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Kissimmee man’s hobby is scary good

Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 11:25 am

By Ken Jackson
Staff Writer
Spooky Empire, a convention for horror and thriller film fans, comes to Orlando this weekend at Wyndham Orlando Resort on International Drive
and Kissimmee’s Rick Styczynski will be in the middle of all of it, helping enthusiasts be in costume.
Styczynski, a self-described “Jason-lover”, (from the Friday the 13th movies) turned a hobby into

submitted photo
Kissimmee resident Rick Styczynski makes and sells Jason masks as a hobby.

a mini-industry, producing themed horror masks. He’ll have a booth at Spooky Empire and another at MegaCon in late May.
He said he’s not trying to get rich off the hobby. In fact, he’s still working his job behind the bar at Sharky’s on West U.S. Highway 192. But after someone saw his mask and costume last Halloween, the idea to make masks for other people took off.
“It’s a hobby on steroids. It’s outta control. People collect them, they display them,” he said. “I’ve done John Wayne Gacy, the Friday the 13ths, Devil’s Rejects, I’m probably close to 200 styles I’ve done.”
Ahead of Spooky Empire, which will have a bigger show in October, and MegaCon, the holy grail of comic book, sci-fi, anime, fantasy, and gaming communities, at the Orange County Convention Center, Styczynski said demand has really picked up. He’ll have weeks where he’s at the “day job” only two days a week, he said.
Styczynski created a website (www.13xstudios.com) to show off his top designs. He has an overseas outlet where he purchases the masks in bulk. He paints and scratches them for texture, inspired by the horror genre’s top movies.
Styczynski said his obsession with Halloween costumes began when he’d wear a Frankenstein mask his family had — all the time.
“I love Halloween, always have. I dress as Jason every year. Someone on Instagram offered to buy my costume last year. I spent like $30 at a thrift store, sold it for $50. After that light bulbs went off in my head to do Jason-style hockey masks — not the whole costume because only Jason fans would be into that.”
He set a goal to sell 25 masks by his birthday in February.
“I’m at 350 masks sold,” he said last week. “I never thought it would take off like this.”
He hand-makes logo team masks on request, but only for friends in town (“copyright issues,” he said), and that’s where many of his stats have come from. They’ve also tossed out another request: to hook up with nearby Universal Studios during Halloween Horror Nights.
“It’s something to think about,” he said.
His price points, mostly around $30 for custom jobs, are lower than other online outlets, he said.
“I’m undercutting everybody, and these people are obsessed with them. After Megacon I’m not going to do any more conventions until October, because people are going to start hammering Halloweeen in the summer. It may be work, but Halloween will always be fun for me.”