“The Wall” Chapter 10- My “Custom” Retro Action ‘Robin; the Boy Wonder’

The "Boy Wonder" has always had a very special place in my heart and collection.


Mattel Toys Sucks. Period. They cancel lines blaming lack of fan base support while they themselves offer the products o market in the most piss poor manner possible. I went out on a limb with these reviews as a fan trying to push the product. In the end Mattel showed that they are not worthy of mine or your accolades or MONEY. I’m not editing the reviews however. At the time of their writing I meant what I said and in regards to the figures themselves I feel the same way, however the emotional connection is gone – Signed, Jim 01/14/12

In this chapter “The Wall” will be taking a different turn as we look at the custom Robin I’ve put together to hang out with Retro Action Batman and Superman. So just in case your not totally tuned in, Robin has not received the Retro Action treatment and no official word has been announced as to whether or not he will. And that’s okay. Mind you I personally think Mattel would be making the greatest mistake ever to not do so, it’s not my company and my opinion is nothing more than that… my opinion.

With this chapter I do want to focus on something that is actually more impressive than my less than impressive custom work. This time around I want to really talk about customizing as a hobby and how the Mego and now Re-Mego format lends to this more than rewarding hobby. So while this is not a review of a figure that you can track down on ebay or some other source, the parts and pieces used can. But even better you can shop Dr. Mego’s website ( www.drmego.com ) and pick up pieces that can help you create figures that have been lingering in your imagination. If that’s not cool I don’t know what is! So now without further ado let’s talk a little chop shop as we focus on this truly one of a kind item found on “The Wall”

Point #1. What it is.

Custom Retro Action Robin by me (well at least the card)

Point #2. Where it came from.

My efforts were soiled by my use of too much glue causing some water spots and smearing. Yeah, my bad.

Point #3. The Good.

Althogh this custom is pretty much all Mego he serves his purpose well amongst the vibrantly colored Retro Action line from Mattel.

It’s all good! Well not really but we’ll get to that in a few. But seriously the best part about customizing is that at the end of the day the end result is as good as you want it to be. So what if your not the greatest painter, sculptor or sewer? You don’t have a deadline and you aren’t creating something to please the masses.  Impress them maybe but not please them. Also your budget is what ever you set. If you’ve got $20 bucks to play with there’s your cap. If you happen to come up with another $20 to reinvest in your effort you can do that. There simply are no limitations outside of the ones you impose on yourself.

I must stop here and point out that NONE of the work you see on this figure is my own. The body and head are original Mego. It’s a Type 2 Robin that was nekkid as a jaybird as the old folks say until some fellow out there in the ebay world slapped the costume on him. The cape and tunic and trunks were obivously hand made most likely using the patterns that you can find at the Mego Museum’s custom section ( http://www.megomuseum.com/custom/customblog.html ). These patterns are free to download and use by the way and an invaluable resource to the customizers of the world. Now for you entrepreneurial types out there, if your thinking “Wow, I can get the real Mego pattern? I can make ’em and sell and become a millionaire!” Sure you can, but you’ll most likely find a lawsuit from DC waiting on you when you get back from the fabric store.

The shoes and gloves are Dr. Mego reproductions. Although I didn’t personally

If you look closely you can see the stitching around the collar is a bit sloppy but that's okay. He is meant to be unique and by golly he is, red thread and all.

buy these from the Doc, it’s very easy to see that these “oven mitts” and slippers are the Doc’s handy work because the quality is excellent! While there are some other folks out there who are producing factory made reproductions very similar I can very boldly state that there are NONE that compare to the Dr.’s. Period. With that said I have no problem posting the link to Doc’s site ( www.drmego.com ) and recommending that you get all of your parts and pieces there. If you have an issue fell free to contact me and I’ll gladly refund your cash myself. Yes, I am THAT confident in the quality and service you will receive from Paul “Dr. Mego” Clark.

