Below is a recap of all the post we've covered in April 2012. If you missed any, or simply want to see them again, click on each "title" to be taken directly to that post. As always, thanks for reading.
Jin Saotome's Dangerous Toys
Indie Spotlight - Comic Book Heroes
Jedi Temple Archives
The Adventures of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark
Kyle Robinson Customs
Beavis and Butthead
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When Mike Judge brought Beavis and Butthead to life on MTV in 1993, it was a pretty risky venture. Sure, shows had been getting a lot edgier those days. Long gone were the years of The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and The Facts of Life. In their place, The Simpsons, Married with Children, and now Beavis and Butthead. Was the world ready for two of the most idiot teens ever depicted in animation form?
It seemed so. The series was an overnight success, and soon Mr. Judge found himself at the helm of the show for five years, as well as having the opportunity to develop the full length feature film, Beavis and Butthead Do America.
In 1999 Moore Action Collectibles produced a small line of figures. Sadly by this time the series was off the air, and people didn't seem eager to revisit it. The MTV generation had appeared to have grown up.
All three of the basic figures; Beavis, Butthead, and Cornholio were also produced in exclusive glow in the dark versions (known as "Radioactive" versions).
This is actually a series I would have liked to see grow into something much larger. There are so many iconic characters from the series that would have been wonderful to capture in plastic form. Perhaps with the series being revitalized, this opportunity is just around the corner.
Join us on May 1, 2012 for an announcement of a special all new month long event for the month of May, and on Monday the 4th for the first of many new posts that month! We won't spoil the surprise here.
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The header of his website says it all; "Painter, Sculptor, Designer, and Photographer of Action Figures and More." The more part would probably include; "Hobbiest, Professional, and All Around Fanatic of Toys...And, A Great Guy Too"
Kyle Robinson is a name that you may not recognize, but if you've ever read ToyFare magazine, or visited Comic-Con between 2008-2009, you've probably seen his work and not even known it.
His creative work goes beyond some of the things we've seen your average customizer do, and hands down, his tutorials are some of the best for people attempting to get into the hobby of customising.
Kyle was not only kind enough to chat with us about his work, but also create the logo which sits at the top of this very website!
THE TOY BOX: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. Your custom work is fantastic! We love the logo you've done for our site.
KYLE ROBINSON: Thanks, the pleasure is mine.
THE TOY BOX: Take us back in time. When did you first start customizing, and when did you make the transition from hobbyist to professional customizer?
KYLE ROBINSON: Oh man, I can probably pin point my first "thing" I could call a custom, back to my elementary school days. When I was very young (1991-1993ish) I remember seeing the original homemade heroes section ran in Wizard (pre Toy-Fair Magazine) and it inspired me to "do something" with my original Toybiz X-men toys. At that point all I would do is break them into pieces and glue them back together wrong (imagine Spider-Man with Wolverine arms). My friends loved them and used to buy them from me. Then for about 10 years I did nothing with figures, until I was sick of trying to find a Deadpool, then I made my own. Little did I know that the next 5 years after that first Deadpool, I would come to make many, many more.
THE TOY BOX: As a featured customizing sculptor and writer for Toyfare magazine you’re somewhat of a celebrity to the action figure world. How did all of that get started?
KYLE ROBINSON: My first appearance in Toyfare Magazine was just the Home made heroes section. All you have to do there is send emails to the right people until they use one of your attached images. It wasn't till later on that Toyfare contacted me for actual payroll work. At that point, my pal and fellow customizer John Mallamas (AKA Jin Saotome) was their go to guy for a while. John was busy once when Toyfare needed him so he sent them my way, after that first time working with them we sort of built a great relationship.
THE TOY BOX: Not only are you a prominent “face” in Toyfare, but you’ve also been fairly active in events such as San Diego Comic-Con. Can you tell us about some of your experiences with that?
KYLE ROBINSON: Funny how that works, I have done work for companies for multiple years for Comic-Con, yet I have never physically been to Comic-Con.
THE TOY BOX: You did an amazing paint job on the series 2 prototypes for the Indie Spotlight line from Shocker Toys which were showcased at Comic-Con 2008. How did your relationship with the company come about?
KYLE ROBINSON: Thanks, I wish I had more time on them. The guys just emailed me out of the blue and we started chatting ideas back and forth. It was all very, very fast. I probably had 2 days to do all 5 of the figures and still have time to ship them to San Diego in time. They had the figures shipped to me directly from the factory in India or something, it was pretty stressful. The company is small. They couldn't afford to pay me well so they offered up half trade in the form of figures once they came out. To this day I have never seen a final factory release. I guess I should have got it in writing. Regardless, they are solid dudes and I hope to hear from them again some day.
THE TOY BOX: Speaking of Indie Spotlight series 2, can you share information as to what happened to it? It was slated for release in 2009, than pushed back to 2010, and to date still has not bee released.
KYLE ROBINSON: Your guess is as good as mine. I would still love to get my hands on them, but I guess I got as close as anyone could, holding the prototypes at least.
THE TOY BOX: You’ve also done some work with Mezco as their chosen representative at San Diego Comic Con. Can you tell us about that?
KYLE ROBINSON: Comic-Con 2009 went much smoother. Mezco toys contacted me out of the blue to take part in an art show to launch their new Mez-Its, urban vinyl style, figure line. This one was a surprise, and I was so exited I begged them to let me do 2 of them so I could make a Jay and Silent Bob set. The Jay Mez-It had a talking box implant in his back which had a bunch of classic catchphrases. Later that week Kevin Smith took to his twitter page to talk about them, he posted a link that crashed my website for half a day, it was awesome. That Jay and Bob set was one of the most fun things I have gotten to do, being chosen along side of such great artist (including one of my long time favorite painters Ed Wires) was also an honor.
THE TOY BOX: Let’s talk about your website. Something that really stands out on it is your tutorial guide - It’s one of the best we’ve ever seen to help people get started. You share a lot of in depth steps to help people customize their own figures, but at the same time mention that there are some things you will not be showing (such as painting techniques) until a more advanced tutorial. Is that advanced tutorial still in the works?
