For our first collector’s showcase, I felt it would be apt to ask someone who was instrumental in my own collection journey, my long time friend, Poh, who really is the epitome of what Toyhood should be all about.
How? When? I was introduced to the world of toy collection by my BMT (Basic Military Training) instructor who brought me to the flea market at Clark Quay (where it all started for most Singapore collectors) and my first ever toy purchase was a loose and complete G1 Star Saber for $120.
From then on, every Sunday I would be there, spending almost all of my $700 NS (National Service) allowance on most G1 and G1 reissues toys (the Takara G1 reissue book series started around then). After NS, I went to University and stopped collecting for a while (busy chasing girls in school).
It was not until you (yes, me the editor) suddenly message me one day and asked about a particular Transformers Masterpiece toy and whether it was worth its price (It’s interesting how I got the guy who got me into collecting back into collecting). That stirred my interest and the next Sunday, I was down at the new toy haunt (China Square Central) and there and then, my first ever pre-order was done, the Hot Toys Iron Man Mark VII.
From Iron Man, the collection grew to the Avengers, Batman, and one day, I just decided that I will set out to get back all the childhood toys I ever had. So, from Transformers Victory, to Lego, to Power Ranger, Grendizer, Golden Lightan, Getta Robo G, God Raijin Oh (I have absolutely no idea what the last two are). My appetite for my collection grew and soon, I was upgrading my vintage Transformers to MIB specimens.
Why? I’m just a collector who is pursuing his childhood. I’m also not sure why I collect Hot Toys, maybe because they are well made, and maybe because Iron Man reminds me of Transformers (Huh? Collectors will say anything to justify their collection)
Your precious? The Victory Saber Giftset. Because that’s my first toy. (Which I would like to rightly point out is actually the yellowing, loose Star Saber. Some collectors forget their first love once they find a better one.)
Worst part of collecting? Worrying about how my toys will yellow with time despite doing everything to prevent it.
Best part of collecting? Relieving my childhood though my collection and the feeling of finally owning the toy after so many years.
Interesting story? Once, a friend of mine brought his kids to my place who were excited to see my collection in their display shelves. After his kids went home, they started taking out all their toys to display in the living room! And soon after, his kids made this request, “Dad, can we buy a display case?”
And so I told my friend, see, I teach them how to be organized. You’re welcome.
Any words to the readers? (let’s assume there are some) Collecting is not equal to competing. It puzzles me why a joyful hobby like toy collecting can turn into ugly quarrels, especially online. Whether a person is a box collector, or prefer to display their toys, it is his own choice. Everyone has the right to do what they want to with their own collection.
To the spouses of toy collectors, be like my wife. No questions asked.
When she married me, she promised to love all my toys. And no, I didn’t force her to say that.
*The opinions expressed in italics in this article are the editor’s own, do not reflect the view of Poh and should not be taken to be the truth even though they probably are.