August '19

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34 THE SHOP AUGUST 2019 any shop owners spend their days working on other people's vehicles while dreaming of their own sig- nature builds. Some, like David Ankin, owner of the shop ToyMakerz and host of the television show of the same name, make those dreams a reality. Ankin, aka Doghouse Dave, had an unconventional start in the customizing business, including a three-year stint per- forming live stunts as Batman for Warner Bros. He then embarked on his entrepre- neurial journey by opening bars along the East Coast in hot spots like Myrtle Beach and Daytona. His true passion—one-of-a-kind custom builds and OEM enhancements for any- thing with wheels—took him to Reids- ville, North Carolina, where he opened ToyMakerz and ultimately ended up on the small screen. DREAMS COME TRUE Ankin believes, "if you can think it, you can build it," and brings that approach to the projects featured on the show. "Being able to fabricate something from nothing is amazing," he says. Creating customs with a unique spin, Ankin "lives outside the box side of the business," drawing inspiration from "car- toons, Matchbox cars, Hot Wheels, truly stuff that isn't functionally right—cool on TV, but isn't real." Encouragement from friends, family, col- leagues and producers to share his craft and Fun & Games The name says it all – at ToyMakerz, it's all about the toys. For David Ankin & ToyMakerz, if you can dream it, you can build it. Shop owner and TV host David Ankin is prepping for the fourth season of "ToyMakerz" by dreaming up outlandish, surprising builds.

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