Tag Archives: action figure customizing

Christopher Street Day in Berlin: miniature rainbow ice cream party collab with Littlest Sweet Shop!

Rainbow CSD party Littlest Sweet Shop custom rainbow ice cream collab with Suzanne Forbes June 2020It‘s Christopher Street Day and Germany is celebrating Gay Pride🌈 !!

I am so delighted to share the incredible artisan miniature cake and ice cream I commissioned from Littlest Sweet Shop for my New Mutants and X-Men Marvel legends figures !!!

Rainbow CSD ice cream party collab Littlest Sweet Shop x Suzanne Forbes July 25 2020I wanted to do something special for Germany’s big Pride day, even though I couldn’t go to an event.

So I commissioned an array of gorgeous miniature ice creams and cakes from Nadia of Littlest Sweet Shop. She is a superb creator of artisan mini food, and she really pulled out all the stops!

Rainbow CSD jelly roll cake by Littlest Sweet Shop by Suzanne Forbes July 25 2020Look how exquisite and beautiful they are!!

Every detail is perfect!! Including the tiny rainbow sprinkles on the Choco-Taco!

Rainbow CSD ice cream party collab Littlest Sweet Shop x Suzanne Forbes group shot July 25 2020

What a wonderful party!

I included some of the gay X-Men and New Mutants, including Rahne and Dani who are now CANONICALLY GAY in the New Mutants movie, and the lovely trans lady action figure customs I recently made. Northstar is chilling with ally Puck!

Littlest Sweet Shop Pride rainbow ice cream and cakes July 2020This was my first time making a good-sized commission from a miniature food artisan, and I was so lucky to work with Nadia!

Although I had the idea at the last minute, Nadia graciously accepted the commission and was an absolute dream to work with.

Rainbow CSD ice cream party collab Littlest Sweet Shop x Suzanne Forbes beautiful trans ladies July 25 2020Nadia committed to the Pride theme 200%!

She carefully matched the colors from the Trans Pride and Bi Pride flags, as well as making all the foods from the same color “batches” so they would match. She sent me photos as she worked! And she took a lovely photo series herself, where you can really see the details.

Rainbow CSD ice cream party collab Littlest Sweet Shop x Suzanne Forbes July 25 2020 Shan has a tacoOf course I had to order some of Nadia’s miniature ice cream tacos, or Choco Tacos, for the lesbian mutants!

X’ian Coy Manh (Shan to her friends) holds a nut decorated Choco Taco – you can choose whole or with a bite out!

I took over a hundred photos for this shoot.

Between lighting and editing, I feel I have graduated from a person who should never touch a camera to a poor amateur photographer.

Rainbow CSD ice cream party collab Littlest Sweet Shop x Suzanne Forbes Rahne and Dani gay mutant love July 25 2020It’s actually a big achievement and I am proud!

I will never buy or learn the equipment to become a real doll or toy photographer like the ones in my post on Action Figure Activism, but at least I am improving.

Danielle Moonstar action figure custom with Littlest Sweet Shop mini foods for Pride by Suzanne Forbes July 2020For this shoot I used the Marvel Legends Danielle Moonstar/Mirage figure head, even though she is a bit grouchy.

I finally found one in the UK, got it and quickly customized it to try it out. (My mom has one found for me by the lovely fellow behind She’s Fantastic Made of Plastic, but who knows when it will get to Berlin.) Honestly I like my own custom Dani Moonstar figure (last year’s Pride post) better for tender domestic teenage mutant love, but this sculpt is beautiful and fierce.

Marvel Legends Danielle Moonstar custom by Suzanne Forbes July 2020I had two of the Hasbro Marvel Legends Juggernaut Series Kitty Pryde bodies.

For this one I sculpted Dani’s fringed boots with my beloved Apoxie Sculpt, then painted them with regular artist’s acrylic.

