View Full Version : The Return of Roberto DARKLORD Williams
Mar 28, '08, 11:00 AM
Hi gang! Iím back. Iíve been away from the MEGO customizing community for a few years now, and I feel like itís a good time to return.
Iíve missed all of my old friends, and I see plenty of new friends here to meet, so can't wait to catch up with all of you!
I stepped away from MEGO customizing about 5 years ago because I was really feeling overwhelmed (emotionally and financially) and generally burned out by the Custom MEGO-Bat Project I was working on.
I took some time off, and focused my mind on other pursuits. I changed careers, started my own business, did some more work on my house, and really re-charged my batteries, so to speak.
And now, over the last month or so, Iíve been feeling the old MEGO customizing inspiration coming back. The old creative juices are flowing again, and I've decided the time is right for my return to this hobby.
There are MEGOs on my work bench once again!
I want to publically thank my new friend Chris Meimann (the incomparable Captain Mego) for his words of encouragement, and for serving as the main inspiration for my enthusiastic return to the world of MEGO through his awesome customs.
For the benefit of new friends here on the forums who are unfamiliar with me or my work, I'll post photos of my custom Bat-MEGOS from 5 years ago.
My apologies to my old friends who are sick of seeing these by now. Some fun new creations are just around the corner. I promise.
Mar 28, '08, 11:02 AM
33 years ago, on Christmas morning, a fledging Action figure customizer was born!
That was the morning when I, as an 8 year old little boy, found myself terribly disappointed with my brand new Batman and Robin Mego "dolls", the off-scale Batmobile, and the carboard Batcave Playset toys!
I was grateful to have these toys, and I enjoyed playing with them of course. But I just couldn't ignore the lack of detail and innaccuracies inherent in them.
I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone on a MEGO message board what the bat- character action figures looked like back then:
Charming, cute, and more than just a little bit silly looking... especially by today's standards. Therein lies the problem. Everyone knows that in the twisted, dangerous, garish world of Gothm City that "cute" is way out of place!
30 years later, I took matters into my own hands...
Mar 28, '08, 11:04 AM
I found substantial room for improvement over Mego's original 8 Inch action figure version of THE JOKER...
First off, I eliminated the silk-screened leotard that Mego provided and fashioned all-new SEPARATE garments (custom silk green shirt, flaming orange flannel vest, baggy "pleated" purple pants with fat black pinstripes and tall waistband. As for his zany purple blazer, I only added a wild orange satin lining to the tails to spruce them up. At this point, I added the decorative details to the figure like buttons, floppy black tie, bright red lapel flower, a pair of purple dress sox and, a pair of white spats draped over his standard brown Mego shoes. He also wears a dandy pair of CLOTH white dress gloves, which unfortunately did not photograph as well as I’d hoped. The recent update of this figure is the all-new terrifying head sculpt that I commissioned from Ada Chan (based on upcoming Joker bust)).
I created a custom Mego-styled window box on computer for THE JOKER to sleep in and called him finished!
Custom Action Figure and photo by Roberto Williams
Mar 28, '08, 11:06 AM
A Custom MEGO Bat-Project would NOT be complete without THE RIDDLER
I've always had a preference for the prince of puzzlers' classic unitard outfit, so that's the version of the characrter that I've created (just as MEGO originally did).
This customization is still in progress, so some of the details in the photo below are created via photoshop (Re:purple gauntlets). The plan here is to provide much tighter, snugger fitting lycra-spandex tights with vinyl question mark transfers all over his uniform (already provided by my buddy Charlee Flatt). The Riddler features a brand-new custom Edward Nigma head sculpt (commissioned from Ada Chan), a removable face mask, custom purple velvet gauntlets and a new larger waist band belt.
His custom-designed MEGO-styled window box has already been created.
Custom Action Figure and photo by Roberto Williams.
Mar 28, '08, 11:07 AM
Sorry, no photos yet of the custom MEGO Action Figures of the two costumed LADIES in The Batman's life. They are both getting their finishing touches on my work bench.
