As I’ve discussed before, I’ve yet to be completely satisfied with a Batman action figure. I may never be. But that didn’t stop me from trying to make one.
I bought the Toys R’ Us exclusive Batman and Robin set months ago. I liked the figure’s more slender build and the color scheme (dark gray with black highlights), as well as his hands, which could hold a batarang quite easily. But the figure had a few things I didn’t like: a cloth cape, a lack of a ball-jointed head, and no hinged hips or thigh swivels.
And so, over time, I’ve customized this figure almost out of recognition. First I cut off the cape and glued on the flexible plastic cape from a DC Direct Infinite Crisis Batman. Then I popped off the head and replaced it with the DCD IC head, including a ball-joint.
I left him like that until last week, when I decided to take the figure to work. After all, the DCSH series 8 Batman is my “standard” Batman who stands with my other DCSH/DCUC toys, but I liked this one so much I figured I could at least display him on my desk at work. But my plan backfired–I ended up liking him so much I brought him home the same day and decided to see whether I could correct his remaining flaw: the under-articulated legs.
So I took my handy Dremel and an extra DCUC Batman. I cut off the DCUC Batman’s torso (discovering to my delight that the capsule belt is entirely removable–I had assumed it was part of the sculpt) and cut the legs off the TRU Batman. I then painted the blue parts of the DCUC Batman’s legs black, and did a wash on the gray parts to make it match the slightly darker shade of the TRU Batman’s torso.
I then faced a quandary. Most of the reading I’d done online suggested the only way to get the wide peg from the DCU (or any figure) into the torso of another figure was to crack the torso, insert the peg and then glue it back together. Well, I didn’t like that idea, mainly because I knew I’d probably screw up cracking the torso and end up throwing the whole mess away. So instead, I took my Dremel (thanks again, Dave!) and sanded the edges of the peg down at an angle, making it slightly mushroom-shaped. I then sanded the edges of the peg hole in the TRU Bat’s torso, making it a it wider. After that, it was simply a matter of trial and error, widening the torso hole slightly until I could force the peg into the hole.
And I did it! His torso’s a little loose, but otherwise it worked just fine.
But here’s the kicker: I decided to paint the DCUC Batman’s head and pop it on, just to see what it would look like. But once I’d done that, I decided to see how it looked on the DCSH 8 Batman (who was currently sporting a black-painted DC Direct Hush Batman head). To my surprise, the DCSH 8 Batman with the black DCUC Batman head was suddenly the best Batman I’d ever owned. And so, all my hard work on the custom Batman went by the wayside.
There’s a happy ending to the story, though. My custom Batman can now return to my work desk.