Wednesday, May 26, 2010

LEGO Teen Titans

A Marv Wolfman/George Perez New Teen Titans comic book was the first one I read. It was one of those "very special" issues about how the New Teen Titans helped someone stay off of drugs or something like that. Not part of the regular run, but produced to give to kids in the early 1980s to help us stay off the crackpipe. And it worked for me. Of course, then the problem became that I was addicted to comic books, but that's evidently fine with DC Comics.

Maybe it's because of that early contact, or maybe because they're simply good characters, but that family of superhero characters is one of my favorites. I like them more than the X-Men, and often more than the Justice League. So when I was cranking out the superhero LEGO minifigs, I knew the Teen Titans wouldn't be far behind.

The characters I decided to make were a mix of my favorite versions of my favorite Teen Titans characters, so I don't know that this particular team in these particular costumes ever existed; but they do now. Started with the five sidekicks that were the core of the Teen Titans in the late 1960's, I also added in the four most important New Teen Titans, which became part of the team in the early 1980's.

Front Row: Aqualad, Flash, Nightwing, Wonder Girl, Speedy

Back Row: Cyborg, Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy

At some point, because I have obsessive compulsive tendencies, I'll probably make a more accurate Flash (Kid Flash) and a younger version of Dick Grayson as Robin instead of the older Nightwing. But for now, these are the Titans. These are the ones closest to my heart--when I think of the Teen Titans, these are the ones at the core.

And they're (usually) much better than the more recent version, these guys:
Miss Martian, Ravager, Wonder Girl, Robin, Superboy, Kid Devil

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Muppet Batman: Catwoman and Penguin

After an extended break due to a camera issue, we're back in business. The business of silliness, which doesn't pay much, but that's okay. After visiting the heroes of Gotham City, with Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon and Alfred, it's time to start looking at the villains. The first two include the simplest custom toy and the most complex: Miss Piggy as Catwoman and a Muppet Penguin as The Penguin.

Miss Piggy as Catwoman

Turning Piggy into Catwoman wasn't much more than a repaint. I added a few details with Sculpey to her head and legs to give her more of a mask and boots, but most of the figure was just stripping away her softer plastic dress and painting over it with black paint. I did have to decide which Catwoman to go with, and now that I've done this version, I may go back and do a "Vintage" Catwoman, which would really just be putting a green cape on the Miss Piggy action figure, since she's already wearing a purple dress. A small mask...anyway.

I gave Piggy some non-Catwoman details that were still in keeping with Miss Piggy, like some silver gloves and a silver belt, and I think she got the whip from an actual Catwoman action figure. I'm sure the catfight over it was epic.

The Penguin. Waugh!

Much more difficult was the Muppet Penguin as The Penguin, because at the time I made these, Palisades Toys hadn't made any Muppet Penguins yet. So it was up to me to sculpt one from scratch, and work in the Penguiny details of Batman's enemy. I really like the result, and the details like the top hat, the umbrella, the monocle and the cigarette in holder (don't smoke, kids!) ended up better than I expected them to. Penguins were always all over the place on The Muppet Show, so I was excited to be able to bring one to "life" with this little guy.

Note the oversized beak, making it clear that this is The Penguin, and not just a penguin.
Ready to take on Batman!

Next up: Mr. Freeze, Two-Face, and Poison Ivy! Same Bat-blog, same Muppet Channel!
But not Muppet Chanel. That would smell funky.