Back when I was working on my Watcher minimate, an interesting thought popped into my head. I don’t remember the exact words, but it was something like “I’ll bet DST wishes they could make a Watcher minimate like this.” Because while DST is limited to the 2″ size (plus a little height for accessories), I was free to make a 2.5″ minimate with a 3″ minimate head. The Watcher simply wouldn’t be the Watcher without a giant head. This train of thought continued on to other areas in which customizers have an advantage over official minimates.
As customizers, we usually try to copy the official product. But there are areas in which we can surpass official minimates by stepping outside of the restrictions that DST faces. Realizing this can help you in many ways. Let me give you a few examples to show you what I mean.
Sticking Parts Wherever We Feel Like It
Danger has wires sticking out all over the place. If DST wanted to make a proper Danger minimate, they would not be able to simply glue loose wires around her legs and torso, like I did. The best they could do is make new pieces that would wrap around the shoulder, waist, or shin, which would add bulk to a character that is very thin. Another example of this is Kate Bishop‘s scarf. We don’t have to worry about making molds and calculating the cost of additional pieces in a wave. We can glue them wherever we want to.
Creating New Body Types
When I wanted a bulkier 2″ body for The Blob, I simply shrunk a 2.5″ body. DST would have to create an entirely new minimate base to be able to to this. Since I am able to make figures one-at-a-time, I did this in 10 minutes on a belt sander. Some other examples are shortening figures like the Moloid and Pip the Troll.
Painting Anywhere and Everywhere
The black stripes on Shatterstar‘s legs continue across his open knee joints. DST’s factory can only paint on certain areas. Even the most detailed minimates, like the Spider-Man 3 Debut 2-Pack, didn’t have paint detail everywhere, and that 2-Pack was a rare event. Most minimates don’t have black tampos on the sides or top of their torsos. We can paint details on every square millimeter of our customs. We can even do unique paint jobs like Pyramid Head.
Really Really Obscure Characters
DST will never make a version of Stegron from the 70’s, even if he is a Spider-Man character. We are free to make any character in existence, and some that only exist in our imaginations. This might seem to be an obvious point, but I think its worth mentioning. A big part of customizing is being inspired to customize. Having this freedom is a wonderful source of inspiration.
These are just the examples that popped into my head as I was writing this post, but I’m sure you can think of other areas where customizers have much more freedom than DST. This is not a slam against DST in any way. I love their products dearly, and the minimates coming out this year are the best I have ever seen. But I wanted to inspire you to step outside of the box and take chances on things that DST is not able to.