The belt that this chap is wearing is a complete mystery however. I’ve actually seen more than one of these over the course of my collecting and have no idea where it came from originally. It’s no where near close to the original Robin’s Mego belt, which is good for what I was doing with this particular figure but I honestly don’t know who made it or what it is made of. It’s a much softer, almost rubber like material instead of the firmer plastic of the original or reproductions. Plus it simply came with the figure.

Point #4. The Bad.

I love the fact that Dr. Mego has his clam shells available to the customizers. The ability to have uniform packaging is very important to my O.C.D.

The only thing for me that is bad about this figure is that I didn’t go all out and do a Robin custom on a Mattel body and sculpt the head myself. Honestly I’m not that good at sculpting and don’t have the time at the moment to fine tune my skills. One day perhaps I will. But for now and with the hopes of Mattel handling the real work eventually, I am perfectly content with my little make believe Retro Action Robin.  Plus thanks to Dr. Mego making his resealable clam shells available to the public I can easily sneak him by the casual observer thanks to the card art I created.

Point #5. Why I like it.

Because I made it, duh! Seriously Robin has always been one of the most endearing characters from my child hood. This kid ran around with Batman. A kid?!?! Yeah buddy! Before the government stepped in with all those crazy child labor laws and junk. Plus it gave me the chance to play. With the backer card I was able to really and truly design what would for me be the greatest Wave that Mattel could ever release. Robin plus the Joker, and the figures never made by Mego Bizzaro and Toyman,  could bring my always hoped for Saturday morning playtime a reality. Plus who knows? After posting the card art in the Mego Museum’s Custom thread in the forum, someone at Mattel may be surfing around and say, “You know that’s a pretty good idea. Get this Jim guy on the phone and let him know we appreciate his input and also let him know to pull all these pics down before we sue the pants off  him.”

My only regret is that I couldn't nail the proper font. One day I may revisit this error.
This cardback is almost like a "Letter to Santa" or Mattel, whichever one is willing to bring these figures to my collection will be tops in my book. Come on SANTA!

Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.

Why you should:

You can’t have mine but you can make your own! Why? Because playtime is fun time! And customizing adds even more fun to the process! Plus check out the pics below to see all the possibilities your imagination can run to if you allow it soar!

The Dynamic Duo will always be the greatest crime fighting partners. Period.
Looking at these two side by side I can see why the traditional Robin look was scrapped for the movies but still, 'Batman and Robin' sucked.
"Smile pretty fella's. People are looking."

Why you shouldn’t:

Absolutely no reason whatsoever! Dream up your action figure, make a list of parts, visit the Mego Museum Forum for Tips and Tricks , get over to Dr. Mego’s site and place your order, wait patiently for the mail to arrive and then GET TO IT!

In Conclusion

This chapter is by far the most fun one that I have wrote for “The Wall” for what I hope you see is obvious reasons.  Everything about this Robin is to me what Mego collecting is all about; Allowing the inner child in you take the reins again for a while. And with that youthful version of you back in control you can shrug off the day to day stress and pressure that comes from being an adult melt away if only for a few moments at a time. And the even better part about that fact is that with this hobby you can share it with your children and teach them how to think outside of the box when it comes to their playthings. Not every thing HAS to come from a store. Toys CAN be made at home. AND you can spend some serious quality time playing with your kids all the while teaching them the value of using their imagination to literally make their dreams come true. Am I over dramatic in that statement? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact its for these reasons that my sanity stays in tact without the need fro booze or drugs or other “grown up” ways to unwind. Hence why I love all the silly little toys that have earned their place on “The Wall” .

Now, Go Play!

– Jim 04/08/11

Talk about a Terrific Trio! Hey, it's my blog I can fantasize anyway I want!

Jim Bumgardner is a 20 year veteran of the broadcast industry and currently serves as the news director for television station TKO 8 in Harrison, Arkansas. Jim is the father of two the husband of one and firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at jimstoybox@gmail.com or visit his website at www.jimsmegos.com


All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com

Author: Jim Bumgardner

Jim's Toy Box features programming that is inspirational, uplifting and motivational all the while offering encouragement to those who wish to make the most of this life in preparation for the next.

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