I sealed them with “Matte” Mod Podge which is reading really shiny so I will probably mask off Dani’s body and spray them with Liquitex Matte Varnish, which is what I use instead of Dullcote.

Anyway a quick version that looks ok! I wanted to use the “official” movie tie-in Dani Moonstar figure’s head on the weekend when the director and all the cast of the New Mutants movie were doing a panel talking about the film’s amazing queer love story.

Littlest Sweet Shop shop imageThe real stars of the shoot are the rainbow treats from Littlest Sweet Shop.

Shop TheLittlestSweetShopUK on etsy here for ready to ship treats in 1:12 (dollhouse) and 1:6 (fashion doll) scale, and visit the Littlest Sweet Shop website to buy exclusive items (Slushy!!) in the online store, enjoy the blog, and see all the possible items you can commission if commissions are open! Or just enjoy the photo gallery!

Nadia is truly an incredible artist who is dedicated to making the most lifelike and beautiful miniature food.

thanks so much for your beautiful work for my Pride feast, Nadia!

X-Men and Action figure dollhouse projects and action figure customs:

Danger Room work in progress!

My first action figure dollhouse.

Laboratories underneath it.

My action figure subway station.

Projects for the X-Men Dollhouse – a blackboard for the library

The X-Men Dollhouse – nearly finished, and the goddam lighting

The X-Men Dollhouse – stairs and lighting

The X-Men Dollhouse – wallpaper and assembly

The X-Men Dollhouse – getting started!

Lila Cheney and Lilandra customs.

My Rahne and Dani lovebird action figure customs

Douglock custom

Action Figure Activism! Toy lovers for Black Lives Matter.

Action figure Black Lives Matter protest by Suzanne Forbes May 31 2020 cuI can’t leave our house to join the Black Lives Matter protests.

Both my husband and I are in high-risk COVID categories, and I had knee surgery that did not go well last year, which means both of us have limited walking capacity now.

Action figure Black Lives Matter protest by Suzanne Forbes May 31 2020 beginningSo there was a protest in front of my School for Gifted Youngsters instead.

It started small, with Monica Rambeau, Misty Knight, Bishop and some gay New Mutants and other allies. (You know Rahne and Dani are CANONICALLY GAY NOW, right????) And Northstar married his boyfriend in the X-Men comics!

Action figure Black Lives Matter protest by Suzanne Forbes May 31 2020 allies use white skin to protect black protestersHere white allies demonstrate the technique of using white skin to protect black protesters from carceral forces.

I instantly learned that when photographing white protesters using this method, you MUST show the carceral/military/police threat in the picture, or all you have is a picture of white people standing in front of Black people. We all know not to take pictures of protesters where they are identifiable, unless they have given consent or we are documenting police brutality, right???Action figure Black Lives Matter protest by Suzanne Forbes May 31 2020 with Ororo

I’m not a good photographer, and toy photography is actually a specialized skill set, as you’ll see in a minute.

I wanted to show air support in the form of our Queen Ororo arriving but I had to hold her with one hand and hit the button on the ipad with my nose! You can see as the protest grows, Non-disabled ciswhite folx with Black partners are protecting disabled queer folx in the vanguard. And the protest has crossed the street ( old comics Pro in-joke re: Marvel/DC).

New Mutants and Moses say Black Lives Matter by Suzanne Forbes June 16Unfortunately, I had trapped X’ian Coy Manh and Professor Xavier in the house by accident before I set up all the figures (which is actually a huge amount of work). There is a historic lack of Asian representation in both Marvel and DC comics; it carries through to the figures.

So Shan, as her friends call her, got a new shoot with some other New Mutants, and the John Boyega Star Wars Black Series figure I bought to make a custom of Moses from Attack the Block.

Action figure Black Lives Matter protest by Suzanne Forbes May 31 2020 2I did my best as a lousy photographer; now for the real art.

Being an action figure photographer requires three things: terrific photography skills, deep understanding of the characters’ history in comics and an amazing action figure and toy prop collection. I only have the good collection and the character knowledge!

