent skin. The snake texturing gives this figure the look of a snake ready to molt its skin. To view more photos of Sunok Studios Custom "I was once a man" Cobra Commander figure, head over to eBay!
Cobra Commander gets new, updated, look courtesy of IDW via the comics and 785_Tanks with his Custom IDW Cobra Commander figure. This figure looks like it is a direct translation from the comic and captures the hard lines and features from the pages. This may be one of the best Cobra Commander concepts I have seen (aside from the 80's versions). The face shiled is very reminiscent of the Cobra Vipers and it is about time that Cobra Commander has a similar look. The helmet even has two small fangs like you see in the comic. You can imagine him leading a garrison of Vipers into battle like Patton charging into battle leading the Third Army. 785_Tanks did a fantastic job creating this figure to honor Cobra Commanders new look so head over to eBay and check out more photos of this awesome Custom IDW Cobra Commander figure.
I have a soft spot for GI Joes and sometimes it does not take much for a custom Joe figure to catch my eye but this Custom Cobra Terror Trooper is very simplistic and the concept is great! What a great formula...take a comic pack Cobra Trooper, paint it black, and gray, throw a new symbol on the chest, and you have a new line of soldier ready to dominate the world for Cobra Commander. Great concept!
Aside from the Terror Drome, Cobra has gotten the shaft when it comes to bases to execute their quest for world domination but Zartanman has addressed this with his Custom Cobra Mobile Arctic Base made from the GI ROC Pitt. The first thing you will notice is the Cobra blue, which is very reminiscent of the of the Cobra A.S.P and the Cobra Bunker colors. The snow theme really came through nicely as there is "snow" accents on the wheels and on the rook of the mobile command center. One of my favorites aspects of this base is the frozen cobra hood ornament on the front of the base and the icicle detailing that makes it look like it is rolling through the arctic tundra.
If this looks as good as it does on the outside, I can't wait to see what this looks like on the inside. There are only 4 hours left to nab Zartanman's Custom Cobra Mobile Arctic Base and you will also find many other cool GI Joe customs over on his seller page and also on the website www.procustomizers.com.
The GI Joe Tiger Force line gave me another reason to buy yet another Duke, Roadblock, and other figures I had multiples of and Chris Wheethee is giving fans of the line a new ride to haul around all of those figures with this Custom Tiger Force Tomahawk Helicopter. Sporting the tale tell markings black and yellow tiger markings, this Tomahawk captures the essence of the Tiger Force line and looks like it was made to fit in with other vehicles. The front of vehicle has hand painted jaws and features the custom blending of brown tiger face bleeding into the yellow body. The tiger stripes are well placed and no overdone. Keeping with the traditional red blades and red accents, this Custom Tiger Force Tomahawk Helicopter hits the mark with respect to truly blending in with the line.
One of my other hobbies is learning as much as I can about military history so this Custom German M3 Half Track caught my eye as it captures a scene from the not so distant past where the world was at war. The detailing and paint application on this vehicle are made to look raw and gritty, like they were fresh from the battlefield.
The added accessories add realism to the group of Germans that look like they are out to ambush some Sherman tanks that are pressing their way through Normandy France. The Soldiers and Half Track are in 1:6 scale and this looks like a hefty piece so make sure this would fit in your space for collectibles before bidding on this Custom German M3 Half Track!
Zildjian has possibly created the coolest Transformers/GI Joe Crossover figure with his almost two feet tall Custom Transformers GI Joe Megatron figure/vehicle. Using the concept art of Don Figueroa as a blueprint for this amazing piece, Zildjian has outdone himself as this Megatron was completely scratch built from the ground up. Using joints from a Cybertron Metroplex, and Energon Omega Supreme, as well as potions from Energon Omega Supreme, he was able to craft a figure that not only looks awesome but can function as a vehicle for Destro and his troops.
