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Thursday, 2 February 2012

Exclusive Interview: Jimmy "THE BOXMAN" Chavez - PART ONE

When I first started collecting limited edition Hot Wheels, my very first few customs were some of Jimmy’s finest piece - the Energizer and Dubble Bubble VW Drag Bus and thereafter I got hooked on his creativity and innovativeness. I went on a mission and started searching for all his cars and the real fun started for me. Thanks to Jimmy for motivating my hobby and for giving me so much joy by just having his cars in my hands. I am pleased and honored to have a friend like Jimmy and he was kind enough to spend some time to answer some very personal questions in this interview.

Jimmy was inducted into the first ever Diecast Hall of Fame in 2009.

Jimmy Chavez aka "The Boxman" started his career by customizing Haulers and unlike most established customizers, Jimmy made most of his customs in blisters to beautify his hard work. After numerous achievement at die-cast customizing awards, his work started to get noticed and was eventually hired by Mattel as a Designer. After three good years at Mattel, his entrepreneur spirit sparked and he eventually moved on to start up his own label PROTOYTYPE. Here is the insight of his illustrious career….

I have segmented my Q & A into three areas of his life - Background/Customizing/Success
1) How did you get into customizing? When did it start?
I started back in ’96, when I customized Budweiser Highway Haulers and would put them in the blisters to trade for Hot Wheels Treasure Hunts.

2) What training did you get?
I am a self-taught and learned the trade through trial and error.

3) What was you first design project?
I think it was an Albertson grocery truck that I did for a buddy.
4) Who were your early influences, any mentor?
I have two, and they are Vince Mosley aka V-Man and Dave Chang

Dave Chang and Jimmy signing autograph at the 2010 Summer Smash

 V-Man and Jimmy at the Mexico Convention 2010

A collaborative work between BOXMAN and V-Man

5) You have worked at Mattel.. How long were you there?
I was at Mattel from 2003-2006 for about 3 good years

6) What was your role at Mattel
I was a Packaging Designer for the adult Hot Wheels line.

7) Your proudest work when you were at Mattel?
It has to be the 18-car Display set that I had designed for the late Elliot Handler (Co-founder of Mattel).
RIP Elliot Handler (April 9, 1916 – July 21, 2011)

8) How much different is it now that you are your own boss?
There is a huge difference!. Although I talked to myself alot more, really… it has its pros and cons.
Some of BOXMAN's earlier work

9) How many customizers do you have in your team?
I have two designers who help me with everything from painting the cars to making the blisters.



Gas Pump VW Drag bus

The Wild Weekend of Hot Wheels 2009 Rocket Oil set

Felix the Cat VW Drag Bus

Juice Machine VW Drag Bus

Larry's Garage VW Drag Bus

Dubble Bubble VW Drag Bus

Dubble Bubble Dairy Delivery

Mad Cow Dairy Delivery

Dairy Farm Dairy Delivery

US Mail VW Drag Bus

Craftsman VW Drag Bus

Interview was conducted by Ronald Wong aka Darthvaderr



will be featured on 7 February.