The 2007 Poppies - the Judges!
For our inaugural year, I set out to recruit approximately
100 judges from 5 different categories - Companies, Websites, Collectors,
Retailers, and Artists. The final list shows a fairly even
distribution amongst these groups, with a grand total of 91 folks.
They come from all aspects of the industry - large companies to small,
general websites to niche, contract artists to customizers, and fans of just
about every major license. I'm also happy to say that there's a global
influence, with judges from North America, Asia, Australia and Europe.
And so without further ado, here's the folks that will be
selecting the winners of the 2007 Poppies:
Where would our hobby and the industry be without the many
websites out there that report the news, promote the collectibles, and
provide the social networks for our geek selves. The judges in this
category represent websites that cover every aspect of the industry, from
niche licenses and products to general themes and news. There are 19
judges from 16 well known sites, some of which I'm sure you frequent.
- D. Martin Myatt is photographer/ editor/ creative
director for Cool Toy Review, and
photographer/ editor at Rebelscum.
For more than a decade, he has been contributing to the toy collecting
community through numerous media outlets and has been a contributing editor
and photography covering Star Wars collectibles for Rebelscum for seven
years. Last February, he and fellow Scummer Dan Curto launched Cool
Toy Review, the media site that covers every other action figure line
under the sun.
- Mark "Yoda027" Picirilli is the admin and owner
of several large collecting websites, including
He has been involved in the collecting online community for over 10 years.
Adam Pawlus has been writing about toys online since 1995. As a
contributor to ToyFare Magazine, several web sites, and other publications,
his currently best known for his daily "Figure of the Day" and weekly "Q&A"
columns at Galactic Hunter.
He maintains a general toy news blog at
16bit.com, and his day job is the merchandiser/Toy Evangelist for
- Jess C. Horsley, like Luke
Skywalker, grew up on a farm and dreamt of escaping his small-town life to
travel other worlds. After enlisting in the USMC as an infantryman, he
realized this dream. A decorated combat veteran, Horsley continues to escape
the monotony of a routine life as the managing editor of
Figures.com, where he's free to play
with toys and actually gets paid to do so.
- Daniel "Julius Marx" Pickett is the
co-creator/co-owner of Action
Figure Insider, a toy news site with a focus on the creators and process
of making pop culture collectibles. He has been writing about toys for
just under 10 years and has been collecting his whole life. He also
consults with many companies on projects, hosts panel discussions at
conventions, and answers questions from readers all over the world.
Action Figure Insider has
recently been featured on Wired.com, G4's "Attack of the Show", and USA
Today's "Pop Candy" blog.
- Jay Cochran is
the President and Co-Founder of Entertainment News International LLC, a
network of media websites dedicated to covering all things "pop culture".
Started in 1999 with a small website called AmericanDreamComics.com (now
known as Toy News International),
which focuses primarily on action figures and collectibles, Jay and his
partner, Jack Hurtwitz, have worked to create one of the most extensive "pop
culture" networks on the Internet today focusing not only on action figures,
but also on video games, comic books, and movie and television entertainment
news, reaching over 100,000 readers on a daily basis.
Philip Wise is best known around here as the founder of
Rebelscum. When not answering
email or figuring out what to add next with website publishing software,
Philip can be found making heaps of sawdust in his New Wookiee Workshop, or
managing another website interest,
- Norman "Ronin Six" Apalis is the
co-founder, and senior editor of the
OneSixthWarriors, a prominent
website devoted to showcasing the best of 1:6th scale action figures of all
brands, genres, and eras. Having been an action figure buff for over a
decade, he has amassed a collection of "man-dolls" ranging from science
fiction to modern military bordering on excessive. Supported by a horde of
highly passionate 1:6 hobbyists, along with an equally fanatical group of
staff members, Norm hopes the OSW continues to remain an integral part of
the ever-growing action figure community focused on collecting, kitbashing,
- Jeremy Wilcox (aka blueduck37) is
the administrator for the Simpsons Collector Sector web community, the
largest Simpsons collecting website on the net. His collection was
recently featured in Time Out New York magazine, making his mother very
- Matt MacNabb is the owner / editor /
webmaster for Legions of
Gotham. A driving force in the collecting community for over four years,
LOG has taken leaps and bounds to break down the barriers between the
industry and the collectors. Matt is a lifelong Batman fan, and has been a
serious Batman collector for over a decade, with well over 3,500 pieces in
- Chad (aka CMK) is the administrator
of BtVSFigs, an online forum
dedicated specifically to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel action
- David Stephan has worked in
motion picture distribution for many years, but his true love is for the
collectibles of classic Sc-Fi/Fantasy entertainment. To that end, he
is the creator and administrator of the fan forum "Sideshow
Freaks", the largest website and forum dedicated to Sideshow
Collectibles. Residing in sunny Southern California, he constantly
battles for living space with piles and piles of Sideshow boxes.
