Sigma 6 Celebration Day 1 : The Creativity

Ever since the news broke in 2005, Sigma 6 has been a “dirty word” amongst the G.I. Joe fandom.  With a different scale, and a different style, this toyline was sure to rise the ire of old school G.I. Joe fans everywhere.  I’ve always stood behind the line, and still believe to this day that it was one of the greatest toylines that I have collected in my 27 year history of buying toys.  If “A Real American Hero” is tops on the list, I would say that Sigma 6 may even come in second.

That all being said, with Toy Fair a few months ago, it had been four years since Sigma 6 was first “launched” at the familiar location in New York City.  There were mixed emotions (well, not all that mixed, most of the reaction was abject hatred), and I’m hoping as we look backwards, we can appreciate the line for what it was at the time, and enjoy some content from the Sigma 6 days.  Most of it has probably been seen somewhere, but I’m hoping collecting this all in one place might inspire some Sigma 6 fans to “come out of the closet” if you will.  Each day will provide a different look at Sigma 6, and I’m hoping even the folks who weren’t fans of the property will still reap the benefits of this celebration and just enjoy some of the aspects of the line, even if it wasn’t your favorite scale or style.

For the first day, I want to focus on the Sigma 6 community, and the amazing creativity that went along with that.  Even for such a short-lived toyline and cartoon series, it seemed to inspire a lot of fans to do customs, dioramas, general picture taking, and even crafting entire universes based on these 8″ action figures.  For this first post, I’d like to focus on some of the folks who really took their love of Sigma 6 to the next level and produced some amazing customs and crafted some great stories for these characters.  Please keep in mind there is so much terrific work in the Sigma 6 style that I cannot possibly hope to cover it all.  I’m just providing a sampling of some folks, and please don’t think that if I don’t include you here that you haven’t provided a service to the community, I just wanted to do a general overlook of some of the creative energy that Sigma 6 spawned during it’s short, but sweet lifetime.

Whether it’s straight up photography, dio-stories, or amazing customizing, the Sigma 6 community has done it all, especially for a toyline that never really hit its stride.  I want to take this chance to showcase some of the impressive work by fellow members of this small fraternity.  Whether you like the Sigma stuff or not, certainly any Joe fan can appreciate the creativity behind some of this stuff.  Click the link below to read the full article.


Dio-Stories were few and far between in the Sigma world, but a few do spring to mind:


I’m not sure if it’s the 8″ scale or the style of the figures, but for whatever reason photography in the Sigma scale just looks impressive.  Of course, it helps when the picture-takers have some serious skills, which is the case for these two guys.


He didn’t pop into the forums much, but when he did, he made a splash.  Using a customized Space Shuttle Defiant crawler as a backdrop, he took some amazing pictures of the Sigma figures, and managed to convey countless emotions with just a single click.  This is a small sampling of his stuff, and more of it can be found at his site here.


A Sigma 6 mainstay, Monte has been a faithful participant in the Sigma 6 Central forums for a long, long time, and expresses his enjoyment with the figures by taking fantastic outside pictures in beautiful geographic settings.  He does some basic customizing, comes up with great new characters, and then takes pictures in gorgeous woodland settings.  Sometimes pensive, sometimes action-packed, his pictures always speak more than 1000 words.  His site is here, and a small sampling is below as well.


While not really in the realm of photography, this doesn’t really belong in “customs” either, so I’m kind of leaving it in between.  CustomCreator from the Sigma 6 Central forums is sort of a latecomer to the Sigma 6 game, but he’s making quite the splash!  He’s creating a fantastic looking Sigma 6 scale diorama set with amazing detail work involved.  He has been paintakingly updating everyone via this thread on S6C, and has also allowed me to showcase his “in progress” pictures as part of the Celebration.  Absolutely mind-blowing work.


