DIY Light-Up DC Teekeez Figures

By Amanda Barker

With summer on the horizon, it's the perfect time to create your own Light-Up DC Teekeez!  These glowing collectibles are the ideal decorations to give those warm nights a tropical, fun vibe! You can watch the tutorial video, but also remember to read the full directions below. As always, remember to be safe!

 

This is a simple construction project, but it does use a power tool, so please wear eye protection and read the instructions for your specific power tool.

This project adds glowing (flickering) eyes to Cryptozoic's line of DC Teekeez figures. The parts list includes red flickering eyes via pre-wired LEDs**, but other colors are available as well and are shown in the alternate parts list. Please read all instructions before beginning.

 

 

Preparing the DC Teekeez figure 

  1. Put the figure into a vise with soft jaws (or put a towel into a vise with hard jaws before putting the figure into it). This is for safety reasons. DO NOT HOLD THE DC TEEKEEZ FIGURE IN YOUR HAND WHILE YOU USE THE DRILL!!!
  2. Locate the center of the eyes on the front of the figure and use the sharp tip of the 1/8" drill bit to mark carefully the center of each eye. Make sure an imaginary line drawn between the two marks is level.
  3. Put the 1/8" drill bit in the drill and drill through the two holes you marked in the previous step. Be careful to drill straight into the figure and not at an angle. If your bit is long enough, drill straight through and out the back.
  4. If your bit wasn't long enough to reach through the back, turn the figure around and drill two more holes with the 1/8" drill bit. These holes are a bit difficult to locate. Your goal is to create a matching pair of holes on the back side.
  5. Enlarge the back holes only using the 3/16" drill bit. Do NOT drill through to the front! The back holes need to be larger than the holes in front because the backs of the LEDs are larger than the fronts.
  6. Use the 1/8" bit (without the drill) to clean out the holes. Often there will be some plastic pieces left in the path from the front to the back holes. This material can prevent the LEDs from being installed properly.

 

 

Preparing the LEDs

  1. Make sure the AC Adapter is NOT plugged in to the prewired Jack or the wall outlet. Make sure that if you use an AC Adapter with variable voltage, the voltage is set to 9V DC or 6V DC.
  2. Strip the wires on the two LEDs and the prewired Jack so that 1/3" of wire is bare. You can use the wire strippers listed in the tools section or, if you are very careful, a small pair of scissors.
  3. Twist the bare portion of the three black wires (1 from each LED and 1 from the Jack) together and wrap them tightly with 1/2" of vinyl electrical tape. There should be no bare wire showing after you have wrapped them. Make sure the electrical tape overlaps the unstripped insulation of the wires by 1/4" or more.
  4. Twist the bare portion of the three red wires (1 from each LED and 1 from the Jack) together and wrap them tightly with 1/2" of vinyl electrical tape. There should be no bare wire showing after you have wrapped them. Make sure the electrical tape overlaps the unstripped insulation of the wires by 1/4" or more.
  5. Put the taped sections of wire from steps 3 and 4 next to each other and wrap with 1/2" of vinyl electrical tape.
  6. Test the LEDs: Plug the AC adapter's 2.1mm plug into the prewired Jack and then plug the AC adapter into the wall socket. The two LEDs should be on and should be flickering.
  7. Unplug the AC Adapter from the wall.
  8. Wait for the LEDs to go dark. This ensures the AC adapter and LEDs are fully drained of energy.

 

Installing the LEDs

  1. You need to gently push the LEDs one at a time through the larger hole in the back of the figure until the LED seats firmly in the small hole at the front of the figure. This is the hardest part of the project. Since the DC Teekeez figure is hollow, the wire may bend a bit, making it difficult to line up the LEDs properly. You just have to keep trying until they are both seated. If you are unable to seat them, try enlarging the front holes by drilling out just a little bit using the 1/8" drill bit.
  2. Once both LEDs are seated, you can can keep them in place with a little bit of clear tape by taping down the wires to the back to the figure's body. Or you can use 2-part epoxy to do the same thing. If you use 2-part epoxy, you can also put a tiny drop of epoxy (using a tiny drop of epoxy on the tip of a toothpick) at the intersection of the front holes and the side of each LED.
  3. You can cut out pieces of white paper the shape of the eye outlines and put them over the LEDs. The paper will act as a diffuser if you find that the LEDs are too intense.

 

Options for powering the LEDs

  1. AC Adapter. The nominal voltage required by the LEDs is 9V, but that voltage is going to produce a very intense light. You might want to use 6V instead. There are a variety of AC adapters available. Make sure they are "center positive" and that the plug has an inner dimension of 2.1mm and an outer dimension of 5mm.
  2. USB Cable. You can use a USB cable that has a 5mm/2.1mm plug on one end. The cable can be plugged into any USB port that supports charging, like the USB port of your computer. A compatible cable is listed under "Alternate Parts".
  3. Battery Holder. You can get a 9v battery clip that has a 5mm/2.1mm plug on the other end. There is one listed under "Alternate Parts."

 

 

Parts List

QTY / Item / Source

1    DC Teekeez figure       Cryptozoic Entertainment

2*   Prewired flickering LEDs (red)    https://www.ebay.com/itm/223105176602

1    Prewired 2.1mm x 5mm Jack    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CUKHN0S

1    AC Adapter (Multi-voltage)        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N2K48HR

 

 

Tools

QTY / Item / Source

1    Drill (we suggest using a lightweight battery-powered drill)

1    Drill Bit 1/8"

1    Drill Bit 3/16"

1    Roll of vinyl electrical tape        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001B19JLS    or your local hardware store

1    Wire stripper tool (optional)        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004WLJX   or your local hardware store

1    2-part epoxy (optional)        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001Z3C3AG   or your local hardware store

 

 

Alternate Parts

QTY / Item / Source

2*    Prewired flickering LEDs (yellow)    https://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-3mm-Yellow-Flickering-LEDs-Pre-Wired-9v-11v...

2*    Prewired flickering LEDs (blue)        https://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-3mm-Blue-Flickering-LEDs-Pre-Wired-9v-11v-C...

2*    Prewired flickering LEDs (orange)    https://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-3mm-Orange-Flickering-LEDs-Pre-Wired-9v-11v...

1    AC Adapter (9VDC)    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003XZSZWO

1    AC Adapter (6VDC)        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009SNJ0NS

1    USB to 5mm connector        https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X9SFSFS

1    9V Battery clip to 5mm connector    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AXIEDX8

 

 

*These come in a package of 10. You will need 2 of the 10 for this project.

 

**The LEDs are rated 9-11 Volts and have a diameter of 3mm. They are commonly available as solid on, blinking, and flickering.

 

 

DO NOT HOLD THE TEEKEEZ IN YOUR HAND WHILE YOU USE THE DRILL!!!

DO NOT HOLD THE TEEKEEZ IN YOUR HAND WHILE YOU USE THE DRILL!!!

DO NOT HOLD THE TEEKEEZ IN YOUR HAND WHILE YOU USE THE DRILL!!!

 

AmandaBarker's picture Amanda Barker

Amanda is an Associate Product Manager at Cryptozoic.  She loves comics, art, Star Wars, and westerns!  When she's not drawing or playing DnD, she likes to hang out at a local comic/game shop and get caught up on nerd news.  She also loves any chance she gets to add to her abundant Catwoman collection!