Phil Reasoner (philnjill) aka Darth Dug is a father of five and
collector of too much. He did image guides for the late great Palisades and
now is the primary Image Guide supplier for
He's been collecting Star Wars since 1977 and in the past decade has
diversified into everything from Palisades Muppets to Medicom Be@rbricks,
from DST's Battlestar Galactica to KidRobot Dunny's, from NECA's NBX and
Gentle Giants...everything...to Rocketworld I.W.G., Jamungo BUDS and October
- Mr. Stinkhead is the editor of
NonToxicReviews.com to review baby/childrens' toys and gadgets for Dads.
He has written for ToyFare Magazine and the Washington Post. If any
playmobil has been nominated, it's his fault.
Holoka is the graphics designer for such Star Wars sites as
Jeff Saylor - Editor of www.Figures.com. Artist, writer and admitted toy addict, his passion for pop culture collectibles dates back to a Micronaut/Star Wars/Shogun Warrior laced childhood. If not online, Jeff can be found playing video games, painting or rearranging his extensive toy collection. Currently trying to find more space for his growing army of robots and Aliens...
- Paul Wolf: A consultant by day and toy fiend by night. Paul's
been into toys and action figures since before the internet. Yes kids there
was a time when there was no internet. Specializing in super-articulated
toys, he's also been known to pick up the occasional odd and end. MARVEL
LEGENDS FOR THE WIN!
- Jason "ToyOtter" Geyer has been involved in online toy culture for over 15 years, beginning with the fabled rec.toys.misc usenet group. He was a founder of Raving Toy Maniac which led to his own
ToyOtter.com site and is currently a co-creator/co-owner of
Action Figure Insider with Daniel Pickett. His expertise has led to numerous print articles on toys, involvement with toy panels at the major cons, and as a consultant for DVD features. Although Jason was a toy designer himself for many years, he now works the other side of the aisle in marketing where he develops promotions for Wal-Mart, Frito-Lay, Hershey, and Pepsi among other clients. He also enjoys a fine cup of coffee.
- Frank Patz Batista left the weird and wonderful world of Mexican Lucha Libre to start,
Eternal Collector. The internets ultimate gallery of Collectors and their Collections from all over the world. While this career choice is just as fun as his first, it certainly is easier on the back.
He has been a toy Collector is entire life and even remembers sneaking out of arenas before a wrestling show to run to the local toy store to see what is available.
"Everyone had a time in their life where they stopped collecting toys, because of school, work, or girlfriends. I have never stopped."
Eternal Collector has been featured on G4TV, the Discovery Channel, Treasure HD, various magazines, and websites.
You can't produce amazing products without designers,
fabricators, sculptors, painters and other artisans. These judges come
from that side of the business. Many are freelancers, but some work
for specific companies. Others are well known and respected customizers, who
do commission work for individuals, magazines and others.
- Bill Mancuso - sculpting your favorite Dog Poo,
Vomit and Spilt Wine Glass novelty items since 1994. MWC note:
Actually, Bill has sculpted some of the best action figures on the market
today, including many of the Muppets, Marvel Legends and and Marvel Toys.
He's just too shy to tell you.
-Cason Pillod - Not
satisfied with the limited options available at retail, Cason Pilliod has
been crafting his own toys since he was a child. his passion for toys
merges with his background as a theatrical prop designer, allowing him to
find unique customizing solutions, which he shares with the ever-growing
customizing community via Inanimate Objects.
- Jonathan Matthews is an eight
year veteran sculptor for the toy industry, currently on contract with DC
Direct as a sculptor of action figures and statues.
Dunaway has been a painter of resin model kits for over 15 years, and is
also an avid toy collector. He loves his aliens and monsters, but also
enjoys any figure that's well sculpted. Check out his work at his
Paul Harding is a sculptor of action figures for Hasbro, DC Direct and
- Brian Dooley has been in the FX and toy
sculpting business for 12 years. He's best known for his work with Jim
Henson's Creature Shop and the Sideshow Collectibles New Line Horror and The
Dead lines. He recently completed designs for the film "Iron Man".
