GR: Did you grow up with Army Men?
Jim A: Yeah I grew up with army men. As a kid I set them all up then I’d get rocks and destroy the battlefield. The ones the dog chewed up were the injured soldiers.
GR: Explain how you came up with the idea of skateboarders in the Classic Army Men style?
Jim A: I saw what was already out there & I thought how cool it would be to make them based off of the old school toy soldiers that I grew up with. Keep them simple & cheap, but they had to look cool & realistic. I saw other things out there and they were sort of corny. They didn’t look realistic – the characters had mohawks & the moves looked awkward.
GR: Are you a sculptor and or skateboarder? Are the original sculpts that tiny?
Jim A: I am a graphic designer & an old school skateboarder, my son AJ he skates all the time. He helped me design the final designs & got me up to date on the moves that they should be doing. Hence I named ‘em after my son AJ – AJ’s Original Toy Boarders. The original sculpts are just a tad larger than the final product – this way you can get a little more detailed.
GR: Was this easy to get done from your idea to complete product?
Jim A: No it wasn’t easy. I wasn’t familiar with the process of making moulds , but I had a friend teach me the process. Also we wanted to get each skater to balance on his board so that they would stand upright. There was always some tweaking involved so that we could maintain the style –yet keep them balanced.
GR: How did you pick their poses out of an almost an infinite amount of things that a skater does!
Jim A: We originally had more designs for the first series. We found out that some were not possible with a 2 part mould. Also like mentioned before we wanted them all to be able to pose upright on their board so kick flips and certain moves just weren’t gonna work.
GR: Are the boarders any particular rider?
Jim A: No, no boarder in particular, just based off of my son & his friends that skate. We wanted them to have style so we based their clothing off of what kids are wearing today. Within the skateboard culture there are all sorts of styles so we wanted to cover a wide range.
GR: What’s next?
Jim A: Series II Skate is DONE & in the Mould Process as we speak !! We are really stoked on this series –in it there is a Girl, we had lots of demands for a girl skater. Also we put a filmer in there – you know the friend that is following behind the rider with the death lens.
Series 1 Snowboard is currently being designed & after that we will design series 1 surf. We plan on having all of these by the end of the year. We also have some more ideas –but you will have to stay tuned for those ones.