Contributor, Foreign Correspondent
Artist, modeler, storyteller, musician, film geek, toy collector. I go by Fled74 here and on a couple other sites.
I’ve been married for 10 years, and have two young daughters. I’ve been fortunate that my wife (an artist herself) lets me indulge my love of toys, and my older daughter has inherited our passion for creating things. My younger daughter is still a toddler, but has shown an interest in drawing.
I look forward to nurturing their artistic sides as they grow older.
About my obsession with toys:
Like most guys my age (late 30s in my case), I grew up enthralled with cartoons and cartoon-based toys.
I first heard of GI Joe at the age of 10 or 11 when I visited my cousin and he brought out these amazing military-themed figures and vehicles to play with. I eventually got a few of my own, and oh, the spectacular battles we staged – Joe vs Cobra on the carpet, in the backyard, in the pool…
Those early O-ring Joes were my first experience with swapping parts to make my own custom figure, and none of my Joes stayed stock for long.
Sadly they were lost as I grew older – my mom gave a couple away, I blew a few up with firecrackers, and my kid brother lost the rest.
Over the years I dabbled in other hobbies: building models of WW2 armor and aircraft, and Star Wars models (a couple of which won trophies in scale model competitions), HO scale railroading (my shelf layout was featured in a local paper and a brief TV news segment), and car tuning and customization (I’ve entered my car in a few shows and it’s won 3 trophies so far).
I rediscovered GI Joe with the Valor vs Venom line, but my customizing passion returned in force when the ROC figures were released. I sold my models and my trains, and began my pursuit of the new Joes and 1/18 vehicles. Diorama photography soon followed, and forum member Rick (whom I knew from JoeDios) pointed me here to the Fighting 1:18th. I signed up in mid-2011, and this has been my online home ever since.
Please visit us on our Message Board, and say hello!