Artist Matt Haley is well known in the world of comic books for his
years of work for both Marvel and DC, but has recently attracted a whole new
audience, thanks to the comic style art panels he created for seasons 1 and
2 of the Sc-Fi Channel's hit tv series "Stan Lee's Who Wants to be a
Superhero?" as well as his work on the Superman Returns movie
adaptation and the accompanying promotional poster that appeared in the
USA Weekender magazine. Haley's talent and reputation as an artist
have created a demand for his work that spans the entertainment industry: he
served as the artist for LucasArts' Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the
Sith XBOX game, designed the title sequence for DIC's new animated series
Sushi Pack, and is currently creating concept art and illustration for
the "Sanctuary" TV series. Die-hard comic fans will also recognize
Haley's design in the new Batgirl and Supergirl action figures from DC
Direct currently available in stores nationwide.
K Miller (but please just call me "Tim") sculpts for Mcfarlane Toys and
Sideshow Collectibles, usually portraits. Teaches Sunday School.
Likes puppy-breath, snowboarding, sushi, and women. Hates writing
- Ed Wires: Prototype Painter. Ed has been
painting toy prototypes since 1998. He has painted thousands of
prototypes for all of the collectible genres: Marvel, DC, Muppets, The
Hyborian Age, Star Trek, NFL, 2,000 A.D., and many others.
"HeadsUpCustoms" has been sculpting on and off since 1999, seriously
for the last 2 years. He has worked freelance for McFarlane toys, as well as
freelance, and now full time, for NECA. He has also had over a dozen custom
jobs in ToyFare's Wish List section.
Jin Saotome of Jin Saotome's
Customizing maniac and keeper of the sacred 'steel Wolverine claws'.
Responsible for the plague of Iceman customs on Ebay years ago that mankind
shall never forgive him for.
- Andy Bergholtz
---- Professional sculptor and founder of
A.B. Sculpture Studio. Andy has
been in the industry for 9 years and has worked as a sculptor for such
companies as McFarlane Toys, Palisades, Diamond Select, Sideshow
Collectibles and DC Direct.
- Adam Hughes is a
world-famous comic-book cover artist, who regularly misses deadlines because
he loves playing with his 1:6 scale toys a bit too much. When he DOES get to
the drawing table, his covers have graced WONDER WOMAN and CATWOMAN for DC
Comics, and STAR WARS for Dark Horse. He is designing a line of comiquette
statues for SIDESHOW COLLECTIBLES based on MARVEL super-heroines.
Matt 'Iron-Cow' Cauley, probably best known for his custom action
figure work, formed Iron-Cow Prod. LLC to better serve his illustration,
animation, design, and toy production clients. In addition to being a
featured contributer to ToyFare Magazine, there are over 50 ICP-designed DC
Direct, Battlestar Galactica and Marvel Comics Minimate action figures
currently on sale. His artwork is exhibited and published worldwide and he
is currently hard at work developing a line of t-shirts for Macys featuring
his illustrations. Matt's illustration, broadcast, fine art, and toy design
portfolios can be seen at the official
- Mat Falls is the resident
sculptor and a co-founder of Sideshow Collectibles. Falls moved to Los
Angeles from Northern California in 1983 and established himself in the
burgeoning make up effects industry, working for Oscar winners Rick Baker
and Greg Cannom. After several years in the waning effects make up industry,
Falls realized a transition was in order and helped co-found Sideshow
Collectibles as the Dir. of 3-D design.
- David Reeves
is a manufacturing rep and designer, working with both his own company and
many others. He's been working on a lot of figures for Sony DVDs, Fox
DVDs, and now Fox Sports/NFL. If you watch football on FOX, you've seen the
computer animated robot they have before, during and after the show. He's
completed the final tooling done in both 4 inch and 10 inch versions, and
the 10 inch version should be sitting on the pre and post agme show desk
very soon. These will be in Target, Walmart, etc etc.
- The Shiflett
Brothers, Brandon and Jarrod, are professional sculptors who have been working in the comic book statue industry for 12 years. Their body of work includes The Hulk, Juggernaut, and Grendel Prime Statues for Bowen Designs. Also, the Draco and Kabuki statues for Moore Creations and collaborations with Alex Ross including the Earth X Captain America Statue for Dynamic Forces. Their work has been featured in three Spectrum books, which collect the year's best fantasy art.
