Recently, I was contacted by the official overseas wholesaler for the upcoming 60cm Mazinger Z from Mazinger Z: Infinity. The company is Shima-X Corporation and they are taking wholesale orders with a minimum of 20 pieces for the new toy from Bandai.
You can also find them on instagram by searching for "auganic_shimax". They have several pictures and videos of the toy not seen on the official Bandai website. In fact, I'm attaching a few videos (with English subtitles) that they sent me showing off the toy, even comparing it with a vintage Getter 1 Jumbo Machinder and the Neo-Jumbo Machinder Mazinger Z. If you or someone you know runs a store and would like to stock this item, you can contact them via the contact form on this page.
Recently I had a pretty cool experience when famed Japanese toy collector Tom Franck (formerly of CoolJapaneseToys.com) was back in town to deal with what remains of his childhood collection. His mom was selling the family home (and in a bit of small world coincidence, we later found out that she sold it to a friend of CDX alum Mason Fitch!) and he still had lots of stuff stored away that he had to go through and find a new home for, since transporting it all back California wasn't really an option.
Just in time for Halloween, local geeks John Cimino and Keith Gleason of Hero Envy stopped by my place and we talked about our top 3 favorite classic monsters. It was a pretty lively and fun discussion so I hope you enjoy it.
This was my third appearance on the show. Since I wasn't really posting at the time of the others, I'll link them all below if you'd like to check them out.
In this episode, we talk about bootleg toys! I wasn't really expecting to have to provide all the toy examples so you'll notice that since it's all from my collection, they are primarily blow molded. But it's a fun talk anyway.
OK, OK, I know I said I wasn't going to be keeping track of machinder sales in 2011....and I didn't. But I guess the idea just won't die. Good friend and Brussels' #1 jumbo collector Mike de Conick took up the challenge and just sent me the collected images from the past year!
Of course, just as in years past, the format of the image titles have been changed just slightly. The date is no longer in the title. Instead, it's written like this:
In the example above, obviously the character name is Grendizer, but the "03" indicates that it was the third example of the toy sold that year. The "2" indicates that it is the second photo in the sequence and of course "189000Yens" is the sale price. Since the toy sold on Yahoo!Japan, the price is in yen. Most of the images are from Yahoo, but some may be from Ebay. Of course, those will be indicated with the dollar sale price.
So here we are on the verge of 2011 which means another year of Jumbo Machinder record keeping is at an end. And just like in 2009, in 2010 I made some changes to the way I've maintained these records. Previously, I simply recorded each sale as they happened, meaning that everything was chronological. However, most people were not willing to take the time to sift through the sales for the specific toy/character they were interested in (which always really annoyed me because the time I spent compiling the information was exponentially great, but whatever...) . So this year, I re-arranged all of my files into sub-folders for each individual character. (The naming of each individual image remains essentially unchanged from last year.)
The end result of this is that now you have a format like this:
Here is some disturbing news I was told the other night. Apparently, on March 3 congress in Venezuela passed a law that forbids the manufacture, importation, distribution, purchase, sale, rent or use of "violent" toys and videogames. But since the law is non-specific about what actually constitutes a "violent" toy or game, nearly everything that can be viewed as such is now outlawed. So retailers have pulled things like Star Wars, G.I.Joe, Transformers, Max Steel, Power Rangers, etc from their shelves!
Furthermore, auction sites have been pulling toy auctions and the post offices are cracking down on it as well so collectors can't buy toys in stores locally or order them from abroad! To be caught doing so means fines and/or 3-5 years in prison. Of course, I bolded the word "use" above because no one is exactly sure what they mean by that. Is "collecting" the same thing as "using"? As crazy as it sounds, right now people are worried about being sent to prison for collecting toys!
Recently, Ikea had a one day only sale for their Detolf glass shelves. These are very popular among many toy collectors, but as they are a bit on the small side (ie; not great for jumbos), I never really thought of getting any for myself. But at only $20 each, I figured I would go grab a couple just for the hell of it. I'd try them out and if I didn't like them, I figured I'd have no trouble finding another local collector to take them off my hands.
I brought them home, set one up and realized that although Jumbo Machinders were too big for them, they might be just the right size for some junior machinders! My collection of these toys has long been stored in a way that really didn't do them justice and here was a proper solution. So I assembled the second unit and moved it into the back toy room. When I did so, I realized something. If I moved another, basically superfluous piece of furniture out of there and slid my big glass case over, I would have nearly the exact amount of space I would need to fit two more Detolfs in there. Oh, if only I had gone back to Ikea to get them that day! Instead, I would have to pay the full price of $60, but I decided it needed to be done. Within a week, two more were home and assembled and the new and improved toy room was ready to be revealed.So I figured I would take a cue from The Enthusiast and make a blog post about it.