But here is the custom packaging I designed for Batgirl and the Catwoman
Mar 28, '08, 11:08 AM
There are currently plans on my work bench for a "World's Greatest Secret Identities" line of custom MEGO action figures: Bruce Wayne , (young) Richard Grayson, and Alfred Pennyworth and Barbara Gordon.
For now, these are the custom boxes I designed...
Mar 28, '08, 11:10 AM
ďRounding outĒ this rouge's gallery of Bat-villains is my customized action figure rendition of the nefarious Oswald Cobblepot!
MEGO'S original action figure version of THE PENGUIN required a complete and total make-over.
This figure has customized shorter and thicker legs to give him a 7 inch tall body height (to actually make him SHORTER than the other 8 inch tall characters). He has an all-new (more sinister) head sculpt with a removable top hat and monocle with lens (not molded onto the head sculpt like MEGO's original.) THE PENGUIN now wears brand new custom-made SEPARATE clothing garments: white shirt, silk bow-tie, silk orange cumberbundt, purple dress pants, sox, white spats on top of wing-tip shoes, buttons (unlike MEGO's original silk-screen printed leotard).
My customized PENGUIN action figure also wears white silk dress gloves with cuffs (instead of MEGO's simple "white hands"), and he has custom-made cigarette-holder and umbrella accessories (which MEGO never included with their original action figure!)
I also created a customized MEGO-styled window-box package for this action figure on computer in Adobe Photoshop.
Custom Action Figure and photo by Roberto Williams
Mar 28, '08, 11:14 AM
Next up is my custom MEGO 8 inch action figure of Gotham Cityís POLICE COMMISSIONER GORDON! The Commissioner is pictured here during a particularly dangerous night in Gotham City as he summons the Caped Crusaders with the famed Bat-Signal (toy prop created by DC Direct Products)!
This custom COMMISSIONER GORDON action figure was a lot of fun, but very difficult to create. I developed his head sculpt from an existing MEGO sculpt which I re-worked and repainted extensively with a large mustache added. I also went through a VERY difficult time creating those tiny eye glasses (with lenses included!) and incorporating them seamlessly into Gordons hairline. Legendary MEGO customizer Charlee Flatt helped me out by providing Gordon's custom-made basic black business suit, a white shirt, a pair of black sox, and a tan rain-overcoat. I made a belt for his trousers easily enough, but I had a REALLY difficult time creating that silk neck-tie of his that I had to knot (windsor-style) with tweezers! Custom-made accessories for this figure (not pictured) include a GCPD badge, a service revolver, and a smoking pipe.
He also sleeps in a custom-made MEGO-styled window box package that I created for him on computer in Adobe Photoshop.
Custom Action Figure and photo by Roberto Williams
Mar 28, '08, 11:16 AM
It was "TOTAL MAKE-OVER TIME" for these two guys! There was just NO WAY around it!!
My goal was to create a "Classic Dynamic Duo" that reflected the darker tone of the comics, and accurately displayed the PHYSICAL DIFFERENCE between man and BOY wonder.
To accomplish this goal I used the (shorter) 6 inch "boy" action figure body from MEGO's 1976 "OUR GANG" collection as the basis to create ROBIN The Boy Wonder. "Alfalfa" was used (for the main body) as was "Mickey" (for the head sculpt). I re-sculpted the Mickey head with a new Richard Grayson" hair style, and a boyish smirk, and then made a 5% smaller final casting with these new sculpted changes. With the exception of the green shorts and t-shirt sleeves (which were both borrowed and tailored from Mego’s original Robin action figure), ALL of the costume items had to be created from scratch. The biggest challenge was fashioning Robin’s gauntlets (bye-bye vinyl oven mitts!!! ) and "pixie" boots out of lime green fabric. Holy fashion statement!!!!
