Monday, July 23, 2012

Once a Collector....

I have always been a collector.  Whether it was something "free" like plastic skippers from Chickadee packs and Ziggy finger puppets from Tang to Figurine Panini sticker albums and Smurf figurines, if I was really into something, I had to "have them all".  Thank God Pokemon wasn't around back then.

When I got a little older, I started moving on to more sophisticated toys.  My trifecta of toy collecting consisted of G.I.Joe, Transformers & He-Man.  Yes there were others….but none of them managed to make such a lasting imprint on my childhood as these three lines.

Of the 3, G.I.Joe was king.  Transformers and He-Man were just too expensive for a kid with limited monetary funds.  While I had to rely on pasalubongs, Christmas and birthday gifts to get my Transformers and He-Man fix, I could manage to build my Joe collection with my own allowance (60 bucks a figure at Nova Fontana in GoldCrest).  I amassed quite a collection of Joes, about 40-50 figures if I remember right, with a decent collection of vehicles to go along with them (again mostly gifts).

Eventually however, I did end up outgrowing my toys.  Like most boys who “grew up”, the “big three” was replaced by the “big ONE”…..girls.  And my collecting habits were satisfied by building up a formidable music collection of tapes and CDs.  (NO I did not move on to collecting girls ha ha).

As the years passed however, I never really stopped appreciating toys.  Especially with the dawn of the internet, I would find myself looking at pictures of all the new toys coming out year after year.  I would never buy any though cuz back then I couldn’t imagine spending money on something that I couldn’t listen to, read, eat or flat out use and that would just end up standing on some random shelf on my room.

One particular line though caught my interest, it was called Transformers Alternators.  The premise of this line was these were Transformers not really meant for kids, but for collectors.  They featured the old G1 characters I grew up watching on TV but this time transforming into ultra-detailed licenced modern cars. And when I say detailed, they were detailed, complete with car interiors, licensed car logos, rubber tires and opening doors & hoods with engines inside.  To add to that, the robots they transformed into weren’t the usual unmoving “bricks” like the old toys, no these guys were mostly fully articulated.  It was amazing, like the toys from when I was a kid grew up as well!  But still this wasn’t enough for me to actually go out and get some……until I saw them in person….

It was sometime in 2005, when I was following my then gf on one of her shopping trips through the bowels of Goldcrest that I chanced upon this toyshop. Seeing as I had nothing better to do, I decided to check it out.  And then all of a sudden, there they were, my two childhood favourite Autobots, Sunstreaker & Prowl in all their Alternators glory….the price for each though, about PhP1,650 was enough to deter me from buying them on the spot.  However, their image on the store shelf never left my mind and haunted me for days after that.  So eventually, I caved.  “Just these two” I told myself, they really ARE my favourite characters…they’re all I’ll need…..just these two”.  Famous last words…..

All I really NEED are these two....