This weeks Pure Nintendo featured artist is the very creative Dan Polydoris. Using repurposed action figures Dan recreates some of our favorite retro Nintendo characters, as their very own custom toys! Check out his awesome creations below and be sure to leave a comment. ENJOY!
KD: Hey Dan, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and what you do?
DP: Hi Kaelyn. I’m a copywriter and toy collector from Chicago. I run a website called Death by Toys, where I make custom toys using repurposed vintage action figures. I’m also obsessed with all things nostalgia.
KD: What inspired you to start creating these awesome action figures?
DP: I made the first couple of figures (Mega Man and Dr. Wily) when I noticed that a few Star Wars figures happened to look an awful lot like them. So I pieced together a Luke X-Wing Pilot with a Star Destroyer Commander’s body, plus a few other severed limbs, and they came together. I was surprised people enjoyed it so much, and I’ve just continued to make more.
KD: What’s your process when creating a figure? How long does it usually take?
DP: It varies, but there tends to be a long process of me thinking of an idea, researching to make sure it hasn’t been done before, and then looking for the parts I need to make it. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to months and months.
KD: Is it difficult to find some of the specific pieces or appendages that you need for each figure? How do you go about finding them?
DP: Yes, they can be difficult to find at times. And more often than not, a lot of my production time is spent waiting for something to arrive from eBay, or just waiting to find the right piece. Usually though, I begin the search in my own basement and go through my own collection. I’m almost always willing to chop up my own toys before venturing out to buy pieces. (I know, I’m a monster…)
KD: Do you have a favorite out of the bunch or one that’s stands out to you more than others?
DP: Not particularly, although my first Mega Man figure holds a place in my heart. It was the first figure I made after my oldest kid was born, so there’s an added element of nostalgia there. I have a Pitfall Harry custom that I’m a bit fond of as well.
KD: What’s your favorite Nintendo game or series? Why?
DP: Probably Mega Man II or Super Mario 3. I have so many great (and unpleasant) memories of playing that game with my older brother when we were kids, so the franchises are super nostalgic for me. It also helps that they both have insanely good music.
KD: Do you ever create custom figures for people or take suggestions?
DP: I occasionally do commissions for people, but I’ve really stopped doing that. Commissions tend to feel like work, and I almost always regret taking on a project for somebody. Although, right now, I’m working on a custom Gyromite for a friend of mine, and it’s actually pretty fun.
KD: Thank you for your time Dan! I had a lot of fun with this feature because your artwork is so awesome and original! Where can our readers see more of your figure’s or purchase some if they’re interested?
DP: Thanks Kaelyn. You can see tons of pics on the site (deathbytoys.com), but I’d definitely suggest following the DbT Instagram page for more.
Any artist interested in having their artwork on PureNintendo.com or in PNM can contact me at Kaelyn@purenintendo.com. Submit fan art, sculptures, baked goods, comics, etc. If the theme is ‘Nintendo’ we want to see it! You could be the next Pure Nintendo featured artist! Also to see artwork from artists featured in our magazine, PNM, please head to PureNintendo.com/magazine to subscribe! Thanks for reading.