Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Superb Stuff and Super Sucks of 2008

Looking back this year, I had my share of being suckered as a collector (paying toys for much more than their worth). It's not all bad, this year I've got some superb stuff at great deals too. Here's a record of some of the best and worst experience of 2008:

Super Sucks
1) Transformers Ultimate Bumblebee
Remember those days of Transformers movie toyline craze? Every kid wanted a Bumblebee and there was none on the shelves. When the Ultimate Bumblebee arrived, I paid about RM400 for it. The shop is in Golden Triangle and famous for cutthroat prices. Now there's plenty in TRU for a much lower price...and then there's this re-issue that comes in a tube packaging with a free small bumblebee....Damn!!

2) G1 Micromasters Transformers
I got a set of three G1 Micromasters Transformers sets today. Total 12 mini figures mint on card. At first...very happy. After checking eBay, a bit dissappointed. What prompted me to buy this set was - its vintage G1 dated 1989, it has the old Hasbro logo, each pack comes with 4 figures. I thought I had a good deal for RM280. Then on eBay a guy from China selling all three sets for RM180, shipping included. Aaarggh!!!

3) Star Wars Clone Wars Figures
I got four Clone Wars figures when the movie came out - Ani, Obi, Yoda and Rex. Wanted to get the rest. Thank God I didn't. Hasbro re-issued the Yoda and Obi Battlepacks that comes with 4 Clone Troopers. Five figures retails for only RM99.99 compared to RM36.90 I paid for each! Stupid re-issues!! Then they re-issued Anakin DVD pack!!! No end to re-issues..I've stopped buying Star Wars single pack figures ever since.

Enough of the the Superb Stuff at great deals for this year:
1) VOTC George Lucas Stormtrooper prototype - I got this for only RM3 at a toy warehouse in Kepong. It comes with unpainted Stormtrooper helmet.
2) Jedi Luke Skywalker prototype - I got this for free! Also from the same warehouse!
3) 50-70% discounts stuff - complete set of Fantastic Four and Fantasticar and Indiana Jones figures
4) Star Wars Stuff - Titanium Lava Vader and Slave 1 - RM20 each only!! 500th Vader - RM10 only!!
Toy collecting can be fun and distressing - depending whether you get a good deal or being suckered. Someone once told me, "Forget about the prices, buy because you like it" Good advice but ya know..sometimes just can't help comparing prices...

2008 has been a year of testing. Test my patience. Test my tenancity. Test my character. Test my value(s). Business broke down. Partners screwed up. Thank God for this hobby..that keeps me motivated to press on for more business and for a while, drift me into a galaxy far far away where things are more...much more than meets the eye.

Goodbye 2008. Hello 2009.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Batman The Long Halloween Collector Set

Similar to the Superman Doomsday collector set, this set features 2 figures - Batman with Batarang with rope and Joker with Gun and both comes with display base. Also included is a 376 page trade paperback graphic novel of The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. All for RM118. I got it from Borders. I think is a good deal - the trade paperback comic alone cost RM67.90 and the Batman and Joker figures easily cost RM70 per piece. US retail at $39.90.

The Batman and Joker figures have good articulation, sculpt and paint job though they don't really look like the ones in the Long Halloween comic book. The comic is a compilation of 13 issues - a very impressive story and interesting artwork. It was said that the Batman Dark Knight film got some inspiration from here. No doubt its the Harvey Dent part.

I recommend this - whether you are a Batman comics fan or just a toy collector. Good story and art compiled in one volume, 2 great figures with base and a very reasonable price.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Toy Wiz Branded Toys Warehouse Sales Alert!!

Surfing the web and found out that ToyWiz will be having a Warehouse sale on 3-4 Jan 2009.
Venue: Amcorp Mall 3rd floor beside the Korean restaurant.
What kinda toys? McFarlanes, Barbies, Neca, Marvel Legends....collector stuff. Check it out at the link below!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


My friend once told me he got a Kenner Indiana Jones figure mint on card from a Grocery Store for RM1.00 when he was a kid. Ah...those were the days..Little did he know the value of it years later.

