Wolf Voigt Custom Figure Review


When Wolf Voigt’s custom figures started to appear and get noticed by the M.U.S.C.L.E community it was not immediately clear whether he would end up in Art 100 or Art 200.

Final Auction Screen of Purchased Figure

Final Auction Screen of Purchased Figure

Collectors often praise custom figures for two main reasons: (1) creativity; and (2) quality. Wolf Voigt’s work will be examined using those two dimensions. Wolf has produced Glow-In-The-Dark figures and figures that grow to five times their size when submerged in water. This review will focus on his figures that change color when subjected to warm water.

In an effort to better understand his work the University of M.U.S.C.L.E. purchased a color changing #153 custom figure for $8.50 from Wolf Voigt through an eBay auction. The figure arrived well packaged ensuring a safe arrival. Unfortunately, this is not always a safe assumption with eBay auctions.

Upon opening the box it was clear that an extra figure had been included, a custom #60. This figure will not be part of the review. However, pictures of the figure may be used to better represent the statements within the review.

Safely Packaged Figure

Safely Packaged Figure

Safely Packaged Figure – with bonus #60

Safely Packaged Figure – with bonus #60


Creativity
The figure that was purchased by the University of M.U.S.C.L.E. on eBay had pictures that suggested the figure changed from Purple to Magenta; however the auction stated the figure changed from “dark green to pearl white.” When the figure arrived it matched the figure in the pictures. The figure kept a dark purple color, but changed to a magenta color when exposed to hot water.

If there was a conscious decision to have a Purple #153 change into a Magenta #153, then it is a very clever idea. It takes the most desirable #153 color and pairs it with the unmade Magenta color. Wolf’s Purple color is quite dark and could even appear black without proper lighting. The Magenta is very vibrant. It is a shame that it is not the constant color because it is the more attractive of the two colors.

Wolf Voigt Custom #153

Wolf Voigt Custom #153

#153 Custom - Extra Flash

#153 Custom - Extra Flash

It is not clear that the Purple/Magenta pairing was intentional. It may have been the result of the materials that were available to purchase. It is difficult to know Wolf’s perspective because he has not shared much about his creative process or extensively interacted with the M.U.S.C.L.E. community. A collector could find a connection between Purple and Magenta, but what is the connection between “dark green” and “pearl white?”

Of course, Wolf could simply be having fun and experimenting. He has admitted that he is still learning. From this perspective his creativity can easily be admired. He is attempting different colors, “gimmicks”, and figures. As a beginner his creativity and ingenuity should be admired and respected. He has entered into an arena with few contemporaries. The greatest measure of his creativity will be seen through his longevity and continued innovation.

Quality
There are two lenses to view Wolf’s quality of product. The first lens would be the casual collector. If the purchaser of Wolf’s work simply wants to fill a shelf with a variety of figures, with unique colors and attributes, then there is no concern about the quality. The figures would look nice on a shelf and stand just as easily as any other M.U.S.C.L.E. figure.

The second perspective is more critical. This perspective might view the figures as art and/or directly compare them to authentic M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. This review will take a more critical perspective.

Upon first glance the figure looks fine. However, as soon as the figure is picked up the first noticeable flaws are felt. There is enough flashing around the seam of the figure that when it is held the figure feels sharp. The flashing also seems to chip and break away as the figure is handled. This does not reduce the sharp feel of the figure, but instead leaves plastic pieces in the areas the figure has been handled.

Custom #60 and #153

Custom #60 and #153

Flashing & Air Bubbles Example

Flashing & Air Bubbles Example

Again, Wolf admitted that he is still mastering the casting process and that air bubbles are one of his greatest challenges. This was evident when closely inspecting the figure. There are “holes” in the figure at various locations. For this particular figure the air bubbles seemed most concentrated under and alongside the “thumb” of the figure.

#153 Comparison (Custom left, M.U.S.C.L.E. right)

#153 Comparison (Custom left, M.U.S.C.L.E. right)

The end tips of the fingers also appear different from the original #153 M.U.S.C.L.E. figure. It is unclear if this is a result of the mold that was created or an imperfection in the casting. This is much more noticeable when the figure is personally held, however it is somewhat noticeable in the picture to the right. The tip of the little finger, or “pinky” finger, looks a bit indented compared to the #153 M.U.S.C.L.E. counterpart.

Thus far all of Wolf’s figures have had a “gimmick.” For the figure being reviewed it was a color change due to hot water. This color change attribute works wonderfully. It should be noted that regardless of the hot water temperature and length of exposure, it seems that the figure tends to cool relatively quickly – returning to its base color. Below are some pictures that highlight the change, plus two videos demonstrating the actual change. The first video, on the left, shows the figure changing from Purple to Magenta. The second video, on the right, shows the figure changing from Magenta to Purple.

– Note: The current videos are too dark. The videos will be updated at a later date.

Custom #153 - Before Change (Purple)

Custom #153 - Before Change (Purple)

Custom #153 - During Change 1

Custom #153 - During Change 1

Custom #153 - During Change 2

Custom #153 - During Change 2

Custom #153 - After Color Change (Magenta)

Custom #153 - After Color Change (Magenta)


Conclusion
Wolf’s figures are likely not suited for highly perfectionistic or highly critical individuals. For most collectors the tradeoff between perfect casting, price, and an interesting custom M.U.S.C.L.E. figure is well worth the compromise. The M.U.S.C.L.E. community is lucky to have Wolf Voigt offering original creations to collectors.

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  1. #1 by Wolf on January 22nd, 2010

    All in all I have to say “thank you!” for a very nice write up. I will admit that I still have a small journey ahead of me when it comes to perfecting my castings.
    The M.U.S.C.L.E community has given me the extra encouragement to continue to reach perfection in my customs and once I believe I’ve reached that point I will definately share with all of the community!
    My range of “gimmics” have reached to different heights, including:
    1. Glow in the Dark
    2. Thermochromic (color changing in hot/cold water.
    3. Hydromorph (grows in water)
    and finally…
    4. Photochromic (changes colors in sunlight)
    I can only hope one day I will reach the 200 classification and am certainly glad I’m not in the 100! 😉

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on January 22nd, 2010

    I’m glad you are happy with it.

    I hope you, or anyone else, didn’t take the use of the word “gimmick” in a negative sense. It simply seemed like the most appropriate word to encapsulate all of the current offerings. There was not a synonym for “gimmick” that seemed appropriate.

    Thanks again for being a positive influence on the M.U.S.C.L.E. community Wolf!

  3. #3 by Kevin on January 22nd, 2010

    I was very happy with Wolf’s customs. As I already have official versions of figures like the Claw, I’m not too concerned with minor flaws like air bubbles and flashing in Wolf’s figures. I enjoy the gimmicks immensely.

  4. #4 by Wolf on January 22nd, 2010

    Thanks Kevin!
    Chad, didn’t take it the wrong way at all! I’ll be working diligently to perfect the customs and keep everyone posted on any new attributes I can add to them!
    Thanks again for the review! 🙂

  5. #5 by jphat79 on January 22nd, 2010

    My favorite part about his customs are the glow in the dark green figures. it is the brightest i’ve ever seen of any toys and it lasts all night. I wake up in the middle of the night & those puppies are still glowin! love em!

  6. #6 by TGB on January 27th, 2010

    I think it is kewl that Wolf is experimenting w/ Thermochromic, Hydromorph, & Photochromic plastics! Air bubbles, flashing, seams, etc…all go w/ experience (which I am sure he will improve).

  7. #7 by Wolf on January 27th, 2010

    Thanks for the encouragement Marty! 🙂

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