recently took some time to sit down with up and coming customizer Alan (ebay seller Onlinebuyer21).  A lot of exciting news comes out of our pow-wow.  Check it out below!

DJ – What inspired you to customize?

Alan – It started as a prank to be honest. I was a part of a few action figure groups on Facebook and wanted to see if I could do something well enough to fool everyone so I made “variants” of Dr. Doom and Dr. Strange, repackaged them and took pictures of them at Walmart.  The response was overwhelming which got me thinking of what other characters I could modify/create.

DJ – It’s interesting that you should bring that up. So…you readily admit that you were goofing the world with those outstanding customs that barely gave away a hint that they weren’t legit?

Alan – I didn’t say anything and just let people make their own assumptions. I posted some pics with the title “Variants at Walmart” and let things run from there.

DJ – Well, I will admit you certainly at least temporarily fooled me! Fantastic work, and it’s always great to get the community chattering.  Since we are on the topic…let me, let you be the first to tell the kids about a little giveaway you and I have collaborated on…

Alan –  I’m just glad I’m not the only guy out there who loves this stuff.  My wife laughs at me all the time about being the biggest geek in the world.  – Well I am finishing up a new Future Foundation Dr. Doom for the giveaway.  I tried a few new techniques so I think this figure both looks and moves a lot better. This figure will also come with customized artwork on the card so it will really look like a brand new figure when all is said and done. The art is the big thing hanging me up right now so hopefully I can have it finished in the next day or two.  Originally I was just going to go with a simple repackage of the figure, but after some careful thought I felt it best to take the extra time and do something really outstanding for you guys.

DJ – The MUReview readers I’m sure will be incredibly excited and I can’t wait for their response myself. If there was one character out there that you’d want a figure of that doesn’t already exist, the one must have Marvel character, who would it be? And did you already make yourself a custom of that character?

Alan – Definitely Iron Man, Spider-Man, probably a nice Wolverine….Seriously though, the ones I really want I am actually working on right now. I plan to start a current projects album on my fb page Imagination Toys.  That should be up today or tomorrow in the meantime quick run-down includes, Blink, Morph, Omega Red, and Super Skrull

DJ – We will make sure to link directly to imagination toys in this article and any future info we post about your customs. That is a list that I’m sure will make more than a few folks jealous.  As we know, the Strange and Doom pics that you posted online were really only up, near as we can tell for maybe a month. Is it about right to say that that is how long you have been customizing?

Alan – Wait till you guys see the pics. I have currently about 15 figures primed and in various stages of the process with a huge list of others I am going to be adding soon pretty much. I made a try out a few months ago, but didn’t really have much time for it so I let it drop.  Then I started up big again a few weeks ago and have been going full steam since. My techniques and ability have improved dramatically in that short amount of time.  Honestly I wasn’t even sure I could pull this off since I never had much talent for artistic endeavors.  Even now I look at some of the other really skilled creators out there and think “maybe I’m kidding myself” but the responses I get on fb and the way people still debate whether my stuff is the real deal or not gives me the confidence to keep going and keep getting better.  To me, not being sure if the figure is real or not is a huge compliment to my work.

DJ – You’ve impressed MUReview…and we aren’t easily impressed. You’ve also done something incredible that I haven’t seen before, and we won’t wrap this up before talking about that as well. Speaking of the act of, and getting a little more into the art of it…how long does it take you to make a custom start to finish, any favorite materials, anything harder to work with, easier to work with?

Alan – Provided I have all the materials I need, it takes me about a day per figure.  The X-Men Box Set took me about 4 or 5 days to make after I got everything I needed.  Thunderbird and Colossus I finished on the same night.  Currently my projects take a bit longer since I have trying to be more patient about drying times so that the paint adheres better.

DJ – Well, there is another bomb from you right there sir. What folks have to look forward to in a huge way.  The X-Men box set, fully re-done in Ultimate Marvel Universe Glory.  I’ve seen the pictures and it looks nothing short of epic. We have a little write up on it waiting to go live, waiting for you to list that up on ebay so that some lucky fan can get paws on. 

Alan – Also it should be noted that there is no “Ultimate Thunderbird” character, so the one I made is essentially new.   Given the artwork and the packaging it didn’t feel right to just jam a random ultimate X-Man in there.

DJ – A sound decision and I think Thunderbird came out great.  So, up for auction now you have a great looking Ghost Rider Danny Ketch “Variant”, and we have a write up on the way about that. The auction ends in two days or so and it’s very reasonably priced. At some point over the next 48 hours you should have the X-Men box set up, and we will put up our write up on that at around the same time so the kids can have a closer look and see. You’ve also got Imagination Toys over at Facebook and we want folks to know about that too There is another aspect, and the last we will talk about here to “Alan”. You are also a very avid collector (as am I). We can see from the images that your style of collecting is a little different than mine.

Alan – Well my wife wont me let me have it strewn around the house so i am confined to my “man room” of sort.  Basically I just converted the garage into another room and used it to display my stuff I keep it in packages because it preserves that feeling you get walking into a toy store as a kid. Sometimes I will go in there just to walk around the room once and take it all in.

DJ – Well, for that we have to thank your wife (and mine respectively) for letting us have space and time for this stuff in the first place I think.  Alan, thanks so much for your time and for providing our readers with more to gawk at, purchase, and even win! I think we will have so much more to talk about in the future from you, and MUReview can’t wait!


Alan – Thank you guys for recognizing my work and helping me get it out there.




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