596 - The Collection with Huck Gee - Part 18: James Groman

The Collection returns for its next installment with this year's Designer Toy Of The Year Award Winner, James Groman. Fresh from Five Points Festival, Mark Brickey, Huck Gee, and James look at the state of the designer toy world from a higher perspective as it hits a third wave. Just by looking at James' winning submission, King Korpse, you can see how the world of vinyl and resin toys has shifted to an artists first approach all the way from concept to production. That's just the start as The Collection keeps going through the world of kaiju, American Greetings, and giving birth in front of a live audience. James has been in the game from the beginning as he worked on Madballs, officially licensed Star Wars toys, and developed storyboards for the Care Bears. There's no stopping this juggernaut because he came up in a world where hard work was just the first bullet point on someone's resume. That type of determination is what put him in the same room with mega talents feeding their ideas straight to Peter Jackson and creating new components in the Star Wars universe through his toy designs. Now this episode of The Collection is going to put you in the same room with one of the greats so take notes and pay attention.

Talking Points

  • Seasoned veterans review Five Points Festival and the beginning of Death Star 3.0. 
  • Following the stampede to the gore. 
  • Designer Toy Of The Year Award and the fist fights for King Korpse.
  • From cutting costs to craftsmanship. 
  • How working for yourself let's you fight for what you believe in. 
  • Trailblazers from the greeting card industry that birthed the creativity on the designer toy world today. 
  • The rejuvenation and vindicated success of Gold Life. 
  • Instinct Toys and finding the funding from people that believe in your ideas. 
  • Working big, 3D sculpting, and overseas shipping. 
  • Getting lost in the sketchy days of King Korpse. 
  • The benefits of giving birth in front of a live audience. 

Circle Of Trust Talking Points

  • The reality of designing and adding to the Star Wars Universe. 
  • Confidence, depression, and intimidating moments in front of mega talents with high standards. 
  • Storyboards for Care Bears and staying relevant in the long run. 
  • Buying into the dot com legend that has shifted younger generations mindsets away from the hard work of finding a job. 
  • A look into the Garage Kit Culture (another Wild West sub culture). 
  • Consumer culture, American culture, and the sad state of creating new intellectual properties. 
  • Bootlegging's dark side with a potentially bright future. 
  • Relating to your audience and the long road to hone your talents. 



Working on Star Wars properties sounds like a dream come true right?!? AID 435 is an interview with Eric Tan who has forged his entire career at Disney and that involves working on packaging for the recently released Rogue One toys.

This episode gets mentioned by name in today's episode where Mark tells James and Huck about his sit down interview with Derek Welch and how he had to adjust to a new lifestyle that was very abruptly handed to him.

Last month's episode of The Collection was with Josh Kimberg who is in charge of running Five Points Festival and The Designer Toy Awards. His interview let us behind the scenes of how he runs that festival and it's future.