Before the latest Indy movie came out, there were very few licensed Indy figures available. The notable ones are ToysMcCoy figure and also the Disney Theme Park Exclusives. Those days, I got myself a complete set of the Disney Theme Park figures. The sculpting is so-so, articulation is lame and the accesories, well...better than some nowadays. Note: There are 2 versions of Indy.

Then this year we have the new Indy movie. I believe many collectors look forward to the figures and I am one of them. When it came out, oooh what the ....? Talking to some collectors, we all felt the line was a disappointment. The small figures have no Harrison Ford likeness at all except for the KOTCS Indy (the old man version). Funny, they can have a good Han Solo face sculpt in the Star Wars line but not in this line! The only figure I like is the 12" Talking Indy figure. Okay this one have Ford's likeness and some cool accesories and play features as well. Being an Indy fan, I did get some of the figures ....mostly at 50-70% discount (as expected). Shown here are just some of the collection. As you can see, I go for the deluxe figures more. There are more value compared to single figures. Example, the single pack Marion doesn't comes with pet monkey!

These figures are on sale now. Collect it if you like Indy.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Star Wars Japan Celebration Medicom Bearbrick

I got a complete set of Star Wars Celebration Japan Medicom Bearbrick as Christmas gift from my wife. This is a tie-in with Pepsi. There are kinda cute and 16 designs available to collect. I saw one set selling at Sg Wang for RM200++ This is my second set of Bearbricks. Before this, I only have the ToysRUs Japan Exclusive Bearbrick set for RM20.00 while is on sale!

Wishing all my friends and collectors "Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!"

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Superman Toys Collection

I have a few Superman toys/figures only. My favorite being the Target Exclusive The World's Greatest Hero Clark Kent to Superman figure. This one is cool as it is a 2-in-1 figure. You get Clark Kent (who else) and Superman. And it comes with a phone booth for quick change action!
Ebay selling at USD30-50 range.

Another favorite is the Silver Age Superman and Lois Lane figure. I got this many years ago while on a trip to Singapore. The figures have good articulation and you can put them in two beautiful pose, a standing on a base with American flag and also Superman carrying Lois flying pose. My next favorite is the Superman Doomsday boxed set that comes with the Death of Superman comic book. I got it at reasonable price in Borders. Produced by DC Direct, you can expect the kind of articulation from DC Direct figures. Comes with two S logo bases.
Ebay selling (Silver Age set) USD 40, (Supes & Doomsday set) USD 25.

Other Supes figures I have are from the Animated line, the recent Movie line and also some kid stuff. Funny, Superman figures don't go up in value as quickly compared to Batman figures though its one of the first (or is it the first?) superheroes created.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Barbie Dolls Collection

A toy museum can't just have boys toys right? Must have some dolls as well and of course Barbie made the A-list of must haves. Barbies are the 'big sister' of dolls as G.I.Joes are the 'big brother' of action figures. Both had been around for many many years.

I was exposed to the world of Barbie collection by a friend. A Barbie collector who is a guy. I learnt that there are many lines of Barbies but to simplify, there are the play lines (for little ones) and the collectibles (for not so little ones). I was surprised to note that there are many collectors out there and some are famous designers. I've helped him collected many Barbies around the world through eBay and I can see why he felt in love with them. (I am refering to the collectible type of course) The amount of details on the dressing - its mind blowing! My friend had since moved on to collect Fashion Royalty, a line of dolls which is very very limited, which in turn, very very expensive. I've seen the FR dolls, yeah there are beautiful.

Over the years, I've acquired a few Barbies but most are bought by my wife for me on special occasions. My first Barbie is the "I Dream of Jeannie" Barbie. My favorite Barbie is the Ferrari Barbie, it was one very posh and classy doll. I sold it to a lucky collector for RM500. As you can see, I collect Superheroines Barbies or Movie Tie-Ins. The Year of the Rat is one that I like because of the Barbie looks, kinda pleasant and sweet. You cannot miss Ken, Barbie's boy friend of so many years...oh yeah, I heard couple of years back, Barbie had a new boyfriend called Blaine..but Barb and Ken have kinda patch things up now..I have a FAO Shwartz Exclusive Tango Barbie and Ken in their happier days..I collect other dolls as well and most are sold. I have Bratz dolls, Britney Spears dolls (sold, kinda regret now) and Lara Croft (sold, also regret).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kamen Rider Chogokin Souchaku Henshin Collection

The first time I came to know Kamen Rider (also known as Masked Rider) was one afternoon watching a Mandarin film called "Zan Tian Chi Se" (Lightning Riders) on RTM with my mother. I was (if not mistaken) 8 years old. My mom and I were glued to the TV set as we watch the first Kamen Rider film. The most memorable part was the hero's belt got this twirling thingi and then he did a sommersault in the air and transform....into Kamen Rider!