KYLE ROBINSON: I like to help out as much as I can, providing tutorials just seems like a natural thing in our community. One thing about the customizing community you wont see anywhere else is the willingness to share recipes and what other artist might hold onto as "secrets". As for the advanced tutorials, it's really hard to try to explain things like painting techniques in text form with still imagery. One day I hope to have time to do some top notch video tutorials.
THE TOY BOX: We noticed you have a link to your Ebay auctions page, but we’re not seeing a whole lot of customizing activity there. Is this something you have ceased doing?
KYLE ROBINSON: I have never really been heavy on the eBay side of things. Once in a while I would post a fun auction for a personal project I just had to get out of my system, but for the most part, 90% of my work has always been commissioned to ship directly to the customer.
THE TOY BOX: You don’t appear to be currently offering commission figures. Is this something you plan on picking up in the future?
KYLE ROBINSON: Customizing was my full time job from 2005-2010. 5 years of my life dedicated to sleepless nights and haunting commission work. I finished college in 2010 and decided to take a break from full time customizing, and customizing in general. I have a bad habit of turning passionate hobbies into income, and 5 years later I realized I needed a break so I could learn to love it as much I did when I started. What actually happened is that I did it all over again under a new name using a new medium. In 2009 I launched Thretris which is my screen name and artist name for creating custom 8-bit gaming consoles catering to an underground niche of musicians who use them to make 8-bit music know as "chiptune." After a quick Google search of Thretris you will see that in the same vein as KR customs, Thretris reached notoriety in the 8-bit scene equal to or greater than that of my action figures. Thretris Custom Gameboys consoles can be seen in the hands of most of the great Chipmusicians, and in the pages of gaming magazines alike.
THE TOY BOX: You’ve done a considerable amount of customizing, but seem to focus mainly on Marvel Comic characters. Is it safe to assume that this is your main area of expertise? Or is it because you enjoy Marvel Comics over all the others? Or is it something else completely?
KYLE ROBINSON: It's something else completely. If you look at my body of work, and remember what I said earlier about 90% of my customs being commissioned by customers, then you will notice a trend. The customers are the ones who want to see marvel, I’m just there to fill in the gaps in there collection. The other 10% of customs that I get to choose always end up being either anime or video game related. Most of my favorite works are from fighting games.
THE TOY BOX: So…Super Bat Lantern. He was a character you created for a contest (which you won first place in) which melded Superman, Batman and Green Lantern together. How on Earth did you come up with that? P.S. We love his back story!
KYLE ROBINSON: HA, HA, thanks. I was feeling inspired that day I guess. The plot just seemed like something that would actually happen in the DC universe. They're always doing crossovers so I figured I would just mix the most awesome dudes together. How could you not love him?
THE TOY BOX: Please tell us that you took the concept of Super Bat Lantern to DC Comics and that they said, “Yes, we’ll get right on that.”
KYLE ROBINSON: I wish, man. They would probably just laugh at me, than steal the idea years later. I hope they steal it. I wouldn’t care.
THE TOY BOX: Have you designed and/or created any other original concept characters into custom figures?
KYLE ROBINSON: In another contest I made a male version of Psylocke. To this day he is one of my favorite customs. He would fit right in any Capcom fighting game. Theres also tons of original character commissions on my site from indy comic creators, MMORPG gamers, and simply creative collectors from all over the world. Some of them only have ideas in there head and just let me have at it. That’s always really fun.
THE TOY BOX: One of our favorite pieces on your site isn’t an action figure at all. It’s the custom Punisher Van and Bike. Do you have any plans to make any more vehicles?
KYLE ROBINSON: I hear that more than you would think (and I was almost bummed I lost my Turtle Van). I would love to make more vehicles. It would just need to be something that jumps out at me like that van did.
THE TOY BOX: People who visit your website might get the sense that it has been abandoned due to the lack of updates. This would be because it appears that you have actually moved to a Facebook page. Is Facebook more beneficial than a standard website, and has this become your main source for posting updates and photos?
KYLE ROBINSON: AH! That might have been true a few days ago but I just spent the whole weekend updating my site with new images, and also revamping the "news" layout. The blog is now gone and has been replaced within the main page with Facebook and Twitter. This seems to be a much more effective and interactive way for me to keep fans up to date and engaged. Fans already seem to be enjoying it more than the old "KR BUGLE" section. I’ve been slowing making my way back into the forums and keeping everyone updated. So head over to my updated home page and see how fan friendly the news section is now. IT'S ALIVE!!
THE TOY BOX: You’ve accomplished so much in the world of customizing action figures. Where do you go from here?
KYLE ROBINSON: That’s kind of what Thretris was for. It was fun to start from the ground up with a different community. I will always be trying to outdo myself with my customs and I hope to get KR customs running smoothly again, and go back to keeping it a hobby I can enjoy. I think it will show in my future work, and fans will have something they can enjoy even more.
THE TOY BOX: Thank you for taking the time for chatting with us. We look forward to following your future customizing endeavors.
KYLE ROBINSON: Thank you, this was fun. Keep in touch.
All photographs and logos used in this article are the property of Kyle Robinson Customs. Used with permission.
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For the toy collector, there is something to be said about a small line of figures and vehicles. They're a fun "side project" of sorts which usually can be easily obtained, and typically at a low price.
In 1982, Kenner released a small but mildly successful line of toys based off of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. The series ran for two waves, and even offered an exclusive mail away figure, which was later released as a carded figure in wave 2.
A handful of playsets were released as well as a twelve inch doll of Indie. Though not as successful as the figures when they initially launched, they have since become highly collectible items on the secondary market.
Cairo Swordman, Indiana Jones, Marion Ravenwood
Toht, Card Back, Belloq in Ceremonial Robe (Mail Away), and 12 Inch Indiana Jones
Belloq, Belloq in Ceremonial Robe, German Mechanic
Sallah, Indiana Jones in German Outfit, Card Back
The Map Room Adventure Set, Well of the Souls Action Playset
Arabian Horse, Desert Convoy Truck, Streets of Cairo Adventure Set
The series ran until 1983 when it was dropped. LJN would later pick up the rights to produce figures based off of the second Indian Jones film - The Temple of Doom. Several other companies, including Disney and Hasbro have since tried their hand at creating a successful series based on the whip wielding hero, but none have found extensive success.
Join us next Monday for our look at Beavis and Butt-Head!
