We met the astounding collection of Chris Ausbrooks quite by accident. This collector is all about Aliens and Predator, and you can tell if you look at his Photobucket account, because it is full of jaw dropping stuff. Its obvious Chris is a really serious collector and therefore a perfect pick for our Collections feature -- you really want to know what motivates a collector to get this into it!
Luckily, Chris was more than happy to share with us, and if you hit the break, you can learn more about the person behind this remarkable collection. Enjoy!
Tomopop: When did you realize you were in love with toys?
Chris: I've been in love with toys since I can remember. My younger years were spent pitting my G.I. Joes against Star Wars Stormtroopers. My passion was always for action figures. Sci Fi, Military, Dungeons and Dragons...you name it, I loved it. My fondest memories from childhood were of spending time with my brother going through the giant J.C. Penney Christmas catalog picking out what cool toys we wanted for Christmas. I had great parents who, without spoiling me, bought me pretty much all of the figures I could want.
Of course, I grew up, got married and had gotten away from toys. That was, until I discovered eBay in my latter years. WOW! What a revelation that was. I can remember doing my first search for some of my favorites from my childhood. I was addicted! I could collect what I wanted and could afford to do it! Great times. I started back into it full force. If there was a movie that had toys...I bought 'em. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Kenner Alien and Predator. Even little known lines like Virus and Battlefield Earth. Of course there was Spawn and all of the McFarlane lines. My greatest hope was realized when he started producing Alien and Predator figures. These were always my two favorite movie monsters. And, up until then, the only thing to be found was the Kenner line.
So...fast forward a few years and I started to realize that there was just TOO much stuff out there. I couldn't keep up. And, frankly, I didn't have the desire to. So, I got rid of ALL of it ... everything ... except for my precious Alien and Predator figures. I decided that I'd concentrate on just these two creatures. Beyond the McFarlane figures, there really wasn't a lot available then that was worth collecting.
Or, so I thought. Enter eBay ... again. I stumbled across an auction for a pro built Geometric Alien kit. I could not believe how incredible this thing looked!
I bought it, of course, and talked to the seller about what else was out there. Thus, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Garage Kits (Thanks Joe!). There were so many great Alien and Predator kits out there, I was in heaven! I especially loved "concept" pieces (these being kits based on concept art from the films), and these are my current favorite type of kit to collect.
But, I'd finally found a way to have my two favorite sci fi baddies in all their various incarnations. And, that's what I've concentrated on for the last 5 years. Tracking down those hard to find and rare pieces.
Throw in there all the new Alien and Predator figures that have come out from companies like NECA, HOT TOYS and MEDICOM and I was one truly happy collector. Where there were once only a handful of decent pieces, there were now hundreds and hundreds of amazing kits and figures. There were incarnations from all of the movies, comics, art and custom sculpted statues and kits. Paradise, I tell you!
Tomopop: What's the pride and joy of your collection?
Chris: I don't think I can narrow it down to just one piece. They all hold a special place in my collection.
If I had to pick "something", then I would have to say that all of my "concept" pieces are my favorites.
As much as I love a movie accurate Alien or Predator sculpt, kits based on concept art just fascinate me.
It's like being able to, not only have what we see on screen, but a piece of what brought the designer to the final version.
I like them so much that I even have a kit based on an early Ron Cobb design for the Alien. Before Giger was given the job.
Now THAT'S dedication!
Tomopop: What's your current toy "Holy Grail?"
Chris: Well, I'd have to say that my Grail isn't a toy. I'd LOVE to find the 1:1 Alien Warrior bust from Sideshow. Sadly, I missed out on this when it was first released and the after market price has jumped several thousand dollars. But...some day...it will be mine. (insert evil laugh here)
Tomopop: Have you made any custom toys of your own? If not, what would a toy you would create look like?
Chris: I've never, personally, made a custom figure. But, if I were to make one, it would be an absolutely screen accurate and poseable version of H.R. Giger's Alien. NECA made a fantastic figure of both the Giger version and the Cameron "Aliens" version of the creature. NECA put a lot of great effort into making it as accurate as possible, and it shows. But, there were still some aspects that were just a tiny bit "off".
Mine would be something that you couldn't tell from the on screen version with a paint app to match.
But, I'm not a stickler for accuracy. I've got many pieces in my collection that are far from accurate.
So, as long as there is a cool Alien or Predator kit or figure to be had...I'll keep on collecting. There's still so much out there that I don't have. And, like they say ... the hunt is half of the fun.
Tomopop: Thanks for sharing your collection with us, Chris!