Wednesday, September 24, 2008

[Nakayoshi Astromons] A Monster of a Coincidence

As a firm believer in Toy Karma, I also feel that there are some collecting events that are fated to happen.

An expert on Hawaii supernatural lore once wrote of the concept of inexplicable causality that leads certain people to places and events that when viewed in hindsight, are part of a clearly intended chain of seeming coincidences. The implication is that we can be guided by otherworldly forces to an inevitable result. I guess if you are cynical, this can be explained away by our tendency to find patterns in otherwise unrelated events. Sort of like seeing shapes in clouds. If you aren't cynical, hoo boy, chicken skin...

I think if you have been seriously collecting THINGS for a reasonable length of time, you've probably experienced this. You find one random toy and decide to learn more, only to find that you owned its companion piece as a child.

When I was in Shibuya Mandarake last fall, I found this unpainted Astromons toy sitting humbly in the back of a display case. I knew that this version was produced by Nakayoshi in collaboration with Dream Rocket and Shono Kikaku, so I picked it up. The one thing that bugged me was that it was ORANGE. As far as I knew, there had only been releases on purple base vinyl.

In April of this year, an auction materialized on Yahoo Japan for a painted version of the orange Astromons- still in the original bag, no less! Let's just say it wasn't cheap. My speculation is that this orange version was sold at around the same time as the pink "Hawaiian" Red Jack (also by Nakayoshi), as the seller had both toys up for auction. That Red Jack is estimated to have been produced in less than 10 pieces total, so I would figure this one to be similarly low production. However, while I have seen at least 3 Red Jacks sell, I've never seen another orange Astromons.

It's kind of a weird feeling when I display these two pieces side by side- knowing that this is probably the only time that they have been united since they were in the maker's studio. It is memorable events like these that make the hobby a worthwhile pursuit for me.

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