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The world of the internet has brought collectors together in a way that could never have been possible prior to its conception. Since the days of Prodigy, and eventually Internet Explorer, fans have been contributing to the world of collecting by providing some of the most facinating archives to date.
Sadly, while there are a majority of people interested enough to start said websites, there are very few who see it through to the end. People get bored, caught up in more important things, or perhaps even just lose interest. Because of this, there are several sites that while they look fantastic, and even present a great amount of information, they're incomplete.
Fortunately this is not the fate for all of them. There are a select few who have the drive, the dedication, the love, and yes, even the staff to push collection archives to the fullest. One such site is Jedi Temple Archives (JTA). Not only does JTA provide one of the most complete archives you'll find pertaining to the world of Star Wars toy collecting, but they have a strong following of (friendly) members who contribute daily to the success of the site.
Paul Harrison, one of the lead contributors of JTA, was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to talk to us about the site, and to share with us some of the inside scoop on what makes JTA stand out among the rest.
THE TOY BOX: Thanks for sitting down with us to talk about your impressive archive.
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: Our pleasure. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
THE TOY BOX: Not taking into account the readers, how many people contribute regularly to Jedi Temple Archives?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: Our staff has grown very recently, so this is actually the perfect time to answer this. We have three full time staff members: Chuck Paskovics, Paul Harrison (myself) and the very new but very eager and long term Star Wars fanatic Morgan Knapp. He is bringing a new and exciting energy to JTA and we are so thankful we were able to grab him first. (It was easy because he is a fan of JTA first.) We also could always use one or two more staff members. If you’re interested, let us know! Then we have three moderators on staff for our comments module: The_Question, bombadgungan and Sjefke. Then we have Chad Cobain assisting us with our Visual Guides. Last but not least, we have two “contractor” people who help us with various site duties who have asked to remain anonymous. Due to their involvement with their daily jobs, we fully understand their requests, but we are incredibly indebted to them for their invaluable help!
THE TOY BOX: How long has JTA been on the net, and how did it all start?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: We have been online since 2004. JTA was founded by three of the main contributors to the Visual Guides on a now defunct site artoosnews.com. Chuck Paskovics is currently the only remaining co-founder who has carried forward and still involved with JTA. He developed the Visual Guide format back in 2000 while playing around with his Vintage figures and his new digital camera. Just for fun he posted them online for all to see in a cool ‘wallpaper’ style. The format was noticed by the webmaster of artoosnews.com and he was asked to come on board to further develop this format into a visual archive format. It has evolved quite a lot over the years into what you see today. Just for fun the original wallpaper site is still available for viewing (http://www.paskovics.com/rogue-collection/showcase.htm).
That site represents the original Visual Guides as they started. When artoosnews.com officially closed its doors Chuck, Pete and Mike didn’t want years of hard work to go away so they launched JTA to host the existing guides in March of 2004. It has been going strong every since! It’s evolved and has grown to its biggest peak yet and we’re looking to reach the next pinnacle. We are very excited of where we’re going.
THE TOY BOX: As far as archives go, yours is one of, if not THE most thorough. Each figure (or vehicle/playset) is depicted in its own link, includes multiple angels, accessories, as well as figure and package variations. Just how long does it take to compile an archive for one figure?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: In our modern format at the very least a complete Visual Guide can take a minimum (from taking the photos to posting the guide) of an average of two (plus) man hours. Some of the more complicated guides, such as the Sideshow guides, can take up to eight man hours or more to complete start to finish in order too showcase the detail of the collectible. It just all depends on how much detail we include with the guides. It’s a very arduous and time consuming process. This is the sole reason why we treat our photography process as proprietary information.
THE TOY BOX: Are the toys in your archive privately owned by its contributors, or do you get them from your sponsors, or perhaps even directly from Hasbro?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: Site sponsorship is light years different than what it was even a few years ago. The economy has hit every vendor hard so “free stuff” isn’t as common as it used to be. Nearly all of the products you see in our Visual Guides and Research Droids Reviews are stuff we purchased with our own money. A few exceptions like a couple of Sideshow’s 12” figures that are part of their affiliate program are from Sideshow Collectibles, but pretty much everything else is owned by JTA contributors. We are Star Wars collector’s first, and archivists second. So we actively participate in toy hunting just like the average collector. We don’t (and can’t) rely on vendor freebies (which are next to nothing in this day and age) and we don’t sell the few free products we get on eBay either.
THE TOY BOX: There seem to be some holes in the archive. While all the toys are listed, some have not gotten the full blown treatment with photos. Any plans to address these items in the future?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: It’s sometimes hard to fill these holes, but it is an intention of ours to have a complete Jedi Temple Archives one day. It’s the bread and butter of the site. People will continue to come and visit us knowing that they can find a complete archive of Star Wars product. As you can imagine owning everything is impossible, so while we would love to have a visual reference for everything, in the mean time we want to at least have a source where you can see a complete and accurately described list to reference.
THE TOY BOX: How do you choose which toys to post on any given day?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: Are you talking about the reviews or the Visual Guides?
THE TOY BOX: Let’s cover all our bases. How about both?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: For our Research Droids Reviews, we try to do our best to have the latest product photographed and review them on or about the day we find them at retail. Having our readers “in the know” is something they crave intensely from us. Visual Guides get done differently and are more random. Whenever a nice chunk of time can be devoted to process them we do that and then run a marathon. Our readers seem to really enjoy those long running marathons too. We’ve often noticed that multiple licensees release a ton of product at the same time. Next thing I know, the next 60 days in our RDRs planning schedule is booked and then a new wave of figures is around the corner. It' can be stressful sometimes.
THE TOY BOX: What equipment and/or programs do you use to get such high quality photos against clear backgrounds?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: Now, now. We can’t give away our trade secrets, can we? If we did there would be no reason for people to come and visit us. I can tell you that we use a very complex mix of light sources, a high quality camera and a set up that looks like a scientist’s lab. That’s about all I can say about that unfortunately. As equipment evolves so do we and we strive to make our photos second to none. Unfortunately some of our older archives are a product of their time and you can see the quality difference now that cameras have evolved. But, everything in the past five years or so will have been top notch! As much as we would love to go back and reshoot all of our older archives time just doesn’t permit.
