« on: February 1, 2006, 06:20 PM »
I’ve been thinking about this question a lot since I posted my response last night and I wanted to clarify a few things. First, although I’ve said that I have sold customs on eBay as a source of “funding the hobby” I don’t customize just to make money. If you break down the time it takes to make a custom figure and the resources that goes into it, you are making on the order of something like $5/hour for your efforts. There are much easier ways I could earn $5/hour. So I agree that customizing is not going to pay for all the bills. However, I agree with Fritz’s last point in that you can earn enough to pay for supplies for 2 or 3 more figures.
I don’t know everyone’s personal situation but I have a wife and two kids. My wife thinks my Star Wars “thing” is crazy and couldn’t possible understand why I would want to buy so many toys. “You need how many of those white colored toys?” So if I can sell a couple of custom figures to help me buy more toys, it keeps her off my back (at least for the time being). So in that essence, I’ve used customs to help “fund the hobby.”
Another point that was raised was does selling customs hurt the hobby in general? Until I saw custom figures on eBay, I didn’t even know there was this phenomenon of customizing toys. I was floored by the high quality of work that I saw there. As I did more research on some SW fan sites, I found out more information about this customization hobby. I attended C3 (my first fan convention) last year and one of the booths I wanted to see the most was the FFURG customs booth and NiubNiubs diorama area. I was only able to go to C3 for 1 day and I brought my 6 old son with me to soak it all in. He was a real trooper (no pun intended, he actually dressed like a Jedi) but he didn’t have the patience to allow me to sit down and create my little piece of the death star. I did however stand at the FFURG booth and do my first ever custom figure (head swap on an Endor Rebel Soldier), nothing fancy but I was hooked.
So far for me, the fun part has been in actually creating the customs. As I’ve said before, I don’t have an ideal place to display the customs, so many of my best figures are just sitting in my basement. So for know, the fun I have is in the creation of a toy that isn’t already available or improving on one that is.
Like I said before, I’m new to this community, I’ve only been posting here for about a month. I used to only get my custom “fixes” on another SW website and quite frankly, that site wasn’t very active on the customs front. I love all the work that I see here and I really enjoy the group that I’ve started to interact. I hope to continue to be regular. Even if I’m “one of those guys”, I’d like to think that I contribute the hobby as a whole even if I ask more questions than provide answers. I certainly hope that people are not shunned for selling customs on eBay. Don’t get me wrong; in reading through the responses to this thread, I don’t get that feeling. I would certainly agree with the majority that if people just started posting their customs in attempt to attract business on eBay, then that is likely detrimental to the community overall.