Superfan Symposium: An interview with Halo Superfan, Rich Bubik (aka Goodwill Hunter)

Just outside of Milwaukee, WI., Rich is a Creative Supervisor for a packaging company’s in-house Marketing department.

So you may be asking, Rich who? Well folks, he is one of if not the BEST custom Halo Mega Bloks model builder out there. My interviews of fans are not just those of MLG fandom or super website fame. They are of those who I feel have a positive impact on the Halo community and/or have a talent related to Halo that if not known, NEEDS to be known. Once you read this interview and see his creations, I hope you’ll feel the same that he belongs in the category of Halo Superfan.

Below you will see various pics of his customs. First up is what I consider to be his best. Certainly it’s his biggest. The Scarab.

HaloFanForLife (HFFL): When did you first become a Halo fan?
Rich Bubik (GH): I was a fan of Marathon on the Mac, so was looking forward to Halo all along. As soon as I found a used Xbox at my local second hand game shop (I rarely buy anything new or at full price – charter member at cheapassgamer.com), I picked it and a copy of Halo up, and have been a big fan ever since.

HFFL – Nothing wrong with being thrifty. Nice to see you were a fan of Bungie’s stuff before they blew up in fame with halo.

(HFFL): What about Halo made you a fan in the first place?
(GH): I’ve enjoyed first person shooters since Wolfenstein, so playing Halo was a given. The play mechanics, storyline and music, however, are what made me fall in love with the Halo universe.

HFFL – The UNSC Barracks is but one of the buildings from Halo Wars. I’d LOVE to see Mega Bloks make all of the UNSC buildings. If not this scale, then a mini scale.

(HFFL): Of the games that there have been achievements for, have you completed them all?
(GH): I’m more about enjoying the campaign and checking out the maps than the achievements. I’ve been able to complete all of the Halo games on their highest difficulty level, but it usually is a long, leisurely process with lots of exploration. If I had to guess, I probably have somewhere north of half of the achievements in these games.

HFFL – Enjoying the games is what it’s all about. There are many ways to do that of course. Nice to see someone who doesn’t take is all as serious as some others do.

(HFFL): Which game in the Halo franchise is your favorite and why?
(GH): I’m probably one of the few people who will say this…but it’s Halo Wars.  In addition to being an FPS player, I also enjoy RTS games (my two favorite acronyms!) and am a huge fan of Dune: Battle for Arrakis on the Sega Genesis. As the play mechanics for Dune and Halo Wars are very similar, I fell in love with the game right away. In addition to providing so much fodder for the builds I have done, I really like the story and the characters in Halo Wars. Sgt. Forge is probably my favorite character in the Halo universe, and I was very moved by his sacrifice. And that battle between the Spartans and the Elite Honor Guard is my favorite video game cutscene of all time!


HFFL – I have been amassing green camo bloks myself to attempt a custom of the Vulture. Such an impressive ship, and GH did an amazing job in his custom.

(HFFL): What is your favorite Multiplayer game type and why? (ie., Team Slayer, FFA, BTB, Infection, etc.)
(GH): Slayer if I had to pick one…don’t play multiplayer all that much though.

(HFFL): Favorite Weapon from any of the Halo games and why?
(GH): Love the Gravity Hammer…the sound and the effects are hard to beat – but in game, I can’t get enough of the sniper rifle…prefer to thin the herd before charging in.

(HFFL): What are you most excited about for Halo 4?
(GH): Cortana getting her rage on…(and new vehicles to build!)

HFFL – I hear ya man. Cortana freakin’ out is something I’m most looking forward to as well. Heh, and new vehicles. While, I may not be as good a customizer as you are, I agree there are going to be some cool new vehicles. I just hope I don’t have to custom make them…

(HFFL): What do you think about the changes 343 is making to Halo?
(GH): Trying to keep an open mind…the new enemies and weapons look interesting, but what I’ve seen of the Mammoth doesn’t strike me as much of a Halo-type vehicle – perhaps that will change when I see it in action.

