TR1ER Interview

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You may know him as Marauder Ruben on Facebook in groups like the Marauder Task Force fan page or his Keep It 100 customizing group page or on Instagram as @marauder.ruben, but on JoeCustoms, he was going by TR1ER long before all that. bucky sent "one of the OG's of Joecustoms" some questions to see what makes him tic.


What does Tr1er stand for/meaning?

Well that's the million dollar question, I really don't know what that means? Lol jk. Many many moons ago when I was a young child in streets of Chicago, I used to be into graffiti and my tag name was Tagster. So as those who are in the graffiti world know, you would shorten your name for quick tags on the bus, train, walls etc. Hence TR so to claim ownership on your initials you would put a one in there. That would claim ownership that you are the only one to use those letters. So it's Tr- Oner then I just went with TR1ER. So that name has stuck with me for 30 years and for some reason I can't seam to shake it lol.

You are very active on Facebook, promoting customizing on various pages, including the popular "Keep it 100". What are some of the differences, good and bad between the use of forums and Facebook that you have discovered?

Well unfortunately it's sad to say but I believe many will agree with this, FB has changed the way we view things. In this day and age of the internet and technology. You are forced to change and keep up with the times.

We have become a gotta have it now generation. So with FB it's right there in your hand instant gratification.

You post or someone else post and bam instant notification. Plus I believe with FB, you get wider audience than you do with forums. You get people from all over the hobby spectrum. FB has just been my go to for years. But I still lurk on the forums and don't forget my start here in JC. This is where I learned and got my introduction to the customizing world.

You started Keep it 100, what was your goal with it and where do you want to take it in the future?

You know FB is plagued with so much drama and negativity. I got really sick and tired of all the BS out there in FB groups. So I figured you know what screw it, I'll just make my own group a drama free no [Buy/Sale/Trade] group, free of all the bs that was going on out there.

That's where the name Keep it 100 came from. To keep it real, no drama, no fuss. A page where people from all over can come and post, talk and enjoy our great hobby. No BST because I get tired of looking at that crap in group pages. Just want to look at customs and enjoy that aspect of it.

I had no idea that the group would take off the way that it did. In my mind I figured eh 10-15 members good enough for me, but 1k later it blew up. I can't take all of the credit for the success of the group. Without the strong admin team and wonderful members that we have, we probably would not be as successful as we are today and we hope it goes on for years more to come.

It really is the people's group. They are the ones posting and keeping it as active as it is today. So if you are a member, I just want to say thank you very much, for taking the time to stop by much love!

Your Camo technique is crazy good, and seems to get better every year. Is there a technique you have that is unique? Is there a pattern you haven't done yet that you want to try out?

Thank you. I have not been as active as of late as far as painting goes due to my work schedule and working on Marauder projects and such. I feel that my style is ok. I feel that I could try and get better with it. But there are others out there now that are killing the camo game.

The only technique that I feel that I have that was unique was my digital camo, a pattern that required me to use a sponge to achieve the pattern that I wanted.

As far as patterns I have not tried yet? Well there are too many to name and not enough time for me to do them.

You are instrumental in helping showcase all the wonderful things that can be accomplished with MTF figures. Can you tell us how your partnership came about, and how it's grown over the years?

Well MJ tells that story much better than I do, you should hear his version of how we met at Joe Con. He goes on to say and in street voice "Yo dawg you should make a saw!" It was my idea for the saw and he got it made. Since then, it has blossomed to what it is today. I've been his biggest backer and supporter since the beginning and I'm very proud of him and honored to be part of this till this day. We are like Chuck D and Flavor Flav, Batman and Robin , Abbot and Costello, Bert and Ernie.

Do you have a to do list of custom's that you work off of, or do you just knock them out as they come to mind? Especially with the MTF, are these planned or spontaneous?

Actually I do not have a list that I work off of per say. The ideas that I come up with are pretty much spontaneous or inspired by movies, current events, and by other customizers. I feed off of that the community keeps me going and makes me want to go on to the next one.

But for the most part, most of my work has been commissioned work, so it's other people ideas, but I have great clients and pretty much let me have artistic freedom for their commissions.

As far as the MTF ones go, I really love making and showing the many options that the MTF figures can accomplish. You can make new MTF versions of current figures but still staying somewhat true to the original figures. A lot of them are planned but most just kinda happen while just looking at parts or other figures.

What designs/patterns/colors have you helped push for MTF, and what was the hardest pitch to get through?

The paints for urban, desert, security ops just to name a few. The popular OG inspired Range Ops colors, we should have done that from the beginning lol. I'm just glad that happened as the range ops is my favorite. Paints for the weapons and some other items. Always wanted a heavy gunner and Mask for my Gravediggers.

Hardest pitch would have to be the green and yellow paint pattern. It's MJ's favorite.

Oh lord, the list is huge trying to convince MJ is half the battle. After all, this is his baby.

What accessories do you personally want to see in the future for MTF?

Not to sound like a spoiled brat or anything but so far every thing I want is being made. For example Exo suits and many other items I can not speak of at the moment.

What do you do with all those customs you make lol?

Believe it or not I never really get to keep them. I have a few but they mostly have been all sold. I don't know why but people buy them for some reason. And for that I thank you all for your support. To be honest with I do not get too personally attached to them. Once I'm done and feel that I have accomplished what I wanted to do I'm done with it and on to the the next one. But trust me there are a few that I have been attached to. But if someone really wants one of my works and appreciates it, I'd rather that person have it and it to keep and make them happy.

You have been helping push customizing for years now, inspiring people to do better and try different things. Do you have any feel good stories about friendships and customizing you want to share?

I have been in this hobby for about 16 years I believe, since way back in my lurker Bivouac days before it became I have met so many great people in this hobby of ours and made some great personal friendships as well.

I'm not going to get into naming people, but you know who you are. And for that alone I thank you.

Being able to help and inspire people in this hobby is a blessing. I try my best to be helpful and available to anyone that wants to reach out to me. I'm not a hard person to get a hold of and always try my best to respond to people and their questions that they may have. I 'mstill the same old TR1ER even though my name is Marauder Ruben. ;-)

But I owe much thanks and gratitude to Marauder John for trusting and bringing me into the Marauder brand. For that Sir I thank you very much and am very appreciative for that and of you. It's like a dream come true to be able to work for a toy company. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity! To know that I'm part of something big like that is such an honor so much love to you MJ, and thanks for believing in me.

Have you passed on your customizing fun to your children?

Oh yeah you better believe that lol. My daughter loves to customize her dolls. She works with those Monster High dolls. She got really good with re threading the hair and painting their faces and such. And as for my Son, yeah, it hit him hard lol. He loves to customize his Legos. He makes some really great mega block customs with his Halo and Call of Duty figures. Feels great to see my children pick up on the hobby, but what I don't like is how my paint and brushes start to disappear?  :shifty:

Well hope I did not bore you kind folks with my little stories. And it was a pleasure and an honor to be asked to take part in this feature. Thank you very much. -Ruben

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