Customizer of the Month- September 2010 - Robert Leach
Name: Robert Leach aka spyweb007

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

RL: I am married, and have a four year old son. I am an artist and have done some comic book illustration and self publishing

CM: How did you get started collecting mego?

RL: As a kid I had most of the Mego Apes, Trek and WGSH lines and they were my favorite toys. I never got rid of them and still have them from childhood

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

RL: My favorite would probably be Captain Kirk, although it's tough to pick a favorite line it would be WGSH.

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).

RL: The Flash!

CM: What motivated you to start customizing, and what was your first custom?

RL: I wanted more 8"figures to ad to my Mego collection, and when I found repro resources online I started putting pieces together. My first custom was the Greatest American Hero, I used a CTVT Ralph Malf and convinced my wife to sew a red suit for him

CM: How did GAH turn out, looking back on it now?

RL: I was really happy with how it came out, the head worked well enough, but the suit my wife made really makes the figure look great.

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

RL: I have been working on sculpting, and while I'm not quite there yet I think with some time I'll be able to do some nice finished heads.

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

RL: I'm good with painting, but one of my strongest points is probably seeing character likenesses in unlikely sources, like turning Jefferson Darcy from CTVT's Married with Children line into Battlestar Galactica's Starbuck.

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?

RL: My favorite custom has to be a Star Wars Stormtrooper, mainly because of the challenge of making the Stormtrooper armor. I used a Pez head and Craft Foam for the armor and really liked the final result.

CM: Why do you choose the projects you choose?

RL: I tend to choose characters based on what I have available that I think will work for a head, then start putting together the costume and accessories.

CM: What resources make it easier for you as a customizer?

RL: All the online sources for repro parts are great, like Doc Mego, Castaway and CTVT. I also always keep a lookout for usable Pez heads. Once I find the head for a character that I think works, I can't help but start building a custom of them.

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

RL: There's just too much great work out there to choose, although I really like Cmonster's Apes customs lately.

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

RL: I've been in the middle of a bunch of Star Wars customs lately, and have been putting together some Clone Wars figures for my son which has been a lot of fun. He's currently waiting for me to finish Obi Wan and Sohka to go with his Anakin and Clone Trooper.

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

RL: I think customizing is great for the hobby. There are only so many characters Mego produced, customizing is a good way to keep growing the collection once one has all of the official Megos they want. I also think it's more fun to build a custom than buy a figure on ebay. For example, I asked my son if he wanted the new Mattel Retro Batman, and he said no, he wants to build his own with a Batman Pez he has.

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

RL: Keep your eyes open, you never know when you'll find a part or a head that will kickstart a new custom.

CM: Do you sell custom figures or parts? Why, or why not?

RL: I have only sold a couple of customs, I do try to buy enough parts to make two of whatever I'm working on, with the intention to sell one and keep one, but my son keeps taking my extras lately.

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

RL: A lot of my friends are toy collectors, so they think it's cool, some want to make their own and some want me to make some for them. Funny thing is, I met one of my good friends who is a member here (megocrazy) because of my first custom, the Greatest American Hero. I had the custom displayed for sale at a local toy show I set up at, not really wanting to sell it but more to show my work for possible commisions, and when Chuck noticed it we started talking. We have hit the same toy show together many times since.

CM: Any closing thoughts?

RL: The Mego Museum is a great resource and the best community of people I've ever seen on the web. I visit daily and never get tired of this awesome place.

CM: Thanks for your participation Robert!!