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Remembering Eddie Wires

Today we are mourning a giant of the toy industry. Eddie Wires passed away last night doing what he loved – painting toys. If you are reading this, chances are your toy shelf is already a tribute to the artist. Simply put, we was THE toy prototype painter in the industry and his work spanned the greats like Toy Biz, DC Direct, Hasbro and Palisades. I am sure there are more than a few of you that came on board to collect an action figure line due to his amazing paint work, even if you did not know it was this prolific master. Eddie lived his dream and he never took that for granted, even if he was taken from us far too soon, he literally left our meager world a much more colorful place for having him in it – if ever so briefly.

Beyond that though, for those that were fortunate enough to know Eddie, his amazing professional talents were eclipsed only by the fact that he was just one of the most genuine, kind, caring, fun and cool guys you will have ever met. So, while he leaves legions of fans for the work he did, there are those that will always love him for the person he was and legacy of friendship he leaves behind.

Knowing him, he would delight in talking, telling stories and recalling past gatherings, having fun with a lot of people that got to share times with him whenever they could. In that fashion, he have our farewell and tribute to one of the greatest guys in our little corner of the universe. Not all sadness, though we are sad, but remembering Eddie as he was: an amazing human being.

Eddie at work

Eddie and I first met some years ago at a bar during San Diego Comic Con. I had heard of his legendary painting skills prior to our first encounter, but I wasn’t expecting such a friendly fellow toy nerd. We became convention drinking buddies, I can’t remember a single night at any of the past conventions that I didn’t meet up and hang out with him at some point.

In between conventions he’d call me to check in and talk toys, taunt me about his USS Flagg, and update me on his backyard renovations. Living in Los Angeles, there aren’t many Wal-Mart’s around, so Eddie would always track down the Wal-Mart exclusive toys for me when he was out buying ammo (or the very same toys for himself).

Eddie tried his damnedest to get me to this past Joecon in Rhode Island, stopping just short of offering to drive to Los Angeles to pick me up and we were just days ago emailing each other in anticipation for New York Comic Con.

Eddie was a great painter, a fellow toy nerd and an amazing friend. I love him as if he were family, he will be missed.

-Industrial

It feels like a mistake, a typo or something. He was going to outlive us all! He was the best prepared to face zombipocalypse- he invented electrical tape forearm-armor, for chrissakes.

It’s bad enough, had you not met Eddie, to know that one of the absolute best painters in the industry is now gone– I knew him by body of work for years well before. It’s entirely worse when you just saw him, not even three weeks ago, doing his thing. This past SDCC was the third time I got to visit with him, and it still felt like the first- Doesn’t matter if you’ve known him for decades, or five minutes, you talk toys (or zombies) with him, and it feels like you’re best friends. He was such a genuinely friendly guy, always making with the drinks, never short on small talk, easily one of the most magnetic people I’ve ever met.

Sometimes, especially in the months following (or preceding) a convention, it’s really easy to get wrapped up in the logistics of trying to go, getting your house in order, finances, work, etc… But it’s always a relief that once you’re there, you remember why you really go in the first place- to see your friends. Like VB always says, that’s the reason you make it work. I guess one of the things that makes that so important is because of the one thing you don’t ever really want to think about; you never know who you won’t see the next time.

You were an institution, Eddie. No comic-con, prototype, or western-theme bar will ever be the same without you. I’m afraid I didn’t get to know you personally that long, or that well, but thanks for making me feel like I was your buddy anyway.

-DisThunder


Unlike a lot of others in this article, I never went to SDCC, so I never met Eddie Wires the man, so I only know him from his work and reputation. You know those toys that you see in prototype form that make you go “wow, that looks great, I’ve always wanted ______, I’ve got to get that, when does that come out, toys are awesome!” He was responsible for a large part of that feeling. Sculptors make the toys, photographers take pictures of them, but a painter can make them come to life, can grab your eye, can bring out the best in something static, can infect you with the gottahaves. It takes a special talent to do that, and it was a gift he gave everyone who ever felt that feeling.

-Ibentmyman-thing

When I got the news today, it didn’t register at first. Like something you hear but immediately assume can’t be true. I was just with the man not even three weeks ago hanging out drinking beers and talking toys. How can this be? As it finally hit me that he was gone I just felt so sad that such a truly great guy wasn’t going to be with us anymore.

When I first met Ed it was three years ago on my first trip to SDCC. We went to a party where him and his crew were hanging out and I saw him standing there. Ron told me to go talk to him and how friendly he was but I kinda thought “No way this guy wants to talk to a fanboy about work, right?” Well how wrong I was because after I introduced myself, he shook my hand thanked me for the compliments about his work. For 45 minutes we were standing there talking about everything from toys, to painting, to zombies, to life in general. It was really the highlight of my trip.