THE TOY BOX: Would you “donate” the toys for use if someone volunteered the time and efforts to do it for you?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: Because of the proprietary way that we build our guides we like to keep all of our Visual Guides work “in house” to be worked on by our staff members. Staff members sign nondisclosure statements and are made aware of the extraordinary responsibility they have to keep our work product confidential. We’ve had our format stolen in the past so we have to be more proactive than ever to ensure this stuff stays in house. We are always looking for help, so if you’re interested please reach out to us, but we do take those precautionary measure to protect the hard work we devote to JTA.
THE TOY BOX: You have a strong following of readers on your site. How big of a role do your readers play in your daily website activity?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: Our readers are absolutely the best thing about our site. Out of the blue, our comments module has exploded and we get an influx of activity that we, the site administrators, can barely keep up with and that’s the reason we have a few dedicated helpers take over as moderators. They have been longtime JTA readers and we reached out to them and are so thankful they do this for us. Their comments and insight is incredible and they add a great deal of spirit and entertainment to the site. I would also like to thank readers Scott B., Paul B., Darth Eddie, Matthew R., and savageopress for being such incredible contributors in our comments as well. Without our readers, JTA wouldn’t be half the fun it is now. I hope more people will continue to join in our madness as we continue to grow.
THE TOY BOX: Your fans contribute daily finds to you. Are there specific guidelines that would be beneficial to contributors to follow to ensure their entries get posted on your site?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: We like to post as much as we can. We figure if a reader takes the time to send us a photo or a new toy find that the rest of our reading audience would like to know too. And we appreciate so much that they have chosen to share the news with us first and not another competitor site (of which many are close friends of ours by the way). Breaking news (or news that hasn’t been mentioned anywhere else) is always our first choice, but sometimes news like the return of a hard to find wave or just a state of the union address of collecting in general are often entertaining reads as well. If it is a store report on a new find a location is also helpful so we can spread the word to anyone in that area.
THE TOY BOX: We see that JTA has sponsors for their site. How does that work? Does it allow you to focus on JTA as your sole source of income?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: Star Wars fan sites are not a good source of income in general. If you’re a fan site and don’t do this for the passion of the hobby, then you’re in this for the wrong reasons. Between the diminishing number of collectors and fans, sites just aren’t able to make a ton of money. We utilize any income we receive to pay for site fees and similarly related expenses. Sometimes a good month with sponsor’s means we can help pay for that trip to San Diego and New York City for various toy events to report the latest information to our readers. All of JTA’s contributors work full time jobs and often some of the money we make has been used to pay for things on the site. I donated all of the prizes for our contest we ran in November. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a little bit to reach a greater goal. I was glad I donated what I did because we have new readers who became big fans of the site through that event. That is worth it all. We’d also like to note that we are proud to have forged the relationships we did with our sponsors. JTA never wants to look like Times Square New York with all of the blinking advertising links that frame the site. We want our readers to be directed to the people who support us, not by chance that a moving graphic catches their eye hopefully.
THE TOY BOX: Would you like to give a shout out to your sponsors here?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: Sure! Our current two sponsors Brian’s Toys and Big Bad Toy Store have been with us since 2004 and have played a key role in keeping us afloat in the early days.
THE TOY BOX: For contest purposes, would you take donations of Star Wars items? Because we’ve got a lot sitting around here that we’d be happy to offload on someone else.
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: We would absolutely take donations of Star Wars items for contest purposes. And we would use them for that purpose only. Thank you in advance if you have some for us.
THE TOY BOX: Have you ever considered hosting an annual JTA convention where your readers can all come together under one roof and meet face to face? Kind of like your own personal fan based convention?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: We are looking into doing something very much like this, but with other sites at Celebration VI this year. Stay tuned for more information! But yes, we want to meet our fans face to face in person. Without them we wouldn’t be here.
THE TOY BOX: Speaking of conventions, does JTA attend any regular ones, or contribute to any?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: JTA does its best to attend and cover all important conventions. We always have coverage for New York Toy Fair and it looks like Celebration VI and SDCC are covered as well this year. I hope to be present at CVI this year. And if I go I hope to bump into a whole bunch of our readers. I also try to attend Philly Wizard World, although scheduling conflicts have forced me to miss the last two years. I do hope to go this year. I have spoken with Chuck about being more actively involved at these shows. We haven’t gotten too far in that conversation. To date we have covered more than 50 events since JTA’s inception. Stop by our Star Wars Experience page (http://www.jeditemplearchives.com/swexperience/) to see how busy we keep ourselves when we are not archiving!
THE TOY BOX: In your experience, on average, how much money would one collector need to be part of the 100% Club?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: That is a very loaded question. Are you talking just Hasbro or other licensees as well?
THE TOY BOX: Hasbro’s 3 ¾ line with all the vehicles, accessories, playsets, etc.
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: If you collect everything, you’ll probably need close to $1000 – $1500 each calendar year just for one of every single item. I sometimes buy 2 or 3 of many figures, so then your budget will have to increase.
THE TOY BOX: How many JTA contributors are striving for the 100% club in this regard?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: Probably Morgan and I would be the two staff members striving for that 100% club. We’re both OCD.
THE TOY BOX: As far as Star Wars goes, there are so many different avenues for collectors - Videos, games, toys, clothing, etc. Does JTA strictly focus on the 3 ¾ inch line of toys, or do you branch out to other Star Wars merchandise?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: We like to cover as many Star Wars licensees of possible. People who check out the Research Droids Reviews know that we cover over 20 categories of toys (many are Hasbro of course – the various lines), but I also purchase Life Size Busts, Premium Format Figures and 1:6 Scale Figures from Sideshow Collectibles. I also buy many Gentle Giant products too.
THE TOY BOX: Are you strictly devoted to Star Wars, or are there other lines of toys that you collect?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: I am personally into Indiana Jones too. But there isn’t much money left in the budget after I am done with Star Wars. I don’t know how some of my friends collect multiple lines including Marvel, GI Joe and Star Wars. I just couldn’t do that. But I know quite a few people who manage this.