THE BATMAN began life as a standard nude MEGO 8 inch "type II" (muscular) body. I replaced the original MEGO arms with the bulkier upper arms found on LJN’s 8 inch SWAT action figure from the ‘1970’s. These new arms also have a "swivel" joint in the biceps which allow for much more posing.
I selected an existing MEGO head sculpt to double as "Bruce Wayne" , and with a quick hair re-sculpt and re-paint, he was done.
The creation of The Batman’s costume was a challange: He needed some tighter-fitting dark grey lycra spandex tights that improved upon Mego’s original "pajama-fit" costume. Here, Charlee Flatt came to my rescue by providing the excellent sewing chores. I created everything else. I attempted to make The Batman’s removable mask using Pez Candy Dispensers that I radically re-sculpted. After no less than 15 failed attempts (!!!), I finally got one to fit on the action figure’s head!! The mask pictured in this photo is the FINAL one that I created.
Accessories for both of these action figures (not pictured) include Bat-ropes, and two different folding "Bat-a-Rangs"
BOTH action figures sleep in MEGO-styled window-box packaging that I created for them on computer in Adobe Photoshop.
Custom Action Figures and photo by Roberto Williams
Mar 28, '08, 11:17 AM
Mar 28, '08, 11:21 AM
It's great to be back everyone! To all new friends, please don't be shy and introduce yourselves.
Mar 28, '08, 11:46 AM
I have seen these before but never knew you were the person that made them.Great work and no matter how many times I have seen them it is never enough those are amazing!!!
Welcome back and nice to meet you. :smile:
The Kryptonite Kid
Mar 28, '08, 11:48 AM
Welcome back Buddy :smile: Judging from how awesome those Batman figures are I can't wait to see what you cook up for us in 2008!
Mar 28, '08, 12:26 PM
Awesome customs! Great job!
Can't wait to see Batgirl and Catwoman!
Mar 28, '08, 12:29 PM
Wow, long time no see, welcome back. I was just looking over some old files yesterday and saw some of your work. I thought "whatever happened to that guy?", now I know...
Mar 28, '08, 1:09 PM
Just amazing in EVERY aspect. Your online presentation included.
Mar 28, '08, 2:10 PM
Welcome home! Haven't seen these figures in a long time, so it was nice to see them again. They are all nice improvements, but I particularly like the boots on your batman. Those look especially cool.
Mar 28, '08, 2:11 PM
Did you also do a Batmobile? I know I've seen the figures before but somehow I remember a Batmobile that I thought you did also. Your stitch work is simply amazing. The gloves on Batman and Robin are incredible. Welcome back. Can't wait to see what you've got in store for us in the future.
Mar 28, '08, 2:29 PM
Thanks a million for the kind words everyone! I can't begin to tell you know nice it is to be back!
Lots of interesting changes, and lots of interesting new things to see!
And megocrazy, you asked about a custom Batmobile?
Err... yes... Yes I do recall something like that which I was working on...
(Roberto walks away nonchalantly with a knowing grin on his face):rolleyes:
Mar 28, '08, 4:23 PM
Welcome back Darklord!! Good to see You come Home!:wink_y:
Mar 28, '08, 4:52 PM
Great to see that stuff again. I'm really interested in seeng the Bat-Gear you mentioned.
Mar 28, '08, 5:50 PM
that is just great very well done ^^
Mar 28, '08, 6:26 PM
Sincronicity, baby. I was just thinking about your work the other day. Good to have you back.
Mar 28, '08, 6:43 PM
Very impressive customs....love the Riddler cuffs.
Mar 28, '08, 6:49 PM
Great to see all those pics again, welcome back
Mar 29, '08, 12:44 AM
Heyyyy! Welcome back sir!
Good to see you've kept up with the Bat stuff...always liked your stuff, and looking forward to what you've got coming up!!
Mar 29, '08, 1:59 AM
Man, I should never have stayed away this long. You guys are family to me! Sooooo glad to be back!
Alright here's another little tease...