There was a point in my collecting life when I was a pretty serious customizer, and actually created my first website for the sole purpose of showcasing my customs.  Well, my focus has migrated over the past ten years, but I can still appreciate great customs and great customizers when I see them.  I’m consistently amazed with what I see from the Sigma 6 fandom when it comes to customizing.  Just thinking about the money it costs to buy “custom fodder” it is really incredible to see so many people who can churn out so many of these pieces of art.  In alphabetical order, these are some of the folks who are pretty well-known (or just caught my eye) in the Sigma 6 customizing field.  This is no indication of anyone’s skill or dedication, just a sampling of what I could find going over the Sigma archives.


One of the early adopters of the Sigma 6 figures, he started customizing right off the bat, and never really stopped!  A regular member at Sigma 6 Central, he’s now a forum moderator and his library of customs is impressive to say the least.  Below is a very small sampling of what he has done.  It is something to be proud of.


He wasn’t necessarily a regular poster at Sigma 6 Central, but every time he posted a custom, folks took notice.  Most well known for his Marvel Universe related stuff, everything he did was fantastic.


The infamous Jin Saotome of Jin’s Dangerous Toys is a veritable legend in the customizing community.  Altering everything from Transformers to video games to Marvel Super Heroes, Jin took a pretty strong interest in Sigma 6 and turned out some absolutely beautiful work.  Intricate paint apps, flawless sculpting, and even integrating lighting into the figures, he took 8″ of plastic and made it an art form.


Yet another one of the Sigma 6 early adopters, MaxPower really started to shine as a customizer once he started integrating the Final Fantasy figures into his repitoire.  Unbelievably, I don’t think he did much custom work before Sigma 6, yet his minor sculpting, production-level paint applications, and choices of base figures make for some of my favorite custom work out there.  He managed to almost flawlessly fill out the Sigma 6 cast of characters with some much-needed females, correctly colored COBRA Troopers, and the familiar Dreadnoks.  I don’t think I’ve seen a MaxPower custom that I haven’t liked.


Not only is MacGyver a diehard Sigma 6 fan, but she also does some great customs as well, and may have the distinction of being one of the few female Sigma 6 customizers around (if not the only one!).  Her work is clearly Real American Hero inspired, but always with a nice Sigma 6 flair, and she has built a reputation on creating (and consistently improving on) Sigma 6 Scarlett customs, as well as her infamous Indiana Jones related work.  Her own customs page can be found here, and I also posted some images below.


Another very early adopter to the Sigma 6 mantra, Mysterious Stranger was one of the very first fans to jump into the customizing realm, and did it very well.  Starting off with minor part swapping and color alterations, he moved quickly to sculpting, and much more extensive work, just a small sample of which can be found below.  He grew leaps and bounds as he perfected his technique, and there’s a lot to love with his customizing skills.


A comrade of the aforementioned Monte Williams, Prowl-Ar has crafted an entire fantasy-based universe from his Sigma 6 customs, and its a universe I am fascinated with.  Utilizing bright, vibrant colors and crisp paint applications, Prowl-Ar gets some amazing mileage out of the Sigma tooling and has some really, really impressive work.


While swampmojo has been AWOL from the Sigma forums and the Sigma universe for a long time, back in the day he was quite the prolific customizer with a wealth of figures, many of them based on vintage style.


While his volume of work isn’t quite what folks like gawd6sic6 and Mysterious Stranger have produced, the intricacies of the universe that tammer has come up with is something to behold.  His customizing skills perfectly compliment his story-writing ability and come together to bring us some really nice looking figures that blend into an equally nice futuristic world.


Vanishing Point is probably the most prolific Sigma 6 customizer still churning out customs today.  He continues to raise the bar in his work on the Original 13 cast of characters as well as a broad range of new characters, familiar classics, and great new concepts utilizing the vintage style.  From simple paint swaps to significant sculpting and accessory modification, Vanishing Point has created a vast library of great work, and believe it or not, all of it isn’t even shown below.

