Meet Our Customers – Robianco

We wouldn’t be able to run our Minifigures business without our fantastic customers so we thought we would do a regular feature highlighting their Super Heroes collection and asking them a few questions. Thank you to Robianco on Flickr for taking the time out to answer these questions:

Marvel Custom Minifigures

What made you buy your first Super Heroes Custom Minifigure?

It actually all started by buying a Star Wars custom minifigure of the Death Star Gunner by Christo. I was debating whether to go for it due to the cost but once I got it I picked up two Iron Man figures from him soon after then things snowballed!

Spider-Man Custom Minifigures

With so many Super Heroes Custom Minifigures to choose from, picking a definitive top 5 is probably an impossible task. However which are some of your favourites and why?

Yeah.. That’s a tough thing to try and define. I’d probably have to put the Phoenix Captain America stealth suit in there as the print throughout is superb as is the design. Adam always get the right mix of detail when it’s needed and simplicity when it’s not. That figure sums it up for me. Although I got rid of all my Marvel figures I’d probably have to include the Phoenix Arachnid Hero too… the figure speaks for itself and the silver printing on that makes it the best Spiderman figure out there for me.

I’d have to include Christo’s Sinestro in there. The design is fantastic, the print is superb and the hair mould just makes it. It’s far more sinister than the LEGO version and he’s a Green Lantern! Christo’s Catwoman from The Dark Knight Rises is another I’d have to put in. There are more spectacular figures with hair moulds and leg prints but being a Batman fan I thought that figure was great and was an excellent version of Hathaway’s Catwoman. I’m torn for the last one of the five… It’s between Tony’s Arkham Origins Batman or Christo’s White Lantern Flash. As much as I’d love to include a Batman figure I think the overall printing and helmet work on the Flash figure would have to just win the battle of the two. Can we put Tony’s in as an honourable mention?

X-Men Custom Minifigures

When it comes to the different printing styles Pad Printed, Digital and UV Digital printing, which do you prefer?

Pad printing all the way for me. I don’t buy digital figures anymore and I think I only own one from those few that I bought back when I started out which is a Scarecrow by OLS. As much as digital printing is getting better and the figures by Agoodfella and Raminator look great I’m afraid I always pass on something that isn’t pad printed.

Green Lantern Custom Minifigures

Do you have a favourite custom minifigure vendor or vendors?

Well I’ll always look out for anything done by Christo as he’s consistently good and he does a great range of DC figures. Phoenix have a great style and the printing quality is always top notch… and they also branch out into other areas such as Star Wars. Muddy River Minifigs have done some excellent game design figures. Tony at Fig Nation has done a couple of fantastic Batman additions so I’ll always look out for anything pad printed from him too. Then there’s people like eclipseGrafx, CustomBricks and Citizen Brick who also do fantastic work. I hope I’ve not missed anyone out.

Do you have an opinion on the Chinese brands that have appeared over the last couple of years?

The Chinese brands are something that I’m a little torn on. On one side I don’t like the simple copying of full LEGO products… the bricks are inferior and can actually hurt when building, and I know they’ve copied customisers work… BUT… I’ve picked up several ‘bootleg’ figures that I have to say are excellent quality. I’ve actually got a copy of Christo’s Batman Beyond here that arrived today and, after adding genuine legs, arms/hands and a cowl it’s perfect. Now Christo copied his from the game so he doesn’t own the design (I also bought Christo’s Batman Beyond figure a while ago) so this is a well printed figure that’s around 60p to buy (add the cowl, some legs etc from BrickLink and it comes to around £3 in total).

I don’t hold with the scaremongering that the plastic or the paint is toxic… they’ve been tested and they’re not. I use genuine parts where I can to replace things but I do think they actually offer something.. that may be sacrilegious to some but it’s how I see it. Let’s face it… there are customisers who make parts from their own moulds so these parts aren’t too far from that. The Green Lantern Batman figure I also received today will sit with the rest of my Batman figure collection and not look out of place with regards to design or print quality. Look at the 2011 SDCC Batman variant.. add genuine legs, cowl and arms and that is pretty much indistinguishable from the genuine one and costs around £3 too… It’s resellers making profit on the genuine figure and not LEGO so I won’t lose too much sleep on those people losing out.

I’d actually say that buying some Chinese bootlegs motivated me to pick up the original customs they were copied from… most of Christo’s Spiderman range was picked up to replace the Chinese bootlegs I got a year or two earlier.

My biggest issue would be with regards to those that sell them. It’s an education thing. People need to know they’re buying bootlegs and anyone who sells things on as genuine should be stopped. If you’re buying a figure for around £1 then you need to know it’s not genuine and make your judgement from there. That goes with the SDCC stuff… I’ve never seen anyone reselling a bootleg as a genuine but it’s probably not that far away. Having a cheap alternative isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Finally, as a regular customer to Minifigures.co.uk would you recommend us to your friends?

I’d happily recommend minifigures.co.uk to people. Price wise I have to say the site is competitive to buying direct from the customisers and the postage costs are at actual cost so there’s no profit being made on that. Excellent, quick service and a range of figures from the world’s best customisers.

A big thanks again to Robianco and be sure to check out our Custom Minifigures Shop.

About Minifigures.co.uk Owner: Andrew Clapham

AFOL fan and minifigure collector, Andrew has a huge collection of Super Heroes minifigures and custom minifigures, and his passion for collecting has resulted in this online shop. He is dedicated to giving our customers a fantastic customer experience.

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