Custom Jumbo Machinders

Me with Tom Hughes Custom Jet Jaguar Jumbo Machinder
Many Shogun Warrior and Popy collectors don't remember a time when people really didn't want the Mattel line of toys - they were too common and too inferior to the original toys made by Popy and others. Daimos was particularly reviled as the original Popy was so detailed and had so many add-on features. That's how I ended up with two MIB - they were the cheapest because hardly anyone wanted them. You'll understand why they're currently in such demand shortly.

I first started seeing reproduction Shogun Warrior parts around 1998 or so- they were mostly inferior to the original, and I still have a Mazinga Condor that someone sent me from back in the day - this was before the better resins were readily available from Smooth-on and others and the solid form feels like a brick. It's also a pretty poor casting, but that's mostly what was available then and times have changed, along with the available materials and quality of the reproductions which are infinitely superior today.

A custom, by my definition, is the addition or modification of a toy to improve it (like adding Popy features to a Shogun Warrior to make it more like the original Popy toy using reproduction parts) but also includes changing an existing toy completely to make a new toy. I'm also including ground-up creations by hobbyists with new toy sculpts but not actual reproductions of an existing toy (for instance, there's an excellent reproduction of the extremely rare Ceppi Ratti Gundam Jumbo Machinder but it's cast from original parts).

Custom Modified Jumbos

Custom Great Mazinger Front
I think the first custom of which I'm aware was the modification of a Great Mazinger so both arms would shoot - this was possible by taking two ZZ-1 Popy accessory packs (one with each left and right shooting fists) and modifying the arms so the shooters were inserted (you had to cut a hole for the button). I saw a couple of these and at some point acquired one that had been modified. This is a pretty cool mod as the figure looks rather stock rather than custom. I'm not sure who else has one, but I did see a clever Grendizer that had the left arm modified so it would shoot (was that Bourno? don't recall).

Custom Great Mazinger Detail
Custom Great Mazinger Back
Added 2019.07.20: Request for detail shots of the button for the launchers - note that these are a bit sloppier than I like but since I didn't customize these I got what I got:

Launching Button Detail Front
Launching Button Detail Back

John Olson's Customs

John Olson's Custom Albegas

John Olson of Minot North Dakota makes some pretty amazing custom jumbos by combining existing figures with new, custom resin-cast and 3D printed parts. John is a long time fan of Japanese Culture Anime, Tokusatsu and of course the related toys including the Jumbo Machinder.

Custom Resin Cast Jumbos

For a while it seemed that hobby resin casters were getting to the point of making entirely new toys. The first true resin fabricator to make an entire custom figure for sale that I'm aware of was coming from a toy designed in New York under the Emanium brand.

Emanium Enterprises

Emanium Enterprises is a small US company (apparently one guy) that made two custom jumbo machinders of which I'm aware. These are cast in resin and are held together with small rare-earth magnets. I only own the Aphrodite A but everything about these, even the packaging, is fairly impressive.
  • Aphrodite A
  • Bossrobot

Bourno's Customs

Wesley Bourn hands-down does the best resin-cast parts I've seen by any hobbyist. I believe Wes started out casting parts to repair or replace jumbos that he sourced from Japan - over the years his obsession became a means of reproducing whole jumbo figures like Dangard Ace. Most recently he's gotten into 3D modeling and printing and did this way cool Megagodzilla figure, seems he's more into the printing than casting, at least for complete figures.

  • Dangard Ace
  • Marvel Color Dangard Ace
  • 22" Mecha Godzilla 

Custom 3D Printed Jumbos

Meanwhile something else has happened, the advent of inexpensive 3D printing. From what I've seen, many of the resin casters are transitioning into 3D printed toys, at least those who have the equipment and the flexibility of learning the software. There's is a bit of a learning curve unless you already have a graphics or similar background it can be difficult to comprehend the steps involved in getting a 3D print. Luckily TinkerCAD is relatively easy to use and a good way to get started from scratch, before graduating to Autodesk Fusion 360 or similar.

Tom Hughes Customs

Tom Hughes' Custom Zone Fighter and Jet Jaguar Jumbos  
Tom Hughes started making customs using resin parts made by others or as one-offs as more of a scratch-builder. He ventured into 3D printing and now produces some of the best 3D Printed Kaiju and Jumbo Machinder figures you can find.  

Tom Hughes Jumbo Machinders

  • Mazinger Z Aphrodite A
  • Mazinger Z Diana A
  • Mazinger Z Minerva X
  • Great Mazinger Venus A
  • Jet Jaguar
  • Zone Fighter
  • Mazinger Z Abdora U6
  • Samurai Destroyer
  • Tetsujin 28 Black Ox
  • Tetsujin 28 Tin
  • Giant Robo
  • TikTok

Tom Hughes Kaiju 

  • Mothra
  • Gigan
  • Titanosaurus
  • King Caesar
  • Mega Kong
  • Toho King Kong
  • Minya
  • Mega King Gidorah
  • Hedorah
  • Megatron
  • Megalon
  • Godzilla
  • Mothra Larvae
  • Space Godzilla
  • Godzilla Marusan J Tail
  • Nakajima Haruo
  • King Gidorah
  • Dorat Set
  • Baragon
  • Gabara
  • Muto

Carlitos Ramirez

Carlitos Ramirez Custom Taekwon V
Carlitos started 3D printing due to the relative scarcity and high shipping costs to his native Puerto Rico. To date he's offered up at three figures that I'm aware of:
It will be interesting to see where the hobby ends up - seems like everyday there's some fantastic creation made available by creative people or small companies. It's an awesome time to collect these guys, but where to find the room to display them?

All Mattel images and captions are copyright Mattel, all Popy, Banpresto, Unifive or Yutaka images and captions are copyright Popy/Bandai and used without permission. All other content, including images and editorial, is Copyright © 1997-2022 John Eaton and/or contributors unless otherwise stated. If there are any comments or objections, please contact John Eaton, by clicking here.

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