Custom Toys and Action Figures by Blayne

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Toronto FanExpo 2012

FanExpo was a great way to finish off the summer: 4 days of celebrity panels, comics, toys, artists, and costumed fans running around.

By Dan Khanna:

This was the first convention I'd attended in about 2 years as a customer, rather than vendor/artist. Being overseas during the summer (but usually back in the Spring) meant that I missed FanExpo, but was able to attend the Wizard World conventions with my Custom Toys sale/display.

FanExpo's Artist Alley was completely booked up this year months in advance - partially due to the allowance for a vendor/artist to renew their booth a year ahead of time. So, without a table I bought the 4-day pass, and wandered about with friends. It was nice to run into convention goers (and a few customers) from previous years, many of which remembered me as the Custom Action Figure guy. ^_^

To pass the time between panels, I had a variety of different artists draw/illustrate different takes on a single character. I got the idea from an abandoned sketchpad at WizardWorld last year. It was filled with different artists drawing of Marvel Comics Wolverine. I thought something similar would be nice to own for an iconic childhood character: Optimus Prime from The Transformers.

I provided some general reference, and some basic direction (full body, or portrait size, color, inked, or sketch, etc.) - and let the artist go to town. Typical turnaround was an hour, sometimes two - and when I returned, another 'Prime was added to my sketchbook. If you see one you like, be sure to visit that artists online portfolio. Most accept commissions, and are very reasonably priced.

By Michael Walsh:

By Scott Gamble:

By Carson Wong:

By Agnes Garbowska 
By Michelle Lee:
By Ken Wheaton: 
By  Darryl Graham:

By SeanyP40: 

If any of the artists shown here would like a watermark added to their work, please download the .jpg, add it and email it to me. 
Also, if the original artist would like a full-resolution .jpg scan of their work, let me know!
My own sharpie sketch of Optimus,
done on a post-it note while waiting for
the cosplay masquerade to begin. :) 

While I didn't have a table at FanExpo this year, it was still a great experience. The Silver Snail was kind enough to expand my the number of Custom Action Figures on consignment at their Queen Street West location to an entire shelf! I visited the store during their Midnight Madness sale this weekend, and saw the display receiving some very positive attention, one that extended into email correspondence as well. For missing out on booth at FanExpo, this convention went remarkably well.