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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Afiliated web sites will be listed in the Custom Coalition links