Matt Alt -- "The East Wing"
(Photos by Tomoko Kojima)
What can I tell you? I've been a collector since birth. Here's the
1970s "hero robot" portion of my collection; although my favorite
pieces remain the Takatoku and Bandai Valkyrie toys produced in the
1980's, I can't deny the power of the Seventies. Japan will never
again match the ingenuity of their 1972 - 1980 "golden period"; the
purity and economy of design of these character toys will remain as an
example of pop art for decades to come. If Warhol were around today
he'd probably do a few silkscreens of 'em...Anyway...
Recently my habit's been acting up, and the usual run-of-the-mill
stuff hasn't been enough to satisfy my Popy jones. That's why I had to
pick up a few powerful, uncut pieces straight from the source: a
"scramble-dash" jet wing for my Great Mazinger JM and a mint-in-box
Jumbo Poseidon. Expensive? Sure. But when your habit's got you down,
you'll beg, borrow, or (god forbid) sell one of your toys to get the
cash for a fix like that.
There's NOTHING like the feel of deteriorating Japanese cardboard
between your fingers as you open that huge '70s Jumbo Machinder box;
the totemic, character-festooned time capsule that's been stored in
some Japanese guy's closet or the back room of a toy shop for a
decade, the whiff of (probably) cancerous air that escapes from the
box as the lid is lifted; inhaling deeply, you run your fingers over
the smooth surface of the JM that's cost you a week's or a month's
salary. Re-box. Repeat.
(Click thumbnails to see larger)