The remaining 80% of this figure was custom built using styrene plastic, industrial grade plastic fusion adhesives, custom built joints, and numerous screws. With a figure like this, it is not meant to be read but seen so here is a video of all of the special features of Zildjian's Custom Transformers GI Joe Megatron:embedded by Embedded Video
D&D Customs has set out to create every GI Joe figure in Marvel Legends scale from years 1982 to 1988, which are really the best years for the Joe and Cobra lines. I am focusing on this Custom Marvel Legends Dusty figure today but D&D has made a countless number of other figures. Dusty was one of my favorite figures to play with as a kid and D&D has done a superb job, along with all of his other customs, in recreating that 3 3/4" classic GI Joe feel in Marvel Legends scale.
You can really see the fine detailing in a close up shot. From the classic desert camouflage to the stitching in his uniform, it looks like no detail was left untouched. The helmet and weapons tie the figure together and make D&D's Custom Marvel Legends Dusty figure very sought after if you are looking to own larger scale classic GI Joe figures. D&D is one of the best at creating this line of figures so if you don't want to lose out on this, head over to eBay and buy it now!
If you are fan of the Killzone video game, you will love jps9779's Custom Kill Squad GI Joe 25th Anniversary figures. First of all, how could you pass up a group of customs called the Kill Squad? I sure can't and jps9779 could not pass up making them! My favorite figure in this set is the Heavy Gunner as it reminds me of the Helghast figure with the way the helmet was constructed and painted. The gas mask is not only pretty cool looking but incorporates elements of both modern and vintage masks from World Wars 1 and 2. I like the double canister filter look, which pays a nice homage to the origins of the gas mask. Besides, you can't have too much protection on the battlefield!
Of course, no squad is complete without an Propaganda minister but you will have to check him out, and the Squad Leader, while you are clicking over to view jps9779's Custom Kill Squad GI Joe 25th Anniversary figures.
The Crimson Guards are the elite and best of the best in the Cobra Army and Mythic Customs has given these soldiers an upgrade with this Custom Battle Armored Crimson Guard squad. The combination of Star Wars Kamas works well on these figures and gives them a more refined look. One thing that the CG's lacked was proper body armor so it looks like Destro and the Crimson Twins have struck a deal! The armor on the figures has great coverage, especially in the neck area, where the helmet meets the rest of the uniform. The tiny rivets on the shoulder armor add realism to the uniform as well as the squad leader's silver chest plate gives the appearance of rank and order in the Cobra Army, another aspect that was lacking in the toy line and in the series.
Destro has always been the fashionable one in the Cobra Legion and Mindbender Customs has created a Crimson Pimp Daddy Destro figure to add to his wardrobe. As one of Destro's other duties is to chair the Crimson Guard meetings, he needed a suit for the special role. You can imagine Destro has a suit for every occasion and he realized that the silver head just wasn't doing it for him anymore. All in all, it is a cool concept and I like the different color head for Destro.
Looking like something out of a 1930’s science fiction movie, 785Tanks has created this Custom Steampunk General Hawk GI Joe figure. The story behind this figure is a unique one:
“General Hawk is a Renowned Sky Captain and the Father Of Scarlett who he plans one day to hand over the role of Commander
His Body was injured in a Cobra Raid so Mech Body was created to help him to move about and assist in fighting Cobra
he is more gung ho now than ever before!”
The overall clunky nature of this figure lends itself to the period very well as you can imagine having to scrap together a mech suit from materials found in the 30’s. The suit looks like a combination of a deep sea diving apparatus with some parts from an old pipe organ strapped to the back. The head sculpt also gives the impression that General Hawk was a salty sea sailor with years of experience behind him, which you can see in his face. I love the overall concept of the figure as it brings together some aspects of Star Wars as General Hawk’s body had to be salvaged and reborn as well as staying true to the classic Steampunk styling.
Cobra's special forces are at it again! They have infiltrated the GI Joe line, stolen their Mauler M.B.T. and gave it the classic black and red Cobra style. The soldiers in the Cobra army were not the smartest of people as you can see the bright crimson red tank barrel and wheels coming from a mile away but Cobra was not interested in camouflage and surprise as they yell "Cobraaaaaaaaaa" into battle.
