While many G.I. Joe fans are avid collectors of the mass-produced figures, very few are collectors of custom figures.
We set down with mutt to discuss various aspects of collecting customs.
How did you get into G.I. Joe in general?
I guess what first got me interested in G.I. Joe was the Mass Device mini series. When I saw that I was blown away by what a cool cartoon it was, then got a few of the fig's at the store and the rest is history.
How did you get into collecting custom G.I. Joe figures?
My first experience I had with custom figs was after getting on the net in around 98 or so. Not sure the exact year but somehow I stumbled on Evilfaces web site. My first thought was when in the hell did these figs ever come out. And where can I get them. After finding out that they were custom painted I tried to purchase some of them from him with no luck. I then started to check out ebay and found a few customs for sale on there and bought them. And since then I've still been buying them and have had many of the top ( IMO ) customizers doing commissions for me.
What do you look for in a custom?
Basically anything that brings a unique aspect to my collection. I like being able to add figs/characters that were never made or existed.
Do you have any favorite Joe customs?
There are a few that I like more than the others for sure. K-9 viper, Zanya, Flagg Deck crew, PDD.
Who are some of your favorite customizers?
Evilface ( the guy who started it all for me ), Livevil, Matt and Chad, Bigdaddyphil, Zombieguide, Alyosha.
Which draws you in more – the custom or the customizers?
I would have to say the custom, due to that's what is becoming apart of my collection. However I do tend to be drawn to certain customizers that I get commissions done by due to the quality of their work.
Do you prefer customs of existing characters or brand new characters?
I like both. Brand new characters are cool because there is so much out there to added to the joe universe you can literally add new characters forever. I also like repaints as long as its a totally new approach to the character ( new body parts, colors ).
Do you collect just custom figures or do you also collect vehicles?
I focus mostly on figures. But I have been dabbling in doing my own custom vech's.
Do you display your custom figures? If so, how?
Yes I do. I have a few disply cases hung up. 1 case has my convention figs and customs in it.
Do you customize?
I have done a few fig's, but have not been too happy with the results so I leave the fig's up to the pro's. I have however been doing some cust vech's using Krylon spray paint and have re ally liked how they came out.
Most collectors have rules, ie: three of every armybuilder, one of every figure, etc. With the wide range of customs and the nature of them being one of a kind pieces, do you have any rules for collection custom figures?
The only real "rule" I guess I would have is that I only collect fig's that I like. If I buy a lot off ebay and there is only 1 or 2 in the lot that I like I will resell the ones I dont like. But other than that pretty much anything goes.
Is there a particular style of figure that you prefer – ARAH, New Sculpt, 25th?
The main reason I collect customs is the ability to grow my collection and since my collection is strictly ARAH thats all I collect. I do however have a JvsC Mutt that Alyosha did for me.