Monday, February 06, 2006

How We Started

I first started collecting vintage Star Wars figures in the early 80's when I was a kid. Eventually, I outgrew the toys and my parents threw out all my toys. I didn't realize what a travesty this was until much later...ah well, you live and learn. Then I got back into it around 1995-1996 with the POTF2 collection, and also managed to re-acquire some of my favorite vintage figures. I did my first few customs at this time, although there wasn't a lot of information available about the hobby on the Internet at the time. Near the end of the POTF2 line, I kind of drifted off again and got busy with more important things like getting a job, getting married, and all that other "real-life" stuff. But this time, I didn't throw any of the toys out. I boxed them up and stored them away. I had learned my lesson!

By 2005, I had a 3 year old son who became fascinated with Star Wars. We watched the existing movies and eagerly awaited the final movie in the saga. When he expressed an interest in Star Wars action figures, I bought him his first one - a red and white ROTS Clone Commander. He loved it and soon, we were going strong again. We collected almost the entire ROTS line and are now going strong with the new Saga Collection, and also picked up a few figures of our favorite characters that we had missed along the way from Episode I, Saga, POTJ, etc. Eventually, my son started asking for figures that didn't exist. First it was from the Clone Wars cartoons (a lot of the background Jedi and Clones), then he wanted some from the comics (from the Clone Wars trade paperbacks - his favorite), and then eventually from the movies (a holographic Darth Maul - his current most-wanted). So...we got back into customizing. He's a little too young to help out for now, but he does sit and watch, provides a lot of surprisingly good ideas, and asks a lot of questions. It's a fun hobby for us to share together.

As I got back into customizing, I quickly realized that some of the rules had changed. Most customizers that I've seen on the Internet seem focused on making figures for displays, dioramas, or photonovels. I refer to those customs as customized display figures, but I had to make customized toys - the ones I made had to survive trials with the Dark Side like playtime with a 3 year old! This meant that certain options, like using Sculpey, were out. It was too brittle to withstand being dropped and banged. So making some things became more difficult, but the extra challenge is fun in and of itself.

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