Collector's Corner #11

on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.

Spotlight On... quinjester (Michael)

 

Where do you live (general location only)?

Chicago area, Illinois

 

How long have you been collecting?

I’ve been collecting things in some form or another on and off for more than a decade – not always necessarily toys; sometimes DVDs, sometimes model kits, but I specifically got into Japanese toys probably five or so years ago, with my general interest in toys (transformers in this case) being rekindled with the introduction of the Beast Wars on TV in 1996.

 

What got you started on collecting these toys?

As I mentioned, I kind of fell into collecting toys as an adult with the introduction of Beast Wars on TV. I had always loved Transformers (and Gobots, which I will declare without shame were some of my favorite toys) growing up, so suddenly re-discovering them was a bit of an eye opener. From there I found my way into the online communities discussing these toys and eventually garnered an interest in the other toy lines that people were discussing – toys such as Yamaguchi’s original mono-shaft Evangelion and Trigun toys, which I remember buying at the Software, Etc… in the local mall.

 

What do you collect?

I collect a little of everything; I have a bit of a magpie mentality where something will catch my eye and will hold all of my attention until I can get it into my possession. Transformers, Gokins, plastic model kits, resin model kits, Macross toys, Revoltechs, Figmas; anything that I take a shine to can have a place on my display shelves.

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What is your collecting philosophy (only purchase MIB, save and seek out specific items, etc.)?

As long as an item isn’t damaged, I don’t mind the condition it’s acquired in. I don’t worry about sealed boxes, usually, since I open everything I collect, though I have an aversion to throwing away boxes so my collection ends up taking up twice as much space as it could. Closet space be damned.

 

Approximately how many items do you own (if you are comfortable answering)?

Far too many to count. Things enter and leave my collection constantly – I have as much of an interest in $10 toys you can find in a Toys R Us as I do in $800 toys that have to be fought for tooth and nail on Yahoo Japan, so my collection ends up being an eclectic (and full) mix.

 

How do you display them (i.e., in or out of boxes, grouping, etc.)?

I have a number of display shelves where I display my figures. In many cases I will group them by series (all of my Transformers Animated figure are on one shelf, for example, as are all of my CM’s and Kotobukiya Patlabor figures and model kits) when possible, at other times I’ll group them by like size, or by similar styles – Robot Damashiis, Super Robot Chogokins, Walker Machine SOCs and Hi-Metal valkyries all share similar spaces.

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Are any items in your collection from your childhood (i.e., specifically owned and played with as a child)?

None that are in my current displays, as those items are in storage at my family home, but I have a few childhood favorites that I’ll never get rid of – the Gobot “Tork”, which I maintain is a better toy than 99% of the G1 Transformers line – probably being the main one.

 

What is your favorite piece?

While I probably can’t pick a specific toy, I’d have to say my various Gunbuster toys are easily the most beloved part of my collection.

 

What is the most rare and/or unique piece in your collection?

The rarest piece in my collection is probably my Studio Half Eye Perfect Change Godannar. The piece that is probably the most unique, however, is my complete collection of Miracle Action Figure Sakura Wars Koubou armors made by Medicom, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen non-stock pictures of anywhere on the internet. My collecting habits being what they are, this mystery was the driving force behind my desire to get them, hah.

 

What is at the top of your WANT list (if you are comfortable answering)?

A Chogokin series of Five Star Stories mecha, kicking off with a Final Junchoon, LED Mirage V3, Knight of Gold V3, and a Bang Doll. As this is more of a DREAM list than a WANT list, realistically I’d love to get my hands on the SHE x Bandai Escaflowne that Bandai displayed at a show earlier this year. That design has been one of my “grail” designs for years.

 

Do you have any good collecting stories you wish to relate (i.e., an amazing find or haul, meeting fellow collectors, etc.)?

Following up the last question’s answer of the Escaflowne – that show was one that really assisted my interest in toys during the formative years of my collecting, in particular the elusive Yamato/Toycom transforming Escaflowne and the grail of all grails, the original Studio Half Eye Escaflowne resin model kit. The Studio half eye kit was practically a subject of schoolboy fantasy, such was the mystique and lineage of its design, coupled with the utterly unattainable cost at the time. It wasn’t until many years later, through the Robot Japan forum, as it would happen, that I came across someone selling this very kit. I jumped on the chance to get it, even though I hadn’t built a resin kit in years, and was rewarded with finally owning something I had literally once dreamed of owning. It was a fantastic feeling. Someday I fully intend to build the kit, but until then I’m at least content knowing that I’ll have the opportunity that I never thought I’d have.

 

Are there any toys you would like to see made?

As I mentioned previous, a full line of poseable Five Star Stories mecha with diecast skeletons would be a dream come true. With Mamoru Nagano rebooting FSS in his own leisurely way that may not ever be a reality, but until then I’ll keep dreaming.

 

What do you most get out of this hobby (friendship, joy, escape from everyday life, etc.)?

I love seeing the design process – from the first sculpts and drawings through to the final stages of a toy’s release and the actual experience of handling it and seeing how it’s been put together - how one or many minds have managed to breathe life into a two dimensional drawing and bring it out into reality. I hate to say it, but I actually enjoy the anticipation and discovery more than I usually enjoy having the toys themselves (although obviously that’s fun too).

 

Any final thoughts you wish to relate?

We all come to our hobbies by different routs, be it nostalgia, escapism, or simple respect for the engineering process. Everyone’s method is right for them, and no matter the reasons, as long as you enjoy what you collect (be it toys, models, shoes, bottle caps or sports cars), that’s really all that matters.

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