Endless Toy Ramble by Alen Yen » 2007 » February
Eternal and Endless Toy Ramble by Alen Yen: random japanese toy collecting nonsense

February 25, 2007

Office Politics: Nakajima Triumph

Filed under: Endless Ramble — admin @ 12:04 pm

office gokin

It’s Sunday. So you start thinking about work. At the office, coworkers frequently enter my lair to yammer on about web design, engineering, operations and production. I intensely pretend to listen, all the while utterly dismayed at their complete lack of appreciation for vintage japanese toys.

I have sprinkled zinc liberally across all surfaces, hoping a seed of interest will sprout in the heart of some eager young code slinger. But it’s a hopeless endeavor.

Despite the presence of even more accessible American artifacts like my sparkling mint ’78 Colonial Viper and Syd Mead TRON Lightcycle, I’m greeted with polite apathy. Nary a comment. Amused tolerance.

Uni-Five Garada K-7 Brave Raydeen, Godbird of Networking. I slipped my first event badge on him in 1999 and cannot seem to stop. It’s pathetic how predictable this collecting thing is.
Uni-Five Garada K-7 If you’ve ever wondered how much I hate the Uni-Five Garada K-7, now you know.
Ms. Jackson if you're nasty Alen The presence of “toys” further emboldens disloyal employees to mock my “authority” in effigy.
Apple IIe You can date my skills by the power of the “desktop” unit by the Jumbo Getta Robo Go.

Amidst the litter of metal and plastic however, a single object exerts a seemingly subconscious power on even the disinterested. Men and women of all ilk cannot stop themselves from fingering it. They pick it up while blabbering on and on and spin its dial, rearranging it on my file cabinet without thought or awareness to their actions. Winner of my silent focus group poll, it is the only “successful” toy in the room…

Nakajima UFO 2 Dome-type Saucer

Nakajima UFO 2 Dome-type Saucer Box

Of course it’s the Nakajima UFO 2 Dome-type Saucer, and this humble piece which I have casually discarded here because of a broken landing leg gets more grabs than a [insert tasteless choirboy/church reference here]. You get the idea. For some reason, one of the cheapest and most easily acquired pieces draws the crowd. I love that.

If I put my art school hat on (which is black…follows function…really pushes it) I’d guess there’s something about its isomorphic correspondence to symbols of regeneration and motherhood: something comforting about the circular fondleability of it, coupled with general shinyness. Whatever.

It really doesn’t matter why. I’m just psyched because every time it’s handled, it’s a karmic shout out to those funky Nakajima guys of yesteryear. I hope they know their work still lives on…

Harro Alen!

February 21, 2007

Happy Birthday DX

Filed under: Endless Ramble — admin @ 5:23 pm

IMAGE: Happy Birthday Toybox DX

We are “nine.” That makes us, what, 45 in internet years?

I get wider, slower, softer and smoother in dotage, and lo, patience — of all virtues — dulls my disposition. Wanted or not, it’s thrust upon me each instance I harden to new objects, systems, people: my mind just doesn’t bend much anymore. And like a wrinkled porn star who’s retired to “direct” as others groan and grunt their way through the scene, I settle into the idea of being someone who prefers to watch.

I’m Vic from The Rapture. I ooze into the peace of a full-time velvet robe…

* * *

I do like to think that I’ve gotten chiller in acquisition: more Warren-like, if you will, and slightly more discerning (though if you’ve had the misfortune of shopping with me, or seeing MyEbay page, you’re probably still freaked by the amount of pure bottom-barrel shit I consume as part of my daily diet.) The primary trait I always associate with Uncle Warren is spannungsbogen: patience for the dance, the veil, the seduction…the intestinal disposition to hold it all in until, burning, you finally let it rip. I’ve thought a lot about those quiet little moments he has alone with his paper bags. And while it’s taken me a few years, I’ve finally perfected a little strip-tease homage of my own.

I call it the Anytime Rinkya Christmas. Enjoy.


  1. Add alcohol, drinking moderately to severely depending upon your personal alt.

    toys and drinks = alt

  2. As your brain warms, open multiple tabs to obscure Rinkya search terms. (“Popy Figures” is a great one)
  3. Bid on all the crap the island of Japan rejects. (Be careful: as the night blurs, so do the zeroes in the prices, and you may find converting from Yen to be an increasingly more difficult challenge.)

    bizarre popy auctions

  4. In 4 to 9 months (critical mass) you’ll receive a chipper email with smiley emoticons from Elaine or one of the other nice Rinkya ladies suspending your account and demanding that you execute an emergency Ship Request.
  5. If you’ve done this right, a box the size of an oil drum appears with the Rinkya logo on the side of it. It’s filled with crap only you would want.

    rinkya kicks ass!

  6. Now, just to really mind-fuck yourself, don’t open it just yet. If anybody asks, tell them it’s a Christmas gift. If they already suspect you’re a freak, this will settle the matter. Wait for life to punch you in the face. When you’re in your lowest low, wallowing in your quiet life of desperation, then and only then let it rip…

You will find yourself exclaiming “Hey, I really wanted that!” and you will marvel at how that nice slow pleasure that begins with the brown box arriving and ends with lifting the last styrofoam lid is force-multiplied: it’s an ecstasy assault that ends in total chaos.

rinkya loot

The last thing I’ll throw out about aging is the ripening. It’s really a good thing. You cross from the checklisting phase into something entirely transcendent: the willingness to hunger — to starve — for the savoring of a perfect morsel…the utterly fucking delightful and unique.

It’s a great place to be.

Harro Alen!