Earlier on, I mentioned my upcoming “Wayne Manor Collection” of custom Secret Identity figures (Bruce, Dick, Alfred, abd Barbara).
Well what’s a Wayne Manor collection without… well… Wayne Manor?
I’ve just taken delivery of this dollhouse (as a kit), and it will become the official Wayne Manor to my custom MEGO Playboy, ward, and manservant.
This 14 room (!) mansion dollhouse is made entirely of milled plywood, and features an opening front face, and a full grand staircase.
Now folks, I do not exaggerate when I tell you this dollhouse is HUGE!!! Finished, it measures 36" tall, 24-3/4 inches deep, and an incredible 69-1/8 inches wide (that’s over 5 1/2 feet!)
I’ve spent the last 5 years collecting up many of the peripheral items that I’ll be using with this Wayne Manor dollhouse playset (Re: Miniature trees, green velvet matt for the sprawling lawn, etc.)
Mar 29, '08, 4:10 AM
Most impressive. I like your work very much.
Mar 30, '08, 1:15 AM
That thing is Mego scaled? It's massive!!!!
Cant wait to see pics of Bruce and the gang inhabiting this thing.......I cant even imagine having space to set something like that up!? I assume you'll be adding a Batcave to match below?
Mar 30, '08, 4:20 AM
hey Roberto Welcome to the Museum. Been away from my computer for a few days. Glad to see ya posting your work. I have to admit you were one of my insperations in the art of customs many years ago. I found yoUr stuff on the net and was blown away. Your figures look fantastic. True Classic Custom Hall of Famers.
Mar 30, '08, 4:27 AM
Sorry had to repost,Holy Bat Crap . im sitting here in glee looking at the Manssion. Not that Im suprised to see you have this in your collection.:grin: This brings a real smile to my face to see. I love you dedication to real scale items. I wish I could say how cool I think this is. Abosolutly why I make customs , things like this truley inspire me.
Mar 30, '08, 9:12 AM
I realy like your Penguin.
That's a pretty special custom.
Mar 30, '08, 9:30 AM
Welcome back. Impressive entrance, I must say. I really like how you kept the figures as mego style as you could, only like a deluxe version. The details are key, like the pressed crease in Penguins pants, and the layers of the Jokers suit. Nice presentation. With so much text I thought the post would be a long boring read, but was quite insightful. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing what you are up to next.
Glad to see you back! You and Chris were some of my earliest inspirations.
Mar 30, '08, 11:54 PM
Thanks a million for all the love, guys!! This is all some serious fuel for my firey return to this hobby, let me tell you! I could just burst!
With the way I feel, the very BEST is yet to come in this project! I've recruited some help from an extremely talented MEGO customizer. Between the two of us, we've got something pretty nice planned.
It's still too early to reveal more specifics. But I will unveil all details as we get closer to completion.
Chris, thanks a million for the nice words. I had no idea that I helped provide even the tiniest bit of inspiration to a MEGO customizing giant like you! I'm honored! Ditto to you, JMC!
HQ, my custom Penuin and I both thank you for the compliment. He seems to be a favorite of many people that see this series. I guess he's a character that few people expect to see customized.
MegoRonin, I think your description of my customs is probably the most accurate I've ever read in terms of what I was attempting to achieve
Mar 31, '08, 4:02 PM
I love your Batman customs! Welcome back! It'll be cool to see the figures inside the mansion.
Mar 31, '08, 5:48 PM
Wowzers. That is great stuff.
Mar 31, '08, 10:21 PM
It's so nice to meet you! I always find it so gratifying to see a talented lady among the rest of us lowly grunts here in this male-dominated hobby of action figure customizing.
And of course, I was completely floored the first time I saw your custom Taylor Astronaut Action Figure! Beautiful top-notch sewing work! My heartiest congratulations on your recent spotlight selection here on the boards. You deserve it!
Apr 1, '08, 12:54 AM
Wow. This is a total improvement. I am anxiously awaiting to see what else you have done with the others. Keep me posted.
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