While many would view “action figure toys” as mere playthings for children, the sustained popularity of such lines as GI Joe (even Barbie) and the recent advent of more and more figures manufacturers here and abroad prove what adult collectors and hobbyists (commonly called “Joeheads”) have believed all along:
“Action figure toys” is a form of art.
Is this consideration really a stretch? Maybe not.
Primitive cave drawings and their three-dimensional counterparts of crude carved sculptures, often human figurines, reveal man’s desire to create representations of his reality and of himself, whether for enjoyment, for inspriation, or even for spiritual edification. The power of his creations to serve these functions derives most directly from the expressive accuracy of the art. That is, the more the representation actually looks like the real thing, the better. And so it is not surprising that an oil-painter who paints masterfully and photo-realistically garners more praise from the lay person than
his counterpart who chooses to paint in the abstract.
And so it is with action figure toys.
Yet, the goal of the toy maker who manufactures his product on a massive scale is simply to maximize profits through volume. Cheaper materials and simplified manufacuring processes certainly help in this endeavor, but these methods are not without their “costs”. Typically, the sacrifices come in the way of poor likenesses, lower quality and, in the overall, diminished credibility as an art form.
And thus is born the need for us who humbly call ourselves “Customizers’, who seek to fill the voids left by streamlined manufacturing processes, high licensing fees, and the huge flat costs for launching a new figure.
If there is an art to being a seamster, an art to being a sculptor, and an art to being a painter, why should it not be considered an art if all three are done at once in one-sixth scale? For in crafting our own custom figures and heads, we Customizers are simply striving to elevate this genre to an art form.