THE TOY BOX: We often times see posts on your site that either later get posted on other sites such as Rebel Scum or Yakface, or vice versa. Is there a strong pipeline between these sites that’s imperative to the daily activity of your site?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: We have tight relationships with our affiliate sites. Jayson from Yakface.com, Dan Curto (formerly of Rebelscum.com), and BanthaSkull.com have been tremendously helpful to our site. And JTA has developed tight friendships with both of them. They have linked to many of our stories and have sent an amazing amount of traffic our way. And we’d like to also mention SW Action News, Galactic Hunter, Sandtroopers, Jedi News and Echo Base News have because they too will always remain incredibly important to us. We link to them and they link to us. It’s a great working relationship! Linking to other sites only helps bring extra traffic. And that traffic has the potential of staying with you if they see what they like.... and it can last throughout the years. We believe that fostering positive relationships with other Star Wars fan sites is imperative. Sadly, not everyone feels that way. But JTA is committed to keeping this principle alive. If someone broke a news story first, there is no way in the world we are going to post it as our general news without giving proper credit. Obviously a case of Sideshow Collectibles announcing their latest 12” figure is fair game for all sites, but when it comes to a new wave being found at retail or a first time variation being spotted, you better believe that the site that reported it should get the full credit for doing so. (It is just proper site etiquette.) But not everyone plays nice.
THE TOY BOX: Any big plans for the future at the JTA? Upcoming events? Etc.?
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: There are some major announcements coming down the pike. We have an amazing Hasbro related feature coming shortly down the pike that I know our readers are going to eat up. I can’t wait to make the official announcement. We waited to get the green light from Hasbro themselves on this and its all happening. And it’s something our readers are going to want to read and absorb. You’ll have to trust me on this one. Also, I am involved in a very special project that has already been announced, but I can’t say anything more at the moment. But I can’t wait until I can announce it for the public to hear. Believe me, it will be front page news.
THE TOY BOX: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Thanks for a great site. We’ll continue to check back daily for updates.
JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES: Thank you for doing this and thank you for your support. And thank you for the kind words about JTA. We strive to excel and provide quality content. This interview has been especially fun. I hope we can do it again soon! We’d like to remind all new readers that we have a fun Facebook page located HERE (http://www.facebook.com/jeditemplearchives) and if you like what you see we would ask that you like us on Facebook for up to the minute updates and exclusive news. Thank you again everyone!
All photographs and logos used in this article are the property of Jedi Temple Archives and/or their affiliated sponsors. Used with permission. Photo layout and design by The Toy Box.
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Indie Spotlight: Comic Book Heroes from Shocker Toys was an indie comic fans dream come true. The series offered the opportunity for smaller comic book series characters to be immortalized in plastic that didn't necessarily have the cast capacity to comprise of its own line. Because the figures were unrelated to each other, you also didn't feel obligated to collect characters you didn't necessarily want just to feel like your set was complete.
Series one had an amazing line up; Shadowhawk, The Maxx, Katchoo from Strangers in Paradise, our personal favorite, Scud The Disposable Assassin, and Kabuki. The series even offered two variants; a black Shadowhawk, and a black suited Scud.
The package design is interesting to say the least. It's a bit odd that every package would have The Maxx at the top of it. We're not sure how he's affiliated with all these various figures, because to our knowledge, he's not.
A Scud the Disposable Assassin packaged in his trademark vending machine was offered at San Diego Comic Con. The figure varied slightly in color from the originally carded version, and unlike the carded version, it was not packaged with an Isz. Not that we're sure why the original came with one, as the two characters are unrelated; they aren't from the same comic line, company, or creator.
What is frustrating to fans is that buyers of the entire first series were promised a mail away Mr. Gone figure if they purchased every figure, and mailed in the UPCS. To date, this figure has not been released.
A second series of figures was scheduled to be produced, and even saw completion of the prototype phase for showcasing at Comic Con 2008. The figures were originally scheduled for a 2009 release, but then pushed back to 2010. As of this posting, those figures have still not seen the light of day. The series was slated to include; King Zombie, Dick Tracy, Ignacia, Jack Staff and The Tick, as well as a new mail away incentive figure.
Considering the second series was continuously delayed, it was interesting that Shocker Toys also announced a series three at Comic Con 2010. Series three has obviously never been released to date either. Nor has a list of the proposed figures that would have encompassed said series.
So, what's the deal?
As of March 8, 2012, Shocker Toys finally updated their website informing collectors that they were going through a transition, and, "Re-working their inner structure." However this is the first word from the company since their last update on December 10, 2011.
They're currently advertising on their site a "First Edition" of The Tick figure until the complete series 2 is released - For a whopping $35.00! The Maxx from series one is also advertised as being re-released for $35.00. Is this some form of attempt to get an influx of cash to keep the company afloat? Either way, one figure for $35.00 is what we like to call, "A rip off!"
They are also taking pre-orders for the Isz ten packs, which they are charging $24.00 for, and advertising a 60-90 day delivery window after order - which we feel is an excessive delivery time, and with the companies track record of delivering said products, it doesn't leave us with a warm and fuzzy feeling that they would ever arrive.
Finally, they are assuring buyers that if they still want the Mr. Gone mail away figure that they will honor original receipts in place of the UPC labels - though again, no release date is specified, and at this point who has their original receipt from a toy line they bought over five years ago?
All and all Shocker Toys has done very little to keep fans interested, and clearly offered no incentive for collector's to continue supporting the company. Their $35.00 price tag for one figure is quite frankly insulting, and the lack of updates in almost a four year period coupled with poor product support on top of it all tells the action figure community, "We don't care about you." If series two ever does see the light of day, we speculate it will be too little too late, and Shocker Toys will sooner than later be hanging an "Out of Business" sign on their door.
We're not sure what Shocker Toys issue is in not producing and releasing the second series, but a quick scan of their product list will show you that more than less of their products have been announced and cancelled, or simply not delivered. To us, that's not a company we want to support. The intentions of a good product means nothing if it’s continuously delayed and/or cancelled, and the company behind it simply can't seem to get their act together. What's really sad about this is that the first series that was actually produced is an incredible product.
If there are still fans out there waiting for series two to see the light of day, we sympathize with you. Especially the many out there who have taken to message boards claiming that Shocker Toys took their money for pre orders several years ago, and refuse to refund it despite failure to deliver said product.
