Monday, 5 September 2016

Toy Customizer: Niel Jensen

Interview with Toy Customizer:  Niel Jensen

Toy customizing has quickly become an ever-increasing hobby thanks to adult-collector toy lines, and the slow pace at which they release new product. There’s nothing stopping you from creating your very own ideal action figure. Today we are talking with a guy who goes by the name of Niel Jensen from Props and Stuff.

Niel just enjoys making custom toys of characters, vehicles and accessories that have never been made before!!!

MOTU!:  Hi Niel and thanks for taking time out to do this interview with me. Ever since I bought that awesome Skeletor Bone Throne from you I wanted to interview you about your custom work. Can you tell us a bid about yourself?

Niel:  I would like to start by saying thank you for having me here. I am married and have two daughters. They have been a huge support in what I do. My back ground is carpentry, welding, machining, millwright. These trades have been a real benefit to making custom toys. I am self-taught in sculpting and painting. No art classes.

MOTU!:  So Niel, how did you get started doing action figure customs?

Niel:  I know it's not easy providing for a family and being a collector. This is how I got into making toys in the first place. We had no money so I would make my own toys and from there I started my own business sculpting these items in my car on my lunch break and then listing them on ebay. I truly believe that when you find a job you love you will never work another day in your life.

MOTU!:  How long have you been customizing figures?

Niel:  I have been making custom toys, statues etc. for around 15 years.

MOTU!:  You do a lot of sculpting on your figures, not just the same old repaints seen elsewhere. What materials do you generally use to "make the magic happen"?

Niel:  I like using plumbers epoxy putty. It’s hard to use. It cures within 5 minutes so you have to sculpt really fast. Buts its hard as a rock when cured and you can carve, drill and sand the remaining detail.

MOTU!:  Your paint jobs are very well done. Can you tell us a little on your technique for getting a sweet paintjob that gets past the pesky joint rub problem?

Niel:  Thank you. I use acrylic paint and for dry brushing I use a chubby brush.

MOTU!:  Any horror stories of something gone horribly wrong?

Niel:  I was making something for a movie set and they needed it right away and not at the agreed deadline. All that was needed to be completed was to be painted. I was 20 minutes away from the movie set so I grabbed a can of fast dry spray paint and painted it in my car on the way to the set. I only sprayed at stop lights. My car was so full of fumes and overspray. Good thing it was an old beater at the time. It dried by the time I got there and they loved it. Mission accomplished.

MOTU!:  On the opposite end of blood loss, what has been your favourite custom to date? Not necessarily your favourite character, but one that just turned out exactly, or better, than you planned.

Niel:  I have made some very large statues that are 16 feet tall so they are made in sections and the only time I get to see it put together is when I deliver them. So my measurements have to be spot on. Thankfully I have been successful every time. I have to say they are the most rewarding because of the amount of work involved. As for the smaller items I make it would have to be the bone throne. I had no idea it would be a big hit.

MOTU!:  Do you have any upcoming MOTUC customs that you're excited to be working on, or planning out?

Niel:  I am currently working on a life sized Skeletor Bone Throne. It will be at my booth at our local comic con called Vancouver Fan Expo this year from 11 – 13 November 2016.

If you haven't been to one, then you should check it out. They put on a great show.

Check them out at

I am going to be listing some custom made snakes for the vintage fright zone playset. It’s hard to find a rubber snake in good condition these days so mine are hard plastic and they fit into the cave.

MOTU!:  Where can people see more of your work? Also, what is the best way for someone to get in touch with you for commissions?

Niel:  You can view my work on my website at

For custom work you contact me at:

My Ebay Store is thetoyshack.

MOTU!:  Thanks Niel, great talking with you! We look forward to seeing all the sweet new customs.

Niel:  Thank you again for having me. I really appreciate you allowing me to tell my story. I will keep you posted with my new MOTU items.

Check out all the other Masters of the Universe Custom Creations that Niel has made:

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