Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wheel of Time Action Figures Part 6: The Figues of If...

Hey fellow Wheel of Time fans, welcome to the final (for now) entry to my series of blogs detailing the creation of my custom Wheel of Time action figures. Today's entry is going to feature all the figures I intended to create, but never got around to finishing. As you guys know from the previous articles I was never working on just one figure at a time, and thanks to a rapid loss of free time and inspiration, more than a few toys got left in various states of incompletion... which my spellcheck tells me is not really a word, but it's my blog and I'm using it anyway (if you wanna check out the previous articles and then come back: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5). What follows are the figures that never got made. Who knows, if we had access to a portal stone, and the One Power, maybe we could all travel to a world where I actually finished them so we could see them in all their completed glory... and there you have it folks, the geekiest sentence I've ever written. Sigh... Pics and stuff after the jump.

MOIRAINE: I made Moiraine out of a Gabrielle figure from the Xena Warrior Princess line. This figure was actually one of the first ones I finished, for a time (she was made right after Rand, at the same time as Mat and Perrin), but I was incredibly dissatisfied with the outcome and I started making modifications.  I really hated the face as well as the hairstyle I sculpted, so modification one was to lop off its head and search for a better one.

You can see from the pics of the Gabrielle figure, the features are far too rounded and child-like to be a good depiction of Moiraine. So I scoured my toy collection for a female action figure in the right scale whose facial features had a more regal bearing and could convey the ageless look of an Aes Sedai. Unfortunately, once I found the head I wanted (White Queen from Toy Biz's Generation-X line), I couldn't find a way to make it stay on the body. I didn't want to glue it and lose the neck articulation, so I would need to fashion some kind of pin, which I was  never quite able to make work correctly. Modification 2 would have been a better color scheme. Even with the silver shawl (which I HATE), the toy was too "blue", even for an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah.

I probably would have gone with a white or cream or sky blue dress with darker blue accents. The completed figure would have had her kesiera, her staff from The Eye of the World, her angreal, and possibly, if I was able to do it justice, the twisted redstone doorframe Ter'angreal. Chances of Moiraine getting finished one day, 2:1

LOIAL: If Loial had been completed he would definitely have been my most ambitious figure. I used a Rotund San figure from an extremely obscure line of toys from the 80's called Ninja Defenders made by Select Toys. As a quick aside, I write a monthly article on forgotten 80's toys for my friend Mike D's website Cultural Compulsive Disorder (and I'm fairly knowledgable on the subject of action figures from the 80's in my own right). Well, figuring out just where the hell this toy came from originally took more research than almost any toy line I've written about over there (and gave me a topic for my next CCD article). As it is, this was the only pic of him I could find on the net.

Anyway, I say Loial would have been an ambitious figure because I really only used the toy itself for the height. At 8 inches tall, it was about a head taller than the Rand figure, and thus sufficiently in scale for the line. I then had to sculpt almost an entirely new head. The only references that existed at the time were the abyssmal depictions on the cover of The Great Hunt and in the Big Book of Bad Art so I pretty much discarded any visual refernce and went entirely by Jordan's description in the books. So I sculpted him new, larger eyes; bushy eyebrows; a huge, wide nose and mouth; big hairy ears and a shaggy head of hair. Then I had to fill in the gaps and make it all come together so it looked like an organic face and not like Mr. Potatohead with parts just stuck on willy-nilly. The results were really nice. Unfortunately, due to  ten years (and really poor care by me), most of the features I sculpted have cracked off and I can't show you the finished head. You can see the remnants of the ears, and the unpainted area of the face where the nose once was (I did a test-coat of paint to see how the features would look colored).

Loial's books

One reason Loial never got finished was that I needed to find an appopriate jacket for the toy. I thought I had what I was looking for when I found the Toys R Us exclsuive General Dwight D. Eisenhower G.I. Joe figure. It came with a great trenchcoat that, with a little alteration, would have been a great fit for the Loial figure. Unfortunately, it was beige and none of my efforts to dye it blue were anything resembling successful. Had he been completed, Loial would have been accessorized with books and a long-hafted axe. Chances of Loial getting finished one day, 10:1

LANFEAR: Lanfear, like the Moiraine figure was at one point technically finished, but again the results weren't great. She's made out of a Callisto figure again from the Xena line. I initially chose Callisto because the toy has this great evil grin which I thought was kinda neat.