However this is no surprise considering that in June of 2011, Geoff Beckett of Shocker Toys was served with court papers to secure creators' payment and rights over allegations of non payment to Shocker Toys creators. If the very creators of the toys can't get their money, what chances do the customers have of seeing a refund?
Jim Macquarrie who served the papers to Mr. Beckett took to his Facebook page later that evening, and is quoted as posting, "Got the pleasure of serving court papers on a guy who thinks paying his artists is optional. In the middle of his panel at Comic-Con. Kind of a jerk move, but he's kind of a jerk guy."
Join us next Monday when we take a look at The Adventures of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark!
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Are you tired of not being able to slice the tip of your finger off with those pathetic plastic claws attached to your favorite Wolverine figure? Got you down that those dull, rounded off spikes on your Ghost Rider figure don't pose enough of a risk when playing with it? Fear not. Jin Saotome has you covered!
For almost a decade, Jin Saotome's Dangerous Toys, under the direct helm of John Mallamas, has been producing one of a kind, fantastic, and at times, dangerous to play with custom figures. From your favorite comic book characters, to your favorite cartoon and video game characters, John has pretty much covered all those bases.
John was kind enough to talk to us about his fantastic custom toys, and to share his knowledge of the action figure world - as well as some interesting insights to the industry that we never knew about.
THE TOY BOX: Thank you so much for taking the time and giving us the opportunity to speak with you about your custom toys. We’re fairly new to your site as viewers, but have to say, we’re really impressed with your high quality designs, and fantastic attention to detail.
JIN SAOTOME: Hey, thank you for having me! I'm always up for the opportunity to share about the hobby of making custom action figures.
THE TOY BOX: Jin Saotome's Dangerous Toys, that’s a mouthful. Where did you come up with that name?
JIN SAOTOME: It's a two part deal. I ended up with the nickname Jin after playing the character at all the Marvel vs Capcom arcade tournaments back where I grew up. People went from saying, "Hey, here comes John," to, "Hey, here comes Jin," and it stuck. I chose Dangerous Toys because my original purpose for creating the site was to show people how to attach steel claws on to their Wolverine figures and sharp spikes onto Ghost Rider. Thus making them dangerous toys.
THE TOY BOX: So you’re a gamer? Us too. What are some of your favorite games or systems/consoles of choice?
JIN SAOTOME: I grew up on Street Fighter Turbo and have been a big fan of the 2D fighters ever since. Marvel Superheroes: War of the Gems, X-Men: Children of the Atom, and the Vs. series they brought my two passions comic and gaming together in one neat little package. Then Marvel Vs. Capcom one and two hit, quickly becoming my favorite games still to this day. But, I also play all of the Final Fantasy, Mega Man, and Halo series. Currently all I have is a 360 and enjoy the games it has to offer.
THE TOY BOX: How long has Jin Saotome’s Dangerous Toys been on the web?
JIN SAOTOME: The earliest file on my site is dated 2003 so at least 9 years. I may have hosted my custom Star Wars characters for my friend's RPG's before that however.
THE TOY BOX: Customizing toys can take a great deal of time. Is this a hobby, or a career?
JIN SAOTOME: It started as a hobby and branched off into a mini-business I guess you could say. I'm not sure I could ever look at customizing as a career, but I do know people who got their foot in the door at companies who started as customizers. So it can definitely lead to a career down the road with a larger corporation. It's really hard to survive on just making customs for a living. I'd advise people to just keep customizing as a hobby unless you're absolutely sure you can support your budget with it. Have a backup job!
THE TOY BOX: Can you tell us about your work with ToyFare, and how that got started?
JIN SAOTOME: It started a while back when people could submit photos of their customs in ToyFare, in fact my very first Toyfare custom was a 'Cyber Jawa' I submitted that they featured in their Homemade Heroes. After seeing my custom get featured I sent them a CD with images of my best customs at the time and the editor asked me to create a Kingdom Come Bat Sentry for a special feature. They ended up liking it so much that they had me do future customs for their Wishlist and Customizing 101 articles. Unfortunately ToyFare is no more but I had a blast working for them and have those pages framed.
THE TOY BOX: Obviously you can reach a larger audience as a sculptor and designer for companies such as Hasbro, Mattel, etc. But, is it safe to say there is more “glory” and personal recognition in customizing than being part of the corporate world of toy design?
JIN SAOTOME: There's a trade off from what I can tell. As a customizer you have a lot more freedom and can reach a lot of different people by covering multiple genres with your work appearing all over the internet. But it appears that all stops when you work for a toy company that has non-disclosure policies, brand loyalty clauses, and overall no public display of what you do. That's one thing I think should be changed. I couldn't tell you who sculpted most of my Hasbro figures. And while NECA lists their sculptors on the package I can't find anything online about many of them or get a feel of how passionate they are. There's a couple sculptors that have blogs but aren't really allowed to promote the work they do because it's licensed to whoever they're working for. I feel companies like Hasbro could reach a lot more collectors if they got them excited from a fan's point of view, not just as a business entity. Get their sculptors and designers out there talking about what they're doing and promote their product from a personal aspect as well.
THE TOY BOX: We found it humorous that you started out your customizing at age five with your mother’s fingernail polish. Has customizing been a part of your life since those early years, or is it something you left behind, and came back to in later years?
JIN SAOTOME: Ever since I was allowed to play with chemicals and tools I've been customizing. It's followed me through my life and various other jobs I've held, the selling aspect of it helping to keep me afloat sometimes. Only since 2006 was I able to focus on it as my main source of income. Everything up until that was practice, heck I'm still learning!
THE TOY BOX: It sounds like you had the dream job of a lot of 16 year old males working at a comic store. Were you a big fan of comic books at that the time, or was it something you started to gain interest in as you worked there?
JIN SAOTOME: As a child I learned my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and X-men figures were based on comics and I became a fan of them. I've actually worked at three different comic shops and one Sci-fi store helping fuel my knowledge of the characters I make customs of. It definitely helps to have had that knowledge of comics, both old and current to help with creating the right look for a custom.
THE TOY BOX: We’re huge fans of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! What are some of your favorite comic books and comic book characters?
