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I discovered TOYSREVIL when I was searching the internet for a themed post I did on Designer Toys a while back. Blogging about toys and pop culture, Andy keeps his readers and toy fans constantly updated with everything going on in this colorful, playful and creative field! Today he talks about his passion for toys and blogging and shares useful tips and advice!

Hello Andy and welcome to EyeCandies. I sense you have a special relationship with toys! Talk to us about your passion and when did you decide to start blogging about it?

Thank you for having me! I started as a toy-collector, first and foremost. My early forays into toy-addiction started with the 1/6th-scale hobby. I had relished in casual-streetwear styled figures (as opposed to military themed 1/6) and delved deep into it, specifically kitbashing figures and creating characters and backstories or them.

The first incarnation of TOYSREVIL was via my own hobby website, where I posted images and little character write-ups of my figures and collection. I had then discovered Medicom Toy's BE@RBRICKS and Kubricks, around the same time as designer vinyls, specifically Michael Lau's early work ~ for whom I will always credit as THE person who got me started on designer art toys. (Said website has since fallen pray to internet-domain-name-limbo, along with my dotcom.).

I remember starting out toy-collecting, and having the hardest of time searching for information about a product. My best educator (back in the day) was actually Ebay, via sellers' description of items! Then I discovered Vinyl Pulse, and the seed of a notion about blogging about toys grew from there as well.


My primary aim back then, and till now, was to be able to provide information about toys, for folks who are interested in finding out more about them.

The earlier incarnation of the current blogspot was more of a personal blog. I had slipped out of toy-collecting for a short period of time (when the addiction to toys grew out of hand financially), and it was not until a year afters that I started blogging about toys, and has since fallen back into toy-addiction, but this time not of purchasing them, but of reporting about them hahaha.

In a nutshell, the decision to blog about toys, was to me, a progression of my passion, and wanting share that with others in the hobby.

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TOYSREVIL: What inspired your blog’s name?

"TOYSREVIL" is actually a online nick I conjured up, for which I had used in the blog, hence "TOYSREVIL's I LIke Toys". I have since dropped the "I Like Toys" and moved forward with TOYSREVIL.


Official Snakeoil-Sales-Line:  "Tis oft said about the inherent evil of "influence". But none so alluring as the all-consuming passion lured and set-upon thee mortal desires by plastic or vinyl in the form of toys and action figures. And if influence is evil? Then Toys-Are-Evil. In my waking dreams, they are my masters and i am but a humble servant to serve."

Contrary to what a few folks have asked of me, TOYSREVIL was never a riff off "Toys-R-Us" on the on-set hahahaha
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How easy is to keep up with the constantly evolving world of designer toys and what are your criteria when it comes to choosing your next blog post?

The daily posts on TOYSREVIL are queued up and generally based on editorial content, featuring a diverse variety of news, from toys to pop culture-related notions, like anime or specific geek-related movies and it's ilk. Basically I post what I like and enjoy, and hope like-minded readers would too. One thing to note, TOYSREVIL and the blog, is just me. So what I post about may well be limited to what I can physically publish by the end of the blog-day.

The existence of the TOYSREVIL blog relies on two primary factors: What I discover, and what I receive. In the earlier days of blogging, I would have more time to surf the web, to cast a wider net for news and interests. The sense of discovery was what kept my passion burning. I had started on the www a bit late in my life (via work instead of pleasure, actually) and have played catch-up ever since.

When I started to blog about toys, I had actually cold-emailed a whole bunch of folks, from designers to producers, to introduce myself and my blog. Most have replied and some remain the staunchest of supporters ever since, and visa versa.  Through the years, it is because of these online-relationships, that keep the effort enriching. But there are a select few who had never responded, even til now.

As the days go by, more folks begin to send me information. And as a basic gesture of thanks, said info would be queued up sooner to be published. You take the trouble to email me? That is the least I can do. Sometimes this works, sometimes it does not. As well the timeliness of the news plays a factor.

Content is key. A couple of images with no text or explanation will not a good blogpost make. Additional information of the product or event are always more than welcomed.
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What are your views concerning blogging? What would you advice a new starter?

Blog about what you like, and know. With time and deeper understand of the product, the more you have to say and blog about.

You can choose either to be bulletin-board style of blogging ~ which is basically cut-and-paste press releases ~ or engage your readers via your own voice, with a decent measure of opinions and knowledge. Or a mix of both.

