This post officially marks our 1,000th entry here at Infinite Hollywood. It’s definitely something of a milestone. To be fair, not all of these posts are my own (we’ve got quite a few contributors now) and some of these posts aren’t really full posts, but it makes more sense to me to celebrate 1,000 posts rather than 1,236 or whatever it would take to get a thousand of what I consider “official” posts.
For the next couple of weeks we’re going to celebrate with a variety of themed posts, contests and other Tom Foolery-filled festivities. So in honor of our one thousandth post on this little website, the first order of business is an interview with our founder and resident main man himself.
So what’s it take to get to 1,000 posts?
Apparently a lot of spare time, a persistence to put off more important things to work on your crummy website and essentially, no life. All kidding aside, (who said I was kidding?) it takes a fair amount of work to get up this many posts. While I certainly can’t take credit for all of the posts, nor can I honestly say they’re all “great” posts, it’s still a pretty good testament to dedication.
What’s been the most rewarding thing about creating Infinite Hollywood?
It’s tough to say. I hate to be a guy who doesn’t give a straight answer, but the truth is that the website has had a lot of really rewarding moments. When you’re able to bring attention to a US Soldier making cool custom toys in Afghanistan or when you can help put a few gifts under a child’s Christmas tree by sponsoring a contest to do just that, it means a lot. Even if it’s only a small thing, you know?
On a personal level, it’s great to see that someone has seen your stuff and been nice enough to leave a comment. I’ve had people from all over the planet visit the website. There’s a certain amount of gratification that comes from seeing that. I’ve made some good connections and some great friends through the website and that’s definitely rewarding.
What’s been the worst thing in the last 1,000 posts?
Never being satisfied. I’m my own worst critic and I can pick apart a million different things I dislike about the website. Every post is not quite as good as it probably could be. The perfectionist in me is never satisfied… But the fact that we’ve made it to 1,000 posts pretty much says I’m strong enough to weather the storm.
Take us back to the creation of Infinite Hollywood. Where did the idea and concept come from?
Truth be told, Infinite Hollywood in it’s infancy was a pretty different concept. Back in 2007, a few people I knew on a forum had tossed around the idea of starting up a website. I was still pretty big into writing for various other websites, but I realized that I could probably do a better job getting the basics down than the other guys. As it turns out I was right, because nobody else even decided to do a website. The original concept was something a bit closer to like, a celebrity gossip/pop culture site.
I quickly realized I had no interest in doing celebrity gossip and just geared it more towards a general pop culture blog. I had already dabbled with a personal blog, then just decided to sort of roll it all into one. Thus the official Infinite Hollywood was born. There was about a 2 1/2 year gap between when I tinkered with the idea and when I actually decided to do something with the site full time. A lot of those early posts are pretty bad.
Why didn’t you ever go back in and delete them?
They’re there for posterity’s sake. I don’t think there’s too much there that’s overly offensive. More amateurish than I’d like at times, but I think that’s true of pretty much any website as you go further and further back into the archive. Hell at times I’m still refining my style. Plus as I said I’m a perfectionist in a sense and if I went back and deleted every post I wasn’t 100% satisified with, we’d never reach a 1,000 posts!
Octo Joe is now the official mascot of Infinite Hollywood, but there was one before that, right?
A couple, actually. Originally I had rigged up this cool logo that had the infinity symbol as a roll of film. I thought it pretty clever, given the name of the site and all. It wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, though. The first official “mascot” was Fugitoid from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He appeared on all kinds of early banners and logos. I liked him because he was obscure, but yet still a good tie-in to what I thought the message of the site was. I figured if you knew who or what Fugitoid was, you were part of my target audience.
Ol’ Octo Joe came about this past year because although Fugitoid had long since been phased out, I didn’t have a permanent mascot. I thought of one late at night and after a few days of refining my design, another website started using nearly verbatim my idea. I was flabbergasted. So I went back to the drawing board (and what a horrible set of drawings it was) and Octo Joe was born. Of course he didn’t really come to life until he got into the much more capable hands of Bill White.
