Friday, January 06, 2012

Rafm's Custom Characters line

For a couple years back in the eighties Canadian-based minis manufacturer Rafm sold the Custom Character.  Each CC pack came with a body (early on you got two!), three different heads, various weapons, shields and items and often some cool extra bits.  Here's all the images I've found scouring the internet for these guys.

Neat lantern.

This goblinoid champion wears a loincloth but no pants.
The pet rat is cool.

The guy with the boomerang has a flaming torch in his other hand.

At $2.50 a pop these guys were about twice as costly as other figures for your PC.

Back in the day my buddy Dave had at least two packs he mixed and match to make unique characters.

I think the Evil Warlord in the middle has a pet demon perched on his arm.

I love the hat and moustache on the guy with the lantern.
Baldy MacBeardo with the scroll on his pack is looking wicked as well.

Dave had this guy.  I remember the bandana around the neck and buckskin pants.
That outfit plus the Native American and Old Timey Prospector go a long way  to support my pet theory that some of these sculpts are left over from earlier historical figure lines.

Snake in basket and sundial!
Who doesn't need accessories like this?

Is that middle Female Thief holding an anarchist bomb, like from the cartoons?

Skinniest. Barrel. EVER. 
Those guys are so pissed at the wine supply being shorted they're attacking the poor thing!

That's not a shuriken, that's the frickin' Glaive from Krull!

I think there's a campfire in that last pack.  Sweet!

Those last three are from someone selling three sets for seventeen bucks apiece on eBay right now.

You can see the dwarf set over at Stunties.

Okay, now that you've seen my exhaustive presentation on this old figure line, here are my questions for the audience: Is anyone doing this sort of thing today?  If not, why not?  With better material and production methods, this concept could be implemented with five times as much coolness.  Hell, imagine using 3D printing so you can select individual parts.


  1. Being able to customize minifigures (plus the fact that we already had them from growing up) is a big reason why my gaming groups have almost always used Legos when we game face-to-face.

  2. It isn't cheap, and it's not one-at-a-time, but Games Workshop's plastic boxed sets for Warhammer are a bit like this.

    They often come with five torsos that fit whatever sort of unit you'd be building, then maybe seven heads and sets of legs, plus various arms with or without stuff in the hands.

    Some of the bigger boxed sets come with two copies of the same assortment, but you can usually pretty easily combine the two copies differently enough to end up with ten distinctive figures.

    One downside to this is that the military nature of the figures sometimes leaves them looking more like soldiers than adventurers, but there's still usually enough variation that they don't end up looking like they're really wearing uniforms.

    The bits from the various sets are fairly interchangeable too.

  3. Luke is right, the plastic figures from GW and other companies have replaced multipart metal for this sort of thing.

    If you do not need to get 10-20 guys, you can just buy the indvidual "bitz" you need on ebay, and hey presto, underworld explorers.(male, slightly stiff ones that is)

  4. GW's "Mordheim" line (which was a small, tactical-skirmish version of Warhammer Fantasy Battles set in a ruined city) had lots of little dudes with interchangeable parts and accessories.

  5. I'll be damned; those are some of my first miniatures...

  6. @Christopher:
    Since I already had a slew of castle-themed lego sets, minifigs have always been my go-to for figures. It's so easy to show them mounted as well as afoot.

  7. Man, those pictures bring back memories. They were scattered throughout an old booklet I had filled with D30 tables from the Armory.
    I had a bunch of Rafm minis back in the day, but never got my hands on one of those cool customizable ones.

  8. There is a Kickstarter project to make a line of superhero minifigs with the same mix-n-match setup with multiple arms, heads, weapons, etc. I don't know if the creators have any plans for a fantasy line afterwards, but it couldn't hurt to ask them. You can view their current project here:

    Crossover Miniatures