JIN SAOTOME: Mirage and Archie's TMNT comics! I had the whole series and even the role-playing guides as they featured the same art. Unfortunately I've had to sell a lot of my collection years ago and no longer have them. But I remember Armaggon and War, always wishing they would be made into action figures. Hey, maybe I should take those projects on, hmmm.. As for other comics I read a variety of ones online and follow certain story arcs. Kingdom come was always one of my favorite stories and the DC Vertigo Sandman series with Dream and the Endless blew me away with the writing. While I like DC's stories Marvel's characters appeal to me more than DC's. All the X-men, Cyclops and Magneto in particular stand out as some of my favorite characters. Then we get into the animal-themed Spiderman rogue's gallery.
THE TOY BOX: You’ve touched on a wide variety of custom figures; Transformers, G.I. Joe, He-Man, video games, Star Wars, comic books, etc. Could you narrow down any one particular line that is your favorite?
JIN SAOTOME: I'd have to say 6" scale Marvel Legends. I love that scale and for me it allows the perfect mix of articulation, paint work, and design. Have you ever tried to paint an iris, pupil, and reflective dot on a GI Joe figure? Yikes that's hard. Alternately making cloth uniforms and buying the base bodies for 12" figures can get really expensive. I find that 6" is a perfect half-way point. It also allows you to mix video games and movie characters in with those lines.
THE TOY BOX: When approaching your projects, do you strictly use pre-made parts and accessories, or do you design and sculpt your own?
JIN SAOTOME: While I do both, though my real love is 'Frankensteining' a figure by using parts from multiple other existing figures. It's like looking at a puzzle and watching each piece come together to fit. Sometimes I'll see a figure with an accessory or body part and buy it just for that, basing my entire custom around that one part. However there comes many a time where a part or feature simply doesn't exist and I'll need to sculpt it using Aves Apoxie Sculpt. And in turn I'll find brand new uses for things like drink stirrers and hot glue to use as my raw materials. Did you know wired wedding ribbon makes great posable scarves? It's amazing what's out there.
THE TOY BOX: On average, how much time does one figure take you?
JIN SAOTOME: Usually 4-5 days is required for me to create a 6" custom figure with sculpting, a full paint job, and some sort of custom built accessory. That's allowing time to find the parts that match, build the figure, sculpt what is needed, paint it, and let it cure overnight so you can move it again. Mind you I'm working 8+ hours a day and on multiple projects at once. When I have to let sculpt harden or paint cure I move to something else. But really it all depends on how much effort, time, and detail you want to put into something. From two days to create a Deadpool figure to one month to make a 14" tall Bat Sentry, it's all up to the customizer. Most folks have other jobs so they can't devote an entire day's work to a custom.
THE TOY BOX: From what we’ve heard, painting can make or break any great custom job. Can you tell us about some of the techniques, styles, and brands of paint you use in your work?
JIN SAOTOME: TONS OF DRYBRUSHING! Hah no, I kid. While drybrushing, often called 'highlighting' can play a big part in a custom there's a couple of techniques I find to be the most useful. One is the paint-wash where you dilute a darker paint and let it run into the crevices to create a shadow effect. Another is the paint wipe, completely covering a basecoat with another color and then wiping just the surface clean to get a gradient effect. And of course highlighting/drybrushing where you briskly run a nearly paintless brush across the surface so that paint only adheres to tips and edges. My favorite brands of paints that stick to bare plastic would be Testors Model Master Acrylic and Formula P3. Make sure not to use enamel on soft plastic or it will stay tacky forever, slowly dissolving the plastic over time! Tamiya spray lacquer is my choice to basecoat hard plastic Transformers.
THE TOY BOX: You say that in the past you wanted to change the world with your customs. What changes did you have in mind, and have you seen any of those changes evolve into the medium since?
JIN SAOTOME: Well it was more that I hoped that I could change the toy industry, and their approach to action figures. But that was before I learned that creating an action figure in a company takes an insane amount of steps from start to finish and they really have a tough time just getting something painting the right color back from China. It's a wonder our figures look as good as they do now with all the legal hoops they have to jump through. Customizers don't have those restrictions. Our 'base of operations' is right here in our garage, not overseas and we can make Wolverine's claws as sharp as we like. Since then I've switched gears and want to teach people to customize to improve the figures on their end, not try and convince the toy companies to change. The changes I've noticed are more and more people enjoying the hobby and less complaining about an off-the-shelf figure because people can fix it themselves!
THE TOY BOX: If you had complete control of the action figure universe as we know it, where would you see the hobby go in the future?
JIN SAOTOME: Well let's start at the root of it first, retail bought action figures. I'd have every toy company cancel their contracts overseas and have them start making toys in the USA. The bulk of all delays, logistical problems, and headaches of making action figures is that it's all done in China. You don't have a hands-on look at your product until it's already spent 2 months floating across the ocean on a giant barge. Imagine if you could have design input in hours. Make running changes, communicate efficiently, and have product shipped out the month you create it. I realize that's all but a pipe dream now but it would be so much easier to customize figures if we could have the companies create amazing figures in the first place, made in the USA where we they could have direct control. Did you know there are zero current action figure lines made in the USA? From GI Joe to DC, it's all made in China.
THE TOY BOX: The subject of exporting all of our goods and services out of the Country is a touchy one. Though we didn’t know just how large of an extent that had reached in the world of action figures. In your experience, is this the major contributing factor when it comes to delayed toys not being on store shelves?
JIN SAOTOME: Since I don't work in the industry directly I really couldn't officially nail that down as the cause. But talking to so many people in so many of the different companies, it appears to be. The back-and-forth tweaking and the communication problems of trying to explain what needs to be fixed. Running changes, color/paint issues, you have to wait months to get the final product in your hands and by then most of the product already needs to have been made. Ever heard the term 'spinning meat' on a figure? It's when there's an extra cut joint with no purpose like in the Toybiz Professor X's legs or Hasbro's Symbiote Spiderman. Points of articulation cost money, not just in tooling but in the time it takes for a machine to spit that extra part out and cool down for the next one. Then more time for a worker to assemble that unneeded joint. Closer ties with a factory would keep that from happening and it would a lot easier to call them up and say "Stop the machines! That's the wrong size Wolverine head!" because a rep could have the finished item in days, not months.
THE TOY BOX: Since you’re a customizer of toys, you obviously support many toy lines by buying figures to scavenge for parts, but are there any lines you collect, and don’t tweak or change?
