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What is toy customizing? Toy customizing is the art of creating unique or modifying existing toys to better suit one's preference. Customizing is as much an art as it is a hobby. A custom might be a manufactured figure simply repainted, a completely original sculpture or a mixed effort, combining original sculpture with painting and manufactured parts.

The art of customizing has produced a community of fellow customizers whose talents range from inexperienced newcomers to professional sculptors. The growth of that community owes much to the communicative powers of the Internet. The World Wide Web allows customizers to exhibit their work to a large audience, as well as communicate directly with others in the hobby. With that in mind, many customizers have opted to operate under a general title.

The Custom Coalition
The Custom Coalition is an affiliation of custom toy makers who practice their art under a general code of honor and ethics. This code includes but is not limited to:
1. A spirit of cooperation and fair play.
2. A sharing of knowledge.
3. Nurturing of interest in those new to the hobby.
4. Positive education concerning the nature of the hobby.

1. A spirit of cooperation and fair play:
The community of customizers is a small but growing one. As we all grow in our skills and knowledge, it is only natural to seek guidance from others. Such help might be sought via direct communication between individuals or simply by viewing another's work on a web site. Regardless of how, affiliates will strive to be open to communication. Should someone seek help from another customizer, such help should be freely given if at all possible. By that same token, customizing is not a competition. As mentioned earlier, customs are made for personal enjoyment, not for personal gain over others. Furthermore, affiliates will attempt, when possible, to credit their work to those whose recipes might have set a precedent.

2. A sharing of knowledge:
By posting recipes to web sites, affiliates understand that such knowledge becomes public domain. While some degree of artistic integrity applies (see below), recipes are free to be used by any who care to try. Furthermore, affiliates will strive, when possible, to answer any questions posted by others trying said recipes. In addition to recipe information, affiliates are encouraged to share knowledge of techniques and styles in the same manner.

3. Nurturing of interest in those new to the hobby:

Customizers with web sites are often approached with questions by those new to the hobby. When possible, affiliates are encouraged to educate and support those who wish to start customizing. Such support includes general knowledge of tools, techniques and style as well as safety awareness.

4. Positive education concerning the nature of the hobby:

Affiliates should strive, when possible, to educate the public as to the nature of the hobby. Customizing toys is a unique and rare hobby in the eyes of the general populace. Affiliates will attempt to create a positive image of the hobby, as well as promote its intrinsic artistic qualities.

What the Custom Coalition is not:

1. The Custom Coalition is not a legal entity.
2. The Custom Coalition is not designed to approve or disapprove of anyone or anyone's art. All who wish to participate in the hobby are welcome, regardless of style or experience.
3. The Custom Coalition is not a school of thought or practice. Affiliate members acknowledge that the hobby is inherently personal, and thus different views by fellow customizers will be tolerated.

Regarding artistic integrity versus profit:
Customizing toys is unique in that few other hobbies or arts draw from so many disparate sources. The final product ultimately comes down to the art of illusion: would the toy pass as a manufactured product? To that end, customizers will put forth great effort to find the right combination of media in order to meet the final illusion. When that goal has been met and final pieces are displayed, affiliate members of the Custom Coalition acknowledge that their efforts are being shared with others who may produce similar pieces. By that same token, should a customizer produce and display a piece based on another's recipe, the original customizer should be given credit if at all possible. Granted, many recipes are obvious and common, and credit is a moot point. Given the growing numbers of customizers, though, unique recipes are becoming more common, and indeed, more inspiring.
While the Internet has allowed the community of customizers to grow, so to has it allowed customizers to profit. Many customizers offer their works for sale, often in on-line auctions. The Custom Coalition does not encourage or discourage the selling of customs. Affiliate members are asked that any customs sold be of high quality and construction, and that honest communication with potential buyers be priority.

The Custom Coalition strongly discourages custom profiteering. Custom profiteering is the act of using those custom recipes that are unique to specific individuals with the goal of producing numerous copies for sale to the public, all without any attempt at communication with the original customizer. The Custom Coalition acknowledges that no legal action can be taken against those that practice such intellectual theft. However, affiliates of the Custom Coalition reserve the right to communicate with buyers in an effort to better educate them about their intended purchase.

The Custom Coalition does not condone trademark infringement, as may be enacted by the selling of customs. Such risk is the responsibility of the individual seller.

Why become an affiliate member of the Custom Coalition?
1. Affiliates with web sites are encouraged to display the Custom Coalition logo on their site. That logo should link back to the Custom Coalition creed, found on this page. Furthermore, affiliates' web sites will be collected in a list of links found via this page.
2. Affiliates who display the Custom Coalition logo are recognized as members of an educated and fair group of artisans.
3. Affiliates may refer to the Custom Coalition when promoting their own web sites.
4. Should an affiliate be a victim of custom profiteering (see above), said affiliate may contact potential buyers and point them to this page. Such action must be used responsibly. Any such action resulting in a negative image of the Custom Coalition will result in the revoking of affiliate membership.

If you would like to join the Custom Coalition, please send your name and web site address to:
Those without web sites are also encouraged to join, as doing so shows support for our creed.
Once a confirmation from the Custom Coalition has been received acknowledging your affiliation, those with web sites are encouraged to display the Custom Coalition badge, found here.
Once the badge is on your site, please link the chosen badge to:
Afiliated web sites will be listed in the Custom Coalition links page.