The Shelf Space crew recently had a chance for an exclusive Q & A with Maven Collectibles president, Victor Hugo Sousa! Maven has just launched a Kickstarter project for a brand new “Titan” 1:12 scale action figure body. Here is what we were able to find out about this project.
Thanks for taking the time to join Shelf Space, Victor. First off, tell us a little bit about Maven Collectibles. How and why did your group come together?
Maven Collectibles was started by my friend, Jason Rosa, and his art colleagues. Jason is a model kit builder, customizer, and painter. His idea was making a small but powerful company that designed products (mostly toys and kits) that paid attention to fan favourite concepts. I met Jason through commission work and we quickly became connected with comics, movies, and other products. He’s a big fan of my art and we connected on software and art knowledge. He told me about a restructure and adding new people and he asked for me to be part of it. I was very happy to join the company and I was very surprised to be offered the role of President. It’s very fun and everyone here has been professional and friendly. Maven is very passionate about the work they do and how they do it. It’s inspiring and I am extremely pleased to be a part of Jason’s vision.
Maven has specialized in producing scaled, generic figure bodies. Previously you have produced a “Jane Doe” 1:12 and 1:10 scale blank figure, and now you have just released the 1:12 Titan body on Kickstarter. Tell us about this type of product…who is it primarily for?
Yes, they made the Superheroine Blank Body action figure in 1:12th and 1:10th. They have a Tall and Athletic body so a pair for each scale. The Jane Doe is just a blank version of either body and the Deluxe Pro was the body with all accessories. So the 1:12th Titan is like a continuation of this blank body figure line. They idea was to create a great base body for toy collectors, customizers, or artists to use. So a collector looking for villains or other heroes in that scale can buy our product and customize it for that. It also can be used for artists or illustrators that need an armature to draw from for reference. Many people use the Superheroines for a reference, as it is easy to pose. Titan is very articulated and stands 9 inches tall, over 30 points of articulation, and holds my sculpt work, resulting in a higher level of detail than most toys on the market. I wanted the anatomy to be very high end and believable if someone was that big, so I worked hard to make sure it is anatomically correct. The idea is, offering a very high end product that has all the bells and whistles you want, with more accessories, range, and detail than what is currently available in the market.
What can you do with these blank models exactly?
Mostly, I believe people will customize these for toy customs or to make their favourite characters. Finish off missing X-Men or Green Lanterns, stuff like that. As said before, you can use these to draw from and they are perfect as an armature for reference. Great for 3D and Traditional Sculptors too for this same reason. Action Figure Photography is a popular hobby, and I feel our figures would be perfect for that.
Can you add/remove parts? Do you plan to make “accessory kits” in the future (weapons, shields, energy effects, armour etc.)?
Yes, that is what the Titan is designed to do actually. It’s made in a way where it improves upon their old Superheroines. This figure can be taken apart easier for customizing. The accessories are also in the stretch goals for our Kickstarter. We have tons of weapon ideas and add on packs but we have to reach higher tiers. But, yes that’s all there, just waiting to be unveiled!
So far you have produced figures in 1:10, 1:12, and 1:8 scale…any plans to present these figurines in more scales (1:6, 1:4 etc)?
Actually, they have made a ⅙ Resin Kit called Sun Wukong. It was of Kong vs. Skull Crawler and it was a garage kit, very low numbered. This was built and painted by Legrandzilla (Jon LeGrand) who is a well known Godzilla Model Kit builder. We do have 1/4th and 1/6th scale pieces, but other companies will likely be producing these. Right now, we are focusing on figures, but we have gone into bigger scales, just many not publicly released yet. I hope to help expand this area of the company in the future.
Some fans may want to jump into customizing these figures, but don’t know how or where to start…do you plan to present online tutorials?
One of our Maven friends, Jin Saotome, actually has a wide tutorial running (http://www.jinsaotomesdangeroustoys.com/) for how to customize figures like these. Our other buds Myke Dela Paz (Phoenix Force Creations) and Kyle Robinson Customs do so too and are well known in the figure community. Lots of YouTubers like Anthony Customs are great too for tutorials. For us, that is something we do want to do and have talked a great deal about. We are focusing on making the figures which is a big undertaking in itself. We do hope to offer these tutorials, though, down the road. As to where to start, jump on in! Think about what you’d like to do, check and see if there are other customs and just go for it! That’s how we all started!
Will these be available exclusively through you or do you have a distribution plan in place?
Jim (Executive VP of Maven) has looked into this already for the company. Last year we were offered distribution through other companies, yet kept the product directly with us. We did this because of the accountability. We wanted to make sure the ordering process was smooth and that customers were satisfied, and it was easier for us to manage that in house. We have a plan to possibly distribute Titan, but right now it’s dependent on our Kickstarter goals.
Other than the kickstarter page, will you have a main website where these may be ordered? Will it feature pics of finished projects (i.e. can fans submit their completed projects to be seen on your website)?
Right now, the Titan is only offered through Kickstarter. However, if we reach our funding goal, there will be some units available directly on our website or through 3rd party distribution.
As for fan submitted photos, we were talking about that recently. We wanted to do something like this with the Superheroines figure. Ultimately we decided Instagram was what most customizers used to share their work. Although we are looking into building this feature for the future, for right now, using @mavencollectibles or #mavencollectibles on Instagram or Facebook is how we have been seeing/documenting the fan projects. As well as sharing on our Otaku Class Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/otakuclass/.
Why did you choose the kickstarter model for the Titan body?
Crowdfunding was the most reasonable way for us to bring large equity together in one place. Our group did this last year successfully, so we felt this was a great place to go again with this project. We all know the Kickstarter platform, so this seemed like a great place to share this project again. This project is very expensive to make, with a lot of back end costs. So to be able to bring the Titan to more people, Kickstarter seemed the right avenue to look into.
Any hints for fans for what to expect from Maven Collectibles in the future?
More Toys! We may have something in terms of model kits furthering our Ares 1:8 Bust for later. We have so many things going on right now but we’ve been focusing on the Kickstarter. We do have many projects sitting after this so we are eager to get to the future! But that’s all I can say