This Cobra Crimson Mauler is painted using the classic Black and Red coloring found on the Crimson Attack Tank and the Sentry Missile System. The glossy black was a good choice for this tank and the cobra decals were not overdone. All in all, this is a very nice repaint of one of the coolest GI Joe tanks made.
The women in the GI Joe line have been under represented over the years but Ratfink Customs is adding one more lady to the line with his Custom GI Joe 25th Anniversary Female Alley Viper figure. The 25th Anniversary line really brought back the feeling of nostalgia for me with from the packaging to the look and feel of the figures. Ratfink's figure does the same at it is painted in the classic orange and blue camouflage that we all grew up with. I like the metal accents sprinkled throughout the figure and on the accessories. This Custom GI Joe 25th Anniversary Female Alley Viper figure would fit in great with your existing GI Joe 25th Anniversary line and would also make a great companion for the Alley Viper that was packed with the Defense on Cobra Island pack.
Growing up as a child, one of my favorite toys to play with in the GI Joe line was the Cobra B.A.T. This was a mainstay in my Cobra arsenal and provided hours upon hours of fun. D&D has immortalized this figure with their Custom Marvel Legends Battle Android Trooper. Turning a 3 3/4" figure into a Marvel Legends style custom takes some skill and D&D has definitely delivered. They nailed the classic yellow accents as well as the fine details that made the Cobra B.A.T. and instant classic. I love the over-sized detachable weapons, a unique aspect that made playing with the B.A.T. so much fun.
Giving one of Destro's military factions a refresh, Mythic Customs has made this Custom Iron Grenadiers GI Joe figure a new and updated look. There are some subtle aspects of the this custom that make this figure great. I like the addition of the sword case that is attached to the belt and the Kama, which is an accoutrement worn by certain Star Wars clone troopers. The Kama gives the Grenadier a more refined look and it gives the figure an appearance of being higher up in the military chain of command. Also, the head of this figure looks thinner than what I remember from the GI Joe 25th line (maybe my mind is playing tricks on me). One of my pet peeves with the original Iron Grenadier figures is that the head and the helmet look fused together but Mythic has solved this issue with his design as the the helmet looks distinctly different from his head. After you check out more photos of Mythic's Custom Iron Grenadiers GI Joe figure, check out his other customs as he has a very cool Cobra Viper up for sale too!
In honor of Veteran's Day, I thought it would be appropriate to post a GI Joe Custom as my tribute to the men and women who have fought (and are still fighting) for the freedoms that we all enjoy. I chose this figure because one of my hobbies is reading and learning about military history and the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne are my heroes so I thought I would pay homage to them with a HALO Jumper figure.
With that said, let me introduce D&D's Custom Marvel Legends Ripcord figure. If you are not familiar with the Marvel Legends line of figures, the scale is roughly 6 inches tall so these will not go with your GI Joe collection from the 80's but if you wanted to start collecting these figures, start with D&D Customs. He is probably one of the best GI Joe Marvel Legends customizers that I know of. I really thought I was looking at a Sideshow figure when I first looked at this figure as the quality and details are amazing for a Marvel Legends scale figure.
D&D has several Marvel Legends scale GI Joe figures for sale so make sure to checkout them out after visiting his Custom Marvel Legends Ripcord figure.
