Welcome to the lair of the "Warlord's Keep!"
That's the greeting you'll receive when you enter the unique home-based business run by collector/customizers Paul & Laura Jenkins of Spring Valley, IL. They customize and sell 1/6th scale action figures, Obitsu 27cm & 60 cm dolls, and much more. Paul's also an Army veteran. Here's his story in his own words:
"We've been collecting, kitbashing and customizing action figures and dolls for around 36 years now, but have just started doing it for resale a couple of years ago. Laura sews, paints, sculpts, and works in graphic arts. I cast in resin, paint, do the photography and maintain the website, and am now learning how to sew. Everything we do is a team effort.
Of course, GIjOE is the guy that started it all. He was the first action figure I ever received. Back in 1968, My uncle Ken was a door gunner in Vietnam. While on leave in Tokyo, he bought me a GIjOE from the base PX and shipped it home to me for Christmas. I was just five years old. Some time later in the 70's, my trusty Joe got caught in the middle of a fight between my half brother and myself. We were OK, but poor Joe had lost both arms in the ensuing "battle."
After that, Joe stayed in a storage box for over 10 years until, sometime in the late 80's, a company called Cotswold Collectibles came around. I was thrilled when I found out I could order new cord and finally put my original Joe's arms back on.
But by then, my vintage Joe was really starting to look his age. I guess we both were. A lot of his hair paint was missing. His scar was gone. His eye brows were both worn off. I also noticed his lower legs didn't stay on anymore. The knees were severely cracked, and the pegs inside were worn away. Clearly, Joe needed even more extensive restoration and repair.
This became my first real, customization project. I bought ol' Joe a new Cots body and asked Laura (my loving and artistic wife) to give him a new face. His new look still shows his age, but not the wear and tear (does the face remind you of anyone?). Here are some before and after pictures of my reincarnated and restored Joe (right).
We hope to meet you someday at a toy show or GIjOE Convention. We're also members of the Central IL GIjOE Collector's Club. Please visit us online at the Warlord's Keep website for more information about all the figures we sell and the custom outfits and accessories we create. Thanks!
---Paul and Laura Jenkins
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