I do have some Kamen Rider toys but here will just share the Bandai's Chogokin Kamen Rider, also known as the Souchaku Henshin Series (SHS). What is not shown here is the SHS Kamen Rider Kuuga special collection. I have that in the glass cabinet which is difficult to take out now to photograph coz of the stacked up toys.

These are great play things. The earlier figures (KR1, KR2, KR3, KR Stonger, KR Amazon) have armor, wrist cuffs, shin guards, belt and helmet. The later figures have all that plus weapons and more accesories. They are very articulate for action posing. If you read my earlier blog, you gotta be careful when playing them, as I had an experience where I broke KR Kuuga's armor as I was removing it from the box! I thought Chogokin cannot be broken, I was wrong.

Collectible Value - Not so in demand now. There are better KR toys out there i.e. Sideshow Real Action Figures or Bandai's SIC collection. Buy because you like it.

Toys Collector Type

This is not new to toys collectors but sometimes people do ask me the same old question "You don't take out your toys ah?" Then I gotta explain the different types of collectors...Well here's my short version of the different type of collectors
Type 1: The Scalpers/Hoarders/Investors
I first came to know the term 'scalping' from a US collector. Scalpers are people who buy toys to sell them a higher price. They would wipe out all the sought after toys from the shelf and then create a fake demand, and you'll see these toys appearing on eBay with "RARE" or "LIMITED" tag. If you check or, you'll realize those are not so rare toys after all. This group preferred to be called investors instead of scalpers but there is really a fine line between them. Scalpers are out there for the money only whereas investors are true collectors. Scalpers are selfish, they buy all off the shelf, investors are not, usually they keep 1 or 2 extras and will leave the rest for other collectors.
Type 2: The Minty Glorys
This group NEVER removed the toys from packaging. They prefer the toys sealed and mint on card, even better with C10 condition. Some will even scrutinized every single detail like the painting of the eyeballs. And one even used black plastic bag to wrap the toys. I asked "Why?" He answered, "To protect the box from the sunlight!" Believe it or not!! They are all out for perfection in the toys. Sometimes this group can be very hard to please.
Type 3: The De-Virginizers
I learnt the term "de-virginizer' from a Barbie collector friend. This group is the opposite of the minty glorys. They de-virginize the toys to touch, feel, play, pose and display them.
Type 4: the OOAKs/Customizers
Again I learnt the term OOAK from the Barbie collectors. OOAK stand for 'One of A Kind'. It means a customized or DIY toy. This group are toys Frankensteiners, they break, modified, attach and create their very own collectible. Some even sell their creation in eBay. The Barbie collector once customized a Ken and Barbie into Robin and Marion. And it comes with a customized box!! If not mistaken, he won a prize for that.

Which type am I? I am a 80/20 cross between Minty Glorys and De-Virginizers. 80% of my collection are mint, 20% are loose and displayed.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Toy Collector Dilemma: Here We Go Again!

When I started to collect toys, I was influenced to collect them mint and carded/boxed. The problem with this is the boxes and carded figures takes up space. So what I did was to packed the toys in cardboard boxes and stack em up. Many of these toys never saw the light of day again. So I began to nice to have my own have a dedicated room to display my toys. That was in the mid 90s.

In 2001, my wish came true. I got my own house. I dedicate one room specifically for toys. I had 3 glass cabinets and 5 book shelves. I got to display my prized Batman toys, my vintage He-Man, my vintage Star Wars etc. Boy it was good....for a few years. Over the years and as the collection grew, I added few more shelves and 2 metal racks. The room became smaller..

