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English>>Life & Culture

Play, your own way (2)

By Eric Jou  (China Daily)

09:30, December 20, 2012

Ma Che-hung makes figurines based on his own drawings. One of his most popular works is Apexworkbot Double U2 (far left).
(Photos/China Daily)

He has his own brand of toys called Apexplorer. The line is so popular that special editions of his works sell for $600 on eBay.

Ma has been helping interested people on how to get started on making their own toys and collectibles.

Ma, a Hong Kong native who is a branding professional, says he spent a lot of time drawing and finally he wanted to see his creations go from 2-D to 3-D.

"I used to draw a lot because of the nature of my work. I had lots of drawings of characters and personas laying around, and it dawned on me that I should make them into something," Ma says.

"I noticed some people creating DIY toys for themselves and I figured, why not take my own designs and have them made 3-D?"

While Wang is looking to make a suit of armor for himself to enjoy because there is no such armor for purchase, Ma is designing his own label of toys and figurines.

Ma says he tends to create figurines and action figures, some of which he sells to fans of his creation.

"It's not really about profit, it's more about expression," Ma says. "Many of my figurines and action figures are 30-cm figures like GI Joes. I make them to be about social issues and trends."

Social media has played a huge role in the expansion of DIY.

Both Wang and Ma say they scour the Internet for new ideas, new techniques and new friends.

Wang's Iron Man project in particular benefits greatly from being in the social media spotlight. Wang and his suit have been the subject of many Chinese media reports and articles by foreign websites.

Of course creating something from nothing isn't cheap. Ma says he sells his figures to help fund future projects. Wang, in the long run, hopes to be able to start his own costuming and prop studio in Beijing.

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