Combining two of the greatest toy lines ever created, Encline Designs has outdone himself again on a massive scale. Standing over 2 feet tall (28 inches to be exact), he brings us the ultimate in crossovers with his Rolling Thunder Prime Transformers GI Crossover figure. I could not believe my eyes when I first saw this giant of a figure. Inspired by a sketch, Encline Designs executed this masterpiece with precision! I love hearing the stories about what inspired customizers to create these works of art and we are lucky enough to get a peek into Encline's mind:
"You ever see a comic or picture of an amazing character and you just wished you could show it off in your own collection? I have and that is what made me bring to life this Rolling Thunder Prime! I'm sure you'll in agree in that Don Figueroa is one of the most well known Transformers artist. Inspired by Don's sketch of Rolling Thunder Prime (and having received the blessing by Don himself), I set out on an eight month journey to sketch, plan, design and build it. Only I wanted to use an original Rolling Thunder! So that's what I did, I scratch built him 100%. From the head, hands, legs and everything in between! In doing this I also wanted to incorporate the idea of G1 Prime as a truck with a trailer. So I "super-sized" the rocket deck to be a mobile command center. I am proud to present the truly one of a kind Encline Designs: Rolling Thunder Optimus Prime! The first of my large scale crossovers! This custom is special to me because it has been a breakthrough for me as an artist. To be honest, I was a little intimidated at first but with the great support I received from sites such as Sector70.com, TFW2005.com, Hisstank.com, Procustomizers.com, Seibertron.com, etcetera and the amazing support from my great fans on Facebook, I was able to push through this custom and bring this idea to life!"
Here is what the figure looks like in alternate mode:
This amazing piece scales very well with your GI Joe figures so head over to eBay and check out more photos of Encline Design's Rolling Thunder Prime Transformers GI Crossover figure.
The classic GI Joe Night Force line was a great concept and I wished that they had made more special ops Night Force figures and vehicles but this is where customizers come in. They fill in the gaps where the toy companies have failed, which brings me to this latest custom GI Joe Night Force Tomahawk vehicle. A helicopter is is a perfect addition to the Night Force Line. The vehicle is very well detailed with Night Force logos and red accents that are in the right places. This GI Joe Night Force Tomahawk is very well done!
Setting out on the very large task of recreating every GI Joe figure made into a 6" Marvel Legends style figure, D&D Customs brings us his latest Custom Marvel Legends Storm Shadow figure. Modeled after the original from the 80's, this figure brings in the detail that made the classic line so great. First of all, the weaponry is very nice done and it is great that all of the pieces are removable (even the knife in the from of the belt). The way the eyebrows and eyes were made gives the figure a fierce looking personality. What is cool about D&D's version is that you can pose the figure with the arrow drawn with the bow, an aspect that reminds me of some of the figures from the Sideshow Toy collection.
To check out more photos and to place a bid, head to eBay and view D&D's Custom Marvel Legends Storm Shadow figure.
The great thing about Zartan is that he is the master of disguises and War's Customs has made this a reality with his Custom Clear Cast Zartan GI Joe 25th Anniversary figure. What is great about this figure is that Zartan can finally achieve invisibility. Also, the figure is made of liquid plastic instead of resin.
World War 2 is my favorite period of history to learn and read about and Jin Saotome has flipped the history books upside down with his line of World Wars 2 Alternate History figure line. I missed this figure last week so it is not available anymore but I thought I would do a retrospective right up on Jin's Custom Winston Churchill GI Joe figure. As you can see, this is not the same Winston Churchill from the 1940's. Let's read more about how Jin has rewritten history:
"Though the assassination attempt utilizing an exploding tea chair left him only half the man he use to be, Churchill still found the courage to rise for battle. The Allies' top scientists got to work on a new lower body built for combat. Outfitted with powerful servos, shield panels, a flame unit, and mechanical stomping legs, Winston joined Roosevelt and the others to fight the Axis up front and personal. Churchill enjoys rolling into battle sideways and bowling into the Nazis yelling "STRIKE!" leaving no one spared. The tide has turned, but the war still rages on!"
Even though Jin's Custom Winston Churchill GI Joe figure is over, you can still view it over at eBay and check out the photos.
More than meets the eye is one way to describe Boggs6ft7's Custom GI Joe Transformers Crossover Toss N Cross figure. As I was scrolling through the Custom GI Joe section of my site, I saw this GI Joe vehicle and thought to myself that someone must have repainted the old 80's GI Joe Bridgelayer but upon closer inspection, I discovered something cool! Boggs6ft7 has taken the Transformers Universe Dropshot figure and used it as the base for this Toss n Cross custom. How cool is that! So not only do you get a killer homage to a cool GI Joe vehicle but you get the added ability of the vehicle to transform. What a great way to combine two legendary toy lines. Well done!
