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LEGO customizer Phoenix Customs review

by admin on November 23, 2015

in Other Customizers

Just a few years ago there were only a couple of LEGO customizers who were able to offer custom minifigures with professional quality pad-printing. While their designs may have been beautiful, smaller customizers had to resort to either stickers or waterslide decals. However with the advancement and wider availability of printing options, now smaller LEGO customizers can take advantage of pad-printing as well. Which means more professional quality custom LEGO minifigures for LEGO fans. 🙂

LEGO Customizer Phoenix Customs

Adam Sansale, the owner and designer of Phoenix Customs LLC, was first introduced to LEGO customizing through EuroBricks.com (username: DarkKnight7). He learned to make his own decals, and later started his own LEGO customizing company. His focus has been on professionally pad-printed minifigures based on movies, comics and video-games, and he plans on getting involved in military themes and unique collector lines.

LEGO Customizer Phoenix Customs Review

Adam has been also designing and printing minifigures for other companies like GI Brick’s Insurgent and CIA Operative 2.0, and WW2 minifigures for BrickArms.com. Hee also worked with others like BrickWarriors.com to create custom accessories for minifigures, and hopes to do more in the future. This is great for those who just want to customize and upgrade their own minifigs with special accessories.

LEGO Customizer Phoenix Customs Minifigures Details

Although Phoenix Customs has been around for only a couple of years, it already gathered a pretty strong following amongst LEGO fans – especially through Flickr, where Adam shares his minifigures as well as future ideas. Starting out with just two designs, with the goal of about twenty by the end of 2015, and the potential for expanding even more over time.

LEGO Customizer Phoenix Customs Minifigures Lineup

I had a chance to personally check out four of Adam’s minifigures, and their quality is very impressive. The designs fit with LEGO’s own style, and the colors match LEGO’s colors. Metallic colors are also used on some of the minifigures. I’m particularly impressed with the light colors on darker background; there is no bleed-through of the darker colors. The printing is also very precise; no off printing, bleeding, or any other imperfections that I could find. Really excellent quality.

LEGO Customizer Phoenix Customs Minifigures

Of course the details depend on the particular minifigure, but most of them are printed on the front and back of the torso, and the front of the legs. Some of the minifigures are printed on the arms as well. The face design is also custom printed, and match LEGO’s style. Some of the minifigs come with accessories like custom capes and weapons.

LEGO Customizer Phoenix Customs Minifigure 1

As far as durability, you can play with these minifigures the same way as any LEGO minifigs – they can handle it just fine. Or if you are a collector you can add them to your display. Speaking about display, all of the minifigures come in a ziplock bag with their own nicely printed card. They make a great background for the minifigs and should appeal to collectors.

LEGO Customizer Phoenix Customs Minifigure 3

While all of the minifigures are highly detailed, some of them are truly spectacular: The Arachnid Hero with gorgeous printing all over, the Cold War Assassin with a printed chrome left arm, and the Pirate Assassin with a beautiful color combination, are my favorites from the current lineup.

LEGO Customizer Phoenix Customs Minifigure 6

As far as prices, Phoenix Customs is on the high side. Most custom minifigures with the same kind of quality and detail are usually in the $20-$25 range, while Phoenix Customs’ are $25-$40. I’m guessing this has to do with the company still being small, and should improve as they get bigger and can get better pricing on blank minifigs, printing equipment, etc. However even now Adam regularly offers a special pre-production price to his most loyal customers – usually up to $10 cheaper than the regular price – to help raise funds for new prints. This brings the prices more in line with other LEGO customizers.

LEGO Customizer Phoenix Customs Minifigure 4

It is a good idea to follow Phoenix Customs on flickr to get updates on new releases, and get alerted about special discounts. Adam is also active on FaceBook, and plans to start an Instagram and Twitter account sometime next year. And of course you can also visit the official website and shop at PhoenixCustomBricks.com.

LEGO Customizer Phoenix Customs Super Heroes

Phoenix Customs is based in the USA, but will ship internationally. Shipping is a flat fee for both domestic and international orders. Shipping fees are reasonable. Phoenix Customs also have resellers in England, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and Singapore. For international customers contacting the closest reseller may be a better option. You can check the Phoenix Customs website for more details.