HFFL – Hmm, I like the Mammoth. More of a closed top Elephant. Bigger too. If I recall, I’ve heard it’s important to Spartan Ops, so we’ll likely see it a bit.

(HFFL): Where are you pre-ordering the game from (assuming you are pre-ordering)?
(GH): Whoever has the best deal…usually Amazon for me.

(HFFL): You have an impressive talent for creating custom Halo MEGA Bloks sets. Where did you get this talent from?
(GH): I’ve been a model builder my entire life. Built, weathered and customized Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, and any other model kits I could get my hands on when I was a kid. I wanted to work for George Lucas making models for movies, but that, along with dreams of digging up dinosaurs for a living, did not come to pass. But aside from putting together a few models for work and school presentations, or playing legos with my daughters, I hadn’t done any real building for almost 20 years…until I came across a Halo Mega Bloks set during a Goodwill hunt, that is…

(HFFL): How long have you been making these customs?
(GH): My first custom build was the Covenant Revenant, made in February of 2011 from a Wraith set I found at my local Goodwill. I was at Goodwill, by the way, hunting for vintage video games, which is where my forum handle, Goodwill Hunter, comes from.  My first love, in terms of hobbies, is collecting classic video games…and thrift stores, rental locations, second-hand shops and rummage sales are where most of my collection originated. In 20 years of collecting and playing, I’ve amassed nearly 6,000 unique titles for nearly 50 systems, spanning the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360, and everything in between. Believe it or not, I keep my video game and custom build collections in a 10’ x 12’ room, which also requires building a lot of custom shelving…but this effort has helped to ensure a happy home (the married guys know what I’m talking about).

HFFL – Sounds like me and my toy collections. Nice job on the amount of video game titles!

(HFFL): How do you go about starting to make a custom?
(GH): I start every custom build the same way, by finding as many images of the vehicle or structure as I can online, and printing them all out (unless I’m building something I just dreamed up, like the Mastodon or Dragonfly, because all of those pictures are only in my head). I then look at the pictures and try to imagine what existing bloks would work best to match what I see in the pictures. Getting good guide images to work from is the most important step in creating a successful custom build, IMHO.

HFFL – Above is his own creation, the “Mastadon.” It’s a mobile MAC Cannon platform. Very cool idea. Wouldn’t it be something if this made it into a Halo game?

(HFFL): Do you plan it out first? Or do you just start to build?
(GH): Researching the guide images is about all the planning I do. Once I have them, I just start putting pieces together, trying to match the guide images as closely as possible. Sometimes I go front to back, sometimes it’s bottom to top, and sometimes I build in sections that then need to be knit together. Sometimes it is seemingly endless trial and error (sections of the Vulture build were torn down and rebuilt dozens of times), and other times everything just seems to click on the first try (the Mastodon went together like I had a set of instructions in front of me for some reason).

HFFL – I hear ya on having to rebuild something over and over. I must have done that a couple dozen times to one of my customs before I felt it was where I wanted it to be. When creating, one should not rush to get it done. There is much to learn from having patience.

(HFFL): Do you figure out what parts you need and if you don’t have them where do you get them from?
(GH): All my spare parts are sorted by color in bags or bins. Much of my build time is spent sorting through piles of bloks looking for a certain piece. If I don’t have that certain piece, I usually try to find another way to execute that part of the build using the pieces I do have. Most of my parts come from sets bought on clearance (I couldn’t have made the Scarab without that Walmart clearance sale earlier in the year)– and BOGO sales combined with the occasional $5 Mega Bloks coupons are helpful in acquiring parts for customs.  I also keep an eye on Ebay for cheap lots of older vehicles or boxes of unassembled pieces.

(HFFL): How many Halo MEGA Bloks customs have you made?
(GH): I just put together a couple of YouTube videos that feature the 25 or so custom builds I have made since February of 2011.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JibRkVyZUU&feature=plcp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXtzrFRcjjw

HFFL – Impressive videos of your customs to say the least.

