A Tribute to Eddie Wires Part 2 – The Industry Reaction
August 19, 2010

Eddie showing off what he bought at SDCC 2009 as we said goodbye that year.As I mentioned in my tribute post last week,  when I got the news of Eddie’s passing that morning I reached out to a lot of his friends and colleagues to ask them for their thoughts and memories of Eddie.  We’re all still reeling from the news, so I’m sure there will be more of these to come as his friends are able to process the news.  I expect this will be a bit of a living document that I will update as contributions come in.   Here is the first round of remembrances from his friends and the people he worked with, who are also all his friends.  It was impossible NOT to be friends with Eddie.   Just like it was impossible to pay for a drink or pick up a meal tab around Eddie.  I called this "the Industry Reaction" bur really the industry was Eddies extended family.   He and his brother Jason took each job personally and wanted to do the best job possible for his extended family.   He cared deeply for all of these people, and they in return cared deeply for him.

It’s been one week since we received the news… and the pain and feeling of loss still run just as deep.

I have spoken to Eddie’s brother Jason and he’s informed me that it is his plan to keep Wires Productions open and doing just what Eddie loved- painting toy prototypes and statues and innovating.  Anyone that knew him knows that Eddie would have wanted it that way.   Eddie’s family naturally has some things they need to take care of in the coming weeks, but great work will continue to come out of Eddie’s studio, and Wires Productions is still very much open for business.   Eddie’s legacy will live on in our collections.


 

"I first met Eddie like most people, at San Diego Comic Con. Although I didn’t talk to him much that first meeting, every time I saw him afterwords, no matter how much time had passed, Eddie greeted me like a long lost brother. Talent aside (and the man was HUGELY talented) Eddie might have been the most genuinely nice person I’ve ever met. The guy exuded kindness, and always had time for you. He loved his friends and he loved his family. He loved toys! And his love for all of it was infectious. I have never made much secret of how SDCC is more of a chore to me than anything else, but seeing Eddie every year made going worth it. As for his talent, it’s pretty self-evident; I can’t count the hours I’d go to his website to gain inspiration when I was working on my projects. And it was never a surprise to see how many pieces he worked on- sometimes it seemed like the entire product line at Toy Fair from 4 separate companies was all the work of Eddie! But he never took the work for granted, and his enthusiasm for what he did never lessened. And all of us that loved toys as much as he did benefited from his efforts.  The toy industry and the world at large is a much, much sadder place without Edward Wires in it. I’ll miss you, man." - Jason Geyer Co-Owner/Co-Creator ActionFigureInsider.com

 


"The toy industry lost one of its most talented and prolific artists today, Ed Wires. Eddie called himself a toy prototype painter, but his skill with the brush and ability to enhance a sculpture through his interpretive colors and finishes demonstrated the highest level of craft and art. In this industry for over ten years, Eddie literally painted thousands of action figures and statues, working for nearly every toy company. Eddie was DC Directs’ "go-to guy" and he painted a large part of our line, pushing the quality of the final product to greater heights. Beyond the work, he was a truly wonderful person, who showed his deep affection for his family and friends every day. Some of you may not recognize his name, but his work and influence is present in every toy collection, which in itself is the best most lasting tribute.  I was fortunate to have him as a collaborator and a friend. " – Georg Brewer, DC Direct

To read the tributes from the rest of the DC Direct crew, who all worked very closely with Eddie, click here.


"Eddie was one of the nicest, hardest working, most honest gentlemen, I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was always there when we needed him and his love of what he did affected everyone around him. He was such a big part of everything we did here, we can’t imagine how we will go on without his amazing talent and unending devotion. He will be missed. Our thoughts go out to his wife, brother, nephew and all his family.
Eddie you were loved and will be missed thanks for everything! "
- Chuck Terciara, Diamond Select Toys

 


 

"I met Ed when he was a bartender that loved collecting toys and painting models.  He LOVED toys and his small apartment had a room just for them.  I have the pleasure of saying I worked with Ed from day one of his painting career.  He ate, sleep, ate, and smoked toys.  The shear body of his work is epic and his talent was off the charts.  The guy was fast, clean, and loved his job, so his insane hours were fun for him.  I could always call the guy at 2 am to shoot the shit and be reminded of the fact that we were both living the dream.  We would talk for hours about current and future projects.  We were two hard working manly men that sounded like excited grade school kids talking toys, comics, and cartoons during recess.  The words awesome and cool were thrown around very liberally.  We were working 12 – 14 hour days 6 to 7 days a week and we both felt fortunate to do it.   We were making Marvel action figures for Christ sake.  We were getting to make the toys that kids and fans would play with.   We felt a responsibility to our grade school selves to do the best work we could so we regularly channeled them.    
 
The last time I spoke to Ed we talked about the future and the current state of our lives and the lives of all of our mutual friends.  It was all very adult.  Then slowly but surely we began to slide into our old routine.  We spent an hour as excited kids reli
ving the glory days.  When he and I would crank out way too many figures in a month for Toybiz and how great those times were.   Aww the glory days.   I think there is a song about them.  
 
I have only met a few people in my life that have such love and passion for their work.  He was the sweetest and most generous genuine guy and I will miss the hell out of him.   My studio is filled with Ed’s work.  He painted almost everything I did.  The last figure we got to do together was Bane for the Arkham Asylum.  This simple piece of plastic will mean volumes to me and it will sit on my desk like all the other things that are important to me.  
 
