Thursday, July 4, 2013

CUSTOMIZER SPOTLIGHT #32: MERCURY ART STUDIOS

Because of the holiday, we thought it would be a good time to display the figure in my collection that has the most sentimental value. Michael Martinez of Mercury Art Studios did a little bit of everything in all scale, and was a Star Wars fan for years. He was killed on July 2, 2011 in a head on collision with a drunk driver leaving behind a daughter and his pregnant fiancé, Hollie.

The 27 year old from Georgia was one of the coolest customizers out there, and he was also a good friend. When Dad first started customizing, Mike and Dad would spend time chatting on Facebook about customizing and the joys of fatherhood. He would share stories of his little girl holding a Dremmel to action figures and making the appropriate sound effects as she imitated her dad. He would always speak about his family with great adoration. Mike was always so generous and eager to share his wealth of customizing knowledge and help Dad out with tips or parts for a new customizing project.  Mike was responsible for showing us the host for almost all of our video content found on the blog.  We never found a customizer so enthusiastic about the art form and the community that surrounded it.  To Dad, Mike was truly an inspiration.

A week before Mike died, he told Dad that he had just finished making us a custom action figure, and he was going to be mailing it to us for all that our blog has done for the customizing community.  Sadly we never recived it.  A few months after Mike's passing, Dad saw a custom action figure that Mike had made up for auction on eBay.  Dad was so happy when he was named the highest bidder and we won the auction.  I love that I was able to add Mike's Kee to my collection. 

I think at some point or another, all customizers have often dreamed about what it would be like to earn a living solely from the toys we produce. Mike was doing just that. Mike told Dad that he was able to support his family by making just ten custom action figures a week and selling them on eBay. We've loved his customs ever since we first saw them on Yakface.com and couldn't tell you how saddened we are by the loss of one of the greatest talents within this community. Mike you will truly be missed.

We hope you all have fun out there today, but let this be a cautionary tale and stay safe as you enjoy your time with friends and family.



"Kee"
created by Mercury Art Studios





Kee



When Cade Skywalker visited Rik's Cantina on Coruscant in 137 ABY, she threatened him with a blaster pistol, hoping he could reveal where her former crew members, Jariah Syn and Deliah Blue had absconded with the Grinning Liar, which they had rented after leaving Cade's employ. Unfortunately, Cade was unable to help her or Chak, though he made a joking pass at her.

After Cade became enthralled to the Sith, Kee along with Chak joined the crew of the Mynock in Cade's rescue as a necessary step to reaquiring the Grinning Liar which had somehow ended up in the hands of Rav.

Kee, along with Chak, Deliah Blue, and Jariah Syn, were later hired by Morrigan Corde to help rescue Cade, who was her son. She assisted Syn in attaching miniature cameras to Yuuzhan Vong bugs Corde obtained from the Empire. After three weeks, when they finally managed to locate Cade and his attempt to escape the Temple of the Sith, Kee commented on how he is "chucking Darth Hottie out the airlock.

Kee flew with Chak, Corde, Blue and Syn in the Mynock over the Temple. She made a sarcastic joke about one of the craziest things Syn has ever done. The mission ended in Cade's escape from the Sith.

She later accompanied Chak, Cade, and Syn in an attempt to get the Grinning Liar back from Rav. After retrieving the ship, she wished Cade well and asked him to say goodbye to Blue for her. When he told her that the two weren't interacting, the Devaronian called him a nerfherder and encouraged him to talk to her.