Customizer of the Month- July 2006- Jim Hampton

Name: Jim Hampton (Megojim)

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

JH: Born: Wichita, Kansas Moved to Texas with Family in 1968. Divorced - Son, Nathan - Girlfriend, Lesha - Dog, Petey. Occupation: Commercial Sales Mgr-The TruGreen Companies. Other Hobbies: Just started building Resin Models, Landscape Oil Painting

CM: How did you get started collecting mego?

JH: Actually by mistake, I had just re-discovered one of my favorite toys (Major Matt Mason) saw a collection on some TV Show. I went to my first toy show seeking Major Matt Mason and while browsing came upon a guy with some Mego Planet of the Apes figures. Bam! a rush of memories playing with those figures hit me. So I purchased a Soldier Ape, Dr. Zaius and an Astronaut. Little did I know that those three figures would lead to acquiring most of Mego's 8" lines.

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

JH: See above, the playability of the Apes line never ceased for me. I loved launching those plastic boulders at everything! As a sidenote . . . I admire the work put into the Mego Legends lines, Ivanhoe being my Favorite.

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)

JH: More WGSH villains . . . Batman and Spiderman were taken care of but that was pretty much it. How can you have a Superhero with no bad guys?

CM: What motivated you to start customizing?

JH: After getting into collecting I purchased a few figures whose outfits needed stitching and such. I then saw a few other customs and decided to give it a try. When I found that I could do this (make a decent custom figure) I started making customs to fund my Mego collection. Above all I`ve continued to customize because I truly enjoy the creative process.

CM: What was your first custom (and do you have a pic)?

JH: The Flash (no pic)

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

JH: OK I guess, Flash is probably one of the easiest figures to do. Back then we were hoarding Captain America heads to do a lot of customs. Just cut off the wings modify the front of the mask and add Flash's wings/bolts and viola'.

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

JH: I hope I've improved across the board. More importantly, I think any form of art that one does, should evolve, good, bad or whatever. If it's always the same it gets pretty boring. I've learned that superglue is a blessing!

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

JH: This is a tough one, I'm a jack of all trades but master of nothing. I'd like to think that my design and implementation of that design is my strongest suit.

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?)

JH: Literally? Well with Russ, Austin and CTVT on the job it has made customizing a pretty easy task. On the creative side I would say to anyone that you have to keep your mind open and think through what you want to create . . . . use your imagination to it's fullest.

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?

JH: Like most everyone it's the last one I did! Seriously though, I think I'm proudest of my Nightcrawler. My goal with every custom is for it to replicate my source and that one I hit dead on. Honorable mentioned would have to go to Dynomutt, that figure was a joy to make.

CM: Why do you choose the projects you choose?

JH: I have to be motivated to want to do the figure. It might be the character itself or one I've never heard of but there has to be a hook. Hugh and I have worked together for quite a few years and he gives me a list of characters and I pick the one that interests me most.

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

JH: Ok, you're trying to get me in trouble . . . . there are so many . . . Don Dillon's Shazam, Ed Nagy's Vulture, Most anything Jason (JMC) does. I also enjoy Bobbait's figures, he does nice simple figures that really capture Mego. We're blessed to have so many talented people around here.

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

JH: Well, I'm actually taking a break from customizing right now, but with the CTVT space suits out I am working on an 8" Major Matt Mason. Then whatever Hugh has waiting for me when I'm ready.

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

JH: It definitely enhances it! There wouldn't be such a big market for it if it wasn't a good thing. Look at where Twisted Toyfare has gone and now Robot Chicken.

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

JH: Do it for the enjoyment first. There are no rules, experiment and form your own style.

CM: Do you sell custom figures or parts? If so, why?

JH: I do commission work for full figures. Right now I am taking a break but I bet I'll get the itch come fall. You can find some of my heads @

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

JH: My son loves it! He thinks I made all the figures in my toy room. My girlfriend thinks I'm a little weird but thinks it kinda cool.

I've truly enjoyed every aspect of the Mego collecting community. It's a tight knit bunch. Hopefully I'll get to meet some of the group at a future Mego Meet. On a final note a big thanks to Brain, Scott, Dave and the many others that have taken the Mego Museum to a level no one ever thought possible.

CM: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Jim!

Visit Jim's Website