Of course, this is merely a sampling of the creative genius that is out there for Sigma 6, which amazes me, considering it was such a short-lived toyline.  In fact, there seems to be such a love for the line that folks continue to spend hours on customs, or even hours on just organizing customs!  CustomCreator over on the Sigma 6 Central forums went way above and beyond the call of duty by breaking down every custom ever posted there into a character-by-character index!  Check out his awesome work right here, and you’ll see so many great customizers that I just couldn’t possibly fit them all in this one post.

It consistently amazes me at the vast creativity of G.I. Joe fans, even with such a short lived toyline as Sigma 6.  Customizing, photography, and general collecting practices really show the impact that even the smallest toyline can have on collectors’ lives.  Trust me, not all entries into this Sigma 6 celebration will be this long, but I wanted to start off with a bang.  Check back tomorrow with the next installment:  Sigma 6 – The Artwork!


DAY 5 – SEASON 1 (Part 1) | DAY 5 – SEASON 1 (Part 2) | DAY 6 – SEASON 2 (Part 1) | DAY 6 – SEASON 2 (Part 2)

  • Nas

    Bang indeed! How am I supposed to get any work done? Ha! Nice, and I’m looking forward to perusing all the photos and dio-stories. Really a great kick-off, sir. It kinda makes me glad, though, that Sigma-6 stuff isn’t really available anymore, because I just don’t have the money, but my interest certainly is piqued. I had no idea…

  • Thanks for the shout-out, man.

    Wow. It’s humbling to see all the work people put into this series. I somehow hadn’t seen many of those customs before; fantastic work.

    I can’t imagine how long it took you to put this all together, but it’s fantastic.

    I’m looking forward to more!

  • Carlos

    Awesome Works of Art!
    Great start to the celebration!
    Amazing seeing all these.

  • Thanks for adding my stuff in. I hope to have a more in depth blog as soon as it’s complete…. lol

  • Thanks for the recognition. With out the community itself I’d be talking to an empty auditorium

    that being said I’m not done till I run outta parts, I run outta breath or I recreate that WW3 cover


  • MacGyver

    Wow…I was really humbled…and, yeah, stoked…to see my work featured here, what with so many others to choose from…and alongside the ones featured! Thanks for the work you put into this…I can’t wait to see what else you’ve got planned!

  • Thanks for the recognition, thanks for all the great support from the community, otherwise I’d just be talking to an empty auditorium.

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  • Templar

    WOW! I’m just floored by everyone’s creativity & photography!! I’m no purist or completist in any collector’s sense – but I did love and appreciate the uniqueness of the Sigma 6 line – I had no problems whatsoever with the scale & sculpt of the figures. Just like most peeps in the Sigma 6 community, we simply take the toys as they are – and some of the more talented among us take them even further as evidenced by the amazing custom work above……..Man, JIN’s Solid Snake really kills me!! But really, GREAT JOB everyone – and thanks for posting this celebration for us to say that we are Sigma 6ers LOUD & PROUD !!!! Cheers!

  • Awesome work putting all that together! I will agree that this line was one of the best ever put out, and go a step further and say without a doubt it was the most under-appreciated and most durable G.I. Joe-related line ever. It’s still a major main-stay in my home of four kids.

    A note about the customizing: Besides the awesome work done by the many talented people in the aforementioned pictures, the sigma line was very easy to customize, even for kids. My son would come up to me countless times to show me his new “custom” which usually consisted of Tunnel Rat’s webgear stretched onto one of his various Duke figures with an assortment of misc weaponry. The Sigma 6 central site was so helpful in helping newbies at customizing (like myself) learn a few of the ways to change your figure. It was only after many months of watching the rest of the posters showing their work before I ever dared do my own “boil-n-pop” swicheroo.

    Can’t wait to read the rest of the celebration topics.

  • Prowl-Ar

    … … words seem to be failing me. To be mentioned, say in a large list of the customizers out there is one thing. But to actually be in a list with some of the best out there … Wow, just WOW!

    Oh and “crisp paint applications” LOL. my painting skills are very lacking. It’s my skill with an exacto knife, cutting and scraping the excess paint of before adding the clear coat, that I excel at.

    Wow, thank you.