Customizer of the Month- February 2008- Jason Roberts
Name: Jason Roberts (Black Knight)

CM: Any Personal Info you are willing to share: (married? Kids? Pets? Occupation? Where from? Other hobbies,/Interests?).

JR: I am 32 yrs old, I live outside of Seattle Washington. Not married, but live with girlfriend and our 8 yr old son. No pets. I work construction, a Pipe layer/Laborer if you will. I love seaDoing, as well as going to Seattle SeaHawk games. The NFL Rules ! lol... I also like toy collecting, & of course making figures.

CM: How did you get started collecting mego?

JR: When I was 4 or 5 my Mom bought me a few of them. I only had a total of 7 of em. Batman, Robin, Spiderman, Hulk, Superman, Joker & Penguin. I think mego was on the way out when I got them. I was rather poor with them, but they were my favorite toys ever. After they were gone, I always looked and hunted for them in stores whenever I got a chance. However, no such luck until about 2001 or 2002 when I found them on ebay in a Batman search. I couldn't Believe it. I must admit, in my 1st year of re-discovering these, I was rather foolish & spent wildly, as well as over spent. But hey, I couldn't help myself.

CM: What is your favorite original mego figure and line?

JR: WGSH. Was and still is. Not sure I care about much else, however through the forums I have learned to appreciate some of the other lines like Trek and the Apes.

CM: What is, in your opinion, the biggest "hole" in mego's original lines. (what figure or figure line is missing that should have been done).

JR: Only Following WGSH, I'd have relate the question to that line. When I had them as a kid, I was only aware that Mego made the 7 figures I had. I never knew about the rest until I re-discovered them on Ebay. I would have to say with the time, I can't believe they never made a Flash, Green Lantern and Hawkman. These three are the confusing ones to me. Doctor Doom as well as Doc Ock also. Spider-man & Friends was huge at the time when I had Megos. Dr. Doom & Doc Ock were always on the show. I Never even knew who the Lizard was when I was a kid. I don't understand the characters they made for that time period. Lizard, Tarzan and Isis? I never saw anything while I was into Megos that pertained to these characters. However I was younger than most that enjoyed these treasures.

CM: What motivated you to start customizing?

JR: After buying a few from ebay sellers and thinking I could do better, as well as getting them cheaper. Also, I'm a comic book reader of late 80's and 90's material and most customizers do not do the characters that I am into, let alone have even heard of them. Being younger than most who enjoy the hobby, I have different character interests, and don't know that much about characters from "yesteryear", unless of course it's mainstream. The lack of these characters in the 8" Mego format, which is my favorite scale, really prompted me to engage in the hobby of customizing.

CM: What was your first custom?

JR: My first custom was DareDevil. Just a Brian Lietner head with some DocMego Loot. (pictured below with a newer version)

CM: How did it come out? (looking back on it now)

JR: Yeah,.. I dunno,.. At the time it was what I was going for, as far as heading in the right direction. However when you compare it to my latest one {the one on the right}, it demonstrates where the direction of my work is headed. I'd say it was good for the time and very Megoesque.

CM: What have you done/learned that has improved your customizing skills?

JR: I feel that I am a better Painter now. I have learned a few tricks along the way. The #1 thing would be learning how to sew. It gives your figures a place in the customizing community, it stops your figures looking like someone else's. Learning how to sew is probably the biggest asset that any customizer can have. I have recently began sculpting, molding & boosting my own stuff too. It helps for me cost wise and helps me grow. I am an addict. When I get involved with something it sucks when I can't finish it, or have to wait for something to come to me. When that happens I loose the urge to continue the project. Mold making helps with that, because I can have it NOW. Also with some of the themes I choose, there is not something out there for it, so this was the best course of action to take. For the record, I'd like to give all the head shops out there a big round of applause. Unless you have tried it. this crap is not easy folks. They all are a very talented bunch and hats off to them. I guess if it were easier you would have more shops out there.. lol. They make it look so effortless when they showcase a new head.

CM: What areas of customizing is your strongest points, or favorite things to do?

JR: I would have to say the ability to make a character look as if it popped out of the comic books. I think this is tricky to do sometimes, if that is what you are looking for. Finding the correct materials is a difficult process, it takes time to develop that skill. Also the subjects I choose. Not many people do some of the characters I choose so with that, there is more of a variety of Super Heros out there. I think one day when it's said and done that's probably what I will be remembered for. As far as my "least favorite thing". I would say sewing underwear. Man, this blows. Seriously. lol.

CM: What resources make it easier for you as a customizer? (is there a source for parts? Information? Etc. that aids you more than anything else?).

JR: Obviously all the Head shops out there. Like I said, a big thanks over here. The tutorials on CustoMego as well, as far as Molding, I learned quite abit.. Captain Dunsel's Mego Patterns, for sewing. There is alot of info out there if you look for it. The custom packaging shops out there too. Custom Packaging just adds so much more to a figure IMO. It's real neat how talented these guys are. Lord knows how much I pester Anthony and he makes me everything I want. Lol! The Fact I talk to Russ and Type3 on the phone every week. lol... They are good guys and the kings of their respective worlds.

