2019 Interview with Dave Woodard (by James Proctor)
Just finished an informative conversation on the phone with David Lee Woodard. I sent a letter to both him and Pat Chandok (pronounced Shan dock) requesting an email providing a short history of the Krystonia line and to my delight, Dave called. Here are the highlights:
1. They were approached by Beau Dix and Mark Scott who had partnered with Mark Newman as illustrator and sculptor for the first book to provide funding and marketing for their idea of Krystonia. (Book with stories and figurines) Dave said he does not recall ever meeting Mark Newman but agreed that shortly after partnering up there was a business issue that necessitated the "split". (basically verified old news)
2. After the split, Mark Scott remained active and joined up with Pat Chandok and Dave Woodard to come up with storylines and further characters for the other 3 books. He said they hired writers but provided the framework of the subject and characters.
3. They hired a sculptor in England named Robert (he referred to him as Bob) who is the RW after Panton on all figurines from 1989 and on until China move.
4. Original Vena was reposed to "soften" her look and the original version had only a few made. He said that they were not shipped to collectible shops but were available at various shows. So if you have one of these, she's a good find!
5. He confirmed that the move to China was prompted by a desire by collectors to have more affordable figurines. Back in England various labor laws and business requirements would have hiked the price 30% to 50% more, and they determined that by moving production to China, they could still produce relevant items at an affordable cost.
6. He mentioned that after the "Beanie Baby" craze of the late 90's, the entire collectible market shifted and with the advent of the internet and eBay and online stores the necessity of the "mom and pop collectible store" was phased out.
7. He said that they still have quite a few figurines in a warehouse but that only larger-scale interest would be worth any deal. (an order of $5k or more basically)
8. The Panton/Mildonian company is owned by the Chandok family with Sam and Pat at the head. Dave was chief collaborator but was not part owner.
9. He was very pleasant on the phone and restated often how much he enjoyed going to collectible shows and hopes that the line someday would gain interest. He is retired and living in Ann Arbor.
I was pleasantly surprised to get a call and it was about 40 min on the phone.