Darthvaderr Store

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Exclusive Interview: Bryan Pope - PART ONE

Here is one of Hot Wheels finest and meticulous customizer. His customs has been consistently very sleek and always has a touch of surprise. Bryan Pope is notably one of the industry new leaders in the world of customizing. Just after five good years in customizing, he has already won a place in the Die-cast Hall of Fame.  Here is his story…

I have segmented my Q & A into three areas of his life - Backround/Customizing/Success
1) How did you get into customizing? When did it start?
I began to customize diecast cars around 2004 as a way to make people aware of a charity organization I was involved with at the time called Diecast 911.  We would collect diecast cars and bring them to sick children in local hospitals.  It was a great feeling to hear the stories from the medical staff about how a child would be holding one of the cars we donated as sort of a security item before going into surgery.  From there it grew into customizing cars for convention charity auctions and personal causes until 2006 when I decided to begin Pope Designs

 Bryan with Donnie of Diecast 911

(Picture source from Conniebasham.com)

2) What was you first design project?
My first diecast for sale custom was the 2006 Kringle Delivery VW Drag Bus.  I had done a one-off prototype for the 2006 Mike Strauss California convention auction to test the customizing waters and it brought in $1,000.00! That convinced me to begin customizing and the first one came out that following November.

2006 KringleVW Drag Bus

3) Have you worked on any projects with Mattel? If yes, please elaborate
No; nothing with Mattel as of yet.  They have a fantastic in-house design team and I would love to do a mutual design with them anytime they would like.
4) Who were your early influences?
Chip Foose and Troy Lee were probably was first and biggest influences in custom car design for me. Once I started going to conventions, people like Miq Wilmott and Chojiro from Japan also have had great effect on my design perspective.

 Chip Foose

Miq Willmott

Chojiro D. Crazy

 Troy Lee

5) You have been customizing for over 6-7 years? What drives you?
What drives me is the acceptance of the diecast community of my designs and visions.
It feels great to make people happy through my art and passion of customizing.

 Pope Headquarters

6) Are you also a collector? If yes, which casting do you normally collect?
I have an obsession for Vipers and strive to own a real one some day.  For now, I try to collect every Hot Wheels Viper I can. There are some from other diecast manufacturers as well I like but Hot Wheels is first and foremost the one I hunt for.

7) How do your friends and family members feel about you as a customizer? Are they supportive?
My parents had always been supportive of my choice to become a graphic artist and designer.  They encouraged my sister and me to follow our dreams into whatever profession we wanted.  That was a great thing to come from.  Today my wife and friends also give the encouragement and support to continue customizing; I am always appreciative of that.



40th Anniversary of Larry Wood Drag Bus Set
The 2 Sides of Larry
DiecastSpace Magical Weekend Convoy

Wild Weekend of Hot Wheels Black Box Set

Popeman Chevy Silverado

'Fire BUSter VW Drag Bus

Blazing Shadow

Interview was conducted by Ronald Wong aka Darthvaderr


will be featured on 17 October.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking the time to publish my interview. It looks great! Bryan