Friday, December 22, 2017

Exclusive interview with Calvin's Custom on Kickstarter Project: 1/6 scale MOTOPSYCLE: mGT, BORGHEAD & GUNRUNNER

Original design 1/6 combat motorcycle, advanced ballistic weapons and cyborg headsculpt by Calvin's Custom, a GATE TOYS Production. Available on Kickstarter (link HERE)

Project Timeline:
Dec 2016 – Calvin's Custom created two custom bikes for showcase at Toysoul 2016 in Hong Kong, one inspired by Mad Max, the other inspired by the Moto-terminator in Terminator Salvation (2009)

Dec 2016 – GATE TOYS invited Calvin's Custom to mass produce one of his custom bikes

March 2017 – Calvin's Custom designed a futuristic combat motorcycle under the title “Convergence” featuring a female rider

May 2017 – A public vote was conducted on Facebook to see which bikes was to be mass produced. The moto-terminator was picked

October 2017 – Prototypes under the working title “MOTOTERMIN8TOR” were showcased at CICF 2017 in China and TTF in Taiwan

12th December 2017 – Kickstarter project under the title MOTOPSYCLE: mGT, BORGHEAD & GUNRUNNER was launched.

Exclusive interview with Calvin's Custom on Kickstarter Project: 1/6 scale MOTOPSYCLE: mGT, BORGHEAD & GUNRUNNER by Alex @ Toy Haven with Calvin @ Calvin's Custom

Alex: Congratulations on the launch of the Kickstarter project! What is it like to run this year long project?
Calvin: Thanks Alex! Time flies... it feels like yesterday when I was on stage talking about the custom bikes with Mr. Bryan Lo of ACI Toys and SEVEN Toys, whom I would like to take this space to thank him again for inviting me to showcase my custom bikes, without which this project would never have come into being.

Click on the pic for a bigger & better view :)
It has been an amazing experience working with GATE TOYS. They have been totally supportive and gave me 100% creative freedom in the design and development process. Mr. Michael Zhu, co-founder of GATE TOYS told me to design whatever and however I like and let them worry about the production technicality. It felt almost like working on a film with unlimited budget, though time was limited as we were aiming at CICF in October 2017. Still, we managed to have prototypes of both 1/6 and 1/18 versions made for the show.

Click on the pic for a bigger & better view :)
And special thanks to Luka Zou of Figure Hobby Club in Taiwan and Ethan Chaing of Studio Sundowners, one of the MOTOPSYCLE made it to Taipei Toys Festival, an annual expo known for original design toys in Taiwan.

Original design 1/6 combat motorcycle, advanced ballistic weapons and cyborg headsculpt by Calvin's Custom, a GATE TOYS Production. Available on Kickstarter (link HERE)

Scroll down to see all the pictures.
Click on them for bigger and better views.

Alex: It's great to have so many friends' support throughout the process. What about the Kickstarter campaign? I can see it involved tremendous amount of preparation. It looks very well planned and executed.
Calvin: Coming from a Corporate Communications and Brand Management background prior to my life as a toy guy, presentation has always been important to me professionally, by that I don't mean just photography and art works, but the consistency in look and feel, as well as the narrative of the project. Starting from the naming of the project, designing of the rewards, to the subsequent on-going presentation of promotional material after the project is launched, every step has been thought through thoroughly before execution.

The Kickstarter project has indeed gone beyond my skills as a designer and customizer, and called for my experience in another area. Luckily, with the help of my good friend Mr. John Mccormick of Green Wolf Gear, who successfully helped Dorgmal Snow, a British customizer friend of mine, launch a successful Kickstarter last year, I was able to configure the project goal and rewards with a very insightful guided tour. That helped a lot!

Alex: Moving onto the products: starting with the MOTOPSYCLE, can u tell us more about the design, and why a motorcycle instead of a full action figure?
Calvin: Sure! Well, in terms of creativity, for those who have followed my works through the years, I am known to do the obvious but with a twist, like Predator versions of Hellboy and Blade, Hellgal (female version of Hellboy), or Teen Bat and heavily armored old Batman. With MOTOPSYCLE, I wanted to do a gunship on two wheels with heavy artillery, incorporated with the themes of skull and skeleton, applicable to a post-apocalyptic setting.

A fan of mine, Kevin Hall, put it perfectly the other day by calling it “Terminator x Mad Max”.

Design-wise, it was out of a need actually. Although many motorcycles had been produced, American and Japanese, none has what I seek to have as stated above. Ghost Rider's Hell Bike came close, but with no guns mounted on it, I decided to create my own. And I am glad that many collectors share the same need. When it comes to mass production, even though it will be a very small run this time, around 100 pieces worldwide I think, it is still critical that I am producing what collectors want, not just what I like.