Now , the once toy display room became nothing more than a toy store room. Boxes of toys are stacked on top of each other. There is only a tiny visible pathway in the room. And I m still buying toys...though not as frequent as in the past. And my mind starts to visualize nice to have a bigger house, a bigger room to display my we go again.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

7-Eleven Care Bears Collection

One morning while bringing my son for breakfast, we stopped by a 7-Eleven store. There I came across some cute Care Bears stuff - a magnetic memo pad with pencil and clip(2 design), a handphone pouch (2 design) and a handphone strap (2 design). On closer look, it seems that these are 7-Eleven premiums! So I grab one set of them. These are not toys but they do remind me of the 80's. Check em out!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Shell James Bond Cars Collection

Shell have came up with a cool premium: James Bond cars from the movies. There are 5 in total - Sunbeam Alpine, Aston Martin DB5, Aston Martin DBS, BMW Z3 and Lotus Esprit.

Each car comes with a display base with cover! It also have a mini James Bond movie poster as the display backdrop! Very cool. To top it all, it only cost RM5.50 each! (You must pump RM40 petrol to be entitle to buy one) For the diehard collector, you can also get a limited edition briefcase display for RM60.

Collectible Value: Quite good, selling in eBay Malaysia for RM200++

Monday, October 27, 2008


Besides collecting movie toys, I collect anime toys as well. I was a crazy anime fan in the mid 90s, I went all the way to Hong Kong to get Evangelion original VCDs. (Back then, we don't have so many comics stores and the Malay translated Manga are just starting...) My early favorites - DragonBall

I came to know about DragonBall when I was in Secondary School. I got a videotape from Petaling Street and I was hooked probably because of humour in the young Goku series. After a while, the storyline kinda run stale..but anyway I love to collect the DragonBall figures. I managed to acquire 4 vintage Bandai DragonBall figures. These are really for display as the only articulation is the arms. But that was the past. Now - you can have super articulated Goku figures! (Hybrid series)

Another popular anime back then was SailorMoon. Nope I m not a fan but a fellow collector persuaded me to buy the whole set of 5 SailorMoon dolls coz they are on sale. So I got all the 5 main characters at a very good price. (RM18 each) These are 12" dolls with cloth uniform! I got another surprise as my collector friend also got me Sailor Chibi Moon - who's that? That is SailorMoon's daughter!! I too didn't know that until I got the doll..

Sunday, October 26, 2008

ArtFX Kotobukiya Terminator 3: T-850

I got these from warehouse to sell. After looking at it, I kinda like em..and guess what, I decided to keep them. I got two T-850 model kits (version 1 and 2) by ArtFX Kotobukiya. Version 1 have 2 interchangeable Arnold's head, one with sunglasses another without. Version 2 is the battle damaged version where it reveals some exo-skeleton.

Batman Begins: Transforming Gotham City Batmobile Playset

Its been some time since I last wrote. Have been pretty busy. Anyway, got some time to catch up with my hobby. Here's one playset that I recommend to all Batman movie collectors: Mattel's Batman Begins Transforming Gotham City Batmobile!

For starters, this playset is pretty huge and heavy! Secondly, its decently priced (original price RM119). Thirdly, Gotham city playset has 9 play features! Fourth - it has electronic light and sound effects! Fifth - in converts into a huge Tumbler Batmobile!

The features includes Battle Cable (a zipline), Combat Stage 1 (platform to place 2 figures), Arkham Asylum (A jail cell), Sewer Control Panel (from the instruction sheet, it seem one of the pipes can be use as Batman's weapon) Combat Stage 2 (another platform but this comes with a 'Gotham sunset view' on a cardboard), Break Apart Water Tower, Action Cockscrew (hang Batman on the cockscrew pole and watch him twirling down), Removable Train (with light and sound) and Warehouse Platform (comes with breakable boxes). After playing, you can store all the accessories in the playset and converts it into a huge Tumbler Batmobile that runs on free wheelie. The front wheels can also be pull out and act as a carrying handle!

This is one cool toy! Grab it while its still reasonably price!

