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CustomCon is a fictional toy show showcasing the work of several customizers. You will not find these toys in your local toy store.

 

 

Marvel Reborn:
Midnight Sons

"It's amazing what people will let you do when you're willing to take all the responsibility and give them most of the credit," says Luke Thompson, better known as the 'Whiz Kid' in the title of Whiz Kid Productions. Rising from obscurity to one of the forerunners of the recent slew of small toy companies, Luke has taken a tactic that some would call inspired, and many would call insane.

"I bought a factory," he says, slugging back a two-liter of Mountain Dew like a man dying of thirst. "Check most of your toys. I'm willing to bet a massive portion of them have 'MADE IN CHINA' stamped on them. That's because there's a bunch of toy factories down there in China churning them out pretty much nonstop." He pauses to inspect a prototype that we weren't allowed to print the name of. (Really, he threatened us!)

"Anyway, so you've got these factories, and each toy has a set of molds, right? When these molds are done being used, what happens to them?" He pauses for effect, and to chuck his empty bottle at the nearest trash can. "They go into storage. Unless the company finds another use for them, they basically rot- especially these days, when so many toylines are changing over to new styles and only using these old molds on a token level. Eventually you have to make some room somewhere, and sometimes molds get damaged, lost, or destroyed as they get moved around. Perfectly good molds that can make perfectly good toys, that we will never see again. That's the sort of thing I aim to change."

He waves his hand over a table full of Marvel figures. Some of them are easily recognizable as molds we haven't seen in years, and many of them are characters that the collectors have been clamoring for. "I did what no one else has tried. I bought one of those factories in China. Some of those factories are exclusively owned by a toy company, but many of them change hands all the time, so I took advantage of that, and bought one. It has an entire warehouse of molds. I mean, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, packed!"

"Of course, this leaves another issue, in that the molds belong to these companies, but they're now in my warehouse, so I did what any entrepreneur would do: I called up the companies that owned these molds and told them that they had three options. They could pay me to keep or destroy them, they could pay someone else to cart them away to somewhere else, or I could pay them so that I could use them. A lot of companies really liked that third option."

"Then I made another proposition. Since I'm already paying to use their molds, why don't I pay more to make characters they own? What's not to like? They get to keep the character, the mold, and pretty much all the credit, while I pay for everything, and thousands of fans across the world get figures they've been wanting for years."

So how's the business going? "Like gangbusters, man. Total gangbusters. Hey, wait... Gangbuster, we could make him... anyway, we've got some massive orders. Between the internet and comic and toy distributors, we're doing great. Better than I ever could have hoped."

What does the future hold? With a wicked smile, he picks up a US Agent figure. "I may have to buy another factory just to keep up."

THE LOWDOWN:

Without further ado, the company's next lineup. It involves almost 40 characters from the Marvel universe, many of them never before cast in plastic!

Midnight Sons - "You know you liked the Sons."
Wave 1 will include Caretaker, Hannibal King, Frank Drake, Sam Buchanan, Vickie Montesi, and Strange. Luke promises that Drake will be redone so that his size is closer to Hannibal's, and both will be in scale to his new Marvel Legends figure.

Centurius, Mephisto, and Nightmare might be part of a second wave, or possibly a boxed set. "Of course, there is a third option... I would love to do an entire wave of six supernatural villains."

Caretaker
Hannibal King
Frank Drake

Sam Buchanan
Vickie Montesi
Strange

Centurius
Nightmare


Mephisto

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