VT is an upstanding (really!) member of local toy collective Otakai, who has gone on to establish his own hobby shop and toy store. VT takes some time off from stocking his shelves for his fellow Poor Toy Kolektors to answer five questions for us at magnetic-rose.net.
What was the inspiration for Poor Toy Kolektor? How did all of this get started? 🙂
PoorToyKolektor was inspired by hardships, and personal experiences of a toy collector, living in our country (yes we have hardships too, and we chose that path). I can still remember being a penniless student, walking down aisles of SM Department Store — Toy Section, seeing your favorite videogame and anime characters such as Final Fantasy 8 and Rockman/Megaman, priced at around PhP 300 to PhP 500 back then.
It is a normal scenario where I usually pickup a piece of toy, then a saleslady or promo girl approaches you, and before he/she reaches that invisible area (like a magnetic field) to ask you if they can be of help, I almost always just return the toy where I picked it up and walk away.
When I reached college, I was already earning extra while studying and working in a research foundation in Diliman, back then I started to discover that such shops like Best Toys, Greattoys Online, Patrick’s Toy Shop and a whole lot more which can be found in Greenhills, particularly the scattered shops over Virramall (Oh I missed Arena T_T). I usually complain regarding prices of toys due to lack of sources selling them locally.
But today is different and times really have changed a lot, there are a handful of online sellers in our country and of course with relatively reasonable or competitive prices. I currently have a proxy service and I am “hoping” that I can be of help to those pledging collectors who doesn’t have access to Japan offline/online resources.
So the poortoykolektor is not just me, it can be you, your friend, anybody. And since this hobby is actually also relatively expensive, paying for your figures can make you really poor.
For you, what is the best thing about the hobby?
Non-collectors may not understand this, and may look down on us as child-like or “isip-bata”, immature, countless names, but remembering an episode from a Japanese Live Action “Sexy Voice and a Robo,” there’s this salary-man-father who used to collect milk bottle caps over his life time.
The father justified his obsession from his wife who wants to dispose of it, that collecting those petty bottle caps may not mean anything to anybody, but it reflects and shows how long his life on earth is and it continues to increase in number as long as he is living.
Which figure is your favorite? What were your most unusual purchases? Which item cost you the most $$$$$$$$?
Regarding favorites… hmm it’s actually really hard to tell. One thing that I can be proud of is that I almost have all Bandai releases – Shokugan, Swingu, Gashapon when it comes to Naruto. I hoped to collect Banpresto releases but they’re just difficult to get back then because of the “scarcity” of shops our sources I mentioned above. I can actually afford to buy and look for them at the present, and I started last year to get some releases which I think looks good, or is worth the price.
Well I have also tons of small figures/gashapons. Back then I can’t even imagine buying a figure which costs more than PhP 1,500 (or JPY 3000 direct conversion but I buy sets of 6 pieces for PhP 750, and currently, I actually lost count with regards to the number of sets that I have.
Lastly, I actually am not fond of One Piece back then, but my wife started the Megahouse Portrait Of Pirates collection, and currently, we’re hoping to complete it (minus the recolor exclusives. I think these One Piece figures are one of the most expensive in the lot.
And oh unusual purchases… can you believe that I still dive in to surplus shops or sources? If I see something nice looking and affordable, I get it.
What is the hardest part about maintaining your collection? Have you dealt with any problems?
Hardest I think is keeping track of what you have and keeping them in an inventory. I actually had an undergraduate thesis which aims to do this, and actually planned to develop it, and then tsuki-board appears. I actually have an account, and hopefully readers will not judge my by my choice of “username” in this resource. Here you can see some of my collection, pre-orders, wishes (a whole lot of them).
I am actually against displaying my figures and was originally a MISB/MOC collector. But then “Ondoy” struck, which damaged almost 50% of my toys’s packaging. I actually filed a whole week leave only to clean them up, repack, and preserve. Goodbye boxes~ So right now I do open toys, but return them to their packaging after my wife takes a picture.
Those that are displayed are actually clouded with dust and dirt, so from time to time, it is a problem for me since I do the cleaning. Lastly… space is running out from where we live, I really should’ve considered buying a big house first.
What advice would you give to other people to who want to start their own collection?
Know your sources, befriend toy sellers, join small groups of collectors who can actually both influence you positively and negatively with regards to the collection. Collect what you want, not because it is cool, or it’s cheap. Apply for a job first, and be regularized, then buy all of the toys that you want. Don’t marry and/or have a child. Hehehe~
You can see more of VT’s toys at Poor Toy Kolektor.