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++