Army of Two is a third person shooter video game developed by Electronic Arts, released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, focusing on two mercenaries fighting through war, political turmoil, and a conspiracy from 1993 to 2009. Jin Saotome has done a fantastic job translating the characters that appear in the game into 3 3/4" (1:18) scale figures with his Custom Army of Two Rios and Salem figures. I am not sure if this is a coincidence or not but the figures from the game fit perfectly in the GI Joe Rise of Cobra line. The figures are made with such detail and depth that it is hard to tell they are only 3 3/4" tall. They also look like they are plucked right from the game. To place a bid and view more photos of Jin's Custom Army of Two Rios and Salem figures, head over to eBay!
Lance858a has one of the best custom GI Joe figures I have seen in a long time with his Custom GI Joe 25th Anniversary Zarana figure. Paying homage to the classic style of the figure that came out in 1986, Lance858a has paid attention to the smallest of details. Lets hear more about those details from the source:
"Notice the careful attention to detail such as the working knife holster, the sculpted torn jeans, the knee pads, the custom pointy boots, the gloves, the torn shirt, all of which match the vintage 1980's character and figure 100%. She is a must have for any loving GI Joe collector."
One of the things that stands out about this custom are those minute details that complete this figure. For example, the knee pads are sculpted in a way that resembles the classic figure and I like the addition of the removable dagger. To see more photos of Lance858a's Custom GI Joe 25th Anniversary Zarana figure, head over to eBay!
AFC: Tell the fans of your work a little about yourself.
Lance858a: I’m a product of the 1980’s for sure; I believe in greed and capitalism. I wish we could clone Ronald Reagan and elect him Emperor for life . . . with me as Secretary of Money & Power.
The 80’s was the best time to be a kid. You had such wonderful toys and cartoons such as Robotech, Transformers, Smurfs, etc. GI Joes will always be on top of my list of greatest things ever. These toys were great because they required loads of imagination. When playing with GI Joes, blankets on the ground became hills and caves, the area under the dining table became a giant redwood forest (until your parents tell you to get out from under there and stop trying to look up your cousin’s skirt), and a back yard dirt pit became a miniature Grand Canyon.
Today, my childhood religious devotion to greed and capitalism steered my life and career towards business. I’m proud of my career and hope to continue long into the future but I found my professional work lacking in artistic creativity.
I’ve always been able to draw and paint well. As a young adult, I turned to business after discovering how difficult it is to make the kind of living I wanted to make as an artist. I chose money over happiness; I stand by my decision despite my soul crushing job and complete lack of money, jk.
I stumbled onto customizing GI Joes after years of unknowingly suffering from the lack of an artistic creative outlet. I guess it was one of those moments of realizing what has been missing in your life all along. The satisfaction I now get from customizing some of my favorite childhood characters and making them my very own is like finally finding a bathroom after holding it for days and you just had a giant breakfast burrito, it puts a smile on my face.
Pictures of my customs can be viewed here:
If anyone wants to buy one of my customs, I can be contacted at:
My Hisstank profile:
AFC: When did you start making customs?
Lance858a: It all started about a year ago when I stumbled onto a GI Joe 25th Anniversary DVD pack while walking through the toy section on my way out of a department store. I caught a glimpse of Lady Jaye in the corner of my eye. Upon closer examination while drooling, I verified that it was in fact the original Lady Jaye from the 1980’s cartoon series! The sight of this figure sparked that funny feeling I got in my pants when I was a kid and I jumped on the DVD pack like a hobo on a ham sandwich.
AFC: How did you get started making customs?
After finding more GI Joe 25th Anniversary figures online, I realized that I hated the way some of the faces looked. The Baroness looked like a raccoon on crack, Scarlett looked like a dude smoking the raccoon on crack, and Falcon looked constipated. Don’t get me wrong, I think Hasbro has done a fantastic job bringing back our favorite toys. I just wanted these characters to look like I remembered them. After looking up images of the actual vintage toys from the 80’s, I then discovered that the way I remembered them was nothing like the way they actually looked (the vintage 1980’s figures actually looked horribly deformed, imagine an Ewok with human limbs, or Danny Devito).
