Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's a Tropical Island, Get Some Damned Sun!

One of the problems I've had with the BifBangPow Lost figures is the very light skin tone they chose to use. It seems to be a trend across the board with these ReMegos that they are all several shades lighter than their 70s forebearers, but the BBP figures are especially light. I asked about this in our Mego Museum interview with Jason Lenzi and he said it wasn't a conscious choice to make them lighter than old school Megos, this is what they went with. I think for some of the figures its fine. Ben Linus was always a pasty little creep, but John Locke was a fairly well tanned outdoorsman. The BBP head is very pale and a lot of the great facial detail doesn't show up at all. So this week I finally took some time to experiment with fixing it.

Introducing John Locke: Tanned and Ready for Action!

This tanning technique was first introduced by David Lee of CastAway toys when he showed us how to give that 70s Mego sun tan to the new Mattell Retro Action Heroes. This is also especially helpful because it gets the skin tone to a closer match on CastAway or EMCE bodies.  

It's pretty simple really, I just dunked him in hot Rit Tan dye for a few seconds--once for 5 seconds, then I wiped it and decided to give it 2-3 more.  I used about half the package in about 2 cups of boiling water.  The mixture may have been quite strong in that case, David was recommending 2 spoonfuls. I tried it with Man In Black before I did Locke and I overdid it--maybe 12 to 15 seconds. Dumb. You can always go back if it's too light, but not the other way around. 

Before I did the tanning I took an Exacto blade and gave him his trademark scar on his right eyebrow and cheek. This was my extra Locke I hadn't opened yet because I didn't like the way the eyebrows were painted on this one. So I also removed them with nail polish remover and then painted them on with brown acrylic paint after the dye job was done. I kept the eyebrows in the same place but made them less raised and tried to give a little more character and focus to them. I didn't touch the factory painted stubble. Not sure about that. It's got a light gray color to it and now it's a little lighter than the skin. But I'm loathe to go in with darker paint and possibly make him look like a thug. The pink lips are another issue, but I have left them alone for now. I painted MIB's lips because after the dye job there was such a contrast, but I don't know. It might be smart to try and remove the lip paint altogether, I personally don't think it's necessary in most cases.  One major caution: These BBP heads are very thin at the neck plug and will tear easily. So be careful removing the head. I'm used to yanking Mego heads off like a seven year old but these won't take that. John's head is halfway off it's neck post right now.

Anyway, that's it. I'm generally pretty pleased with the improvement. I think I'll use the pale one for Wheelchair Locke and tanned for Island Locke.


  1. Tan Locke is big improvement. I'm a little scared to slice in a scar, but will maybe skip caffeine for one day to get it right.

  2. Locke is the one figure I want to buy from this set, and you've really come up with a formula for fixing my one gripe with the final product.

    Is there a specific body you'd recommend as a 'tanned' replacement?