Oh, how we revel in the authorship that creators impart to their toys. Not that you aboslutely need to understand the background of a toy to be able to enjoy it… Some of these resin figures will just SPEAK to you. I say resin because the carving gets more intricate, but vinyl toys also have their special appeal, don’t get me wrong. Either way, it takes an especially creative mind to make these ideas come to life, not just in statuette form but also in creating entire collections of figures that make sense together and (so benignly) beg for you to collect them so you can (so slyly) get a taste of that life (the monster life, not the playing with toys in your basement life)(although that too). So there you have it. Hateball. Zeroth zealotry zips and zonks. Here are links to parts One, Two, Three.
Gnou: I’m not directly involved in collecting – but I like these toys a whole lot. Actually, I like the idea – the ideas – of these toys a whole lot. There isn’t much serendipity in my mentioning these guys at all; strictly speaking. Because I was introduced to the world of kaiju collecting by the same people that introduced me to you. And I got probably got interested in the same thing that interested you. I know that you are the reason I’m even aware of Velocitron. Though I probably never told you in so many words that you are. And I really enjoy your collection because it makes sense to me – your pictures and videos and selection ring a bell of singularity in my brain. Though I probably never told you in so many words that they do. I also know from occasionally seeing other collections that I would not get along their owners. Just like I can get a sense from seeing a person’s media library how much they and I will be able to get along. There’s some aesthetic sense, some personal history, some cultural relevance – and probably a lot of personal realization (self-fulfillment?) in a collection.
Hateball: That I could turn you onto someone—someTHING—as rad as Velocitron, is an honor. To date, Ricky makes—in beautiful one-piece vinyl—the most chillingly primitive and hoary-looking Cthulhu totem that I’ve ever seen. The one they dug from the mud in the reference material looked like this one. That is…something to say. I would expect that you—broadcasting live from the swamplands—would be wont to respond to that.
I look at my collection as something that as much conveys who I am AND who I feel like I want to be. Which, in my case, is why—mostly within the tiny little conditionalized sector that we’ve erstwhile defined—my collection is pretty scattered. I jump around a lot. This is something that happens organically and doesn’t involve much piloting from me. Because, at the end of the day, if I like it…I like it. This works in my favor when speaking of ‘cheap’ toys, and it works against me when speaking of ‘hype’ or ‘ridiculously rare’ toys. Because if I want it, I want it. I can do quite a bit towards talking myself OUT of wanting something badly, but in my experience (with my experience) that is a war of attrition. It cannot go on forever. Given opportunity, I will almost always cave.
And it is that caving, coupled with the inevitable momentarily thrill that follows…and the even more inevitable sense of prolonged confusion at why I am not all of a sudden (my wife says ‘all the sudden’; cute) fulfilled that has taught me most about toy collecting.
No matter what, they’re just toys. They’re something to be proud of, sure. They’re something to revere and to love and to play with and to talk about. Yes. But it has to be checked. It has to be balanced. I’m not saying that each and every toy needs to be your favorite and have some sort of autobiographical fingerprint attached to it…but, well, it helps. It helps you love them. And it helps if you love them.
You know why I don’t tell people like you that I collect books? Because I buy books and books and books and books and never really get around to looking through them. God forbid that I read them. There was a point in my life where I would go on Amazon or walk into a Barnes & Noble and just buy art books. Picturebooks. Whatever. And then I’d cart home my treasures and put them into a pile. I don’t think that’s really the point.
Buying, keeping, getting, finding, hunting, gathering more of something just for the sake of getting it now because you might not have the opportunity to get it later is, well, maybe that’s coming in through the back door. It’s fear-based, and I—and as I know you—don’t really like that. It seems less joyful…just less. I know a few guys who, in their toy-collecting travails have managed to resolve this fear-based mentality with the other ‘normal’ facets of collecting. Simply put, they buy everything. If it’s even remotely interesting, boom. Got. And then, once they’ve got this toy or that toy in-hand and had a chance to respond to it…love or hate, they either offload it on the swap boards or keep it. Which seems like—I guess, right?—a pretty good way to have your cake and eat it too.
But damn, man. I just don’t have the energy for that. I don’t have time for it, and I think that if I got into that sort of routine, it would—again—detract from the quality of the experience. I want the experience to be a quality one. For me. I don’t want to be greedy or want-sick or desperate. You are not your toy collection.
Your toy collection is a part of you.