It seems Ebay has quietly instituted a new policy where the photos you upload for your auctions will be added to their "catalog", starting at the end of the month. Basically, they're gonna steal your photos and let other people use them unless you opt-out of this program. Of course, they sure didn't make much effort to actually let people know this, did they? Not cool at all, imo.
Check this post HERE for details and how to opt-out before it goes into effect at the end of the month.
Although I don't think any one from this site collects these kinds of toys, nevertheless, this will be us someday.
According to the Bertoia Auctions website, the first part of the sale took place in March and fetched 4.2 million bucks. Sorry if this is old news, but I just saw it at the Universal Monster Army and thought it was worth re-posting here. We can disagree and even argue about our hobbies all we want, but at the end of the day, this is what it should be all about....the love.
I don't get it. I mean, seriously, c'mon! You're trying to tell me that a Barbie doll was this years best monster toy? Well, according to the results of this years fan voted Rondo Awards , that is in fact the case. I thought it was a neat idea and I've even kept my eyes open looking for one cheap (I wanted to be the first CDX writer to review a Barbie! lol) but best of the year? No way..
I think it's important to try to be your own person, but sometimes it's best to follow those that have gone before. Back when I first got into the hobby, the Japanese Toy Database that was such a great part of the now-defunct Cool Japanese Toys website was a constant source of reference for me as I was starting out as a Jumbo Machinder collector. When I first started looking at it, each entry included a price estimate for a mint in box specimen of the listed toy. After awhile, these were taken down. At the time, I was a bit disappointed in this, but I've since come to understand why it had to happen. It's just become nearly impossible these days to predict what any toy should sell for, but the marketplace for Jumbo Machinders in particular seems to be particularly volatile. (A completed auction search for "Machinder" on Ebay right now will reveal some rather eye-popping final bids for some not that special jumbos.)
While some would tell you "don't sweat the small stuff", I prefer the pre-existing catchphrase "it's the little things in life that matter". As a Jumbo Machinder collector, it's likely that you may have heard me complain on occasion about a lack of space. But it's not just the jumbos that cause this problem. I've also got about 20 boxes of comic books. And after I stopped collecting comics and before I started in on toys, I had another brief obsession...dvds. For awhile there, I was buying them hand over fist. And while my collection now isn't that big, I do think it's larger than the average person's. I've got just north of 400 of them and as that number grew, it became harder and harder to find a place to display them all. I had a little bookshelf at first, then a bigger bookshelf and then both bookshelves together and finally both were overflowing. I'd tried to keep my eyes open for a better option, but never really made a point of it. But I recently had enough. Something had to be done.
Today, I got an email from my good friend Juan Carlos Azpurua. You may remember him as the guy who sent us the report from Venezuela's first big anime convention, Convencion Avalancha in 2006. He also provided us with the translation of his friend Alvaro Carvajal's report from his Hasbro Office Tour in 2007. Juan Carlos collects mostly 1980s American toy lines, but also has an interest in Japanese robots and has been an invaluable source for learning about what was produced in Venezuela. Everything I know about Famosa Jumbos is because of him.
Well, a couple years back, he sent me the following picture.
This image was from a vintage Venezuelan toy catalog and shows a Mazinger Z Jumbo Machinder that I'd never heard of before. It's based on the Popy mold, but has yellow limbs. Strangely, although it adorns the cover of the catalog, there was no mention of it inside! So it's been unclear if this was a toy that was ever actually produced... until today.
Sad news today as Forrest J. Ackerman has passed away at age 92 at his home in LA. "Uncle Forry" as he was known may have been the biggest collector of us all. Besides being the publisher of the legendary "Famous Monsters Of Filmland" and the man who discovered Ray Bradbury, he had one of the greatest horror and sci-fi collections on the planet and would routinely open up his house to visitors who wanted to see his it. I know it was always a great treat for monster collectors to get to visit the "Ackermansion" and I regret that I never did.
Forrest J. Ackerman inducted into Horror Hall Of Fame
It's strange to admit, but even as a longtime horror and monster fan, I never actually read Famous Monsters Of Filmland. I got started in it during the 80s and at that time Fangoria was all rage. In recent weeks, as it's become more apparent that the end was near, many people have written to Forry personally as well as shared their experiences and remembrances amongst themselves. I've felt a bit left out in that I really had nothing to contribute. I never read the magazine, didn't see the collection and hadn't met the man. But on a site dedicated to collecting, I think it's important to note his passing. And hopefully in so doing, I can introduce him and his contributions to others like me who didn't know him as well as we should have and honor his legacy in the process.