Without retailers to sell the stuff, there'd be a whole lot
less to buy. In fact, that's one of the current issues for the
industry, as fewer and fewer retailers carry the figures, statues and busts
we love. These judges represent 15 of the best known specialty market
retailers, from small to large.
- Joel Boblit is the owner of the retail website
Big Bad Toy Store and lifelong
fan of 80's action figures. To quote Joel "I'll use my experience
dealing with the manufacturers as well as customer feedback and order levels
when voting this year".
- Thomas Gaul is the
owner of the CornerStoreComics
and AmazingToyz online retail
stores, as well as the CSC Comic Shop and Collectibles Showroom located in
Anaheim, California. He became a slave to the plastic back in 1977 (at
age 7) when he purchased his first Kenner Star Wars figure (Han Solo/Fat
Head/ 12-back) for $2.29 at the local department store.
Marc Bowker founded
AlterEgoComics.com in 2003 and opened a retail location in Lima, OH in
2005. Alter Ego Comics specializes in new action figures, statues, prop and
- Jason Dorough is the general
manager of Comics Infinity, an
online retailer in the business of selling toys, busts, comic books, statues
and other collectibles for almost a decade.
Labowitz is Co-founder and President of multi-channel retailer and
Entertainment Earth, Inc.
- Adam Stinson is the
founder of Dark Shadow
Collectibles, which started online in 2004 and is based in Leander, TX.
Dark Shadow Collectibles sells products such as statues, busts and prop
replicas. Adam has been a collector of Marvel and Star Wars items
since the early 90's.
- Rick Whitelock is the owner of
New Force Comics and Collectibles,
and has been a collector of action figures and comics since the mid-1970's,
as well as a retailer and wholeseller of both since 1995. Collectors
of Star Trek or World of Springfield figures will certainly recognize Rick,
as he has been a huge factor in the online success of both lines.
Patrick Wang is the president of
Action Figure Xpress, a worldwide retailer and distributor of exclusive
and limited edition products since 1997.
- Matt Williams
is the owner and operator of Toys
and Cool Stuff, a Canadian source for awesome action figures and toys.
Like many people in the toy world, he got his start with an addiction to the
original Kenner Star Wars figure line back in the 1980's.
Kenny Penman is co-founder of
Forbidden Planet International - started in 1975, with 17 stores in the
UK, 1 in Ireland and one in New York City. He looks after their company
website when not being distracted by comics and incredible toys. He lives in
London, UK so will hope to be able to bring knowledge of a wider range of
toys coming from Europe than many US retailers may have seen.
Kevin Kriese is the founder of
Time and Space Toys, an online
retailer that specializes in several key areas of collectibles, including
Buffy/Angel, classic television shows and Christmas related lines. He
also founded the Buffy Collector
Club, where members can get discounts on Buffy and Angle merchandise.
He is also the proud owner of the original puppest of Santa and Rudolph from
the classic Christmas TV special "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". You
can read all about the discovery and restoration of these two critical
pieces of Americana at
- Jeff Cope has been a long-time member
of the online collecting community going back to the rec.toys.misc Usenet
group in the 90s. He has served as the E-I-C of RTM, and written for a
variety of other collecting sites (and currently hangs his hat at
as well as Tomart's Action Figure Digest. In September 2007 Jeff opened
Alley Cat Games & Comics in
- Bob "The Godfather" Fulkerson is the
owner of Fireside
Collectibles. Fireside Collectibles started in 2001 as a spin off the a
previous business and then moved into the online store in 2004. Bob first
got into collecting with the Kenner Han Solo Blaster in 1982.
- and there are 2 additional retailer judges that wish to remain Anonymous.
In the end, it's the buyers that decide what gets made and
what doesn't. They vote with the money in their wallet, and smart
companies and retailers listen. I selected 17 collectors that I feel
are opinionated, respected, and experienced. Some are collectors of
very specific lines, while others buy just about anything, but they all know
the industry well.
- Jason "Poe Ghostal" Clarke is a founding member of
OAFE.net, and an occasional reviewer here
at MROTW. He has also written a number of articles for Toyfare
-Brant Rusch has been collecting (and
mercilessly critiquing) action figures for many moons. Today his
interests lie mainly in 1/6 scale licensed characters from TV and film, but
it seems there's always something outside that realm that causes his wallet
to magically open. In 1990, $30 was his monthly toy bill. In
2007, that doesn't even cover his shipping and handling.
