SDCC and the Custom Panel!
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SDCC and the Custom Panel!

Posted in Custom Workstation

Hey all, I've just returned home from the SDCC and would like to thank Joe Amaro for hosting the panel as Pablolobo of the Fwoosh couldn't be there to host this time. Jesse DeStasio from Mezco toy was a blast to talk to and had a real rock-star image of customizing. Eddie Wires had some great tips about the cel-paint he uses, (I'll be checking into that) Matt Doughty and Robert Torres rounding out the group along with Justin Aclin of ToyFare magazine helping to explain how to be featured in ToyFare magazine. There were some great questions asked and answered. All of the guest speakers took time out of their schedules to show up and it was very cool of them.

Unfortunately the plan got jumbled along the way. If you'll remember in the program description we were asked to bring our customs with all ages and skill levels welcomed. But we found out there were no tables moved to display anyone's work and it ended up just being an hour-long panel where the audience sat and listened to the guests speak. Joe brought his excellent scratch-built Hiss suit and Jesse brought an original custom but none of the audience was able to come up and get a look at them. People around me, especially in the back, were trying to pass around their customs and comment about them but were asked not to and to remain seated quietly. I could see the frustration building especially towards the end where people were leaving early.

As the panel ended I was approached by many of you asking me what happened and why nobody was allowed to show their work or chat with your fellow customizers. I was just as disappointed because I really wanted to see what you all had brought. From what I was able to glimpse of your customs from under your chairs there were some really nice pieces. Someone brought a large collection of JLU customs that looked factory-perfect. I saw one or two Marvel Legends-sized customs passed around and they looked equally amazing.

Next year at the SDCC I want to do things differently. Instead of us being the audience to the industry professionals let's have a change of roles where they become our audience and can see what we're capable of as customizers. Let's turn the Customizing Panel into a Custom Show. One of the big questions was how to get our work noticed by ToyFare and other companies. It was stated that a rep from Hasbro was there in the audience and that they do come to see what the customizing community brings. Well let's show them what we're capable of, the hard work and dedication we put into the hobby. And I won't lie, it's for us too! I know everyone wants to see what your fellow customizers have made and we'll be spending plenty of time at each other's areas!

I'm going to try and get some sponsors together for a larger room as I hear the current Custom Panel is in a freebie room SDCC gives to fans. With such a large turnout of customizers each year and growing, we're going to need tables and a larger space to turn it into a true custom show. When everything is nailed down we can let the toy industry professionals know we're holding such a custom show and invite their reps to see what the fans are making. Anyone with customs to bring, all ages and skill levels will be given a space to set up and display their hard work.

My goal is to see this hobby expand and get all of your work out there to show the world. We have a year to plan it and work out the details. If you have worked with getting rooms at the SDCC before and know the cost/workings/time frame needed, please drop me an email and help me out. I'm going to be contacting all sorts of businesses such as Aves Studios, Testors, Games Workshop, anyone I can think of whose products we use in our hobby and who might want to be a sponsor to the show. Email me with any suggestions, possible sponsors, and any info you can gather.

It's time for our hobby to grow by leaps and bounds!

Posted by Jin Saotome
on Sunday, July 27, 2008
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