The next year when I saw him again I was again shocked because he recognized me and wanted to buy me a beer. I really couldn’t believe that he remembered me. But that was Eddie. You meet him once and you make a friend for life. He was the nicest, most genuine, most outgoing and happy person you could hope someone to be. He will be missed by all who knew him. Not just for his amazing work but for him being an amazing person.

-Prodigy

If you’re an action figure fan, chances are you’ve got a toy on your shelf that Eddie Wires helped create. Some of you probably have shelves full of toys Eddie had a hand in. After Eddie was done painting a prototype, that figure was the best it would ever look and the best it would ever be. That’s because no factory production process could ever hope to match what he created by hand.

I wasn’t lucky enough to spend a lot of time with Eddie, but it seemed to me that he had the same effect on the people around him as he did on the toys he created – life was better when he was there. Always friendly, always smiling, and it was certainly infectious.

If you look through his body of work (see his online portfolio or his Facebook albums), like I do from time to time, you’ll be reminded of what might have been in the world of toys. With him gone, I’ll ask myself that every time I see a painted prototype, and every time I’m outside on the balcony at Jolt’n Joes.

-Samuron

I will never forget the first time I met Eddie Wires. I think that is how about 90% of the people that have ever met him start their recantations. It was my second SDCC and I was hanging out with the Fwoosh regulars at our perennial California watering hole: Jolt’n Joes. Suddenly I see this big guy with giant smile and big personality and Robo introduced me to Eddie Wires. I really only had a split second to be star struck before he recognized that I did not yet have a drink and before I could start to think about it, he put a beer in my hand and lined up some shots. Just like that and every year since I would share these great conversations with Eddie Wires and he never forgot a face or a name. It is not often you can say someone is truly genuine, but Eddie was the very definition of the word.

It was, of course, a blast to party with Eddie. Drinking, smoking, geeking out, talking about punk rock, watching him plant a big man kiss on Indy, talking toys was always on the agenda – he was just one of those guys you wanted to be around an think how he built your toy room. But he could have the small, quite talks too. Just three weeks ago I had a lengthy conversation with him about how most of the Fwoosh crew roadtripped it SDCC this year that went seamlessly into a talk about how my Toyota FJ would be a great modified urban tank for the Zombi-pacalypse. That is just how he was.

So, I know I have not yet fully realized the sad news that Eddie Wires has passed away. I know I will think about him often and be sad, but more often, I will smile and laugh and think about the fantastic times I got to have with him. I think he would want it that way. We’ll miss you, Eddie.

-VeeBee

This has been hard to fathom, I was not prepared to be friends with Eddie Wires, let alone to lose him so soon, I really loved that guy so much, seeing his work in person still brings out the kid in me and I’ve known him for almost 6 years now. Just like a lot of people I knew Eddie by his work long before I got to know him personally. Even standing there laughing with him was often a surreal moment for me, the idea of so much quality time spent with somebody you have admired for years. Over the years I got to know him pretty well, we only ever got to hang out at SDCC but I will remember those times always. There is a feeling that even if we didn’t have toys in common he would have still been one of the greatest guys I could have known. Eddie was one of the reasons that I look forward to that time of year the way I used to anticipate Christmas as a little kid, it hurts to think that it won’t be that way again.

A few weeks ago standing outside Hall C at the show I was trying to explain it to him, just that it was a minor struggle to not completely nerd out and fall apart giggling around him. He took that time to tell me about his flight to the show. There were only about a dozen or so people leaving his state to come out to California he was guessing that maybe a couple of them were coming out to the convention in particular. On the way over he was recognized by a fan on the flight and was asked for his autograph, humble as always he told me that was strange for him. I suppose he didn’t see himself the way a lot of us do, he didn’t recognize that he was an action figure giant. My thoughts are with his close friends and family. Anybody who can, take some time to look at the mark he has made on the toys we all love. Eddie was my hero, he was my good friend. You will be missed.

-carl

I still can’t believe it.

I didn’t know Eddie as well as most. The Bars of Comic Con mostly. And even then, how well can you get to know a guy a couple of hours a night for 3 or 4 days out of the year? For Eddie, it was enough to have a big ‘ol hug waiting for you every time he saw you.

Pabs wingmanned me into my first conversation with Eddie. It was only a short discussion, mostly about painting toys. And I loved it. The con ended, everyone went their separate ways. The next year I’m outside the convention center with Ron and his wife when I hear “Hey Robo!” And it’s Eddie emerging from the crowd. Shakes my hand, asks if I’m hitting the bars later, and he’s off back into the crowd. Eddie freakin’ Wires remembered me a year later after a short conversation. I was so starstruck that Ron had to hit me and remind me that I forgot to introduce him.