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?

JR: Well, It would be either my Warblade, shown above, or my Wolverine. I just love these two the best. I think I nailed the characters, and when I look at them I can't believe I made them. They were alot of fun and quite difficult as well. I am very happy with the final products. Also am very happy to own them.

CM: Why do you choose the projects you choose?

JR: Interests. Some from the books I read. Perhaps I flipped through a book, and saw an image of a character I liked. Others are chosen for me. Sometimes someone will ask me for something, so I do my Best to tackle the character.

CM: What are your favorite customs others have done and why?

JR: Well for different reasons. T-Bolts Eclipso was so cool. When I saw him, I had to make him. What a fantastic character. I guess Toyfare liked him too, they put my figure in the mag.

I like figure lines that people make the most. I mean it's easy to make a character, but to go & make the hole line or a group of them is outstanding. It is very neat to see them together in group shots. Thomas's 66 Bat figures is such a core example of this. What a neat universe he has created. I also love Dave MC's Star Wars characters. I am a huge Star Wars fan and have yet to make a Star Wars custom, but it's a real treat to look at his. I also enjoy Scott's (Gman) G.I.Joe figures. The cartoon was big for me. It's neat to see them in Mego scale.

Jim Hampton's Night Crawler is such a cool piece. I love that figure. Leitner, ED and Austin make some of the best Megoesque figures ever. It's almost as if Mego made these figures themselves. Everything Anthony {Toyroom} does just screams like something I would have played with or killed for as a kid. Bobby Bait's Sargent Rock figure, as well as Buck's WarLord figure. These just scream comic book goodness and are very well detailed, IMO. Laurie's Zombies. Man, these things are terrifying. Has anyone ever scene better painting skills ? I am the proud owner of a set of WonderTwins from JAFAC. Joe did such a teriffic job on these. It seems anything Derek {MegoSpidey} touches these days is gold. He is a new customizer and I have never scene anyone grow so fast in such a short time. I think he was the customizer of the year last year. His figures just keep getting better and better, the man is truly gifted. JMC's SpaceGhost was fantastic. He looked like he stepped off the toon. David Lee's Captain America is a great figure, and probably the best rendition of the character that I have seen. Cap's WarMachine was unreal,.. I can't believe that was even a custom. Johnny's {Type3toys} Deathlok and Mysterio. I own both of these figures and let me say the pics just don't do them justice. Johnny's quite gifted. Of course Charlee Flatt. Perhaps his vision with his head sculpts were not the greatest, however the direction of his work was. It's more what I try to achieve these day with my customs. He was the innovator, with his vision alot of the top customizers on this board achieve what they do today. Without him, the Hobby might not have headed this direction and I believe that if he was still making figures today, his work would have improved and gotten better, just like everyone's does.

There are far too many others to name. Not a very fair Question, however I gave it my best shot. If I hurt anyone feelings I am sorry, but other than SuperHero's, Star Wars or Laurie's Zombies, I don't follow much else. Everyone is gifted in the custom section, & it's entertaining to be able to share it with everyone.

CM: What is on your "to do" list in the near future?

JR: Well I'd like to do about 20 Green Lantern and Sinestro Corp figures from the books I just read. That would be COOL! Also my Ch'od Figure, need to finish him. More X-men of course, and some more Image goodness. I hope to also get better with mold making and sculpting, as well as perfecting my sewing and painting.

CM: How do you think customizing affects the mego collecting hobby?

JR: I think it's huge. I mean I kinda think other than memories, customizing is the hobby today, unless you got a Bunch of cahs lying around. With shops like the Doc's or CTVT, you can have the vintage toys you had when you were a kid for a fraction of the cost. Most people I know in the hobby don't have a lot of cash to spend on the originals. Being able to create characters that Mego never made also helps one's collection grow and helps complete lines of favorite characters. To me, customizing IS the hobby of Mego today. Boards like this help as well, being able to share with others that live many miles away, in interest, ideas and customs. Customizing is the most addictive drug I have ever done.

CM: Any tips or words of customizing advise to new customizers?

JR: Any tips or words of customizing advise to new customizers? "Patience young ones, do or do not, there is no try. If you want, you will, customizer are you".

CM: What does your family/friends think of your mego custom work/hobby?

JR: Not much. Thats why I come here to share it with anyone I can. Sure you get the ooohh, thats neat or dat a boys, however not much more. They don't feel it like we do. My boy loves everything I do though. He wants to keep it all. Sometimes he cry's when I sell something,but he gets over it when I show him I can make another.

CM: Jason, thanks for your participation and the awesome overview of your work!

JR: Big thanks Dave for the opportunity to be a part of the fun. I love this place and the customizing community, as well as the art. It means so very much to me. The community here is some of the best people I have ever had the pleasure to discuss and share with. It is truly an honor to be among you and I hope to be so for many more years to come. - J