Toys have always intrigued me. I don't have a particular subject or toy line that I follow, I just appreciate each model or toy based on its own merits. Whether it's a vinyl Godzilla or a Japanese robot of some sort matters not, it's about what the toy says to me.
I derive pleasure from design & engineering in all areas of life, but toys fascinate me because their purpose is traditionally simple - to entertain young minds - yet the creativity involved in bringing a toy to life is often ingenious.
Some of my toy collection (and other things) can be viewed on my flickr page at - http://www.flickr.com/photos/49660795@N05/
It started in 1977.
I went over to a friend's house. His mother was Japanese, and his dad was Dutch. I had the Kenner Star Wars Early Bird kit still in its package, and was beyond excited to show him what I got. We both pored over the documents included in the package, and wondered what the final designs would look like. However, my eyes drifted over to the other side of the room where a giant black and silver robot stood, with a sleek fighter plane nestled in its "crown". Beside this, were toys of strange, multicoloured robots I had never seen. I was fascinated by their weight and dangerous eye-gouging gimmicks. We played for hours. In fact, due to the absence of Star Wars figures, oppotunistic toy companies, like Empire Toys sated my pangs with Star Wars-esque robots like Brain III from UFO Commander 7. As I saved up my allowance to get Valcan-1, my Early Bird figures arrived, and the focus was Star Wars for a good seven years.
However, anime had sneakily crept onto the scene with Battle of the Planets and Star Blazers, cleverly disguised as North American shows. And slowly, I began to take notice again. While walking in a fleamarket, I kept coming accross really cool, but expensive import toys from something called "Macross" and "Orguss". I loved the designs and they greatly influenced my budding artistic efforts at the time. I was able to pick up a small plastic transforming jet-robot (later to be identified as a cheap version of Hikaru's VF 1J from Macross).The suspicion that something cool was out there beyond my realm of experience became tangible when a toy called "Jetfire" appeared in the Transformers line. "He" was unlike any of the previous transformers, and looked, curiously, alot like that jet robot I had a few years previously.
And then, one day, in 1984, I walked in to the Silver Snail and saw a huge box - the VF-1S 1/55 Strike Valkyrie. It was Jetfire... but about ten times cooler.
I went nuts. I begged my parents for it. With birthday money firmly in hand, I started down a long road of toy design appreciation, and an affinity for Japanese aesthetics.
Much of my artistic work is strongly influenced by the designs in Orguss, Gatchaman and Macross, and to see those designs in the third dimension has been a constant thrill.
I have been collectiing Super Robot stuff all my life, but I got really serious in 1995 with the birth of the World Wide Web. I mostly collect Mazinger Z related mechas, but I am open to anything that is cool...
I've loved robots since a found a discarded transformer lost on a beach as a child. I've always appreciated old diecast figures, although I don't own too many myself. I am a fan of both old and new robot cartoons.
My current collection of modern gokin include Aoshima's Neo Getter Robo (black), CM's GoShogun and Sankanoh, and Yamato's Danguard Ace.
My current collection of classic gokin include ST Dynarobo, two ST Laserions (Japanese and American releases), DX Laserion, and a Voltron of some model that has seen better days.
On the plastic front I have a Toybox Nekobot a surprisingly nice KO Mightgaine, and a troop of Glyos figures.
The pride of my collection is, Voltron "Trapped on Jungle Planet," a 24 page book and tape. It's still sealed in it's original packaging!
I dig robots. Mostly shogun warriors, vintage popy, macross, and diecast stuff. I've been collection since I was 10, hardly ever played with my toys as a kid. Still own the machinders my parents gave to me for Christmas in 1982. :)