CM: Any Personal Info you are willing to share: (Married? Kids? Pets? Occupation? Where from? Other hobbies/Interests etc?).
JY: I'm a chartered accountant in my mid-thirties. I'm married with three children under the age of five (twin boys and a baby girl).
CM: How did you get started collecting mego?
JY: I don't ever remember a time when I didn't collect them. I have two older brothers who were playing with them before I was born, so I never knew life without them. Growing up, our most popular game together was making our megos into boxers. We'd have a champion and rankings. The 8" guys were the "little man division" and the 12" guys were the "big man division". We'd each do our own fightcard while the other two watched and cheered. As I got older, I would always pick up a mego at flea markets or yard sales until I was introduced to eBay in the 90's. Suddenly I could bid on the megos I always wanted.
CM: What are your favorite original Mego figures and lines?
JY: My favorite figure would have to be a beardless red haired AJ wearing his jungle safari outfit. I have countless memories with that figure. As far as a favorite line, I'd go with WGSH because I was (and still am) such a fan of the Super Friends cartoon.
CM: What are, in your opinion, the biggest "holes" in Mego's original lines? (What figure or figure line is missing that should have been done?).
JY: Most people say Lex Luthor and Flash and I'd agree with them, but the one figure that I always thought should have been done by mego was a Smokin' Joe Frazier to fight Muhammad Ali. A young George Foreman would have been cool too.
CM: What motivated you to start customizing? What was your first custom?
JY: My brothers and I did customs as kids, which we called "newcomers". I remember watching my brother glue the top of a Bic pen to Hulk's head and turning him into the Rhino. I remember watching him use tinfoil to make Worf's bumpy head. Mine were usually just kitbashes or made by them. I remember throwing a pair of yellow trunks on Bo Duke and calling him Donny Lalonde. I hadn't even considered doing a custom as an adult collector until I seen all the cool heads being sold here in the Museum Forums. It was a Flash head that finally made me think I was up for the challenge. Turns out, I found it very relaxing. I enjoy the nice break from the serious business world I'm in every day. As an adult, The Flash was my first custom.
CM: How did Flash turn out, looking back on it now?
JY: I painted the head and ordered the parts from CTVT and drew an emblem. Was pretty simple, so he looked okay. I gave him away to my nephew who is now playing with his Dad's Megos and I'll wait for Mattel's Flash.
CM: What have you done/learned that has improved your customizing skills?
JY: My painting has gotten better, especially eyes. I also learned that most of the work is done before you ever start. When I do a custom, I think about every little detail before I begin. I never make it up as I go. I have every step mapped out like a little project.
CM: What areas of customizing are your strongest points, or favorite things to do?
JY: I think my biggest strength is my ability to make them look like mego made them. I keep them simple, without a lot of detail, because that's how mego did it. I try and re-use mego parts for everything I can. Whenever I'm planning I ask "how would mego have done this?"
CM: What is your favorite custom you've done and do you think it's your best work? If not, what do you think is your best work?
JY: My Steve Austin is close to being my favorite custom, but I think GI Joe will always be my favorite custom. GI Joe has an actual shrunken head of an old Joe and his hair was flocked by a fellow in England. He even has a tiny dog tag that says GI Joe on it. The box was from Anthony of course. I seeked out the talent of Therresa from the Museum to make an 8" version of Kenner's SMDM suit. It turned out so awesome that she's selling them to others now as well. I can't see me topping either of these guys.
CM: Why do you choose the projects you choose?
JY: Some I choose because I always wanted to have a mego of them (like Steve, Flash, Frazier or GI Joe), others I am inspired by others' customs (like Scorpion) and some I just happen to see really cool head sculpts (Rambo, Arnold, etc).
CM: What resources make it easier for you as a customizer?
JY: Most of my customs start with a purchase from this Museum's marketplace, and then I visit Doc Mego or CTVT to fill in the blanks. Doc's store is and always has been the best source for my projects. The heads available from members here are amazing. Blacknight and reproheads have awesome stuff as do others.
CM: What is on your "to do" list in the near future?
JY: I just finished a line called WGAH (World's Greatest Action Heroes) consisting of Rambo, Dirty Harry, Terminator & Lone Wolf McQuade. Being fresh off of those, I'm kind of blank. But I have four Zica bodies I'm dying to use, but can't decide who to tackle next. I'd love to try Atomic-Man and Bulletman if I could find the heads. I'd also like to try Kingpin if I could find a John Romita style head.
CM: How do you think customizing affects the mego collecting hobby?
JY: It makes it more fun. It's like making your own prototype of a figure you'll likely never see. The fact that I can stand Ali and Frazier side by side is pretty cool for me. Customizing allows me to have that Mego I always wanted.
CM: What do your friends/family think of your customizing hobby?
JY: My audience for customs is basically my two brothers. If they give me the thumbs up, I know it turned out okay. If it looks bad, they'll tell me that too. My Dad enjoys seeing the customs I've done too, but my wife calls them "dolls" just to bug me.
CM: Any tips or words of customizing advice to new customizers?
JY: Ask questions and take advantage of the talent here at the museum. If you're not sure where to find something or how to tackle something, post a question. Chances are if you're a new customizer about to tackle a project, there are about 50 members here who've already done that project.
CM: Do you sell custom figures or parts? Why, or why not?
JY: I've never sold any piece of my mego collection, custom or otherwise. I've always collected for fun and not profit. I have a sentimental attachment to most of them.
CM: Anything else you'd like to share?
JY: Thanks for the interview. It's an exciting time for us mego collectors thanks to the comeback of new mego's coming out in large numbers. The market for 8" figures is growing again and hopefully will continue to grow. I really enjoy this website and probably spend too much time here. It's neat to hear folks from around the globe who get the same joy out of megos that I do.
CM: Thanks for your participation Jason!!