I hung out with Ed for about an hour at the SDCC.  When he said goodbye he said, " let me give you a sweaty bear hug and a kiss."  He did and we said parted with a laugh like so many Cons before.   I love that guy.   So it is with great sadness, great memories, and very wet eyes that I would like to say,  thanks for everything Ed.  I’m really going to miss you during recess. " -  Phil Ramirez, Sculptor, Ramirez Studios 

 


If you had the pleasure to know knew Ed, you were always reminded of the joy and innocence that we all had as kids. He had one of the biggest and kindest hearts I’ve ever known.  He was one of the nicest and kindest people I’ve ever met. – Jesse Falcon, Marvel Comics/Toy Biz/Marvel Toys

 


We’ve been pals with Ed since way back in our McFarlane days and it’s going to be really  tough imagining going to Toy Fair or SDCC without running into and hanging out with him again.

From what Jesse says, he was in his studio doing what he loved when he passed. As much  awesome work as that boy cranked out, we wouldn’t have imagined it any other way.

Eddie was a spectacular guy that we could never get enough of. He was one of the kindest  and most gentle people you’d ever wish to meet, and his talents were beyond compare. A  true icon in the toy industry that never got the full amount of praise he deserved.

Not only will this leave a tremendous gap in the toy industry itself, but it’s going to leave a  tremendous hole in our hearts as well.

Our sincerest condolences go out to Eddies family.

With Eddie out there now, the afterlife’s gonna’ be a lot more colorful, but things just got a  little more gray down here.

We’ll miss you Ed. - FOUR HORSEMEN

 



We were out at SDCC about 5 or 6 years ago, and we were really hitting the town.  After a while, I realized that I left a bag behind at one of the several places we all went too that night, and I was completely lost.  So Eddie says “Dave… We’re going to get that bag… Me and you!”

So, as you know, to get around in San Diego at night is by PediCab!   We’ll, I don’t know where all the PediCabs went too, but there was only one.  And the driver was this tiny, thin, athletic-looking female.  Eddie and I looked at each other, and he just threw me in the cab!  And off we go, riding through Downtown San Diego. Looking for my bag.  Singing pirate songs.  All while this tiny PediCab driver peddles away!  I said “Eddie… I have no clue where we are!”  Eddie says…”Don’t worry… I don’t either!”  Low and behold, we found the bag (which it turns out, I left at the place before we jumped in the PediCab).  

After running in and out all the places searching for the bag, laughing and singing pirate songs all around Downtown, we pull up at my hotel, and Eddie says…”  I love you man!  Let’s do this again tomorrow night!!”, bear hugs me, and gives me a big fat kiss on the cheek!!!  

I’m going to miss you Eddie… - Dave Vonner, Hasbro (also worked with Eddie at Toy Biz) 

 


I’ve been avoiding writing this as it makes Eddie’s passing real…and I don’t want to believe it’s real.  I prefer to think its some elaborate joke he is playing on all of us so that he cane pop up in our window in the middle of the night as one of his beloved zombies.  I’d like to hold onto this selfish fantasy as long as possible.

I met Eddie around ten years ago when he was looking for new clients.  I had no work for him but I immediately felt a kindred spirit so we kept in touch.  A few years passed and I was in a jam as another painter had let me down.  Eddie stepped in and did the project perfectly and in record time.  Even though I had been using another painter for the previous few years he treated me like I was a long term client. I don’t know that I’ve ever met another artist who was also so professional.  In fact, I don’t think I can recall anyone ever describing Eddie and his work as anything other than ‘perfect’ and ‘professional’.   He was that guy you could always count on.

But more importantly, Eddie become one of my closest friends. One of the very few people I could confide anything to. I’m usually everyone else’s rock…but Eddie was my rock. He was the friend that I counted on for the truth.  I’m sure all of his friends and family feel the same way.  Our lives will always be emptier without Eddie around.

So, if everyone doesn’t mind, I’m still going to pretend that one day, late at night,  he is going to pop up in my window and scare the crap out of me.  Thats how I want to remember Eddie.Jerry Macaluso, President of PopCultureShock Collectibles, former owner of SOTA Toys.

 


I met Eddie at SDCC about 6 years ago. I was meeting my hero. Since the day I started in toys I’d heard Eddie’s name thrown around as the painter one could only hope to be as good as. He was a huge talent and I looked at his work as the goal in my toy painting career. I felt like a fan girl meeting her idol when I was first introduced to Eddie, but within seconds we were chatting away like old friends. He had an amazing ability to make you feel at ease and at home with him. We spoke a bit through email during the year, but mostly we’d just pick up where we’d left off in ou
r conversation the year before. I learned a lot about about Eddie over the years, but no where near as much as I would have liked. He was a great talent and an amazing person. Comic Con and toys will never be the same again. My deepest condolences go out to his wife and family
- Kat Sapene, Prototype Painter WAK Toys.

 


Eddie ushered in the change in the way action figures are painted. But he didn’t do it with just his talent with a brush. He did it with his passion for the whole toy and comic book world. He loved the characters so much that he would have painted them for free — in fact, I think he did before he hooked up with Toy Biz. He ended up working for everyone. I’m pretty sure the toy industry is now going to have to close.

He was a gentle bull of a man who, I can’t believe, I now have to speak of the the past tense. I feel like a weight fell onto me this morning and I don’t know when it will leave.

I’ll miss you, Eddie.  -  Steve Kiwis, Sculptor Eightball Studios

 


If you have any stories or thoughts about Eddie you’d like to share you can email them to me at julius@actionfigureinsider.com or you can post them on Eddie’s Facebook page.

Also if you knew Eddie and are planning to attend NYCC in October there are some early talks about having a gathering to remember Eddie there.   We’ll post more details as we get them.

 

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.

 

 

 

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