At that point, I cursed Hasbro for whacking my beloved Baroness and Scarlett with an ugly tree branch. Apparently, they still can’t seem to get it right as all the Rise of Cobra female figures look like dudes, and not the sexy dudes either, while all the dude characters looked exactly like the actors who portrayed them. Dear Hasbro, you can’t get some of the most beautiful actress’s faces right, but you gave us exact replicas of the douche bag actors’ faces. No thanks.
So I started making my own Baroness, Scarlett, and Lady Jaye faces and discovered that I could do so much more than just faces. That’s when I combined my two childhood interests together, GI Joes, and WWII. I have no idea why I was so interested in WWII as a child, perhaps I’m a closet megalomaniac. My first WWII Inspired custom was the Scarlett featured on this website. I have abandoned her on ebay where she sold very well. All of a sudden, everything came together, my need for an artistic creative outlet, my love for GI Joes, my interest in WWII, and most of all, my loving devotion to greed and capitalism. I now customize for the love of it and periodically sell my customs on ebay just to make room for new projects and cost recovery. Selling customs hasn’t made me a millionaire, but I can proudly boast of being a thousandaire, FINALLY!
AFC: How many customs do you work on at one time?
Lance858a: Up to 5. You have to work on more than one at a time b/c these things need time for paint or sculpt to dry. You paint one, set it down, and paint another. The only draw back is, your interest in one figure may wane before you complete it. My WWII inspired Zartan has been without legs for over 5 months. The poor guy needs legs but, what’r’ya gonna do?
AFC: What customs you are most proud of?
Lance858a: Tough choice, I love all my customs but if I had to choose one that represents who I am, it would be my WWII Inspired Flint who was inspired by Band of Brothers, 101st Airborne. This figure comes completed with hand painted Screaming Eagles unit badge. Flint is my favorite character:
AFC: What is your favorite toy line to do customs for?
Lance858a: The only customs I’ve ever done were on GI Joes.
AFC: What customs do you have lined up for future projects?
Lance858a: WWII Zartan, Zarana are in progress. WWII Normandy Invasion Duke and a new version of WWII Baroness. Other than that, I have no idea. Perhaps I will complete an entire WWII squad of Easy Company to go along with Flint.
AFC: If you had one piece of advice for other customizers out there, what would you say to them?
Lance858a: Don’t do WWII customs better than mine or else I will come after you and open an entire 12-pack of whoop-ass. That’s my advice to you! Jk. I’d actually be extremity happy if my work inspires others. My real advice is marry a rich girl so you can spend all day playing with toys.
Also, for beginner customizers, try starting small, do a simple repaint or swap body parts. Do small projects, do them well, and learn as you go before getting into more ambitious projects. You don’t want to spend a lot of money and try to tackle a huge project and get discouraged b/c you suck at it b/c it’s beyond your skill level. Most of all, try not to listen to too much criticism. Criticism is inevitable, and as an artist, expect to receive plenty of it. Hopefully, there will be 10 accolades to every piece of criticism.
Hisstank.com has excellent forums about how to do the basics in customizing GI Joes. I am a member of that website and often post threads of my work or threads for discussion of my random diatribes.
Aside from the Micky Mouse Cobra Commander Figure that came out in the early releases of the GI Joe figures, the Cobra Viper Glider Pilot is another one of the quest for the holy grail figures that collectors pay top dollar for. Lucky for you, Jharris229 has a Custom Cobra Viper Glider Glider Pilot and Glider up for sale and you would be hard pressed to tell that this is a custom as it looks so much like the original. The bummer about the Viper Glider Pilots from the 1980's is that most of the symbols have rubbed off but Jharris229 has a mint symbol on this puppy that is not a sticker! There is less than 8 hours to go on this figure and glider so head over to eBay if you want to get a chance to own this piece of GI Joe history.