These are a few blogging pet-peeves:

01. Credit or link your sources. News did not pop out of the sky and neither did it magically appear on your blog.


02. Do not  "steal". In this cowboy-town-age of the internet, people swipe images and remove watermarks, lift content and information and use as their own. It is deplorable, but seems folks are doing it, and not many people care either which way.

Once you start advertising and earning from your blog-ads, you are stealing from others to feed yourself.

But then again, having said all these, what us content-platforms do, at the end of the day, is publish cannibalized news from the content-providers anyways. So how much of a difference you can make, is up to you.


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What blogs/sites do you visit on a daily basis and who are your favorite toy designers?

This is a loaded question, for which my answers can only truly be: "Not as much as I'd like to" and "Too many to name".

Surfing the web is a luxury now (for me), as opposed to researching for content for a blog-post. These days, it has become more task-driven with blog-post in mind. As for "favs", there are far too many to name, I insist! You'd be able to read the "lurve" for particular artists on my blog :)
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Maintaining high blog traffic can be a real headache. Do you have any tips to share?

There is no defined way, I reckon. You will never truly know the reading patterns of folks who pop on over to your blog. Of course you can try, based on your blog-stats, but the reality is, folks' preferences change with any given day, and all that remains the same, is YOU, the blogger.

You can only control the content you put out, but you cannot control the readers, who they themselves have different needs, and which can be catered to by a myriad of other websites.

The stress of maintaining relevancy and currentness, by far outweighs the need to produce specifically for high blog traffic. The need to maintain sanity amongst all of these, is paramount to the longevity of the existence to your blog. I may not have thought like this a few years back, but this is what I try to maintain these days hahaha

Ironically, the highest blog-hits in past years, were due to my posts on non-toy related products. If I were to cater to them, the TOYSREVIL-blog may well have turned into another blog altogether! But evolution is needed to survive the internet-age.

So what makes you special? What makes you different? What makes you unique unto yourself that it will entice the readers to come, and remain with you, for as long as you blog?

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How would you describe the ‘typical’ designer toy collector?

- Has a healthy knowledge of the toy, and who it's designer is. (As is the basic M.O. in the art toy world).
- Knows a decent history of the toy and make. And initial Value as well.
- Has and is able to gain access to products.

All "logistical" attributes, rather than characteristics, I'm afraid. As in this age, it no longer is about "Who", but rather the "Level" in which the toy-collectors let the hobby perpetrate their lives. You could be a hardcore-collector, or you could be a "toy-tourist", but the connecting trait for everyone, is the passion for the hobby.
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Can you describe an average working day of yours?

I am based in Singapore, and run on +8 GMT. I used to work on U.S.-time, but that has left me with zero local interaction with local folks I share my island-country with, and a vampire-like existence while bashing computer-keys! Now I am trying to restore my body-clock back to Singapore-time, in a desperate attempt to enjoy the sunlight that filters into my desktop within my workspace.


/// SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES ///

- Wake up.
- Fire up the computer and check emails and online-happenings (which determines the basic start of the day and it's pace to come)
- Brush my teeth and wash my face (yes, I view the monitor with crusty-ied eyes)
- Coffee. Must. Have. Coffee.
- Web-admin (Depending on workload).
- Research and Prep.
- Publish before 7pm (Daily internet lag begins around that time and might last until 10 or 11pm ~ a more recent reality-malady)
- Bang table, kick chairs and curse under my breathe while foolishly battling said internet-lag when I know I should go watch television or do something else instead of killing my brain-cells while battling the internet-lag.
- A Roundup all the day's posts with a Daily/Nightly Dateline at 12 midnight (In an attempt to develop a sense of structured functionality)
- Research some more for the next day's posts.
- Throw all scheduled-plans out the window if I find something interesting online worth loosing sleep over to blog about hahaha

/// UNSCHEDULED-SLEEP ///

Publishing is a snap. It is the "Research and Prep" that might take up between 7 to 10 hours a day on average.

These days, I am lucky if I get five to six hours of sleep.

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Thank you very much for participating in EC Andy! Would you like to add anything else?

Thanks again for having me! A sincere thanks and shout-out to one and all who have supported the TOYSREVIL-blog (and myself) thru the years! I know who you are, you know who you are. And have a Great Toy-Day, y'all!

LINKS: […]

http://toysrevil.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/toysrevil
http://www.facebook.com/pages/TOYSREVIL/337036405404
(Facebook-page)

http://www.youtube.com/user/toysrevil
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