How it all Started
This all started back in 1997 while I was collecting toys. I’d always wanted to open a store not where I would sell toys, but showcase them. I had a yearning to share my collection with fellow collectors & children. I just wanted to have a place where like-minded people could get together and talk about this (at the time) odd hobby. I also had built up quite a memory when it came to action figures going back to when I started collecting in 1991. If it had to do with an action figure from 1991-present I could pretty much tell you anything you wanted to know. During this time the internet was steadily getting bigger and bigger, and a lot more homes now had dial-up access to the internet. Somewhere in the middle of all this my best friend, Avi Miodovsky , showed me this cool new program that you could use to build your own website. At the time it was incredible that a regular everyday person could have their own website. It wasn’t as commonplace as it is today. I thought to myself, I may never have the chance to open up my mini action figure museum, but I could do it online in the form of a website. That was when the Realm toys was born. Web hosting back then was very expensive, but there were several services that offered free hosting as long as you didn’t mind advertising pop-ups. After searching I wound up opening my initial website on Tripod.com on Monday, July 27th, 1998. Thanks to the help of my friends and fellow collectors who contributed ( Avi Miodovsky , Gene Catania and Dawn Minor) I ran that website for about 3-31/2 years before I had to put the site on hiatus due to my career. Months passed and my collection & knowledge of action figures grew more and more, but unfortunately I just couldn’t find time to work on the site.
Then one day as I was ebaying looking for new goodies to add to my collection, I came accross this custom action figure auction. This ebayer had made a figure I had never even conceived, a Mandolrian General. It was one of the coolest figures I had ever seen (bare in mind that the Clone Wars cartoon hadn’t even been conceived yet). He had several customs up at the time. He had made a Jango Fett (before there ever was one), a Sith Witch (that coincidentally Asaaj Ventress ended up resembling), and one of Queen Amidala’s body doubles to name a few. The bidding was fierce for this guy’s customs. He had made about 3 or 4 different Fetts that sold for well over $40.00. I had to let those go but there was no way I was gonna let that Mandolorian General go. It cost me a bit but it was well worth it. What does this have to do with our “About Us” page you ask? I’m getting to it.
A few months later I contact this ebayer I bought the custom from. I had just started working on the site again and I wanted to have a custom action figure section. I got in touch with him to see if he would be willing to let me do a write up on him and post pictures of his custom work. From there history was made. We must have spent at least the next 6 months brainstorming every night on different ideas for the website and a store of our own. It was great, each one of us fueled the other’s fire. This course of events is what led to the growth & re-launch of the Realm toys. Together Scot & I took the Realm toys to new heights covering conventions from the east coast to the west coast.
In 2004 due to a lull in the action figure industry there wasn’t much for us to report on. It was at that point that Scot & I realized we needed to branch out and cover pop culture entertainment news. We figured why not, we were already covering the geek culture meccas across the country. It’s not like there was anything interesting going on with toys anymore (at that time). In that time our coverage grew slowly but surely, after all we were only 2 people.
In 2008 it all came to a halt. My best friend and partner, Scot was killed in an automobile accident. I was devastated and didn’t know if I wanted to continue the site without him. I turned the site into a memorial page for Scot and effectively put the site on hiatus. I didn’t think I would ever come back to the site but then one night sitting in a theater all that changed.