Many people have asked me why I did not choose to release a full figure as my 1st Kickstarter project, or why the project doesn't come with a full figure. The way I see it, there are already so many figures coming out each and every month, and the market is flooded with licensed, non-licensed and original design figures of different genres. Being a customizer, instead of diving into that, I seek to find a niche that has yet been tapped into, a need that has yet been fulfilled, the obvious but with a twist again :P

Alex: I see, well thought through indeed, and that brings us to the BORGHEAD and GUNRUNNER weapon sets. Seems like although u are not releasing a full action figure, you do have plans, or at least you do want to produce one, no?
Calvin: The BORGHEAD and GUNRUNNER weapon sets were created for two reasons, one is customizer thinking, the other a practical Kickstarter one.

As a customizer, I feel excited and sad at the same time when I see how the hobby has grown. With so many products released at such a high speed these days, collectors don't really have the time to enjoy a figure as much as we used to. I feel that there are just too many figures to pre-order and unbox, take pictures and share. Today's highly sort after piece gets shelved or sold to sustain the hobby tomorrow. The figures are not being appreciated enough for the art that went into making them.

The idea of a cyborg headsculpt standalone and weapon sets is to give shelved collections, probably most applicable to military action figures, which the hobby started out with, a SECOND LIFE. I was thinking, all the Navy Seals, SAS, SDU... Special Ops figures that we collected through the years, instead of eating dust on the shelf, I would very much like to offer something that could motivate collectors to bring them out and shine again for one more time at least, to go with several recent futuristic military cyborgs release, or battle with the latest instalment of superheroes.

It's unlikely I will be producing a full action figure anytime soon, at least not in a over 100 quantity, but one thing is for sure: once this MOTOPSYCLE:mGT project is successfully backed, GATE TOYS and I have in store cyborg arms, hands and armor later in 2018 to help collectors to build their own cyborgs.

The more practical reason for creating the BORGHEAD and GUNRUNNER weapon sets was that I know not every one is into motorcycle, and surely not every one has the budget for it. So to help us reach our goal, these items will serve as a lower priced point options for collectors to contribute to the project so it would ultimately reach its goal.

Alex: I really like the idea of a SECOND LIFE for shelved action figures, very Toy Story like! Now, speaking about options, can u tell us a little more about the Rewards, specifically why so many different versions of the MOTOPSYCLEs? Probably quite difficult for those who have problem making decisions, lol!
Calvin: Lol! Yeah, I think Toy Story does speak to all of us toy lovers, well put :P On the options, yes, I intended that from day one there will be different versions. Essentially the design is the same for the bike, headsculpt and weapons The reasons for the different colors is again based on needs as different collectors of different themes would need different colors for the bikes, hence the Black version which is more generic for most action figures, from superheroes to movie characters Then there are the military versions for military figures collectors. Also, the silver and T-version would work well with sci-fi characters.

Since this is aa extremely limited quantity production, which I would be personally involved with in the painting and weathering of it, I have a bigger flexibility in the offerings, and hence serve a wider variety of needs among collectors.

Also, again, customizer thinking customization, I do love to offer collectors as many options as possible, so whether the MOTOPSYCLE or the BORGHEAD or the GUNRUNNER weapon sets, I hope they can find a variety of use for them, not just a one time unbox > take pics > to shelf or display case experience.

Alex: Excellent! Apart from the cyborg accessories mentioned earlier, are there any other future plans for mass production that you can share with us?
Calvin: Yes there are actually. The prototypes of the 1/18 scale version of this project have already been developed. As I have many customizer and collector friends who collect 1/18 scale, as well as the fans of G.I. Joe, Boss Fight Studio, Marauder Task Force and Acid Rain, so, as soon as this 1/6 project is successfully backed, we will launch the 1/18 version on Kickstarter in Q1 2018. And for every 1/18 collectors' 26USD “Fire Support” in the current 1/6 Kickstarter project, special offer will be offered later in the 1/18 Kickstarter project.

For 1/6th scale, I am also in talks with several good friends of mine in the industry. There might be some crossover projects with several known brands next year.

Alex: Sounds exciting! Can't wait!!! Lastly, any words for the readers of Toy Haven?
Calvin: Thanks Alex. Yes, the goal of the Kickstarter Project is the actual production cost we need to initiate the production, and every SHARE and SUPPORT is critical to reach this goal. Since it is the Christmas season, and in order to thank you and your readers for taking the time and interests in the project, GATE TOYS and I would like to give a special offer to all TOY HAVEN readers:
Per every purchase of any version of the MOTOPSYCLE, a FREE 1/6 scale Cyborg Skull Face headsculpt (Black Ops version) and full set of 1/6 GUNRUNNER weapon set of 5 weapons (Black version) will be given to all TOY HAVEN readers.

To claim the FREE gifts, you can simply message the project FB page: with a screen capture of your backing of the project and type “TOY HAVEN”.

Thanks again for the interview Alex and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Original design 1/6 combat motorcycle, advanced ballistic weapons and cyborg headsculpt by Calvin's Custom, a GATE TOYS Production. Available on Kickstarter (link HERE)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sweet I only collects 1 18 scale