Friday, October 3, 2008

ToyBiz Batmobile with Cocoon

This is my first Batmobile. I bought it from the ebay. I like it very much though its not really an accurate representation of the Tim Burton's Batman movie Batmobile. This ToyBiz Batmobile doesn't come with a covered cockpit! It has 2 versions - the first version comes with a cocoon while the second version doesn't. Later Kenner released another batmobile based on the movie, and yes that Batmobile is movie accurate. I m still trying to get my hands on one of those...
Play Value - 2 concealed rocket launchers. Here's the cool part, you shift the gear and the rocket launcher pops up from the side of the batmobile! It has storage compartment at the back of the Batmobile. And it comes with a plastic cocoon that covers the Batmobile like in the movie.
Collectible Value - This toy was made in 1989. Quite rare now. Mint in box ranges from USD90-USD120 in ebay.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Kids Toys Collection

Being a toy collector dad, you can guess that I collect toys on behalf of my kids. Actually my kids are not toy collectors...yet. One is a toddler and another a pre-schooler. But then it doesn't stop toy collector dad to buy original toys and stock up the boxes and educating the kids that "These toys will worth a lot when you're 20 yrs old, so keep the boxes" lecture. Unfortunately, my wife didn't share the same sentiment. She threw away all the boxes..aaarggh!!

95% of the toys I got for my kids are originals. But frankly, they don't know the difference. They'll be happy to play with anything. Being a toy collector dad does have its perks...we get all the excuses to go to TRU or toy section of stores and conveniently apply "This is for my kids" lies at the payment counters.

I once knew a guy who brags that his little daughter doesn't play. Though she was very young, she had been programmed by her dad to think like an 'adult' and start to count money and be financially prudent. Not only that she condemns other kids (her cousin) for playing Barbies. And her dad was damn proud when he told me. It's good for the kid to be able to think like an adult but if its to the extreme, then I had pity on her. Perhaps she've never experience the joy of play and imagination. I believe kids should play, have fun and enjoy their childhood. Because they are kids only once. When they grow up, they'll never have their childhood back. Yes, now I have a lot of toys compared to when I was young, but I can't 'play' with these toys anymore. I just can't take an X-wing and act out the "I can't shake em!" scene. Its not the same. It'll never be the same.

I do not deprive my kids from playing. I let their imagination and creativity run wild! Of course having said that, we should also expose them in others areas (principles and values, financial prudence etc) other than play alone.

The Max Rebo Band Figures Set 50% Discount

Star Wars Collectors Check this out: I was at TRU 1-Utama and found the Star Wars Max Rebo Band Figures at 50% discount. For those who miss the warehouse sales, this is your chance to grab em. Both sets, the Jabba musicians and Jabba dancers are available.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hasbro Movie Iron Man & Iron Monger Figures

Didn't intend to start collecting the Iron Man figures earlier. However I got the Iron Monger figure as a gift. Well, you know the thing about collector..once you have a bad guy you would like to 'complete' the equation with a good guy....

I got the Iron Monger with a removable cockpit version. This figure is heavy! Other than the removable cockpit, there's nothing much to do with this figure...ok it has decent articulation, nice sculpt but a hasty paint job.

As for the Iron Man figure, I chose the Prototype version. This one comes with snap on armor and reveal the face of Tony Stark. The play features? Snap on armour, decent articulation, nice sculpt and yes...a hasty paint job. It took me a while to finally find one that is painted nicely.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I just acquired the Trans Scanning Optimus Prime by Tomy Takara at a discount. Its been around for some time already (hence the discount) and another version Trans Scanning Bumblebee is currently available at TRU. The figure is based on Transformers Movie. I've always wanted this Prime figure coz I m a Prime and Megatron collector. I'll share a short review of this figure here. If you want a detailed review, you gotta check out the Transformers toys site.

This figure is cool. It consist of a skeleton body and body parts to form the protoform Prime or the Earth Prime. Thats not all, once the body parts are attached, the figure can actually be transformed into the comet mode (for the protoform) and truck mode (for the Earth prime). For a figure that is approximately only 5 inches tall, it has unbelievable details and articulation! Another cool surprise is the protoform comet mode comes with a display stand! It also have another pair of hands. There are no action features here and judging from the complexity of the transformation, this figure is meant for adult collectors. Check out YouTube, one guy took almost 5 minutes to transform the robot to truck!!

