Place of birth: Mobile, AL
How did you get started in toy design: During the four years that I spent getting my degree in graphic design at The University of Tennessee I discovered that I really wanted to be doing something else. In either my second or third year of school I started drawing comics which eventually led me into sculpting. One of the pieces that I began sculpting was the Violator from the Spawn comic book. I knew somebody through my comic work who was doing work for Todd McFarlane. He saw the sculpture and wanted to show it to Todd. Todd liked it and offered me some work and a trip up to New York for Toy Fair to meet with him and some of the other designers. This eventually turned into a full time job after I graduated that May. During my stint at Mcfarlane toys I met the other three horsemen and we eventually left the company and started Four Horsemen.
Length of time in the toy industry: A little over 8 years. 5 years at McFarlane Toys and 3 years as part of Four Horsemen.
Job title and description: Designer/Sculptor. On a day to day basis I spend most of my time sculpting. The design process as far as sitting down and drawing a design up is relatively quick, but the design process continues through the sculpting and fabricating processes. I also will do a little fabrication from time to time. I also do paintmasters on occasion as well.
Favorite plaything as a child & why: The hardest part of this question is narrowing down the possibilities. My Shogun Warriors Gaiking was one of my earliest favorites. It was probably the biggest action figure I had ever seen. The combination of his size and the ability to shoot both missiles and his fist made him one of my coolest toys ever. Another favorite from that era was the 18" Alien figure. My parents swore up until Christmas eve that I would never get it, but in the end Santa came through. Again this was another example of Giant action figures at their best. A little later on I was playing with stuff like Star Wars, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Power Lords, and of course Masters of the Universe. MOTU were not only some of my favorite toys ever, but also some of the most influential.
Favorite playthings currently & why: I am a very big fan of the Muppets toys from Palisades. They are very accurate, extremely detailed, and most importantly a lot of fun. I have been very impressed with all of the Lord Of The Rings product from Toy Biz. They have flawlessly mixed action features and playability with highly detailed sculpting. I also like the Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer figures and the Playskool Star Wars line. I was also a big fan of the ReSaurus Street Fighter line which was cut short before it's time.
Best part about your job: Again this is a hard one to pick just one answer. I love being in the toy business, especially sculpting action figures. Seeing a figure that I've worked on turn into a final product is pretty cool. With Masters of the Universe seeing our work turned into comics and cartoons is amazing. For me, though, the best part of my job is just coming in every day and sculpting. It is still so rewarding to sit down in the morning with a ball of clay and to leave that evening with an object that actually looks like something.
Worst Part about your job: Having a job like this makes it hard to find a worst part. I guess one of the biggest downsides, though, is spending so many hours at the office. My wife, Laura, is very understanding, but it can be hard on both of us when the deadlines are tight. Overall, though, I can't complain.
Number of figures/playsets/toys you've been involved in: A lot. I was involved with well over a hundred just in my years at Mcfarlane. Since then I have done quite a few more, and the number will hopefully continue to grow for years to come.
Stand out toy you've worked on in your opinion: I did a lot of figures at Mcfarlane that I am proud of, but I really love the figures that I have done for Masters of the Universe. They are characters that I have been a fan of for more than 20 years. It is hard for me to choose just one, but if I had to it would probably be Trap-Jaw. He was one of my absolute favorites as a kid and I jumped at the opportunity to work on him. I like working on collaborative projects, and this is a perfect example. When a piece allows for this much fabrication it makes my work look that much better.
If you could have any super power, what would it be & why: I looked at Cornboy's answer earlier and it's pretty much the same as mine. I would control time. If you could control time you could pretty much stop anybody else's power right in their tracks, plus you could get a few extra hours of sleep every night.