(HFFL): Which is your favorite and why?
(GH): That’s a tough one…I like the Revenant because it was the first one I did, the tostream”>Vulture for its working missiles, the tostream”>Scarab for it’s size, the tostream”>Darters for their obscurity, the tostream”>Spirit because no one else has attempted one, the Reactor for its detail, the tostream”>Mastodon for the concept…I like them all for many different reasons – part of the reason I’ve chosen not to take them apart or sell them…guess I don’t really have a favorite.

(HFFL): (This one comes from a friend who wants me to ask) Do you work for MEGA Bloks? (The company)
(GH): No…I keep waiting for someone from Mega Brands to come to Milwaukee and throw money at me, but it has yet to happen.

HFFL – Heh, a man with the same desires as I have. Though I’m in Pittsburgh…

(HFFL): If no, would you like to work for them?
(GH): Of course! That would go a long way towards healing my previously mentioned Lucasfilm and Archeology wounds!

(HFFL): What one Halo MEGA Bloks set are you most looking forward to getting and why?
(GH): I am really looking forward to the Covenant Spirit that has been hinted at. I’m curious to see how the final compares to the prototype that was shown, and how they deal with some of the structural issues I encountered while building mine.

(HFFL): What vehicle/scene/playset would you like MEGA Bloks to make that hasn’t been made yet?
(GH): I would love to see a set of mini-scaled heavyweight ships from the Halo universe like the Pillar of Autumn and the Spirit of Fire, among others. If they had done that with their new die-cast line, I bet they would have sold a ton of them. The Infinity set looks promising, but I fear what the final price will be when it hits the shelf at TRU.

HFFL – There will indeed be models of some of the bigger ships (not to scale with the rest of the Halo Mega Bloks line). The first one is slated later this year, called the “Forward Unto Dawn.” It is touted as being the first in a new line called the “Signature Series.”

(HFFL): What else would you like to tell my readers either about you or your fascination with Halo/Halo MEGA Bloks?
(GH): I still make engine and weapon noises when I move the vehicles I make…my wife thinks I’m nuts, but tolerates me and my obsessions for the most part.

(HFFL): Any shout outs or links you’d like to say?
(GH): I’d like to thank Ernie for originally inviting me to share my builds on the fan site he created – SpartanBloks.com. Thanks also go out to Mega Bloks for giving my customs some recognition by awarding “Authorized Personnel Only” – my toymation contest entry, an honorable mention for best builds. And I’d like to thank anyone who has ever helped me get some sets or parts for my builds, or left me a comment or feedback on one of my posts or videos.


Find my custom build collection thread on SpartanBloks tom builds can be seen on my YouTube Channel here.
And lest I seem ungracious, thank you very much for the interview…I enjoy your site and discussing my interests (or obsessions as my wife would say) was a lot of fun!

HFFL – Pleasure to interview a talented fan such as yourself. And yeah, my wife thinks I’m obsessed too…

You can many more photos of GH’s customs here:


That last one (Nightingale), I’m particularly fond of. Not just a swap of red and white blocks from the Target exclusive and Arctic version. This just begs to be made as a real set for the masses. Well, pretty much all of his customs do.

Is that Scarab amazing or what??

-HFFL

 

This entry was posted in Interviews by Sal. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sal

I’ve got tons of experience with Halo gaming and collecting. I feel I have something to offer to the greater Halo fan community. Posts along the way will be about tips and tricks in the games as well as collecting and many more Halo related things. I’ll also repost interesting articles from the official site, Halowaypoint.com, or from fellow Halo fan sites. As I continue this blog, I hope to help gamers who want advice on the games, as well as any collectors with regards to where to find collectibles as well as deals, coupons and so on. You can also follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/HaloFanForLife or Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/halofanforlife11. Welcome to my blog and I hope you’ll come back again and again. -Sal