LeeMarvin80 Interview

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How did you get started customizing GI Joes?

I started dabbling when I was a kid. When you have hundreds of different toys that you can take apart and mix and match the pieces, why wouldn't you make your own characters? I started taking it seriously when the 25th line came out. I began by making minor tweaks and it all escalated from there.


What custom or project are you the most proud of and why?

I don't know if pride is the right word, but I'm glad I've been able to do such a broad range of characters from all over the Joe mythology. There are so many neat nooks and crannies to GI Joe history, and my personal customizing goal has been to pull all that together into a whole.


Lee Marvin's Dirty Dozen, Harrison Ford's Force 10, or Brad Pitt's Inglorious, uh, team, who is better at taking out Nazi's?

I love the Inglorious gang, but I gotta give the nod to my Joe board namesake. The Dirty Dozen is the grandaddy of the 'men on a mission' films, and has such a brilliant cast. Looking back, it's amazing that they could have all those guys in one flick. Marvin, Borgnine, Brown, Cassavetes, Bronson, Savalas. Awesome.


What do you do for fun outside of customizing?

I love cult films, comic books and comedy podcasts. I enjoy reading, especially history, and I'm a bit of a music nerd. There's so much cool stuff out there, it's hard to find time for it all.


Who is your favorite GI Joe character?

I'll go with Destro. I like the conflicted nobleman angle. The strength of Joe is the villains really. I think the Joe gallery is one of the best in the whole comic/toy world. So many iconic characters.


How would you describe your personal style when it comes to customizing?

Because I'm trying to blend my stuff in with Hasbro's, I keep things rather clean and mainstream. However, I really admire guys who do the more realistic lived-in, battle-damaged style.


When you were first learning how to customize what is the one tip you wish somebody told you about?

That patience pays off. I think I had the tendency to rush things and make moves before I had considered all the angles. That's an easy way to ruin a piece or a paint job.


What character or property do you wish some toy company would make in 1/18 scale?

I'd love to see C.O.P.S brought back in this scale. A really detailed medieval line would be great too.


Do you have any other artistic people in your family?

My mother's side of the family has a number of talented painters. My brother is quite good with a pen. If I could draw like him, I'd never stop drawing. He's done some cool customs as well.


The Sultan of Benzheen offers you one million dollars for one of your customs, do you take the offer and what is the first toy you buy with it?

I don't have any JoeCon exclusives or International stuff so I'd probably start there. Or I could put the money towards starting my own toy company. I know where I could find a bunch of talented folks to work with me!

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