What websites inspired this one?
I think every toy reviewer out there owes a certain gratitude to Michael Crawford, who still makes the lion’s share of us look like rookies by comparison. I had actually done a couple of reviews for his site and one of them got lost in cyberspace somewhere, which was also part of the reason I started this place. I didn’t want to lose my work again, so what better way to have it archived than to make sure I did it myself?
Matt from X-E is always an inspiration because he was doing fun pop culture before pretty much anyone else and still does it the best. Nathan Newell of Dork Dimension and Jason Clarke of Poe Ghostal are definitely guys that can still provide inspiration. I’m sure there’s others. I can’t say that any website made me say “hey I can do that”, but I think like any good member of a community, you have to have some influence from your peers and those who were around before you.
What’s your favorite toy line of all time?
Honestly I don’t know if I can sum that up in a simple answer. As a kid, I loved GI Joes and Ninja Turtles the most, if I had to guess. In a lot of ways the return of Ninja Turtles to the toy aisles in 2003 and the 25th Anniversary of GI Joe both played a pretty big part in my return to buying toys. I had almost exclusively quit buying toys and was being a good “grown up” for several years, but both of those toy lines forced me to rethink that philosophy in a way.
Actually, I suppose you can add the Bruce Timm animated DC world to that as well. I can’t say a specific toy line, because the Hasbro line led me to the Mattel JLU line. That was one of the few lines I sporadically collected during my time away from buying toys. It’s kind of funny because a couple of years ago I was a die hard JLU guy and in the last few years I could pretty much care less. Changing of the times.
What’s your favorite toy line currently?
Probably the Doctor Who Classics. It’s one of those toy lines that in a way shouldn’t even exist and yet at the same time is thriving. It’s got it’s fair share of headaches of course, but the guilty pleasures are sort of endless.
What’s the one toy line you’d love to see continue or start back up?
That’s simple, the NECA TMNT line. I’d trade MOTU, Thundercats and a whole lot of other things to get NECA’s TMNT wave 2. It’s probably my greatest toy line disappointment of all time. It’s a shame that NECA hasn’t done something with it, but at the end of the day, it is what it is.
Do you really buy all those toys you review?
Yes. Although I have gotten a few toy samples here or there, we buy our toys at Infinite Hollywood. I don’t know if that makes us better or worse off, but we all have an investment in our reviews. Of course I’d love some more free samples, hint hint, but our reviewing integrity isn’t for sale. However for a good price my sexual integrity might be.
Anyone you’d like to thank for helping you get to these first thousand posts?
Of course! I’d like to thank lots of people. Anyone who’s ever come to the website and enjoyed themselves, I appreciate. Especially those who have taken the time to leave a comment. I know it may not seem like much, but I know for a fact that all of the crew here at Infinite Hollywood appreciate the comments more than you can imagine.
Anyone who’s ever posted our link, submitted us to some sort of social media network, carried our banner or mentioned us in passing… I definitely appreciate. The toy community is small and yet at times pretty vast. We’d be lost out there if it wasn’t for other people connecting us together and for that I’m quite grateful.
Beyond that I’d like to thank my girlfriend for putting up with a house full of toys and me sacrificing time I should be spending with her, typing away at the computer. I’d like to thank the “regulars”, who pop in all the time and keep us feeling all warm and cozy inside. I’d like to thank Bill for his incredible artwork, Jon, Wesitron, Rob, Jeremy and all the contributors who have helped lighten the load and bring a fresh perspective and content to the website.
Is there anything that you’d like to say to people reading the website?
Just thanks for stopping by, please continue to support us if you’ve enjoyed anything you’ve read here and the best is yet to come…
Be sure to continue to check out the website and look for special 1,000th post celebration content. The next 1,000 posts are sure to be at least as good as the first! Thanks everybody!