Over the following year’s cons we did more hanging out, usually outside the bar smoking. Talking about zombies and Conan. How he wanted to display his Joes, how far along I was on my house. Our last conversation was about how everyone had given up smoking, as it was just us outside. It’s a bit surreal thinking about it now. Three weeks ago.

Like I said, I didn’t know him near as well as others, but however small my exposure I can tell you he was the friendliest guy I’ve ever known. Not a mean bone in his body. Next SDCC won’t be the same.

-RoboKillah

Eddie and Pabs

I got to know Ed through the online toy world. I think it started back at RTM and continued when the fwoosh was fwooshnet.

The first time I got to meet Ed was at SDCC. He was an amazing and generous individual and was always supportive of people wanting to get into the industry. That SDCC I found myself at a bar drinking beers from Eddie’s tab and talking toys. During that night I took part in a drunken conversation between Kat Sapene, Ed and Robokillah, where the three of them nerded out on painting toys. Eddie was passionate about his art, he loved it.

Since then I’ve continued to stay in contact with Ed, through the fwoosh, emails, cons and facebook. Eddie was great at quoting songs on his facebook and often we spoke about the coming zombie apocalypse.

Eddie was a good man and I’ll come to miss his friendship, talent and inspiration. I’m shock today.

I looked through Ed’s facebook page today and saw this quote in his info:

“I think I am one of the luckiest people in the world. I get to paint toys for a living and I absolutely love it.
My whole world and career revolves around toys. Even a bad day at the office still involves me working with toys…”

Rest in Peace.

-Pabs

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9 thoughts on “Remembering Eddie Wires

  1. OMG! I never knew all this about Eddie. We were friends as children. Sleep-overs, school, and his dad was our cub scout leader, if that gives you any idea of how old we were. One main thing we had in common when our friends were playing football and such was our love for toys and comic books. He was the one who taught me to put my comics in plastic bags with backings. I just recently sold my comics that he and I both loved, the Vigilante comics, which he helped me collect. I lost touch with him when my parents divorced, and I had to move from Byram NJ where Eddie and I lived in the 70’s. I too was born in 1972, so we were the same age. I collected action figures for years after that, even during my marriage, and had a room with them all on shelves and hanging up on my walls. Most of those figures were Marvel, DC, and Star Wars. I had the Hulk, and most of these figures he is credited for, and had no idea Eddie was the genius behind them. To read about his recent death shocks me. I was looking up old friends from my childhood on Facebook, and was hoping to talk to him, and other friends we grew up with. God Bless you, Eddie. You lived the dream we always talked about as kids. Glad to have been your friend during those fun years, when we played with the toys that inspired your genius. You are the real TOYMAN!

  2. im related to eddie he was my uncle he was amazing i would always go down into his basement and help him with his work i love eddie he was the greatest my names dallas and i’m 16 when eddie passed it was dreadful i loved him and i must say he was great i have alot of memory’s with eddie but he was a busy man to with comic con and toys so when eddie passed i said to myself that i was going to follow in my uncles foot steps and im in high school trying to get were eddie was. eddie also was funny one of the funniest people ever i thought he was going to live forever its a shame he’s gone but im going to try my best to do what he loved to honor the great uncle eddie R.I.P uncle eddie you will be in my heart and mind forever love you!!!!

  3. Wow, just………….. wow. I haven’t been on Fwoosh very much this last few days, and to come back to this shocking news is surreal. Like said before, it’s as if it’s a misprint or something.

    From what everyone has shared about Eddie Wires the man, he sounded like a very fine one indeed.

    I have been in the midst of a very awesome bit of self reflection the past 3 weeks. The end result of which has really re-focused me on what is important in one’s life.

    From all that I’ve read about Eddie Wires, it is evident he lived very true to very valuable things in one’s life: pursuing and succeeding in his passion in life, and knowing that happiness is a way to travel, not a destination.

    I never got to meet you Eddie, but I feel as if I’ve lost a close friend.

  4. Eddie set the standard for toy paint apps. Often when I customized a figure, I look to Eddies work for inspiration on paint schemes and techniques. He will be greatly missed by those who knew him and those, like myself and most of us, benefited from his amazing gift and contribution to the toy industry. My prayers go out to his wife, friends and family.

  5. A man who made an impact on EVERYONE he met. We’ll miss him more then words can ever say. But our memories will ALWAYS be with us. See you soon Eddie Wires!

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