Madd Lion Black Lives Matter toy art June 15 2020

Madd Lion Black Lives Matter action figure art, June 15 2020

This is the work of my very favorite action figure photographer, Madd Lion.

Ororo Rising Vanity Fair cover by Madd Lion Dec 2019Madd Lion is a tremendous photography artist, and also a Power Blerd and hardcore oldschool comics and X-fan like me.

He has made powerful images and posts in the last month, as well as hundreds of beautiful toy photographs over the years.

I love this magazine cover with Ororo so much!

And this disability-inclusive image of a blind woman who is happy and loved and successful! Click for a beautiful scene with Alicia Masters and Ben Grimm, and click through for wonderful New York subway moments with Black characters living their lives.

Here is Madd Lion’s facebook as well!

Pete Menocal Hamilton cover homage June 2020

Another great toy photographer is Pete Menocal.

Pete Menocal has been making powerful protest art with action figures in the last month.

Pete Menocal Black Panther punching Red Skull June 2020

Pete Menocal Black Panther punching Red Skull June 2020

This uses both the figures and the cultural weight of their backstories so well.

You know you want to see Black Panther punch Nazis! I highly recommend a visit to Geek Speak and Junk, Menocal’s Youtube channel with TIff Menocal, which features some great how-to dio videos!

Action figures with Berlin George Floyd Memorial by Bryan Konstantine

Action figures with Berlin George Floyd Memorial by Bryan Konstantine

Here is a memorial scene by Bryan Konstantine.

Known as ActionFiguren00b, he used the George Floyd mural by Eme Freethinker in Berlin’s Mauerpark as a background. Stan Lee spoke out against racism in his comics from the start.

Together we rise by Bryan Constantine June 1

Together we rise by Bryan Constantine June 1

And a beautiful, inspirational scene by Konstantine. Toy photography has enormous potential because of the emotional investment fans have in the characters, and this is a great use of it.

Malcom X tribute art by 850sithlordMalcolm X tribute by 850sithlord.

There is also a video with Malcolm X’ “Who Taught You to Hate Yourself” speech here, and a beautiful group protest shot here.

These are just some of the toy art that has been created this month. I am so glad to see members of the community making political art. It’s a big risk.

Politics in the toy collecting/toy photography world are complex.

Angel Salvatore by FaceCustoms aka Stewart Walker-Barnett

Angel Salvatore by FaceCustoms aka Stewart Walker-Barnett

There are so many incredible collectors like ToMeMyScoobies (awesome Buffy/Xmen mashup joke handle) who are proudly gay and proudly inclusive. There are the incredible photographers above. There are customizers like the fantastic FaceCustoms, whose work features representation and diversity.

And then there are also 1:12 collectors who are obsessed with military imagery, the misconstrued and appropriated alt-right/police notion of the Punisher, and some other very imperialist, colonialist shit. Yet all of us are obsessed with collecting, and with finding the coolest figures and accessories.

So sometimes community members with very different values follow each other to see what’s new.

Some custom creators enter the realm of explicit politics by using real politicians’ likenesses. Action Figure Customs makes and sells a gorgeous 1/12 scale Obama head. He also makes a Drump, but it appears to be for use in mockery.

I had to unfollow a figure prop maker who I had actually bought from, because he posted pro-Drump custom orders.

I don’t care if you’re starving, printing Srump propaganda is equivalent to printing Nazi propaganda. And I live in a place where making propaganda for a genocidal terrorist isn’t protected free speech.

Speaking of freedom, let’s end here with this instantly recognizable image of Luke Cage shattering some chains, by Pete Menocal.

Happy Juneteenth! Luke Cage Juneteenth art by Pete Menocal June 19 2020

You can sign Miss Opal Lee’s petition to make Juneteenth a national holiday in the US here.

There is an easy-to-use article on how to support protesters in every city here.