Collector's Corner #2

on Monday, May 16, 2011.


Spotlight on... Chen (Chris Chen)


How long have you been collecting?

Well I’ve never stopped getting or buying toys since I was a kid but I guess the year that I actually started taking care of my toys was probably around 95’ when the Transformers Beast Wars show came out.


What got you started on collecting these toys?

Toys have always been a release or an escape for me.  My parents were divorced and I had a mentally challenged sister (who passed away 6 years ago) so my mom had to focus on my sister.  So I found I had a lot of time just playing with my toys and really never stopped.   The only difference now is that I actually take care of my toys and I appreciate the design and quality of the toy and the subject matter.


What do you collect?

Mainly just the Soul of Chogokin, Transformers Masterpiece line, and the odd figure from the Brave Gokin, Max Gokin line, or anything that catches my eye.  I try and stay with diecast toys and try to streamline and limit my collection since we all know this hobby can be very draining on the wallet.



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

Since I buy mainly newer stuff it’s easy to get MIB items, that is till I get it and can’t wait till I tear it open so I can fiddle with it and be a 8 year old again lol.


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

I break it down into two categories, I still have a lot of my childhood toys but like most their in pieces or broken and in boxes in my basement and then I have my “collection” which is kept on shelves in a dedicated room so I would say about a hundred “collectibles”.  Which is pretty small compared to a lot of collectors who have massive beautiful collections.



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

Out of the box and I try to keep them in groups according to what line they come from like a SOC group or a Transformer section.  It mostly just comes down to space and how I can fit the most toys in a limited space.

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

There’s only one toy from my childhood that actually made it in my “collection” a G1 Optimus Prime and Grimlock the rest are just too beat up.  But that doesn’t stop me from looking up some of my old toys and just playing with them like my old Voltron or Robotech Hover Tank.  It’s funny I’ll fool around with these toys and the chrome is wearing off and there are a ton of paint chips and for some reason as a kid I thought scotch tape and liquid paper were perfect tools to “fixing” my toys lol.



What is your favorite piece?

Wow it changes all the time, I really don’t have a favorite but I do have quite a few toys that I like more than others like the Soul of Chogokin GX-01R, GX-02R, GX-04, Masterpiece Optimus Prime, Yamato Danguard Ace, and recently the Soul of Chogokin GX-59 Daltanius that just got released, it’s just such a well made toy.

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

Nothing really rare or unique, I guess you could count the Metalforce Optimus Prime I have since they seem pretty rare and I guess an almost complete collection of the old Kenner Centurions line which I guess you could call unique in a mostly all robot collection.


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

Well there are still a ton of robots that I want made preferably in the Soul of Chogokin line like Golion, Dairugger, Tryder G7, and so on but I’ve been waiting for years for action figures of the pilots of these things, you’d think it would make perfect sense to the toy companies but I have yet to see a line dedicated to the pilots of these robots.  I should also state that I’ve wanted a Matchbox Vehicle Voltron for years and catch myself going on Ebay looking at ones for sale but I just talk myself out of it and hope Bandai will make a SOC version some day.


How does your significant other (if you have one) feel about your collection?

Don’t have one now and I think I’ve kept it clean and respectable enough that it wouldn’t be an issue.  I think it’s when you have toys everywhere and your spending more than you can afford then that’s when it becomes an issue.  But I see it this way women collect shoes and I just happen to collect high-end diecast toys of Japanese Super Robots lol.


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

I haven’t had a chance to meet any fellow collectors yet and unfortunately I don’t have that many amazing haul stories.  I did find a couple cases of the old mail-away Transformers Ominibots still in their plastic bags which I sold individually on Ebay and made some pretty good money.  And this was years ago but there was a Seller on Ebay who found cases of the old Matchbox Vehicle Voltron still MISB and was willing to sell them for $100 a case, I’m still kicking myself for not jumping on that.


Are there any toys you would like to see made?

Well besides the pilots and the usual robots that everybody wants I would love to see Takara make the rest of  the Dinobots in their Masterpiece line.  But I would absolutely LOVE to see a Soul of Chogokin version of a fully transformable Dangaio!


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

For me it’s a mix, the joy of holding a new figure in your hands means just as much to me as coming to a message board and talking about toys. The friendships I have made also mean a lot and I have to say that I have met some of the nicest people from collecting toys.  But I guess it’s just the joy that seems unique to toys, either from holding a figure of a character you love, a brief escape from the stress of everyday life, or just reading the joy it causes to a fellow collector and know exactly what their talking about.


Any final thoughts you wish to relate?

Just these are toys, have fun with them, enjoy them and don’t take it to seriously.  These things should take away the stress not cause them, and the only investment these things should have are emotional ones.

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