David Yeh is a product of the 80's, raised on true gems such
as G.I. Joe, Transformers, He-man, and yes, even M.U.S.C.L.E. David
had outgrown toys until the 1995 release of Star Wars lured him back for
more. Since then, he has gotten hooked on dozens of other toy lines as
well. David has written for mwctoys.com,
galactichunter.com and currently
writes toy reviews for Figures.com in
his spare time.
- Jeff Parker aka
Wookster, is a freelance illustrator and designer, interested in all areas
of pop culture and collecting, with a soft spot for Bettie Page, Guinness
and all things sixth scale.
- Mark G. Meyer - "The
Tekwych" is owner and editor of Go! Figure. he is a figure collector
and industry historian believing that knowledge of the toy industry's
history and an understanding of the manufacturing process can make one a
better collector. While Japanese robots and Microman make up the bulk
of his collection, almost every format and scale can be found some where on
- Joranthalus spends a lot of time on
various toy message boards whiel pretending to work. A full-time
Network Engineer, part-time Musician, and a pop culture junkie with a
multitude of obsessions that include the classic Universal Monsters,
pre-80's B-movies, cigars, running and obviously collecting toys.
Tommy Sanchez is the co-founder of the "Custom of the Year"
competition (coming soon for 2007!), a collector of many things 6 inch
scale, a freelance artist, and an overall decent guy.
Phillips (redwing23) is a Sheriff's Deputy and fan of all things Detroit
sports! Collecting 1/6th scale figures is his vice and we have
Medicom's Reloaded Neo to thank for that! He enjoy's movies and his
favorite shows are Curb Your Enthusiasm and the now defunct Arrested
Development (damn you FOX!).
- Sean Whigham, aka
MaulFan, is a freelance graphic artist and a diehard collector of pop
culture memorabilia. Sean's mix of creativity in his graphics
and passion for collecting have blended into a steady stream of creative
imagery posted around the various thread of the
Sideshow Freaks forums, and has
even made its way to
- Engineererd (John V.)
has been collecting Star Wars figures since the original 12 came out.
To appear to his wife that he's doing something with his varied collection,
he posts reviews, action figure comics, and other related items on his
website, TV and Film Toys.
Khalil Quotap aka Kastor is a toy and comic collector who runs the
blog Kastor's Korner. On
the blog, Kastor mixes toy reviews with the joys and frustrations of
collecting. Khalil also writes a weekly column on
Fwoosh called Demanded Characters
which is a short biography on DC characters that fans want to see made into
- JediJones (Eric S.) is a database
administrator by day and an action figure collector by morning, noon, night,
and later night. He began collecting when his mom bought him Kenner's
original Han Solo in 1982 and he hasn't stopped since. His favorite toy
lines out of the way too many he collects include Hasbro's modern Star Wars,
their 1980s G.I. Joe, Playmates' Simpsons World of Springfield, the various
DC animated-style figures, and one-shot movie tie-ins like Mezco's King Kong
and NECA's Ghostbusters. Good sculpting is more important to him than high
posability and he believes accessories such as vehicles and playsets are
what set a truly great action figure line apart from the rest.
Guy Klender - A Los Angeles based toy collector, I moved to
California ten years ago and brought my love of toys to the sunny state. I
lucked out with a collectors show or a major show, i.e. SDCC nearly every
week so the lust for toys is easy to nourish. I started years back with the
new STAR WARS line and it all grew from there. I gained recognition as a toy
collector with the film STARWOIDS that made for a fun time at shows with the
occasional autograph and I did receive a fan letter as well. I moved on to
the higher end products and Sideshow Collectibles sees my bank statement
nearly as often as I do. I love finding the rarity or the obscure toy that I
may not have known of but for some reason must have. It's a wacky life sure
but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world….except for a 12 back
vinyl caped Jawa perhaps.
- From 1977 to 1989, Jason
Chirevas's parents bought him action figures to play with. Since 1993,
he's collected action figures, this time with his own money and everything. A lot happened between.
Brian Santore - Creator of
ROC/ Ring of Collectors, Moderator of
MMAnews.com, Favorite lines include GI Joe, Sideshow Star Wars, LoTR,
Jakks Wrestling Classics & Transformers.
- There are 2 more judge in the collector category who wish to
And there you have the 91 judges for 2007! I'll be
looking to expand this group of judges in 2008, so if you or a colleague are
interested, please drop me an