Welcome! You have just stumbled onto that obligatory 'about me' page that every artist has on their site. My name is John Mallamas otherwise known as that Jin Saotome guy who customizes figure. I'm in my 30s at the time of this writing and live in the middle of
I got my start in customizing by taking apart those 3 3/4" GI Joes back when I was 5 or so and painting them with my mom's fingernail polish. Hey, we all had to start somewhere. My dad's machine shop was a great place to tinker around in as well and I learned how to fabricate things. From there I snagged a job at my friend's comic store at age 16 and ended running the shop a month later. Trust me, not as easy as it sounds. That's where I learned just about everything there was to know about superheroes, gaming, and the like. After taking other jobs at sci-fi shops and hobby stores I picked up all the modeling and painting techniques that I use today. From Warhammer terrain/minis, Star Trek and Gundam model kits, vinyl kits, I built them all.
Way back when I'll admit I was pretty arrogant, thinking I could change the action figure industry with my customs. Since then I did my research into marketing, talked with the heads of the companies I once argued with, and realized it takes so many steps to get an action figure on to the shelf in the first place. Now I'm all about helping everyone and promoting the hobby of customizing rather than sensationalizing it. Through my CASE Files I help others sell their works and gain exposure on the EBay auction market. In return the proceeds from my advertisers help keep this site active so everyone can benefit from the guides and tutorials on it. It's a symbiotic relationship so thank you all for that!
Right now I'm making custom figures and holding weekly Ebay auctions for them. Commissions for magazine work comes in the form of making customs for Wizard's ToyFare and Playstation magazine. I own and operate this website and have a large gallery of my past works and guides/tutorials so you can learn the hobby of customizing figures too. When the San Diego Comic Con rolls around each year you can find me hanging around the Hasbro booth or pestering my good friend David Willis of Shortpacked!.
So there you go, a little about me. If you're looking to start customizing figures, check out my guides. If you have questions about the hobby drop me an email and I'll try to answer every one that comes in. You can also find me on the various toy forums I have listed in my Customizing Links section too. Take care and enjoy your stay here at JinCustom.com!