Monday, 19 June 2017

Toy Customizer: Joe Amato

Interview with Toy Customizer: Joe Amato

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 Joe Amato from Joe Amato Custom Creations.

Joe Amato will make you any custom action figure you can think of. Original characters, Masters of the Universe, TMNT, Star Wars, DC, Marvel, or anything else!

MOTU!: Hi Joe and thanks for taking time out to do this interview with me. Ever since I saw your custom work, I became an instant fan. You have made some awesome customs over the years and your work is just getting better and better.

Joe: Thank you for asking me to be part of this interview! And I really appreciate the compliments I have a lot to learn still, and try to improve with each custom I do.

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

Joe: I seen a custom on EBAY of a figure that was never released for the vintage 80’s Masters of the Universe line, and I wanted to try and make a figure that I always wanted as well, but never got back then. From there, it just snowballed and I had people ask me to make them figures as well.

Battle Damaged Faker

MOTU!: How long have you been customizing figures?

Joe: I have been customizing for just around 7 years.

Loyal Subjects Anti-Eternia He-Man, Slime Pit He-Man & Battle Damaged Faker

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"?

Joe: You find some materials work better for different parts, whether it be sculpting a face, hair, armor, etc. But using anything from Green Stuff, Apoxy Sculpt, or even Super Sculpey can get the job done.


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?

Joe: Thank you! As for the pesky joint rub, alight sanding of that area can usually take care of that problem most of the time.
Mini Comic Trap Jaw
MOTU!: Any horror stories of something gone horribly wrong?

Joe: When I first started doing customs and trying to figure how to “secure” figures in the custom packaging, I had a custom break during shipping. Since then I use a new technique to guarantee the figure will stay secure in it’s custom card back without moving.
Crossover Custom Thundarr The Barbarian
MOTU!: On the opposite end of blood loss, what has been your favorite custom to date? Not necessarily your favorite character, but one that just turned out exactly, or better, than you planned.

Joe: My favorite custom project was working on a couple that was getting married, and wanted me to make a custom action figure of their significant other. The best part was she did not know I was making a custom action figure of her, and he did not know I was making a custom action figure of him. Then when they were exchanging gifts, they gave each other the surprise of their life!
New Adventures of He-Man - PrinceAdam
MOTU!: Do you have upcoming MOTUC customs that you're excited to be working on, or planning out?

Joe: I am working on some Thundercat customs that I cannot wait to finish up, along with customs for the people who pledged for the Power of Grayskull Documentary!

Thunderian Battle Cat-Man
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?

Joe: You can view my work on my Facebook Page at Joe Amato Custom Creations -

For custom work, you contact me at:
Slime Pit He-Man
MOTU!: Thanks Joe, great talking with you! We look forward to seeing more sweet new customs from you during 2017.

Joe: Thank you for letting me be part of this great Q & A! And 2017 will be a great year!

Friday, 2 June 2017

Custom Torak Review

Custom Torak

Heroic Hero of Pre-History

I am a very big fan of the Pre-Eternia, Grayskull Era and I am also a big advocate that all the concept figures should be made into the MOTU Classic Line. I am actually not sure why this hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it’s because of some licensing issues or it’s just that there is so many other more important characters that hasn’t be made yet, and they are getting preference, for example The New Adventures Figures.

It’s for this reason that I decided to go the Custom route to get these figures into my MOTU Collection. I already own a Custom Guerr-Or and I now decided it’s time that I get a Custom Torak Figure.

Here is a little history behind Torak.

Torak was the first hero Mark Taylor had created as the protagonist for a male action figure line. He was a Gladiator / Caveman type feel to him, brandishing a short sword and helmet. He could be viewed as the earliest version of He-Man from a drawing, and could be one of the many “He-Men” that existed between King Grayskull and Prince Adam.


1979 – Torak (He-Man) & Early Skeletor Concept, by Mark Taylor

Aug 15, 1979 – Category Management Teams Memo

The early He-Men – Art by grimbot on Deviant Art
The prototypes in the pic is one of the 3 original prototypes Roger Sweet used to pitch the idea for the MOTU Line to Mattel's Management, more exactly the one based on Mark Taylor's drawing (Torak). The other 2 were all Roger Sweet's design.


MOTU 30th Anniversary Art - Torak by

Original Message from happymonkeyshoes

2012 marks He-man and the Masters of the Universe's 30 years in existence. As many know, I am a huge fan, and wanted to mark it in some way. So Each month I will be celebrating with a character drawn for those who have kept the series going in some form. To start this is a merit of the first drawing before He-Man existed by Mattel creator Mark Taylor and he named this fellow TORAK - Hero of Pre-History. He’ll never see it, but without Torak we may never have had He-Man!

Torak Recipe:

The body that I used was a Vykron body with the Normal He-Man Head. Paintwork and Armor was done and made by the very talented Frikkie Stroebel (Blue Hands Customs).

Weapon: The Sword of Ancients.

I decided that the perfect weapon for Torak will be The Sword of Ancients as it appears in the Mask of Power episode. I think it’s the perfect weapon that fits in the Pre-Eternia Era and Torak will be the perfect hero to wield the Sword of Ancients to defeat the Evil Powers of Skeletor.


Even though Torak is a custom figure, I believe that he deserves his rightful place between the Heroic Heroes of Eternia.


Together with Guerr-Or, Vikor and Vykron, Torak can now defend the Secrets of Castle Grayskull!!!!