What got you to start customizing?
The desire to have figures that weren't produced at the time. In the late '70s I was a huge Speed Racer fan, and I remember going to toy shows hoping to see a Speed figure or a Mach 5 car. Neither were around at the time, but I didn't know that. So I made my own Speed custom from a Micronaut figure. I played with this figure for years.
For a while you were selling wonderful casts of sized down heads at your Shrunken Treasures online store. How did that head shrinking business come about?
Actually it came about from all the PMs and Emails I got with request to purchase the heads. I made my page with pics of what I had, just to help answer the "what heads do you have" question. It wasn't something I was looking to turn into a business though.
What was the hardest part about running that business?
There are several factors why I stopped selling parts. The one I'll get into here, the main one, was time- I work full time, and look to spend as much time as I can with my family. Also I found there was little time to work on my own projects. I wanted to get back to customizing things I wanted. I'm much happier now.
If someone were to try shrinking or enlarging something for a custom, what would you make sure they understood before getting started?
The biggest thing is to have all the right accessories. I think people believe it's as simple as getting the Hydro products and they're good to do. Here's a list off the top of my head of what I use . . . Pressure pot- hooked up to an air compressor with gauge. Plastic knives for mixing Plastic cups Paper towels Gram scale Plastic (to pour in your mold) Rubber (To make a mold) Disposable gloves Either shrinking or enlarging can be pretty costly.
Was there ever something you did on a custom that turned out way better than you hoped?
I think my Serpentor custom turned out better then I could have hoped for. This was a turning point for me, as it was one of the first figures I did any sculpting on. I'm still really happy with him.
You've tackled a lot of big projects from your End of Days group of customs, your Predator team, Halo customs, Iron Hide Transformer HISS, and currently the GI Joe scale Devastator Transformer. Is there any dream project that you'd love to do but time, space or money probably wouldn't allow?
I'd LOVE to make some large scale Dios- Wayne Manor with the Bat cave, a G.I. Joe Pit and even Resident Evil's Raccoon City. If I ever get a house with a basement those will be on my hit list for sure.
If you worked for Hasbro's design team which character would you want to work on first and why?
Great question. Repeater. No doubt. He didn't get a New-Sculpt version, and 25th looks doubtful too. He's my favorite Joe, and I'd love to see a new version made.
Is there any custom fodder out there that you are compelled to use, but don't feel enough customizers see the potential of using (example: Chuckles head)?
Hmmm. We've got a great community, and I think they use the most random parts out there. Road Pig is one I really like to use, but I'm not the only one for sure. I'm also a big fan of the New-Sculpt Dusty head (Seen on my Serpentor custom).
How would you define yourself as a customizer?
I'm one that's always learning. I like to think of myself as a customizer that is willing to try anything. I love learning new techniques. Right now I paint, sculpt, make castings and sew. I'd love to add to that. And I think being part of an online community really pushes people to be more creative, and it's nice to see people sharing their knowledge.
Which one figure and one vehicle would want with you if you were chosen to colonize another planet?
I'd take a blank Microman and Rolling Thunder. The blank Microman is simply the best all-round base figure, IMO. And Rolling Thunder has so many great features I don't think I'd get tired of it.