Endless Toy Ramble by Alen Yen » 2004 » December
Eternal and Endless Toy Ramble by Alen Yen: random japanese toy collecting nonsense

December 28, 2004

Outer Limits

Filed under: Endless Ramble — admin @ 3:45 pm

Holy shit, it’s true: Outer Limits shuts its doors. It’s shades of ’99 and the closing of Day Old — not a GOOD memory, no not at all.

The mullahs called it at the millennial: the Fuckinginternet continues its relentless destruction of the real world. Browser-buying sucks compared to walking into a funky, dazzling display of boxes and hanging crap. What a bummer…

Things scored from O.L. that matter: Clover Guntank, My First SOC, Jetter Marus, Kamen Rider of the Many Fists, Daimos and sweeeeeeet Yamato Cosmo Tiger. Steve G. was personally involved in all of these moments, at times helping to scheme with my parents to insure awesome Christmasessses.

The passing of such a place demands a response. Mine is simple: look for the nearest analog place to bring some boys home. For this NJ holiday weekend, unfortunately, that leaves only

Mitsuwa. Formerly Yaohan. Land of the Rising Sum. The retail section of the shopping complex keeps shrinking while prices steadily soar. In true Jersey fashion, the toy stock is toxic and untouched.

There’s that one chrome SOC Getta set, yours for only $360. A stupid stack of Turn-A Gundam thingies, only $100 each. And a ratty UNI-FIVE Astroboy for only $160. Was I just rambling something negative about Internet shopping? This sucks. I waver…

Hmm. An odd impulse: there’s that tall stack of reissue HCMs, been there since 1942. It’s been a LONG time since I gave anything in this line a look. And they’re less than $30 apiece. Hmm. An odd call, but since these were on that checklist of things I’d buy at Outer Limits when I got around to it…Sold! (I attract enough attention that I get my own shopping helper who helps to gather my purchases. See? Real world shopping. That’s what I’m talking about!)

Once home, I try them in different home-furnishing locales — residual programming from Bandai Marketing clouding my brain. Not sure about this concept. Finally, later that evening, I manage a shot that gives me inexplicable pleasure:

Mom’s cooking at the family table, paired perfectly with a flight of Zakus. “Take the tofu! Take the tofu! Hard Cover!

Hahahahahaha. OK. I’m having a good time. Where ever the O.L. guys are, I really wish them best of luck.
Steve and Mike — you rock.

by Alen Yen

December 21, 2004

Italian Crap Parte Deux

Filed under: Endless Ramble — admin @ 3:47 pm

I know what you’re thinking: “What’s up with Leopardon and the J-ster? I seen them in the corner making all nookie-like. I thought Leo was Spidey’s ‘friend’.”

Ah Italia. What is it about your boot-like profile that brings out the amore in all of us? Robots are no different. Leopardon and Battle Fever are proud to announce the arrival of the one and only…


This toy sucks. It sucks hard. If there were a J.D. Powers frontal-crash impact saftey rating for gokin this would get negative a million…

Now before someone whips out their Tri-color and starts busting on us for dissing Europe be aware:


by Alen Yen

December 18, 2004

Italian Crappe!

Filed under: Endless Ramble — admin @ 3:54 pm

“Understand: this is not good. Nothing about this is good. It is plastic. The plastic is not good. It says Popy — which would normally be good — but this is a lie…

“Yes, Multi Robot is vintage bootlegging at its finest. Some bizarre Italian-Chinese connection cooked Multi Robot up in a back-alley factory like a prohibition-era bathtub gin distillery. Did their dastardly aim of foisting a vaguely Japanese-looking robot off on an unsuspecting childhood populace actually work? The answer remains unknown…”

“It feels so wrong — yet something about Multi Robot is right. The odd juxtaposition of English, Italian, and Japanese on the box is great. The use of a Star Wars -esque motif on the box is great, too. As is the instruction manual, with its pictures of Multi Robot posed like a contortionist bondage model, the desperation of the photographer attempting to wrangle some “play value” out of the toy almost palpable.

“I purchased this toy at an antique toy store in Maryland in 1999 from the bottom of a pile of far more worthy contenders. That it took me close to five years to bring myself to write about it is proof enough of its inherent suckiness. But something about the execution of the whole deal, the semi-deluxe packaging, the bright colors pulls me back to it every time. It may never have a place on my shelf, but it will always have one in my heart. Entusiamanti!”

— Matta Alta

December 1, 2004


Filed under: Endless Ramble — admin @ 4:03 pm


“Yo — I’m back! Yeah, it’s been awhile — I know I know. Well, my little thing is over. No, we won, in the end. No, no; I’m almost back to, um normal…Really, I’m doing much better.”

Deprogram: first stop, B&N to stock up on O’Reilly books. Next stop: headaches as I apply a lug wrench to my brain pan to dislodge a generation of obsessive <TABLE> coding. Stylesheets and Includes: gee, that’s schwell. I go, but I go unwillingly. Lo and behold…the <DIV> tag!

By the way, the logo font is splattered all over the CSS.

It’s called , it’s free, and you can Google it, or just download it here. (Please.)

It’s been a tough three years for many people. Nobody seems to want to talk about it anymore. I’m lucky: my story ends with a happy ending. More on this later.

In between bullshit, I bust my cherry. Yes, I make it to Japan — not just once, but twice. Not my first trip there, but certainly my first as an “adult”, and certainly the first as a total freak.

Highlights from the trip(s):

  • Interior design for the chogokin show was utterly inspiring, even if seeing the SOC Dancougar wasn’t. The right way to decorate a fortress of solitude one day.
  • They had a two-piece mazinger suit. It was pimp.
  • Matt Alt is old and feeble. I destroy him at the sake bar, crush his spirit. Ultimately Hiroko exerts executive privilege to protect his honor, but the damage is done. My impression is he later does a full-color “Brisko” wrapped around the toilet at home.

Here’s some nonsense from B.S.D.:

“GA-01 FIST UPGRADE. WE WANT MORE POWER, FIST OF LEGEND REAL SPRING ACTION! Big Science, on the job, researching options for ordinance upgrade. Favored replacement projectile: the .45ACP round, well suited indeed to the
mighty GA-01. Some engineering compatibilities require resolution…”


Hmm. Reasons to shoot Mazingers with guns. Well, enough of that. I’ll close with a shot of my current Favorite Mazinger:

Well tough guy? Did you figure it out?
by Alen Yen