(with massive help from Vincent @ MPH - thanks dude!)
TOYSREVIL: how do the concepts of your creations came about? what inspires you?
ROHBY: Machinery, Japanese Mechas, Things I run into on the street (forklifts, bulldozers etc). Mostly my pieces are mecha inspired, however for the Elbow Grease show I wanted to do something a little bit different. I've worked on customs where they are built "inwards" I.E. inserting pilots in essential "cockpits" and changing the basic characteristics of the Munnys. So this time I wanted to approach it differently. I wanted to create a whole environment for the Munny that transformed it, and gave it a new persona while still retaining it's essence.
TRE: how did you decide on the execution and presentation of your customs?
ROHBY: I always try to make all my pieces from scratch - that way I can create exactly what i'm envisioning without having to adapt to anything or compromise my vision
TRE: you work a lot with Munnys, is there a particular reason why? are there any other platforms you would like to work on, but have yet to?
ROHBY: The reason I like to work with the munny is because I like the proportions of the figure. They seem to fit my particular "style" right now. I'd definitely like to get into other platforms in the future. As ideas come to me that if I find would work on another platform better, then I'll switch to that.
TRE: how do you start a project? design sketches first? or go straight into parts-building?
ROHBY: Normally I like to do design sketches first to help me brainstorm, but for this particular piece I couldn't wait to get started so I basically went straight into building it, modifying a few things as I went.
TRE: tell us about yourself, Rohby. what's your "dayjob"
ROHBY: I recently got accepted into an art center in pasadena for industrial design but I ultimately decided not to attend in order to pursue my goal of getting into the toy design industry.
TRE: what/who are your influences?
ROHBY: I'm influenced by everything I see around me but I'm especially influenced by Mechs, robots and machines in general. I also love clean designs which are refined and articulate.
TRE: how long have you been customizing toys? how did you feel when you first started, and how do you feel now - about your creations, your skills?
ROHBY: I've been working in Vinyl for about 2 years but customizing as a whole would be about 8 years. In the beginning I did it to fill a void of not being able to get a toy (JM ver. 2.0) and now I do it as a form of creative expression.
TRE: what was the genesis of this show? is this your first? and any reason why you chose it to be at myplasticheart?
ROHBY: Yes this is my first show. It began with one of my biggest fans Ken (Jacranky / ShutterKICK Productions) approached me about doing a show in New York City.
After agreeing we set out to find the perfect place, and myplasticheart was my first and only place we thought of.
TRE: what are your future plans? are there any further development of your creations planned? ie: Rohby's production figures?
ROHBY: In the future I would love to have my own line of production toys but for now I'm focusing on designing newer and cooler toys.
TRE: tell us what you hope for your creations to do, for you and the toy collector.
ROHBY: For me it would be nostalgia. I grew up loving this type of style and I love being able to bring a little bit of it back. For the collector, I just want to be able to show a little bit of my love of creating robot and have it transmitted into a medium that everyone can enjoy.
TOYSREVIL: thank you for your time for this interview in-between your preparations for the show! good luck with Elbow Grease and your future works, Rohby!
[additional behind-the-scenes image via VinylPulse]
[original post circa 08.06.07]