LEGO Customizer Phoenix Customs Packaging

All in all, the design, durability, attention to detail, and packaging of Phoenix Customs is in line with the best known LEGO customizers, and in some ways exceeds even LEGO’s own printing quality. I don’t think you would be disappointed with any of their minifigures. Prices are high, but you can look out for special offers, and also know that your money goes towards not just buying a unique minifigure, but also supporting a LEGO artist who is doing excellent work.

I hope this review helps in introducing you to another great LEGO customizer. If you have any questions about Phoenix Customs, feel free to ask in the comment section below. I will make sure Adam sees your questions and answers them for you. 🙂

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

jabber-baby-wocky November 23, 2015 at 12:18 PM

That printed chrome arm must be a first! Looks great! I hope they will add more designs, because they definitely look good.

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admin November 23, 2015 at 1:59 PM

Yeah, I hope so too. I’m not a huge super heroes collector, but I would be interested in his military minifigs and own lines. The quality of the printing is excellent.

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Narrator_Bob November 23, 2015 at 4:37 PM

That Gambit minifig looks spectacular! For non superhero fans, he’s the one they call kinetic man on their website. If they’re calling him kinetic man, does that mean that it’s a copyright violation? I notice that none of them are called their actual names. Also, do they make their own minifigs to print on, or are those made by Lego? Normally, I’m really opposed to Lego customization, but I might just by that gambit if it’s actual Lego that’s been printed on.

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admin November 23, 2015 at 7:32 PM

Yes, the printing is done on standard LEGO minifigure parts, just like all LEGO customizers do. I have Gambit myself, and I just checked to make sure all the LEGO logos are there.

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TheBrickLot November 24, 2015 at 3:19 PM

Are they pad printed? Also Admin do you have to be part of the LEGO affiliate program to get free sets to review? I e-mailed LEGO, but they just gave my credentials to a different department. Also how many visits a day do you think you need before they would consider sending you sets?

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admin November 24, 2015 at 4:08 PM

Yes, they use pad printing and digital printing.

The affiliate program doesn’t provide sets for review or contests. For that you need to become accepted as an RLUG (Recognized LEGO User Group). Keep in mind that LUGs are for AFOLs only and you need to be at least 18 years old. Also, to be supported by LEGO there are very strict rules to follow, including not posting any leaked images with a confidentiality mark on your website. 😉

As far as traffic, they started talking to us when we had about a half a million pageviews per month, and about 10,000 visits a day. We had to meet the requirements, follow the rules, keep in touch with LEGO on a regular basis, and do all the duties expected of an RLUG. (I’m the ambassador for TBB, with William as my backup.)

Since you are not 18 yet and can’t form an RLUG, and your website is very new, I would suggest that you try to team up with someone. For example EuroBricks and BrickSet both have official reviewers. If you are a good writer and your reviews are especially excellent, they may take you on their core review team and allow you to review some of the sets on their behalf (which usually means you can keep the set). There is a lot of competition for these positions, so keep that in mind.

If you prefer video reviews, you can continue refining your skills and post your own videos. Once you have a good number of videos and subscribers, you may reach out to other channels like the BrickShow or BrickQueen to see if they would be interested to work with you. At some point the BrickShow was also looking for good writers for a paid position – I don’t know if that’s still the case though.

You might also consider other creative methods. For example both William and I often buy sets just for review even if we are not planning to keep them, then sell then on eBay or BrickLink. This way there is no money out of our pocket, but we can still do a hands-on review. Many well established reviewers do this, including JANGBRiCKS and BrickQueen. They prefer to have no support from LEGO because they don’t want to feel restricted by them.

Being an RLUG is important to me because I focus on the community aspect of the LEGO hobby, rather than news and such. Having direct access to LEGO allows me to offer the best support to our readers. Others prefer to focus on news, or review even unreleased sets obtained on the “black-market” so they prefer to stay independent. There are plusses and minuses for each approach. 🙂

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TheBrickLot November 24, 2015 at 4:25 PM

Ok thanks, yet another thing to wait two years for. I’ll put that on the list. lol 😀

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admin November 24, 2015 at 4:44 PM

That’s actually not a bad thing. It gives you time to really build up your presence and be able to demonstrate to LEGO that you offer value to them and the LEGO fan community. That’s what they are looking for. 🙂

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