The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York reached out to Growth Mode Technologies to build a surprise action figure.
A young boy named Marshall wished for the chance to make a movie about his superhero comic book character, Marshall Man. You can read more about Marshall making his movie here.
The Foundation contacted Growth Mode Technologies with a unique request, they wanted us to build a surprise action figure for Marshall.
Allie Cornell was tasked with the project and wanted to make this as special as possible to Marshall. So she reached out to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of CNY for more details about his comic book character, and learned that he has three main powers: super-strength, flight, and the ability to throw up on command! Honestly, that’s probably a good ability to have for particularly stubborn evil-doers. They also included a few images to get a sense of how he should look.
She took all this information and put it into a Canva Whiteboard to get a better vision of what the finished figure should include. Allie designed a 12-inch action figure and a custom box, using the colors from Marshall’s original drawing.
“We found a clear collectible case that was thirteen inches tall for the box. For fabrics, I wanted them to be very textured and realistic. I went with white jersey for the shirt, orange jersey and synthetic silk with a metallic finish, and jean fabrics. I also had some scrap fabric I would use to make his shoes have a rainbow shine effect as well as on the collar of his jacket.” Said Allie.
The first order of business was to make the Superman figure look less muscular by using foam clay to sculpt his face, hair, torso, and feet. By making the head and feet bigger, She was able to achieve a more childlike appearance and was also able to make the torso more flattened and realistic.
“I struggled with the skin tone at first, the paint was oxidizing and drying darker than it was supposed to be.” Allie explained, “At first his face looked very craggy, but thankfully multiple coats of the sealant helped to smooth it out.”
Next, a t-shirt, jeans, and jacket/cape were created for him from scratch.
“The jeans, surprisingly, were the easy part. For some reason, I really struggled with his t-shirt. I think it was because he did not have much of a neck and how stretchy the jersey was. No matter how hard I tried it always looked like it didn’t fit him right.”
Eventually, she was able to figure out how to make it look better and added an embroidered ‘M’ for his symbol. Though the jacket was the most detailed part, she thought it was important to make sure it was soft jersey on one side and the other a shiny silky material.
Allie used a hoodie pattern for a Barbie doll from Chellywood and made the alterations to make it much larger. She left out the hood and chose to make it an open jacket. After cutting out two pieces of each pattern for both fabrics it was time to combine them. The shiny material on the inside made a nice liner and also gave some more interest to the jacket. I added the shiny black faux leather to the collar to match his shoes.
I added some throw-up as well since that was one of his powers. It was formed from Polymorph beads. I painted it with some Folk Art Glow in the Dark acrylic paint. Everything painted was then sealed with Mod Podge to make sure it would be safe for him to play with.
We also designed a box for the figure! Essentially, we had the help of Bellavia Signs to print off a large vinyl sticker that wrap around the 13″ box we had gotten for him.
Although this project isn’t something that we typically do at Growth Mode Technologies, this will be one of my favorites. It was a lot of fun to come into the office and make this figure by hand. It was fun for other employees here to come visit the office and see how Marshall Man was coming along. We’re so proud to know that we helped to make Marshall’s movie premier extra special. We hope Marshall is enjoying his custom Action Figure!
I wanted to make this as special as possible to Marshall, so I reached out to Make-a-Wish Foundation of CNY for more details about his comic book superhero. They told me he has three main powers, super-strength, flight, and the ability to throw up on command! Honestly, that’s probably a good ability to have for particularly stubborn evil-doers. They also sent me a few images to get a sense of how he should look.
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