JIN SAOTOME: Actually? All of them. I don't keep any of my own customs, it's just satisfying to know I've successfully made a character. Instead I collect factory figures and enjoy them for what they represent, a collection of individual's ideas and talents. Someone had to sculpt that body, a team had to decide on the paint scheme, another team to pull it all together, etc. That takes an amazing amount of time, effort...and love. Nobody gets 'stuck making toys' to my knowledge. You have to have a real interest and pursue a job in the action figure industry. To honor the visionary companies like SOTA toys, Mezco, Toy Biz, Palisades that provide the raw materials for us to use in our customs I proudly display and enjoy their unaltered figures. Occasionally I'll keep a custom for an extended period of time but when a company gets around to making that character I'll keep theirs and sell my custom one so someone else can enjoy it.
THE TOY BOX: Word of mouth is crucial for your average entrepreneur. Other than your website, where can we find your work - Have you ever been involved with the comic and toy convention community?
JIN SAOTOME: The internet is an amazing word-of-mouth machine and there are so many figure forums out there for both general and specific lines you could spend all day showing off your work on them. The FigureRealm.com is a place where someone without a site can host a gallery of their work and receive comments. Internet aside, while I was living in California I was invited to attend the annual San Diego Comic Cons as a professional so long as I was available to answer questions or show up at panels. That was a real treat! I got to talk to all the great guys at the Mattel, Mezco, and Hasbro booths among others and make some great friends within the industry. From there I branched out doing odd projects for various companies and just having a good time helping them out however I could. Now that I'm in Tennessee I plan on hitting the various Botcons and Joecons that pop up nearby.
THE TOY BOX: Unlike a lot of customizer out there, you offer a great amount of your work to the public via Ebay auctions. Are there any specific “brands” of customs you have found that sell better then others?
JIN SAOTOME: If it has to do with Deadpool the piece will usually do great. For some reason everyone likes the Merc with a Mouth! I've gone so far as to make era-specific variations like Western, Crusader, Future, etc Deadpools all being received well. Deadpool in a mech? Sold. Deadpool on a scooter? Sold. The Steampunk genre seems to be a great hit with fans too. Comic characters that have been re-envisioned with gears, cogs, brass fitting and pistons sell really well as long as their powers/abilities are well thought out in the steam-era fashion. Transformers remains the most lucrative brand to customize and their collectors tend to pay the most for their customs. They can also be the most fickle. One misplaced faction symbol or unpainted tail light and you'll only get negative remarks and a low ending bid. You have to know what they like!
THE TOY BOX: On average, what do your pieces go for?
JIN SAOTOME: Unfortunately because I cover so many different lines for so long I no longer have an average. The character chosen matters in every line too and really makes the amount vary. Take 6" marvel Legends for example. One of my Cable customs sold for $250 while his partner Domino went all the way to $450. I didn't expect that. A good Gambit or Deadpool can bring up to $900, but Cyclops or Wolverine might only break $150. This is the risk of using Ebay, it's whatever that week's current interest is. However you can usually judge what's 'in' by seeing what new comic story arc is going on or what new video game is popular. So an average price of a Marvel Legends custom for me is around $250.
THE TOY BOX: Do you do direct customs for people? If so, what would be the average cost to have a one of a kind Jin Saotome action figure?
JIN SAOTOME: I really, really, REALLY try not to. I tell everyone I don't take commissions because in the past I've found once you take someone's money for a project they can change from a simple collector to a micromanaging controller. They may demand something that I think looks terrible on a figure, or suddenly want those Archangel wings with individually cut steel feathers that slide out on brass hinges. Then it's a drawn out email argument. What I prefer to do is create something and find a buyer for it through Ebay. That way I'm also not telling you what it's worth by setting a price, you're telling me how much it's worth to you by placing your bid. Not everyone can do this and for some commissions are their only real way of making money.
THE TOY BOX: So you’ve created these three figures; Machine Head, Grimwing and Pyre. Tell us about them – Their background story, the world they live in, and your overall inspiration for them.
JIN SAOTOME: Machine Head is something I came up with after wanting to incorporate a S.I.C. theme (super imaginative chogokin) into a 6" Marvel Legends format. It's set about 200 years in the future and focuses around a mega corporation that has successfully combined human biological, technological, and 'demological' sources to create a new species. The gateway to the otherwordly dimension they discovered gets stuck open and floods the earth with all sorts of magical energies twisting its design. A demi-being emerges from the gateway, Hellvore the Armed, and takes control of the corporation freeing the lab-created beings to act as his army on earth. One being however rejects his role and connects with his human side, fighting back to close the gateway...enter Machine Head. Grimwing and Pyre are just some of Hellvore's baddies set loose to stop Machine Head. As his name implies he has mechanical parts in his head but they appear to only be a part of something larger within him. I'd love to write the story out but haven't had time yet. So far it just exists as a storyline inside my head and in a couple of customs. I'll be making more however so keep an eye out.
THE TOY BOX: What future projects will you be tackling this year - Any specific toys, lines, genres – Any special events?
JIN SAOTOME: My Steampunk Marvel custom line needs more characters and I really need to keep practicing my scratchbuilding, weathering, and metallic painting. I want to do a Mad Max/Death Race series of Transformers so I'm looking for weaponized characters. But honestly I'm up for anything. I could have all sorts of plans but I'll see a hat, or maybe a robot's arms and think up a brand new direction of customs. Who knows! Just know that I'll keep making customs so long as you all keep enjoying them.
THE TOY BOX: Thank you for chatting with us. You’ve given us a whole new insight to the world of action figures that we never knew existed. We really appreciate your time.
JIN SAOTOME: Thanks for all the questions, it gives me insight into your readers. The Toy Box is on my blogger list so keep up the good work!
So where will Jin Saotome's Dangerous Toys go next? We'd love to see a real laser beam heat vision shooting Superman figure. One that could melt ice cubes from across the room. Or how about the villinaous Shocker (from the Spider-Man series) with an actual taser effect? We could be putting ideas into John's head that may not be wise, but hey, anything goes when designing "dangerous" toys!
Keep up the good work, John! We wish you the best for 2012 and beyond!
All photographs and logos used in this article are the property of Jin Saotome's Dangerous Toys. Used with permission.
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