Skip to main content

How to Make LED-Lit Action Figures

Bring those tired old action figures back to life with nothing but a little creativity and a few light emitting diodes.


  • : Children under 10 should not use a utility knife.
  • Step 1: Gather action figures Gather several plastic action figures. Get a variety and experiment to see which ones work best.
  • TIP: Yard sales and flea markets are great places to find inexpensive action figures.
  • Step 2: Behead them! Pop the heads off of your little plastic people, or cut them off, and use the utility knife to make the opening in their head the appropriate size for an LED.
  • Step 3: Carve the face Use a bench vise to hold the head securely. Then, carve or drill holes into the figure's face to create an expression.
  • Step 4: Put the LED in Put the LED in the head. Bend and position the leads coming from the head so that they'll make contact with the battery in the body cavity.
  • TIP: The negative lead is the one nearest the flat spot at the base of the bulb.
  • Step 5: Prepare the body Prepare the body by trimming any neck pegs that might interfere with the LED and creating a hole for the leads to enter the body. Carve out a niche for the battery in a place where the leads can make contact with it.
  • Step 6: Put it together Put the pieces together, using glue to hold them in place. Position the battery either inside or outside the body so that the negative side connects to the negative lead, and the positive side connects to the positive lead.
  • Step 7: Make more Make more light-up action figures. Position several together for a quirky, decorative scene.
  • FACT: In 2009, the 78-year-old co-founder of KB Toys auctioned a portion of his private antique toy collection worth more than $4 million.

You Will Need

  • Plastic action figures
  • Utility knife
  • Bench vise
  • CR1025 lithium batteries
  • Glue
  • Drill (optional)

Popular Categories