Besides finding killer customs to write about and feature everyday, another hobby of mine is learning all that I can about the brave soldiers who fought in World War 2. Lance858a has combined both of my hobbies into one great figure with his Custom GI Joe 25th Anniversary Scarlett figure in World War 2 style garb. From the hat, the colors, and the chevrons on the arm, a lot of thought was put into this figure to make it more of a period piece. The hat is removable, which adds to the look and poseability of the figure. If you want to check out more photos of Lance858a's Custom GI Joe 25th Anniversary Scarlett figure, head over to eBay. There you will find links to his profile on Hisstank and a great story about his love for GI Joe's.
FrogDNA has made some really great enhancements to the GI Joe 25th Anniversary line with his chrome work and detailed shading with his Custom Crimson Guard figure. Striving to retain the classic nature of the cartoon, FrogDNA has used his stills to apply chrome and accents in all of the right places. Let's read more about how he achieved this look:
For this Crimson Guard I used Palisades'statue and the artwork from the blister as reference to bring to life this classic figure. There's some airbrushed shading on his uniform and backpack, glossy paints on his helmet, boots and leather parts of his uniform and matt paints where was needed, to enhance the realistic look. You can actually see some reflections on his helmet! The gloss/matt effect is enhanced by several layers of clear coat, glossy and opaque as well.
FrogDNA has this figure and others so be sure to check out his auctions over at eBay!
Hit and Run is another classic GI Joe figure worthy of replicating in 6" scale and Starbuck_bg1980 has done just this with his Custom Marvel Legends Hit and Run figure. This is a great looking figure with a ton of removable accessories. One aspect of this figure that I like is that the camouflage on the figure is very well done and blends nicely with the face, which is how the classic figure from 1980's was done. I like that the colors are more military on this one as opposed to the brighter green used with the original Hit and Run figure. To buy this item now, head over to eBay and check out this Custom Marvel Legends Hit and Run figure.
Growing up watching the 80's GI Joe, we were exposed to some of the coolest Cobra weapons and ZartanMan has made some much needed additions to the Cobra arsenal with his Custom Mass Device that lights up. Seeing the need to bulk this weapon up, he added treads from the HISS tank and painstakingly detailed it to be as cartoon accurate as possible. There are lights in the beam emitter and in each of the MASS element containers. Brilliant job!
GI Joe fans will remember from the 1980's cartoon that when sunlight hit Zartan, he would turn as blue as a Smurf and Dutnam has captured this aspect of his chameleon character with his Custom 25th Anniversary Zartan figure, which you can find on eBay right now!
With all of the money in the world, Cobra Commander is taking things into his own hands and has contracted the talent of Jin Saotome to build him a suit of armor capable of opening a can of whoop ass on GI Joe. This Custom Cobra Commander in GI Joe Armor is an excellent figure and very well executed. I love the Gatling Gun on the right arm and the interchangeable claw...very cool! Let's read more and see how Jin describes this figure:
"You've never seen Cobra Commander like this before, he's upgraded his battle armor to something bigger and better! This Combat Armor suit with multiple attaching parts and can be posed in all sorts of battling positions. He's been painted to match your existing custom 25th Anniversary Joes and features plenty of shading, rich colors, and awesome detail. Attach the grappling claw or blast away with the chain cannon. Either way the Joes will be in for the fight of their life here!"
To see this Cobra Commander disciplining one of his Vipers, head over to eBay and check out Jin's Custom Cobra Commander in GI Joe Armor figure.
Being a military history aficionado, I was excited to see Build-A-Rama's Custom Desert Hiss Tank resemble a North Africa campaign style vehicle. First, the paint scheme and weathering on this Hiss Tank makes this piece feel like a period piece from the 1940's. I love the converted turret of the old Hiss Tank to a Trubble Bubble platform, which is a great concept! Overall, this vehicle is very well executed and would fit very well in your 1980's or current GI Joe collection. If you want to view more photos of Build-A-Rama's Custom Desert Hiss Tank, head over to eBay!