MANILA – The Filipino toymaker who creates action figures out of recycled flip-flops has made headlines anew.
This time, Elmer Padilla teamed up with toy designer Jerry Santos as they came up with action figures of Gandarra, Kweenie, and Rapiddo, the lead characters in the upcoming film “The Revenger Squad.”
Vice Ganda, who plays Gandarra in the MMFF entry, shared photos of the action figures on his official Facebook page.
He also gamely posed with Padilla and Santos.
“They were also the ones who made ‘The Hulk’ toy, which was acknowledged by Mark Ruffalo,” the comedian wrote in the caption.
Padilla first shot to fame when a photo of him selling his self-produced toys on the streets of Imus, Cavite went viral online.
It was due to extreme poverty that Padilla taught himself how to make toys from discarded materials at the age of 9.
He said his family used most of their income for necessities, which was why he decided to create his own toys out of the discarded slippers he found on the streets of his hometown.
Padilla worked as a pedicab driver and a part-time fisherman in Catbalogan, Samar before relocating his family in Manila.
He dreamed of getting a job as a construction worker but he didn’t have the documents needed, as well as the money for transportation from Cavite.
On the day he ran out of cash to buy food for his family, Padilla decided to make his hobby into a business.
Today, he still struggles to make ends meet for his two small daughters and his wife.
But Padilla said that he likes to believe that he is a modern-day superhero trying to do extraordinary things and working hard to save his family in his own little ways.