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Materialist Zen

Materialist Zen's picture


About Me :

Pre-Internet toy collector/ bottom feeder, graphic artist/ writer, music lover, adventurer.

The adult phase of my collecting life began with anime in the early eighties, as a teen. Model kits, manga, Roman Albums, and the occasional toys robot or kaiju, all that stuff blew my mind. Even as I got away from my childhood toys and into Heavy Metal, Anime remained a fresh concept, and I found the best record shop in town also featured comics, cult movies and toys, so I was still being exposed to collecting albeit in a round about way. At this time in my life Anime went from thrilling adventure to supreme accomplishment in modern design. I still have much of my original Anime collection, and have since gone back and repurchased more.

One of the places to score great Japanese swag at this time were the Creation Star Trek conventions that traveled the country, where there would typically be a large retail operation from either coast in tow. These vendors would almost always have the weirdo toys with the japanese writing I so craved, but I was simultaneously exposed to the entire spectrum of sci-fi collecting, and soon got on board the ST:TNG bandwagon. By 1989 I had graduated to Full-Fledged Member of The Star WARS Generation, having rediscovered the films and a box of my childhood toys. The search for more led me farther into the world of comic book stores and flea-tiques, and not just for licensed memorabilia either, I was also collecting vintage "toys." Around this time I would hit my all-time low by habitually lurking about in the local Toys 'R' Us. I was a full-blown collector with no shame.

Around the same time that I was getting back into 70's and 80's sci-fi, (this is now the early 90's) I rediscovered my childhood enthusiasm for Daikaiju Eiga and Tokusatsu, which then manifest itself in the form of decent sized collection of vinyl. Unlike other areas of my collecting, I am a Completist when it comes to these things.

The Kaiju thing really took over for a few years, until I sold off most of my Star Wars, G.I.JOE, Transformers collections, and had cultivated a large assortment of contemporary japanese toys. Then a chance gig instructing Manga style illustration brought me current on the state of Japanese comics in America, and it appears that I have finally come full circle.

Which brings me to my collecting habits of late, where I've been pairing down the latest manga/ anime books in favor of tending various aspects of my existing collection, mainly in acquiring MIP specimens. Japanese, Star Wars and sci-fi ephemeral, and classic vintage. One new area of collecting has been vintage electronic games, such as Mattel Electronics and Atari, and since missing the Morphy's Auction I've started looking into POPY a little more seriously. I also collect rock/ sci-fi poster art, pin-up mags and comics, and DVDs. I don't have enough money for this hobby, so I am constantly pawning items to be able to afford the updates. Once I have re-acquired a prize for the third time, it usually becomes a permanent part of the collection.

Sometimes I wonder about the nature of collecting, and what it is about gathering these particular objects that provides such a relief. I can chalk up a good deal of ex-girlfriend experience due to my love of things childish, gadgety, and superfluous, but it hasn't stopped me (Maybe when I find a living, breathing rarity...) After a recent brush with unemployment and dislocation my new mantra has become "The more stuff you own, the more stuff owns you," but it has yet to transcend the reality of the situation. Even if I never figure out what it is that compels me to live this way, I'm pretty sure that in the end I'll be able to say that I died happy.

What is your all time favorite toy?
In ancient Rome, there is a poem, about a dog, who had a bone, it licked at one end, and then the other, it went in circles 'til it dropped dead

Personal Information

City or State
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania- Pittsburgh Contingency




Member for
15 years 35 weeks