I LOVE TOYS! Collecting them, customizing them, creating them, and sometimes even playing with them! I love that "new toy smell" when you first crack open the plastic bubble. Sounds weird, huh?
The thing is, I know I'm not alone out there... In fact in the last ten years, the whole toy industry shifted it's demographics to include not only the intended "4 and up" group, but also the adult collector. Manufacturers like McFarlane blew the top off the 'biz and set a whole new benchmark. Other companies came along to keep up with the fledgling new upstart and the rest is history! That's kinda' where I got the bug.
I've been collecting, customizing and sculpting toys since I can remember and have been lucky enough to actually get a few important gigs professionally. I've hooked up with the likes of ToyFare working on their Twisted Mego Theater and had a blast doing over a dozen custom figures for them. I've been commissioned to do one-of-a-kind custom collector action figures and some early Superman kits I did are actually on display at the Superman Museum in Metropolis, Illinois! What a ride it's been!!
The way I got started is the way alot of artists do: a desire to make what isn't and improve what is. Fortunately, I had supportive parents who nurtured my artistic nature (something sadly lacking in schools and homes today) and filled my room with as many books on art and anatomy as would fit. Though I have no formal training, years of study, failure and even some successes have taught me more than I could have ever hoped. Tenacity also helped a little!
One day a friend of mine saw one of my "custom sculptures" and ribbed me for never making molds of anything I did. Often, original sculptures were sold at Sci-Fi consignment shops for under $25! Shortly after his intervention I entered a new phase of art including RTV rubber molding and pre-polymer resin... I was in heaven!!!
After a little work and a lot of luck, I entered the "garage kit industry"! This direction still makes me shudder today. Like Star Wars' Mos Eisley Spaceport, it proved to be a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Don't get me wrong, there are good people in the industry but usually (as in the case of Randy Bowen, Shawn Nagle, Thomas Kuntz, etc.) the good guys strive to get out and enter legitimate markets.
Somewhere along the line, the right people saw my stuff and thought it was good enough to take a chance with. I started doing limited edition licensed statues and continued to do personal projects that I wanted to see on the shelves. I've done numerous 12" prototype figure sculpts and more 1:6 scale figure heads than I know what to do with but WHAT A BLAST! In the words of a dear friend and early inspiration, Bill Merklien, "...how wonderful for guys like us to do what we love and for some fool to pay us for it." This statement stuck in my head since I read his letter over 15 years ago. I have a unique perspective on those words, because I have been both a sculptor and the "fool". Enjoyment has no price and some of the best things in life are marked "Made In China"!
I hope you all enjoy this website and tell your friends about it. I welcome any questions you have and will try to answer as many emails as possible. Inquiries on custom sculptures and sction figures are always welcomed and any input is appreciated! Keep watching for new additions and try to check back in between jaunts to your local Target, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us. Maybe, I'll even see you there!
"Love & Peace",