The 'play value' here are superb articulation, transformation from robot to alternate mode and body parts to form 2 version of Prime. More for display rather than play. It has detailed sculpting and good paint job! (check out the chrome smokestack!) The figure comes with an instruction sheet and a toy catalogue of the Movie Transformers toys.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

McDonalds Clone Wars Happy Meal Toys

I just completed my collection of McD Clone Wars Happy Meal toys. As you can see, it looks kinda cute. However when I got the toys, it turn out to be disappointing! The figures (Ani, Yoda, R2 and Vader) have no play features. They are sort of a container. Each figure came with sticker. (lame!). The vehicles (Starfighter, Falcon, X-wing & Gunship) are a bit better in terms of play value - each have a key to insert at the back of the ship, press the key and the ship rolls out on free wheelie! Compared to the US and UK Star Wars Happy Meal toys release, which has cool light and sound effects, this is really sad..Nevertheless, this set looks good on display.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mattel Movie Masters Batman Dark Knight Joker Figure

Mattel Movie Masters Batman Dark Knight The Joker is one elusive figure. Collectors and scalpers wallop them off the shelf as fast as a speeding bullet. I wanted to get one but didn't want to pay extra to scalpers. So I waited. My patience paid off, the next wave of figures came to Carrefour and I was there. There were 4 Joker figures in the lot. I held two in my hands. After looking at it for a long time....I put both back on the shelf. Why? To me, the figure is overpriced. At RM69.90, there's not much to shout about. Okay, it has Heath Ledger's likeness but what disappoints me is the lack of accesories. Just a card, an evidence bag and a knife???!!!
Compared this with NECA Conan figure, also selling at RM69.90 but it comes with diorama base, cool paint job, swords, good sculpting of Arnie's likeness and other movie accurate accesories etc. I checked Ebay USA, found that the Joker figure are selling at around USD9.99 to USD11.99 (Buy it Now).

Then I saw the two MM Joker figures again at Kepong Carrefour. Again I pass.
Though I didn't buy, my heart is pretty tempted. My friend who just came back from Hong Kong told me that this figure was totally sold out there and the price had gone up to RM200++.

Finally I saw in the news, The Dark Knight movie pass USD500 million mark. Okay, if I see the figure again, I will buy. Went to Carrefour another time, there was one last Joker figure. I bought it. Not very satisfied because I still feel its overpriced. So why did I buy? Maybe its Heath Ledger, his performance is spot on...or maybe is the last figure on the shelf...or maybe the movie is a blockbusters so this figure will command a high price in future...(though I know very well I am not selling it). Why did I buy? .........I wish I know....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hasbro Warehouse Sale This Weekend!

Dear Fellow Collectors, I've received a flyer stating Hasbro Warehouse Sale in Shah Alam this coming Saturday and Sunday. Cash and carry. Check it out!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ultraman Ruishi vs Ultraman Tiga Bandai

I loved Ultraman ever since I was a kid. Still rememeber the days when I was in primary school afternoon session rushing home just to catch the last 5 minutes of the show. Usually that time, the Ultraman is doing his famous finale cross hand laser shootout that blast the monster to oblivion. Now I watched the Ultraman Tiga with my kids and guess what? There are still the cross hand laser finale shootout...and of course the effects are better.

Here are a review of two Ultraman figures I like. One made by Ruishi and another by Bandai.

Electronic Ultraman by Ruishi

- Eyes light up
- Chest button blinks
- Chop sound effect and Ultraman music (but sound is poor quality)
- Comes with 2 batteries
- Limited articulation, fixed pose, good for display
- Decent sculpting
- Box art - looks cheap.
- Toy cost retail RM56.00
- Survived my 2-year old son playing.

Electronic Ultraman Tiga by Bandai

- Eyes light up
- Chest button first slow, then faster..and faster like the TV show . Cool!
- Transformation, chopping, chest button blinking and blasting - sound effects! Good sound quality.
- Highly articulated. For play rather than display.
- Decent sculpting.
- Box art - looks exciting!
- Toy cost retail RM159.00.
- Didin't survived my 2 year old son playing. The left leg was broken. I glued it back.

So which is better? You judge yourself. But I'll go for Bandai, the play value is just so cool!