Saturday, July 21, 2007

Garbage Digger!

I apologize for my blatant theft of Take-shit's column title from the late Super7 magazine (having been reincarnated as the 'mook'). It's just that every time I go to one of these collector fairs, the phrase runs through my mind. Maybe it's because that's what I'm doing, albeit with slightly fancier garbage in this case.

Yesterday was the second day of the Hawaii All-Collectors Show (I always think that it should be "All Collectors' Show", but apparently the show's originators disagree with me. Oops, comma outside the quotation marks.) Anyhow, I was all gunning to go on Friday evening, but I was occupied by lots of work and an after-work office event. I think it was probably for the better, though, because I would assume the dealers would be in full force on Saturday, whereas on Friday a lot would either be operating their shops or doing the thing that pays them money. So this morning, shaking off an office-and-Dramamine hangover (don't ask), I shuffled off to the show at 9:30 a.m. in the morning.

I arrived at the show and found some parking with little hassle; by about 9:50 a.m., the line was already forming. After having observed the contained insanity that was the Wizard World convention last year in Los Angeles, I was a little surprised that the line wasn't longer, or that the people weren't more aggressive about entering. I guess I was, after all, attending a collecting show whose primary audience is over 50.

Methodically making my way through the rows, L-to-R, my first stop is a booth on the far left, with a goodly selection of older Toybiz Marvel figures. No older Iron Man stuff to pique my interest, so I move on.

Partway down the first aisle, I come across a booth with a bunch of older Bullmark kaiju and large vinyl dolls set out on the front table. The pieces were in pretty good shape (aside from the names on foot), so I immediately made with the turning-them-over-and-feeling-them-up, only to be told that they were not for sale. Argh, such a tease! I'm a little surprised, however, that if they were from someone's personal collection, that they wouldn't be in a display case to keep people like me from touching them inappropriately. There was a second booth with a good vinyl offering of some kaiju and assorted Kikaida, Kamen Rider and Rainbowman stuff about midway in the show; I didn't even bother looking for prices because (1) the stuff in the booth was old and in good condition and (2) the guy obviously knew his stuff. He had a friggin' Hawaii Gorosaurus on a mirrored turntable in a display case and a bunch of beautiful Rainbowman nodders in a flat case. Awesome!

It wasn't all kaiju and cheap bootleg toys, however. I came across a booth with very little in it, aside from some nondescript anime goods and a small laptop. Right as I came up to the booth, I was greeted by a middle-aged blonde woman who quickly told me that nothing there was for sale. They were part of an anime club, and were there to share their love of anime, and wouldn't I take their flier? It was then that my eyes drifted down to the laptop screen, to see that they were looking at pictures of some person cosplaying in a big, furry, pink animal suit. You really don't need to know much about cosplayers beyond that furries engage in activities not to be spoken of in polite society. Then it occurred to me- what kind of people would pay the booth fee to sit there for 7 hours to tell people about the joys of anime? Yeeeeeah. Backing away slowly now.

One of the better booths that I came across this show was run by a Japanese-speaking guy with a black "eBay" t-shirt. Awesome. His booth was packed to exploding and nonnavigability with every sort of Japanese toy ranging from $300 Bathing Ape stuff, to vintage sentai stuff, to a big bucket of gashapon prizes. As I was examining a few of his S.I.C. Kikaida toys, I overheard him explaining to a family in back of me why they should and should not attempt to drink from certain vintage Coke bottles (all of which, I assume, were filled with cola).

I picked up a couple of Banpresto crane machine prizes of Mazinger and some other super robo whose name I cannot recall at this time (EDIT: It's Grendizer.), both designed such that they are half vinyl, half clear plastic with vinyl innards exposed. I love "visible" toys; they are my secret fetish. I also found an old, mint, unopened Bird-Robo figure by Mark company (it is Kujaku-Robo). Most of you may better know these as the "Convertors" line, as they were branded in the U.S. Despite it being a pretty crappy toy, Peacockbot has a special place in my heart because my parents bought me the candy-toy version of it on our first trip to Japan. It was one of those shut-up toys. You know, "here's a toy, so shut up." The original version also has awesome shiny decals. Both purchases ran me a grand total of $13.

After passing a 30-something Japanese guy buying Disney princess dolls, the last cool booth that I came to had a bucket of discount kaiju and sentai stuff for a few bucks a pop. It was pretty deceptive, because the rest of the booth was covered by old Christmas ornaments and McDonalds toys. I managed to pick up a vinyl mini-doll of Shadow Moon and a mini repro Bullmark Antler for a grand total of $5. They had heavily discounted their vinyl dolls, so I was highly tempted to go balls-out crazy on their Kamen Rider stuff, but I restrained myself.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of toys and vinyl stuff available at the All-Collectors Show this year. My last visit had been to the 2005 show, and late in the day, so most of the vendors were in the process of packing up. For the kind of stuff I picked up at a total cost of $18, it wasn't a bad way to spend a Saturday morning at all.

So here we go:

Again, Mazinger and the other fellow in front. I feel like a bad person for not knowing its name.

Peacock Robo. You just can't dig much deeper for alt-mode inspiration than this. I do dig the shiny rainbow decals, though.

Lil' Antler and Lil' Moon. Antler is ready to roll with my Galtan. Looks like someone got lazy on Shadow Moon after they finished the legs.

1 comment:

toybot studios said...

Grendizer and don't feel bad. I don't always remember the names either. I have the exact same one and love this see-through series. I wouldn't mind getting more.

sounds like fun!!!