Unfortunately once I pried off the blond hair and sculpted new hair and painted it black, the affect was altered somewhat and it never quite worked. That hair has since suffered the same fate as the Loial face sculpting and is now in pieces at the bottom of my unfinished figures box.

When I initially posted some of these pics back in the day and showed them to the gang on the Wheel of Time newsgroup (rasfwrj), someone pointed out that she certainly didn't resemble the most beautiful woman in the world and I realized he was right. It didn't take much searching before I also realized that a Vampirella figure would work way better as Lanfear with very little alteration. I never could get my hands on one in time though, and this figure like the others just kinda fell by the wayside.


Had I gotten ahold of Vampirella, I probably would have redone the dress too. The one I made is just a poorly sewn t-shirt, with more of that silver ribbon I seemed to love so much at the sleeves (which are absurdly wide by the way... Lanfear's dress looks more like a robe and I hate it). The belt was a bracelet of some sort. I didn't have any accessories in mind for Lanfear, but if she had been finished correctly, she wouldn't need any. Chances of Lanfear getting finished one day: 1:1 (as soon as I find a Vampirella figure for a decent amount of money, I WILL be finishing her).

BIRGITTE: Birgitte was made from a Xena "Conqueror of Nations" figure (once stripped of the various accoutrements that toy came with). As this was supposed to be Birgitte circa Lord of Chaos, I sculpted her a vest and was going to add baggy cloth trousers.

I would've then given her a braid and a bow, quiver and silver arrows and I'd have had a nice looking Birgitte figure. For one reason or another she never made it past the vest-sculpting stage though. If I were going to finish her today, I'd likely do the figure in her Captain-General's uniform. Chances of Birgitte getting finished one day: 100:1

EGWENE: Egwene would have been made from the body of a Gabrielle: Orphan of War from Xena , with the head of the Hope action figure from that same line. Unfortunately Egwene never got beyond the "I plan to use this figure" phase, probably because she was suffering from the same neck articulation issue I was having with Moiraine, however had she been completed she would have had a dress, the Amyrlin's stole and now that we're past The Gathering Storm, Vora's Sa'angreal. Chances of Egwene getting finished one day: 100:1

Beyond those five its kinda up in the air. I mean I could probably make Trollocs using various Thundercats mutants bodies forever. More Myrdraal would be even easier since they all look the same. I was also going to do at least one more Rand, a battle damaged one, missing his arm with his coat torn up, etc. Unfortunately, being a lawyer, having a girlfriend, having a social life that includes bi-yearly trips to Vegas, Friday nights at the club and summer Saturdays in the Hamptons, and really just having a life in general really doesn't leave much time for custom figure making, and barring a Mega Millions victory in the near future, I don't see that changing... except that hearing the praise of my fellow Wheel of Time fans fuels me, and the other figures were so well received I can't imagine not trying to make time to finish them up. In addition to the characters above, I would love to tackle Tuon, Lan, Galad, Gawyn and a few more Forsaken before I really wrap this project up. But until then, The Wheel Weaves As The Wheel Wills...


  1. As always, excellent post. Your vision and creativity is amazing. At some point I would like to have a discussion on the size of Trollocs.

    I thought that you said you were not going to include any spoliers for the people that are not up to date on the Wheel of Time. Oh well. Its not the first time that I heard it.

  2. The only thing I can think of that could possibly be considered a spoiler is Egwene with the stole... But keep in mind she gets it in book 6 when the rebel Aes Sedai make her Amyrlin. That was planned as an accessory since 1999 and you shouldn't read anything more into that. ;0)

  3. I would love to see a Lan figure he's always been the most badass character in the series

  4. I'm talking about Rand's hand/arm!